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CUDA or software only?

Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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I just have a simple question. For all my rendering needs, whether its Premiere or Media Encoder, should I use Mercury GPU acceleration (CUDA) or Mercury software only.

I don't know if I'm supposed to have more options but those are the only two I have. Which is better? I have an i7-7700k and GTX 1050 if that has any effect.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

Natantantan  wrote

I just have a simple question. For all my rendering needs, whether its Premiere or Media Encoder, should I use Mercury GPU acceleration (CUDA) or Mercury software only.

Software Only is usually the slowest of all options. You'd use Software Only if there aren't any other choices because you're on a computer that doesn't have any hardware that works with graphics acceleration, or if there is a bug with the graphics hardware/driver that doesn't happen when set to Software Only.

Natantantan

...

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Community Expert ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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Hi

You must use CUDA because that means that you are really using Mercury Playback Engine Acceleration, on the contrary Software Only does not give you acceleration of hardware or of your video card.

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Community Expert ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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Community Expert ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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Natantantan  wrote

I just have a simple question. For all my rendering needs, whether its Premiere or Media Encoder, should I use Mercury GPU acceleration (CUDA) or Mercury software only.

Software Only is usually the slowest of all options. You'd use Software Only if there aren't any other choices because you're on a computer that doesn't have any hardware that works with graphics acceleration, or if there is a bug with the graphics hardware/driver that doesn't happen when set to Software Only.

Natantantan  wrote

I don't know if I'm supposed to have more options but those are the only two I have.

The number of options listed can be different depending on the computer. A cheap laptop might only show Software Only. A computer with supported integrated graphics and discrete graphics might show two or more choices (like Software Only and OpenCL), and if Nvidia graphics are present then you see a CUDA choice.

In your case you should choose CUDA because if there aren't any problems with it, it should be much faster than Software Only.

If you see multiple choices for GPU acceleration, test to see which one is faster on your computer. The combination of graphics card, VRAM, driver version, system RAM, CPU cores, cache drive speed, etc. can tilt Mercury Playback Engine performance one way or the other so don't assume one way is always the fastest on all computers.

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2023 Jun 01, 2023

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But, despite the slowness and the nature of some features (effects) being unsupported, Software only option is THE MOST Accurate. Each Hardware Accelerated option on my rig introduces weird artifacts starting from unwanted luminosity strip artifacts. (Premiere Pro 2022) 

 

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ETtlwKtzMQ

2) https://youtu.be/0ao-nuN8JyE

3) https://youtu.be/zGORW6lDPmw

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New Here ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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I find Software only to be faster than Cuda and OpenCL by 50%. I dont know why, even though my laptop has RTX 3050 with 16GB RAM ang Intel 15 12th Gen. I followed best settings for GeForce on After Effects, but Software only seems faster in rendering via Render Queue and Media Encoder. Can someone help me with this issue?

If my Project settings is Software only, should I render using Software only as well? or I can export using hardware , or vice versa? Thanks

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Participant ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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I just looked into this and learned that the iGPU that uses smartsync on intel chips is significantly better at encoding (not gaming) than nvidia.  Benchmarks showed live previews were double than K and KF chips that have no iGPU enabled by significant amounts.   I'm building a 14900 system, but believe 12th gen has support which would give you a big advantage as it can use one for encoding, the other for decoding during editing.  For the extra $20 it costs on a $500 chip, it's an easy choice for me.  I'm exhanging my KF for standard 14900 with 770 graphics just for the encoding.  Of course if you're a quality guy, you'll want to go with software renderer anyway, which for me is actually faster (14900KF 24core/32threads) 3080ti.  Most hardware encodes I see 10%CPU, 20%GPU.  Software uses 35-45% CPU and the quality it's just cleaner on low bitrate deliveries. High bitrate I can't tell the difference.

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