Hoping someone can help clear this up for me. When it comes to the Video Rendering and Playback in the project settings, I am always confused on what it should be set on. Mercury Playback Engine Software Only, GPU Accelration (CUDA) or GPU Acceleration (OpenCL). What is best and smartest when editing?
This depends on many factors, including your general system specs, your video card, and the media you are working with. CUDA or OpenCL will be faster than Software in almost all cases, but there can be a few circumstances (usually plugin or bug related) that Software will need to be swapped to. I'd say leave it on CUDA unless you use a plugin requires OpenCL.
Also, keep in mind that Adobe has effectively disabled OpenCL mode in all Windows systems with only a discrete Nvidia GPU installed. I had incorrectly assumed that the historically poor OpenCL performance of the GeForce GPUs was responsible. The real reason, however, is that all available Nvidia Windows drivers up to and including the current Game Ready and Studio Drivers 445.87 and 442.92, respectively, are artificially restricted to OpenCL 1.2 support - below the OpenCL 2.0 support that's required for that mode to even be enabled at all in Premiere Pro's Mercury Playback Engine (MPE). Therefore, on all Windows systems that have only a discrete Nvidia GPU installed, only CUDA or software only are available. Which means that the OP will not be able to use a plugin that absolutely requires OpenCL to function.
Now, if the OP has a compatible Intel CPU-based PC, and has both a discrete Nvidia GPU and a fully-enabled (in the BIOS/EFI setup) integrated graphics, then both CUDA and OpenCL are available; however, if OpenCL is selected, then only the integrated Intel iGPU is utilized at all for GPU acceleration.
I have a 9 core comnpuer with a GE Force card. I am working with clips with a Canon 80D and Phantom 4 Pro. When I switched from softyware only to CUDA, I keep getting a low level expection error player:83. It constantly pops up.
What would you say is the best option on a macbook pro dated 2018?
2,3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor
8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 memory card
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB videocard
Which card are you using, and what driver is it using?
I have a GeForce GTX 1070
With this card Cuda is your best option.
The other question I asked ... which driver are you using for that card?
Depending on the CPU and GPU you might have a couple different options for rendering and playback. Nvenc and Quick Sync can help encode and decode certain variations of H.264/265 but not all. The video below might be worth watching.
As an update to my post from almost one year ago:
Nvidia has added official support for OpenCL 3.0 for Maxwell and newer GPU architectures, beginning with Driver Branch 465. Prior to the 465 driver branch, OpenCL had been artificially restricted to version 1.2. The most recent Studio Driver version, however, as of May 4, is version 462.31, which is still restricted to OpenCL 1.2, therefore disabling OpenCL as a choice for the MPE renderer in the Windows versions of Premiere Pro if the only GPU installed in a given PC is from Nvidia.
So far, only two Game Ready drivers are currently available from the 465 driver branch. A Studio Driver in that branch is being worked on at this present time. When an official Studio Driver from that driver branch gets released, Premiere Pro users will have a choice between both APIs and software only in the renderer settings; the CUDA setting will remain the default renderer selection although the user may now choose OpenCL on a system that has a newer Nvidia GeForce 9 series or later or a Quadro/RTX M series or later GPU if (s)he is using certain GPU-accelerated effects that only support OpenCL.