Adobe Premiere Pro CS5: Mercury, where have you been all my life?

Studio Monthly by Charlie White

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (CS5) has plenty of enhancements, but Premiere Pro received the biggest upgrade of all. Now Adobe's rock-solid editing software takes a step into a new era, running only on 64-bit operating systems such as Mac OS X and Windows Vista or Windows 7. Premiere Pro's been drastically improved, to such a profound extent that it could save you dozens of hours on every project you produce.

For the past three years, Adobe has been secretly working on what it calls the Mercury Playback Engine. The company teamed up with graphics card giant NVIDIA, using that company's multithreaded Cuda graphics architecture that uses the GPU (graphics processing unit), to significantly accelerate both previews and rendering in Premiere Pro. Unfortunately, those who would rather use ATI graphics cards don't get to share in the tremendous benefits of Mercury, but Adobe says that might change sometime in the future.

For now, if you're using one of a limited group of NVIDIA graphics cards (including the Windows-based versions of the Quadro CX, Quadro FX 5800 and 3800, and the Windows and Mac-compatible NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 and Quadro FX 4800, then you're in business with Premiere Pro CS5's Mercury Playback Engine. And here's a helpful hint: if you're choosing a graphics card for use in Premiere Pro only, Adobe told me you'll enjoy almost exactly the same Mercury Engine performance out of the cheaper Quadro FX 3800 graphics card (the one I used for testing here) as you would from the highest-end, much pricier Quadro FX 5800. So save your money if Premiere's your game. read more...

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.