Behind the Scenes of Adobe CS5
Ken Stone by Steven Douglas

Not every new version of software that comes to market makes as big a splash as a company might expect from the public. We certainly saw that with Final Cut Studio 3 which many preferred to refer to as Final Cut 2.5.

OVERVIEW
We've seen the same happen with past versions of Adobe software as well........But not this time!! Adobe CS 5 brings to the table a standard that requires others to play catch up. By now it is no secret that the key to this very significant jump is Adobe's new 64 bit Mercury engine. While not all of the Adobe applications have been re-written as 64 bit the ones most used, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop Extended and Media Encoder are those that really harness the power and benefits of this suite. What Adobe's CS5 does provide overall is greater confidence and speed for creating and delivering content across the board .

In truth, this was sufficiently compelling as the catalyst for me to get a new computer with the CPU horsepower and more RAM to take advantage of what CS5 now offers. The 64 bit architecture enables us to install as much usable ram as we can afford. Most important is that one is aware that there are only a handful of currently compatible NVIDIA graphics cards produced for the new Adobe Mercury engine. This led to working with CS5 in 3 different Mac Pros and my old Mac Book Pro. The first Mac Pro was a 3GHz dual-core with 5.5 gigs of ram. This Mac Pro had an identifier number of 1.1 that was incompatible with any of the new NVIDIA cards and therefore could not take advantage of the GPU-acceleration in the 64-bit Mercury Engine. The older Mac Pro's can still take advantage of the Mercury Playback Engine, as they are 64-bit, and can handle multicore processors. However, the newer cards are not compatible with the older Mac Pros. Never the less, though not able to utilize the Mercury engine, CS5 still ran just fine. This was then followed by installing the NVIDIA FX4800 card and CS5 in a new 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro with a meager 6 gigs ram.

It is a general rule of thumb that one should have at least 1 gig of ram for each core, however, with the Adobe Mercury engine, as much ram as you can afford to install will be taken advantage of with the end results not being a disappointment. Finally, I reinstalled the NVIDIA card and CS5 in a new 2 x 2.66 GHz 12 core Mac Pro supplied with 20 gigs ram.

With the introduction of CS3 and CS4 Adobe has strived diligently to integrate their suite packages more tightly. With each version more gains were attained but with CS5 it is my view that they have finally and truly succeeded with their vision of what they wanted Adobe to be. With CS5's Production Premium, a production script can be written in Adobe's new 'Story' application. This new application is a collaborative tool which enables you to link characters, locations, scene descriptions, and dialogue to production and post-production workflows, opening the door to faster overall project completion. read more...

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