How to Unlock Adobe Premiere CS5 to use almost any NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA acceleration

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Video Cards for Adobe Premiere CS5
How to Unlock Adobe Premiere CS5 to use almost any NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA acceleration.
Updated on 07/21/10

Adobe Premiere CS5 was release with the new Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) that can use a video card’s GPU to accelerate playback, effects and rendering. Adobe has only “certified” a few of the high end video cards from NVIDIA. (See Note 4 at the end of this article, About Adobe's Certified Video Cards)

When you install Premiere CS5 and it doesn‘t find one of the “certified“ video cards, the Mercury Playback Engine is set to run in “software mode”, using only the computer’s CPU and not the video card’s GPU.

However, there is a way to unlock Premiere CS5 so the Mercury Playback Engine can use the GPU on virtually any of the newer NVIDIA video card. This way you don’t have to spend $500 to $1500 on a “certified“ video card.

Whether you already have an NVIDIA video card or you are planning on buying one, there are a few important things you need to know about before you unlock the NVIDIA video card.

1) This unlock ONLY works with NVIDIA graphics cards. (aka. Video cards)
2) The video card must have 896 meg of ram or more. Most video cards come with 512K, 1GB or more. Go with a 1GB card or higher card.
3) Different NVIDIA video cards has different numbers of CUDA cores.
NOTE: Each NVIDIA GPU has a certain number of CUDA cores, which is the computing engine in the NVIDIA GPU. Generally, the more CUDA cores the better the performance
4) Video cards have certain power requirement.
5) Depending on your CPU, you may not need or want a video card with a lot of CUDA cores.
6) You should use a video card with extra cooling features - This is
VERY important since the GPU will run hot when used by the Mercury Playback Engine. Most of this article is dedicated to this subject. We will show you what to look for in a video card for cooling and if you already have a video card, what you can do to keep it cool.

Now let's go over each one of these things in detail. read more...

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