The Quadro FX 4800 for Mac + Premiere Pro CS5 = fast

The EDITBLOG on PVC by Scott Simmons

Beyond CS5 there’s other reasons you might want a 4800. Like DaVinci Resolve for Mac.


A couple of months ago I was offered the opportunity to test out the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 for Mac. This beast of a video card is one of the more powerful cards available for the Macintosh but it’s also quite expensive (currently just over $1,400 at Amazon). I jumped at the opportunity as it’s this NVIDIA technology that powers the Mercury Playback engine in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. That and the fact that I probably wouldn’t have been able to justify the cost of the card on my own. In short, the Mercury engine and the NVIDIA Cuda technology combine for some very fast editing of very processor intensive formats. Since then, this particular graphics card has become the backbone of another hot Mac product, the DaVinci Resolve for Mac.

Let me first say that I’ve been at a bit of a loss as to how to exactly test / benchmark / review the 4800. I certainly consider myself geeky enough to closely follow and understand a lot of the computer technology we have to use in post-production but I’m not geeky enough (nor do I have any desire to be geeky enough) to spend hours running benchmark tests on graphics cards, hard drives and things like that. That’s what Barefeats is for and they’ve done their own Quadro FX 4800 for Mac tests. Ars Technica too. While I most certainly care about all the changing technology I often get to the point where I don’t want to know the deep technical details as to how something many work, I just want to that it does indeed work and how that will help my post-prodcution workflow. So how to discuss the 4800?

Fellow PVC writer Bruce Johnson has been writing about the PC version of this card and his workflow with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. I thought that I would mirror one of his posts with the Mac version since there’s probably quite a few people getting 4800’s of their own as they begin setting up DaVinci Resolve for Mac. read more...

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