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Mac Pro AMD GPUs Getting Full Hardware Acceleration Support in Blackmagic Resolve 10 & Adobe CC

Dual AMD FirePro GPUs Apple New Mac ProWhile on the surface it might seem like Apple is making a huge mistake not at least offering NVIDIA on their new system, it looks look those dual AMD workstation FirePro GPUs have a few tricks up their sleeve, especially as it relates to OpenCL support on both Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 10 and Adobe’s new CC software suite. Both are major players right now in the video space, and there will be some serious hardware acceleration thanks to these processors.

Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic, mentioned this on the forum:

We have been testing with DaVinci Resolve 10 builds and this screams. Its amazing and those GPUs are incredible powerful. I am not sure what I can say as I am only going off what Apple has talked about publicly here in the keynote for what I can say right now, however there is a whole new OpenCL and DaVinci Resolve 10 has had a lot of performance work done to integrate it and its really really fast. Those GPUs are very powerful and have lots of GPU memory so this is the Mac we have been waiting for! We have lots of Thunderbolt products too so video in and out is taken care of. 

We will have more details once the guys get back from WWDC and we get some more info from Apple on what we can talk about etc.

Overall we could not be happier!

So that’s a great sign, and while Resolve 9 lacked the support for AMD GPUs, Resolve 10, which should be released this year, is remedying that problem. That means when Apple releases the new Mac Pro with its integrated workstation FirePro cards (likely W9000), it will take full hardware advantage of AMD and NVIDIA solutions.

It also looks like Adobe is giving full hardware support for the new graphics cards, as well as many of those currently in use. Here’s what the GPUs can do in Adobe’s Creative Cloud software:

Thanks to its support for OpenCL, Premiere Pro CC makes it possible to harness the power of your AMD GPU to play back clips on the timeline in real time – even in 4K and beyond. The latest AMD FirePro W-series professional graphics cards are ideal for such demanding production jobs. With up to 6 GB of dedicated graphics memory, industry-leading memory bandwidth and PCI Express 3.0, the top-of-the-range AMD FirePro cards help you to scrub through RED or ARRIRAW footage without stuttering or needing to drop to lower resolution.

Premiere Pro CC isn’t the only Adobe application to support heterogeneous system architectures to speed up your workflow. After Effects, SpeedGrade as well as Photoshop’s Mercury Graphics Engine also take advantage of your AMD GPU for blazingly fast performance on even the largest of images when using the new Blur Gallery or demanding tools like Liquify or Puppet Warp. And since it’s based on open standards like OpenCL and OpenGL, there’s no need for graphics hardware using proprietary programming languages anymore.

While it was looking like NVIDIA GPUs would still have a significant advantage (we’ll have to wait for benchmarks with Apple’s hardware), Adobe and Blackmagic are both pushing to make their platforms hardware agnostic and perform exceptionally with both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. This is a huge step for anyone running anything other than NVIDIA hardware. Apple’s apparent dislike for NVIDIA has been ongoing, but it’s looking like it won’t actually hurt them, or their users, in this case.

We’ll have to wait and see if NVIDIA still has an advantage over AMD when it comes to hardware acceleration (it’s certainly possible that some things may still be slower or may not work as well on AMD), but it’s looking like at least the somewhat artificial barriers for support have been lifted.

For more information about what AMD GPUs can do for Adobe CC, head on over to the AMD site, and you can also see what GPUs are supported in Premiere CC here.


[Disclosure: Blackmagic is a nofilmschool advertiser]


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Description image 59 COMMENTS

  • Tell all the cool kids.

    -Apple, aka, the Abercrombie & Fitch of computers.

    • Love it !

    • Wow… this drivel (video) couldn’t be MORE flawed and was clearly done by someone who is “technically challenged” of Rainman proportions. Someone’s undoubtedly upset that their janitor paycheck won’t afford them more than their hack PC. Good thing there’s YouTube to afford them the illusion of being “big time” and giving them another 15 mins feeling like someone might actually have noticed he exists and “cares”… on the backs of a company and a whole bunch of people that have actually achieved something in life. :-D Bravo.

    • After what Apple did with FCP X, I don’t trust them anymore. The professional market is the reason why Apple is still alive, and FCP X is the reward. To me, the ones who are responsible for FCP X should go in jail. FCP X is a scam. It is full of bugs. No, it is a bug… I don’t trust Apple anymore. 2 replacements of my Mac Pro (5K €). 2 motherboards replaced in my MBP. Apple I don’t trust you anymore. Not with your new Mac Pro or anything you gonna bring on the market… Apple no more !!!

      • 300$ for FCX. If you don’t like it, stop complaining. Use previous FC software or ‘jump ship’ and spend plenty more for another solution. Its not like all the brilliant minds on the FC As for your failed hardware, its called life. Mac or PC hardware will fail at some point. Why didn’t you buy AppleCare? The cost of the service is a fraction of what you must make as a ‘professional’ video editor! It was YOUR choice to protect YOUR investment. The professional market is hardly a source of income of Apple, do you not follow company earnings?? 56 MILLION iOS devices were sold in Q1 2013. It is a consumer driven company. Apple is built off two principles- Making the best products & Innovation. You again have the CHOICE acknowledge their efforts or keep pouting about your life experiences. Enjoy!

        • I did have an AppleCare. Go and buy it, but don’t come and complain afterwards… Enjoy your macpro… :-)

  • It’s pretty much safe I’ll stay inside the Windows ecossystem I guess, unless I want to spend 10 000$ on this machine + external BluRay\PciE cards\etcetc It’s a shame because I think it’s a wonderful idea, but not well implemented yet.

    • Stay in the Windows ecosystem, it is the only professional system… Apple is not for professionals anymore… It is made for girls with long nails and guys driving sport cars, not for professionals…

  • I agree with the CEO of Black Magic. Apple is looking forward to the future (as always), people complaining about this new Mac Pro (that hasn’t even been seen by the public for more than a day) are stuck in the past and old way of thinking.

    People said the iPhone wouldn’t succeed because it didn’t have a keyboard! People said the iPad wont sell because it had a stupid name! To quote Lex Luthor, “WROOOOONG!”

    • People are stuck in the old ways of thinking because those ways have been proven to work. Apple tried to “reinvent” video editing with Final Cut Pro X, and look how well that turned out for them. Yes it was enough for some of their target audience, but plenty of people either stuck with FCP7 or jumped ship and went to Adobe’s Premiere Pro. Apple eventually had to admit defeat and patch FCPX with features from the “old ways of thinking.”

      I don’t know if this will be anything like what happened with FCPX, but it’s definitely feeling like that. It seems like this Mac Pro is good enough for some people who are looking to upgrade. But is it good enough for all of them, or even a majority of them? We’ll have to wait and see.

      Apple isn’t perfect and they don’t have great products every time. The iPhone, iPad, and retina Macbook are great, but they also had plenty of flops in the past.

      • FCP X is regaining traction. I now find it quite excellent to be honest, and i know professionals are also starting to adapt

        • Your loss for not using Premiere Pro.

        • The point being that they had to go back add those features that professionals felt were missing because there was such a large backlash. FCP X is a great video editing software now. I don’t use it, but I know people who do and it’s enough for them.

          This isn’t a $300 piece of software though. They can’t just patch in features that are missing. Again, we’ll have to wait and see how well it does in the market.

          • Apple has a 3 month release cycle for feature updates/bug fixes. I doubt they “went back” to add these things as they were probably already on the 10 year roadmap that they have planned out for FCPX.

          • Apple is a LEADER and has been for a long time. This company has done more to influence the Tech markets than any other company. If you like doing any kind of media on your desktop you have Apple to thank for that cuz they were the 1st to really make Desktop publishing a reality and to fully support bringing high end capabilities to the public.

            This New MacPro will likely end up causing a wave of PC copycats as many of their other products have done. It’s so early an as usual the naysayers are out in force before the story is truly written and they’ll end up being wrong as usual. Why do they feel the need to bash a company when they’re free to use whatever system they like? It’s like a Mercedes owner hating on BMW cuz they make solid and popular vehicles. Who cares? Be happy with your Mercedes!!!

        • If you find it excellent, that means you never used it… It is full of bugs… They added new functionalities but the previous ones are still not working… Import images to make an animation, go in preferences, say each image should be 1 frame long, and you will see the result… You are not a professional or you wouldn’t talk like that…

      • Exactly. My next computer won’t be a mac. And FCP X is crap.

        • You should just stop using your Apple products right now! Being a ‘professional’ and making ‘professional’ level money, should afford you the ability to acquire a new machine & pay a lot of money for 3rd party licenses. All you have done is complain incessantly. You have such distain for the company and yet you still CHOOSE to use Apple products…

  • Joe, an important addendum to your post is that in the coming DaVinci Resolve v10 Blackmagic will also be supporting AMD cards on Windows!

    “That said, in the Resolve V10 release, coming in Q3, we intend to support AMD cards on Windows Resolve as well.” – Dwaine Maggart Blackmagic Design DaVinci Support
    Reference link: (very bottom of thread)

    DaVinci Resolve 9 is the only reason I run an Nvidia card now. I’ll be happy to go back to an AMD card because in OpenCL the FirePros outperform the more expensive Quadro cards. Reference: CL Benchmark

  • IMHO I think this article on FxGuide adds a lot of valid points to this article –

  • I don’t know enough about OpenCL…but what I like about CUDA is it’s included on enthusiast cards as well. I can buy a Geforce card with more stream processors that the similarly priced workstation card. I don’t need geometry performance, I just want the cores.

    So a new nvidia titan at $1K, gives me as many (or more) cores for acceleration of the stuff I need, than a $4000 Firepro or Quadro.

    Will this be the same with OpenCL optimizations or will I be forced to buy a workstation card?

    • It’s the exact same with OpenCL, even better possibly, seeing as NVIDIA gimped their CUDA cores in their latest releases.

  • Well, that pops another nonsense “complaint” from the Apple-hating troll contingent. I’m sure we’ll still get to hear how disappointed they are that they can’t pop in a dozen 3.5″ internal hard drives, or how it looks like a trash can or something.

    Every computer should have floppy drives and PS/2 ports, damnit! How will my clients react if I can’t deliver via Betamax? Boo, Apple, for not keeping things exactly how they have been for 15 years!

    • Awww… bitter ? Nobody’s talking about Betamaxes here.

      Apple is basically marketing a GPU and CPU “unit’, and calling it a workstation. Again, “Hackintoshers” are gonna come up with a superior setup for half the price. It’s gonna look like a shitty PC but, apart from Apple design fanboys, nobody is really gonna cares about the shape of the thing.

      That coffee can shape is irrelevant when it’s burried under a desk and you have dozens of external peripherals plugged into it. Price will again be the bottom line. And, again, Apple will be way off pricewise. But price has never stopped a true Apple fanboy.

      • I admire the whole Hackintosh thing. For a home/amateur user, I think it’s cool to save a little bit of money thanks to some technical elbow grease.

        No company, however, is going to take a risk on patched-together, non-warrantied hardware that may or may not work as a consequence of a future software update or driver conflict. At the end of the day, an extra $500-1000 (or whatever the price discrepancy will be) isn’t even worth thinking twice about, for the guarantee of having the hardware matched perfectly to the software. Creative companies aren’t Apple “fanboys” – they buy products that work.

        It’s like dropping a BMW engine in a Honda Accord – an admirable feat, but at the end of the day, if I can afford it – I’m buying the BMW.

        Although I’ll wait to make a conclusion until we hear more about pricing and benchmarks, I think Apple is hitting a home run here.

        • That’s the funny thing, people complained when FCPX wasn’t “pro” enough, but when a “pro” machine comes out, people basically complain about it not being prosumer enough for them to mess with the parts.

          People who use powerful computers professionally don’t want user serviceable parts, they want something that works out of the box that has a 3-year warranty. In the professional world, any savings from a custom built computer is lost the first time you have to spend a day fixing it instead of doing your job.

          Businesses need their computers to have as much uptime as possible, Apple knows this. The hardware is specifically designed to run OSX as well as FCPX and their other applications. When you buy an Apple product this is part of what you pay for and why people are willing to pay more.

          People just like to complain because they know they won’t be able to afford something like this.

          • Perfectly said. I rely on my Mac every day. I will gladly pay Apple what they want to get my clients’ work completed. With the new wave of 4K products, I’m going to need a solid system. I wouldn’t think of building it.

          • Complete and utter bullshit. Ive been in the industry for 20 years and ever since XP rolled out some 13 odd years ago t I’ve never had a problem with any of my custom builds. At a guess Id be talking 3 brand new systems since XP with each system being upgraded at least once in its lifetime as required with new tech released. Sometimes I’ve done it myself, other times various system builders but never have I encountered any issues. I do happen to know of several mac owning folk who have had countless problems with their overpriced systems so honestly at this stage its just luck of the draw. Mac make great products but so to do many of the PC builders at a fraction of the cost with complete freedom as to what you put it and how you set it up. The old adage of paying the apple tax for superior reliability hasn’t held any water for more than a decade!

          • Some people aren’t interested in building the editing/graphics system. I started out on PCs with XP, building the systems. Once Intel went over to Apple, I invested in the Mac Pro (2008) and never looked back. Not that it’s a bad option but the alternate way (the Hackintosh way) is too much trouble for some people; I don’t want to waste the time.

          • Cool anecdote Peter. Actual professionals don’t and can’t just roll the dice on such a worthless experiment, however. For your amateur needs, that’s fine, but people who actually do work aren’t interested in your method.

  • Yeah, so predictably Adobe will leverage this to push their monthly subscription con and perpetual license holders will be left to dangle.

  • Harry Pray IV on 06.11.13 @ 8:27PM

    I love that Apple again used their influence to get rid an annoying proprietary technology…. or at least made it a hell of a lot more irrelevant.

  • As a DaVinci Resolve user, this is great news as it was one of my only worries when seeing the specs on the new mac pro. I also run FCP X, which I’m certain will scream on this new machine. I recently wrote an article on how this machine will change FCP X:

  • Amazing, people complaining and still they will purchase one. I will get one as soon as they come out, so many years with mac and when tryed PC got a lot pf problems and not even mentioning viruses.

    Apple alwasy cahnge teh game, why is that people are so limited and start talking stupid things about everything they see before thingking what to say? amazing.

    Future of desktop are integrated parts, you need something them just plug it in, need another part, just do the same. Look at the TB 2.0, double the bandwith of anything, that is power.

    • Anyone that knows how to build a high-performance PC, and knows how much better Premiere is than FCPX, will not be purchasing one. The people that purchase Mac Pros are the same people that are convinced that “editing on Mac is what professionals do” – that, and those that don’t know the value of a dollar.

      • Uh-huh … Love your over generalizations and stereotypes! Fact is their are plenty of professional editors on both Mac and PC. The new Mac will be plenty powerful for a large segment of editors. The high end folks and VFX will be using render stations anyways. Carry on …

      • Or we are just not college kids that need to cobble together a system to save a few bucks and don’t mind paying for a solution that works out of the box with a warranty. That amount of money is nothing when dealing with paying clients with REAL deadlines that mean money gone out of your pocket. Screwing up one project over a custom built system going down is on a much large scale than the money saved and having my ego stroked that “I built it myself for cheaper.” I also used to work on my own cars. “People who don’t work on their own cars are suckers,” I used to think. Yeah then I got older and had a real job and fixing cars, computers, my house is simply not worth it. My time the older I get is much more valuable. It’s not a matter of having a bunch of money to waste. I don’t. I simply want things to work simply, efficiently, and reliably. I have had that since I moved to apple. I don’t care what logo is on the side. Nobody will see this system but me if I choose to buy it. I don’t care if they put it inside a pinata shaped like a penis as long as it performs well. As somebody who has invested in a Thunderbolt Drobo this is perfect for me. I was certainly ready to switch back to PC in the next few months and would have if this system did not happen. I was a long time windows avid editor, switched to FCP, then recently tried FCPX hated it and jumped ship to Adobe Premiere. I care less what name is on the box/software as long as it works the way I want it to. It’s not always about doing it the fastest and cheapest no matter how loud people wanna bang that drum.

    • You had a lot of problems/viruses with PC? You either; A. don’t know how to build one. B. stop downloading illegal software/keygens and porn.

  • “Open the door get on the floor, everybody kill the dinosaur…”

    Adapt or become extinct… Boom, boom, acka-lacka BOOM BOOM!

  • final cut X is fun to edit with

  • Hey Joe,

    I must take issue with your characterization of Apple’s like or dislike of NVIDIA. Your statement that “Apple’s apparent dislike for NVIDIA has been ongoing” Is ummm….. what’s a polite way to say not true? As we speak of the 3 computers that Apple ships that have discreet graphics processors two of them are NVIDIA chips.

    It is true that Apple has been open to using both graphics processor architectures. Because they use both architectures along with PowerVR (iPhone, iPad) they developed OpenCL ( I don’t think that can or should be characterized as disliking NVIDIA.

    I am open to information that would contradict my retort.

    • Dislike might be strong, but there have been tensions between the companies for various reasons. That would more accurately describe the situation. They offered slower AMD/ATI GPUs on both iMacs and Mac Pros for some time, which is odd for a company that is always claiming to have the most powerful systems.

      • Apple switch around from ATI to Nvidia and back again. Perhaps a way to keep both providers alive on the Mac? OpenCL support certainly goes along with that GPU-independent outlook.

      • Rob Manning on 06.13.13 @ 5:48PM

        Love the site Joe!

        It’s safe to say, without each other, neither company (Apple or Adobe) would be where they are today (graphics, imagery, print media etc.).

        In the legacy sense Steve was or had grown abhorrent to Adobe for (particularly flash in one well publicized tome) some or various reasons.

        The competitive nature being somewhat visceral, it also (possibly/arguably) played into a talk to the hand mindset as Adobe jumped hard into the film/video business, in fairly rapid moves, to eliminate real time ingest (read/edit native files). So Cook and company switched pipeline GPUs soon after Jobs died.

        Assuming the (ten?) year plans mentioned above, were in play, then it was purely coincidental when iJOBS went over to Nvidia, or more cynically, the bleeding was staunched possibly to an extent over the exodus to Premiere and AVID in 2011.

        ATI, sure why not, Nvidia also has its strengths and this new MAC if nothing else, raises the ante for GPUs within some set limits.

        Open CL has far more support on Windows GPUs on Adobe’s approved list, than does MAC but that soon will be a legacy for those like myself who ‘bought’ the last issue of CS6 in order to maintain control and offline portability.

        Also, Adobe mentions how to work around that (hack) on the same information page, so the battle of the cards is moot.

        Mentioned above, big dogs use server rendering, but what about we the free lance and indie film makers?

        Choices, choices, choices.

        Does the (do they) newer protocol for USB, PCI and TB enliven the possible? Will these changes/advances assure success beyond the loyal user base, or shift the paradigm once again?

        That remains to be seen, but here is a link to Red Shark’s take on the new MAC offerings with one line spotted here: “Obviously, it’s unlikely to offer better performance per pound than a home-built custom PC, but it certainly brings Apple back into the game for serious graphics workstations.”

        One play book, this machine is (outside of OS #, creatives, adherents) being introduced as the Pro platform for cachet, with actual units sold (traction) possibilities to the CEDIA crowd, for in home connectivity as a 4/5K playback device.

        I’m personally inclined to see that as a positive.

        Let us not forget, Apple has to mine the existing loyalty and grow at the margins because hands set devices are maxing out worldwide as predicted. So not unlike Monster Cable, they need new channels (power conditioning, ear sets etc.) branded to open the wallets of loyal and or enamored consumers.

        These moves are a sign of maturing bell curves in marketing and typically follow on as normal for any brand that has market share (with less ground breaking innovation to offer than in the past) to capture sales as did the Creative MP player when Steve redesigned it, or the touch screen cell phone playing dumbed own 8 bit music.

        I love the row over the design, but it is in one sense still an Intel PC and thankfully for the adherents, just not Windows or Linux dependent.

        It had been pointed to many times, on other forums, that the base (5%) which Apple had seemingly abandoned, (MAC Pro Desktops) were ripe for the plucking if Cook and company, decided to restate that platform because they certainly (company and the users) could afford it.

        Those predictions were correct, a great face plant save from FCPX by Apple.

        All of the love and hate they get is well deserved.

  • I quit worrying about my off-the-shelf Mac Pro workstation costing $1,500 more than a home-built PC when I inked a $33,000 media contract with a ginormous corporation that formerly owned an American television network. At $195/hr, I can afford to let other people build computers and spend days working to save seconds in production. If someone needs to spend time building and fixing computers in order to feel like they’re managing their company budget, that’s okay with me. As I see it, if you make enough to be happy and feel good about what you do, you’re a success.Time spent resenting or dissing how other people run their life and work just means you aren’t fully happy with your own accomplishments and have to try to lower what others do in order to stand above them. If I got a contract and spent even $5,000 more on gear than you would have… well, I still ot the contract, so there’s that.

    Work hard, be happy, and don’t worry about what the other guy does. Unless he’s taking all your work, and then you might want to find out how rather than complain that he doesn’t know the value of a dollar.

    • Too bad you have no way of proving your “$1500 more” BS, huh. But it’s always good for trolling nonsense and makes for great, self-important “I’m way mo’ betta pro than YOU!” posts… *yaaaawn*

  • I’ve been a professional television and film editor for 15 years. I always work in professional post houses run by a team of engineers. I cut on Avid and FCP and both Mac and PC. I learned to cut on a 16mm film bench. I’ve also cut broadcast docs for discovery channel on my 2008 Mac book pro in my home office. I’d love to learn premiere as well, sounds awesome. The most successful editors can work on any platform or edit system – we all have our favorites but in the end curiosity and flexibility are essential to creativity. It’s astonishing to hear creative people spend so much valuable energy criticizing something they have never used or seen. It’s anti-creative by definition. We live in the best possible time for creative media artist. I’m grateful for all of this amazing technology that is at our finger tips. It’s only going to get better.

    • I used FCP X. I paid for it, and it is crap. It is not full of bugs, it is a big bug. That is what Apple made to their professional clients. I don’t trust Apple anymore…

  • If you have ennemies tell them to buy it… :-)