The CUDA Cards Enabler for Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects (Mac Edition) allows Premiere Pro to recognize unofficially supported CUDA video cards, which will enable hardware acceleration in these Apps. Please note that this article applies only to Mac OS X.
By default, some installations of Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects will only recognize a handful of older card models for CUDA acceleration (Mercury Playback Engine for Premiere and the raytracing engine for After Effects), such as the GTX 285, while ignoring more powerful models like the GTX 400/500/600 series cards.
We’ve put together a simple Mac installer that adds CUDA acceleration support for those more advanced video cards.
Supported Video Cards
The CUDA Cards Enabler currently enables the following graphics cards for Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects:
- GTX 470
- GTX 480
- GTX 570
- GTX 580
- GTX 670
- GTX 680
Run the app to add support for the unofficial cards.
Please note that you will also need to have the CUDA driver running on your system. If you haven’t done so already, get the latest CUDA Driver from NVIDIA.
- This installer supports Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects CS 5, CS 5.5, and CS 6.
- The script will only work if you’ve installed the apps in the default location.
- You don’t need to have both apps installed to use this installer.
- The installer simply runs a script that makes an edit to a couple of text files (see below).
The Manual Method
If you’ve installed your apps in a non-default location, want to add support for a different video card, or simply want to make the edits yourself, here’s how.
Premiere Pro checks your video card against a list of approved cards it keeps in a text file called cuda_supported_cards.txt. If a match isn’t found, you will not have the option of enabling the GPU-accelerated Mercury Playback Engine. Likewise, After Effects has a list of approved cards in a file called raytracer_supported_cards.txt. Note that only the 3D Ray Tracer uses GPU acceleration in After Effects.
To add support for your card, you’ll need to add it to those files.
1. Determine the name of your card.
To do this you run something called GPUsniffer, which comes with both Premiere Pro and After Effects. Open the Terminal and type:
/Applications/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\ CS6/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\ CS6.app/Contents/GPUSniffer.app/Contents/MacOS/GPUSniffer
/Applications/Adobe\ After\ Effects\ CS6/Adobe\ After\ Effects\ CS6.app/Contents/GPUSniffer.app/Contents/MacOS/GPUSniffer
(If you’ve installed the app in a different directory, or are using a different version of the Adobe software, you’ll need to adjust the path accordingly.)
You’ll get a response that has a bunch of information about your video card. Depending on the version the output will vary slightly, but what we are looking for is “Name” under the heading “CUDA Device 0”, which is the first CUDA device found. It should look something like this: “GeForce GTX 680”.
Select and copy that name, as it will need to be added exactly as seen (case-sensitive and space-sensitive) into our list of supported cards.
2. Add the card to the supported cards list.
You’ll need to make the edit with Admin privileges, so we’ll use Nano, a basic text editor that comes with OS X and runs on the command line.
Still in terminal, type:
sudo nano /Applications/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\ CS6/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\ CS6.app/Contents/cuda_supported_cards.txt
sudo nano /Applications/Adobe\ After\ Effects\ CS6/Adobe\ After\ Effects\ CS6.app/Contents/raytracer_supported_cards.txt
You’ll see the contents of the file, which should consist of a few video cards. On a new line, paste the name of your video card that you previously copied.
Now type CTRL-x to exit. Press “y” at the prompt to confirm that you want to save the file. Press Return to confirm the filename.
That’s it! Next time you open Premiere Pro or After Effects you should have access to GPU acceleration with your card.
Please note that not every NVIDIA card featuring CUDA technology will work with Premiere Pro and After Effects. Use this technique at your own risk.