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OpenCL vs Metal for Adobe Rendering on a Mac

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See the updated tests as of Sept 2018 here: https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ What's the best choice for GPU Accelerated Rendering in Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Media Encoder on a Mac, OpenCL or Metal? Find out here. Also see how an Intel i7 6700k Skylake processor in a tower PC compares to one in an iMac for rendering. Where should you spend your money? Linus Tech Tips DDR3 vs DDR4 video referenced: https://youtu.be/utWnjA4NzSA https://twitter.com/FlarecorpMedia https://www.facebook.com/Flarecorp

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Text Comments (86)
S B (7 days ago)
If I know correctly, the Metal API works by having the CPU and GPU work together in harmony. If some effects are software only, and using metal, then the CPU could become fully utilized, while the GPU would be underutilized.
S B (7 days ago)
Also, check thermal throttling. My early 2011 macbook pro with a Core i7, and a AMD Radeon HD 6490m, with just a CPU will thermal throttled up to 50%. The GPU I can't monitor, but with a combined load, will just throttle the CPU and GPU to insane slow speeds.
Jonathan Jeswald (19 days ago)
I have a Imac 27 inch late 2013 model 14,2 What Cuda driver or Nvidia driver should I use I keep showing unavailable with High sierra 10.13.6
Flarecorp Media (17 days ago)
I have no idea unfortunately. You might be able to get this to work, but I make no guarantees https://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/130460/en-us
Ananta Shahane (29 days ago)
7:08 Or just. use FCPX and get 50% discount on PC time.
mp4vids (1 month ago)
+Flarecorp Media - I have a MacBook Pro that I had received from Full Sail University and I tried both Open CL and Metal. Metal seemed like it was rendering much faster than Open CL at first, but what I noticed, when I was using the Multi-Camera option, my system performance was horrible. I couldn't understand why? Then it hit me. I went back to change the setting from Metal to Open CL and all of a sudden, the performance went right back in stride again with seamless editing in in multi-camera mode. Eventually, they will work out the bugs, however, what isn't mentioned is the compiler. That compiler from Adobe was originally written for the PC, not the Mac. I would have figured that this would have been solved back around 2006 because the benchmarks always seemed to favor the PC over the Mac. But regardless of that, I love my Mac because of the SSD drive and that helps to break all rules in a good way for speed performance! Thanks for the video!
mp4vids (1 month ago)
Personally, I think they have, but having an SSD really helps out a lot. My Mac doesn't struggle as much as I thought it would.
Flarecorp Media (1 month ago)
I've heard that Adobe has spent a lot of effort improving the latest version of Premiere 2018 for Macs. I hope they've addressed some of the issues with slowness compared to a Windows Machine. Thanks for your comment!
Julio Cesar (Pessoal) (1 month ago)
Can you try it again?
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
You bet! https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
Paul C (2 months ago)
All I see are the reindeers flying into your right ear.
Christopher Feldmann (3 months ago)
I appreciate the efforts put into the testing. I'm curious where these number stack up now after 1.5 years but more curiously I'm wondering how long the render might take through and FCPX workflow. MKBHD (a notorious Android user) even says that FCPX on a mac will run significantly faster than Premier on a similarly spec'd PC.
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
Hey, thanks for your comment. I thought you might be interested to know I've ran some new tests including the 2018 MacBook Pro in a new video! https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
NDxTremePro (3 months ago)
2 points. 1. Apple also created OpenCL. 2. Another reason Windows was faster is the Microsoft compiler does a better job of optimizing code than LLVM that is used on Macs.
Robert Motyka (3 months ago)
Thanks for in details explanation!
Rinat Iakupov (3 months ago)
Jatniel Salim (4 months ago)
Excellent analysis! Thanks!!!
FOCUSBELLA (4 months ago)
Does the same apply to iMac Pro?
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
I just tried it again on a MacBook Pro with the 6-core CPU. Still don't have access to an iMac Pro, but you can see the newest results here: https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
Flarecorp Media (4 months ago)
I unfortunately haven't gotten a chance to test it on an iMac Pro. If I ever get access to one, I'll give it a shot.
My system configuration is i7 4790k processor Gigabyte b85m d3h motherboard Sapphire rx 550 GPU but GPU show only 7mb how to fix pls help me
He Tian Heng Pictures (4 months ago)
It took over 100mins to render a 5min video?! Did I miss something? o.O
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
I just now saw this message. :) Yeah, it's because I was technically rendering 5, 5 minute videos at the same time. They were all stacked on top of each other. I did just rerun these tests using a 2018 MacBook Pro in my new video if you're interested. Thanks for commenting! https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
Aaron Allsop (5 months ago)
This is one of the most in-depth yet concise video on the subject I've ever seen. You jumped right to the point, keep up the good work.
M Oczakow (5 months ago)
WOW! Apple still uses DDR3 ram in this day and age? how lame, i remember running 2000mhz ddr3 from crucial back in 2008.
SenorQuichotte (5 months ago)
Run your texts on a Linux OS with cuda driver's using ffmpeg
Grow Op The Series (5 months ago)
THANK YOU For doing this!
Giulio Ferraro (5 months ago)
There is no throttling in the iMacs, tower PC is faster with the same processor because After Effects isn’t well optimized for MacOS. If you install Windows with Bootcamp the results are the same
chirag varmora (5 months ago)
What is Open CL ? I get this error on My GPU using for Mining Rigs
Neutral Zone (6 months ago)
Great video bro
John Carmack (6 months ago)
Exactly what I needed! Thanks for the vid. :)
Neon Cloud (7 months ago)
Maybe it's not apple's system. Maybe it's adobe.
Rohan Van Twest (7 months ago)
Thanks for taking the time to share your research and explaining it in a simple straightforward way.
jgrah500 (7 months ago)
Try this. Run a GTX1080 using an egpu Thunderbolt box. Bye the way I'm running a GTX1080 in my 3ghz 8 core Mac towner.
박준성 (8 months ago)
thanks for your test. it brings me solid conclusion to use OpenCL API.
Maxwell Millermaier (8 months ago)
I wonder if you'd get the same results today now that Metal 2 is out?
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
Let's find out! https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
Carlos Ugarte (8 months ago)
Great comparison. Which PC would you recommend for processing raw and 4k footage now in Premiere Pro 2018 CC to get the best possible performance? Thanks!
Carlos Ugarte (7 months ago)
Thanks a lot for the quick reply. I use a MacBook Pro Mid 2014 and I am currently getting stuck with PP and AE. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
Flarecorp Media (8 months ago)
If I were building an editing computer right now from scratch with a 1500-2000 budget, I'd go for one of the 8th gen i7 processors due to their 6 cores over the 4 cores in the previous generations. The bulk of my editing is CPU intensive and those 2 extra cores will make a big difference. Then I'd grab a GTX 1080 or even better a GTX 1080 TI (the performance bump is worth the cost). However, when editing, the CPU is always my bottleneck and to save some money a GTX 1060 or 1070 would still be excellent choices. I'd round it out with no less than 32 gigs of RAM because often times After Effects and Video Previews suck up at least 24 gigs. Grab a Samsung NVME SSD for your Operating System and 4 Terabytes of old fashioned hard drive space for storage. If you've got a little more change in your pocket I'd jump over to AMDs side of things and grab an 8 core or 12 core ThreadRipper CPU. Hope that helps! Others may feel different, but that's what I'd buy for myself.
The House of RB26 (9 months ago)
Great video. Good explanations. A question for you, in sequence settings under Video Previews, is there a better option than I-Frame only Mpeg to speed up work flow? I'm using a GH5 set on 4k, 8bit, 25fps, 150Mbps. I think they called this Rec420. Thank you.
Flarecorp Media (9 months ago)
Thanks for watching. Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you. I haven't messed around with those settings. Sorry.
Jay Johnston (9 months ago)
compare premier to FCP X (final cut pro) I think you will be surprised
Matthew Vandeputte (10 months ago)
Thanks for the video, looks like OpenCL is the way to go on my imac 27 5k.
Bill Pyke (10 months ago)
Thanks! Super helpful.
Celso Moskowitz (11 months ago)
I would love to have a cheap and powerful editing machine, but unfortunately the software just isn't there. I've tried both premiere and resolve on a machine running an i5 quad core and a gtx 670, and the performance was laughable compared to FCPX running on a dual core mb 13 with an intel iris graphics card. The Mac  benchmarks 900% slower than the gtx 670 on uniheaven, and the cpu is also slower than the pc. Yet playback, rendering, and just plain around moving around the NLE interface is vastly superior on FCPX, even with the way lower specs, to the point I found using either premiere or resolve highly unpleasant. I know that a 670gtx and run of the mill i5 are not what's considered "serious hardware" by any standards, but it's still inexcusable, and defeats your whole point about hardware pricing. If I want to edit video, I can buy a 1000$ pc for the same theoretical performance as a 2000$ iMac,  but in practice I'll need a 2000$ pc to get the real world performance out of my NLE, both in render times and general interface fluidity (if I can even get it at that price). I don't know why this is the case (os optimisation, the respective dev teams, etc.), but it's something I've felt again and again. It's a bit like gaming on a Mac, but the other way around - you simply do not get the experience you should given your hardware.  The obvious solution is to build an Hackintosh, which is what I'm trying to do at the moment. It's driving me crazy, actually, how difficult it is, and I still don't know how well it will work. I'm expecting it to be slower than a Mac with the same specs, but not by much. And that will be a huge win over windows for editing video, FCP blows everything out of the water in terms of performance, if running on the same specs.
Flarecorp Media (11 months ago)
+Celso Moskowitz Yeah you're right, my comment about about a cheaper PC out pacing a Mac of twice the cost was in reference to Adobe and games. Final Cut Pro, being tailored to Macs performs amazingly on more modest hardware thanks to being an in-house Apple product. It is constantly rendering the video in the background and optimizing the performance of the media. But if you prefer/are stuck with the Adobe ecosystem, I'd pick a PC.
Yamit Rosenbach (11 months ago)
Rayuu (11 months ago)
That is because Adobe became Window's slut. Probably they were not able to clear all code.
Gabriel Sánchez (1 year ago)
OpenCL still faster for me as well.
Teselkin video (1 year ago)
Thanks man!!!
David Escalante (1 year ago)
The thing with a Mac is to use FCPX, I have seen other people claiming, rendering the same video content in Premiere vs FCPX, you will get amazing rendering speeds using FCPX.
Christopher Feldmann (3 months ago)
It certainly makes me want him to do the same tests with the same footage in FCP because FCP is certainly grabbing Metal the way the computer should. Adobe on the other hand either doesn't know how to full grab Metal or they just can't because they are blocked from those APIs for some reason.
Souley O (7 months ago)
This is very true, fcpx is lightening faster than premiere, I use both so I know. Premiere outputting is miserable
HSIN LYNN (1 year ago)
interesting, thanks for going through the process and sharing your results!
Bruno Villela (1 year ago)
What if you were running a Mac with NVidia Cards? Which one would be better? CUDA or Metal? Im running a Hackintosh with gtx1060 6gb
Leo Bernard (1 year ago)
in that case, CUDA would perform better. If you have the option to use it, use it.
Buzzworthy Media (1 year ago)
An outstanding and thorough video. I ran the same metal vs OpenCL test myself this morning on a 5 minute video and was surprised to get the same results that you did. As you said, OpenCL is still the way to go.
B. A. (1 year ago)
Which mac faster and performance for video edit and render? Mac Pro 3.5GHz 6-core with 12MB of L3 cache 32GB (4x8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC 512GB PCIe-based flash storage Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each iMac 2017 4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 512GB SSD Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory
Celso Moskowitz (11 months ago)
I would go with the iMac, unless you really need the power, in which case you wouldn't be asking that question. The iMac is more than capable  of editing pretty much anything in 1080p and 4k, and unless you need crazy 3D rendering or very advanced AE stuff, you don't need the extra power at all. With the iMac you get a newer architecture, a stunning 27 inch display and probably a quite lower price. The iMac is the best choice for 99% of consumers, no questions asked.
B. A. (1 year ago)
Flarecorp Media Thanks
Flarecorp Media (1 year ago)
I'd say the pro. Video editing favors Cores/Threads over GHz. The 6 core Mac Pro has 12 threads to do the work, while the iMac only has 8.
Corey Frazier (1 year ago)
Thank you for making a video on this topic!
Payton Scarth (1 year ago)
I would have like to see a comparison using a 3Ghz 8 Core Xeon E5 MacPro with 64GB ram with 2 AMD FirePro D700 6GB and a PC of comparable specs.
0UdWK? (1 year ago)
A great video, subbed ;-)
B. (1 year ago)
great vid, too bad the mac pro wasn't in the comparison, interested how the pro would do compared to an iMac or pc.
PumperWolf (1 year ago)
You are going to test the new updated iMacs when they come out? It supposed to arrive at the end of this year.
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
Well, it took a little while, but I finally got an updated video done. I test the results on a 2018 MacBook Pro. https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
Flarecorp Media (1 year ago)
If I can get my hands on them I will.
crazynice test!!!!! you destroyed my world with your mac-cooler-throttles-the-cpu revelation, but anyway... thank you so much
green tokyo (1 year ago)
Thank you for this test!!!
Tyler Hanson (1 year ago)
Don't read.
Gemini Braun (1 year ago)
Какой-то непредсказуемый итог...Получается что PC самый резвый...(
VitaYu Agro (1 year ago)
What about CUDA VS OpenCL? So what should I buy if I need to work in Vegas Pro and Premiere Pro: AMD Radeon RX480 (4/8GB) or Nvidia GTX 1060 (3/6GB)?
Flarecorp Media (1 year ago)
Ah. I didn't account for the older models that still used Nvidia Graphics being an option. I was thinking only the Mac Pro's had them.
Terence Bennell (1 year ago)
That may have been true 3 months ago, but I'm seeing all four options on Mid-2012 MacBook Pro with NVIDIA GT650M running Sierra and Premiere 2017.1.2.
Flarecorp Media (1 year ago)
Adobe Premiere won't let you choose between CUDA or OpenCL. If you have an Nvidia card, CUDA is your only option for graphics acceleration. If you're on Windows and have an AMD card, OpenCL is your only option. I don't have experience with Vegas Pro so I can't offer advice about it. Likewise, I don't know which graphics card you should get. Unfortunately I don't have an AMD card I can stick in my Windows machine to test the 2. Perhaps this Linus Tech Tips video will help you: https://youtu.be/g7cQK8jFPzo Hope that helps!
Chris Edwards (1 year ago)
Great video! I saw this option tonight in media encoder when I was about to fire off some rendering of a few videos I edited today. I remember Apple bragging about how amazing Metal was, so I thought it would be faster. My Macbook is very similar specs to yours, and thanks to your video, I will stick with OpenCL. My videos are of speakers giving talks, so each is about 45 minutes long. Metal would have wasted so much time.
quite healthy tests, and helpful video. But you really need to change style of talking, reading form promter is mmm_bad. Just make video-line and background voice for better sound and style.
Flarecorp Media (1 year ago)
Thanks for the feedback. I'm still trying to get my style and technique down. I appreciate the suggestion.
Gary Fan (1 year ago)
Super helpful indeed, as this is exactly what I was looking for using a 15 inch Iris pro Macbook Pro. Ever since 2015.3 came out I have switched to metal hoping that it might be faster, if it were for your video, I'm probably gonna be still stuck with metal and wasting a huge amount of time. Many thanks!
Flarecorp Media (1 year ago)
Good question. I used the latest Sierra build available at time of recording and Windows 10 for the PC.
Gary Fan (1 year ago)
Wondering which system did u use, el capitan or sierra? Trying to decide whether to update or not. Thx!
Gregory David (1 year ago)
Excellent, thanks! Too bad you did not do your test on the new MacBook Pro which has all sorts of issues using open CL and Metal running Premiere. Mine is going back - not spending 3k+ on a computer that forces me to use software only rendering. To be fair, the issue lies with both companies but the effect is the same on the user. There is is not much Pro in the MacBook Pro for adobe users. Did not think there would be another PC in my life but I guess I was wrong.
Flarecorp Media (7 days ago)
Hey, thanks for your comment. I thought you might be interested to know I've ran some new tests including the 2018 MacBook Pro in a new video! https://youtu.be/2oz_F1ECwzQ
James Drake (1 year ago)
interesting, thanks for going through the process and sharing your results!

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