Adobe Creative Suite 6: Bye bye CUDA, Hello OpenCL!

Adobe Creative Suite 6, OpenCL

Nice news for the OpenCL community: Adobe has added the support of OpenCL in the new Creative Suite 6, especially in the Mercury Graphics Engine (Photoshop CS6). Other parts of CS6 (After Effect, Premiere) continue to use NVIDIA CUDA technology (Mercury Playback Engine).

OpenCL logo

Thanks to OpenCL, most of the GPUs (and CPUs too!) already present in the market will be able to take advantage of the new GPU computing functions implemented in Adobe’s Photoshop CS6 to speed up processing. The Mercury Graphics Engine (MGE) is the new engine graphics engine in Photoshop CS6 and is based on both OpenGL and OpenCL (source):

The Mercury Graphics Engine (MGE) represents features that use video card, or GPU, acceleration. In Photoshop CS6, this new engine delivers near-instant results when editing with key tools such as Liquify, Warp, Lighting Effects and the Oil Paint filter. The new MGE delivers unprecedented responsiveness for a fluid feel as you work.

MGE is new to Photoshop CS6, and uses both the OpenGL and OpenCL frameworks. It does not use the proprietary CUDA framework from nVidia.

In order to use MGE, you must have a supported video card and updated driver. If you do not have a supported card, performance will be degraded. In most cases the acceleration is lost and the feature runs in the normal CPU mode. However, there are some features that will not work without a supported video card.

Graphics cards that can run with CS6:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 series
  • NVIDIA Quadro 400, 600, 2000, 4000 (Mac and Win), CX, 5000, 6000
  • AMD/ATI Radeon 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 series
  • AMD/ATI FirePro 3800, 4800, 5800, 7800, 8800, 9800, 3900, 4900, 5900 and 7900
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000 and 4000

6 thoughts on “Adobe Creative Suite 6: Bye bye CUDA, Hello OpenCL!”

  1. applejack

    “Adobe has ditched NVIDIA CUDA technology in aid of OpenCL in the new Creative Suite 6.”

    while this is true for Photoshop CS6 (MGE), it doesn’t refer to the whole Creative Suite 6.
    at least Premiere Pro CS6 & After Effects CS6 still use CUDA (for MPE, Optix, etc…)

    as stated here:

    and here:

    “Adobe Creative Suite 6 software continues to feature the NVIDIA CUDA-accelerated Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro, providing up to an 8x performance boost2 for fast video editing. Adobe After Effects CS6 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is also being demonstrated in the NVIDIA booth (SL9215).”

  2. applejack

    correction: Photoshop CS5 never supported native CUDA-accelerated functions. so there’s no “ditching” CUDA for photoshop. just additional support for openCL in the new MGE.

    however, CUDA plugins for photoshop would probably still apply to CS6.

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