When does a video card matter?

mercphotomercphoto Bill JuraszRegistered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
edited March 14, 2013 in Digital Darkroom
I'm a heavy Aperture user and starting to move into iMovie use as well. I'm wondering when does a video card upgrade matter. We will be getting a new iMac in the next month or two, a 27" high end model. I've about settled on getting the i7 upgrade but I'm wondering about the vide card option for this machine. Do I stick with the GTX 675MX with 1G, or pay for the GTX 680MX with 2G? I don't know under what circumstances the video card makes a difference.

Not into games. Aperture, Photoshop and iMovie are the heavy weight hitters for this machine.

Thanks.
Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
A former sports shooter
Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Comments

  • CatOneCatOne A man, sans canal or plan Registered Users Posts: 957 Major grins
    edited February 25, 2013
    Aperture leverages the GPU for a number of things. You'd do well to upgrade the video card if you're a regular Aperture user.

    Photoshop also leverages the GPU with recent versions (CS 5.5 and higher, maybe?). I'm not sure about iMovie, but I suspect it leverages it as well.
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,330 Major grins
    edited February 25, 2013
    It used by what Adobe calls the Mercury engine. From Adobe

    The Mercury Graphics Engine powers a number of key features in Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CS6 Extended. It delivers immediate feedback when you edit images using the all-new Crop tool, Puppet Warp, Liquify, Adaptive Wide Angle, and the Lighting Effects Gallery. It allows you to paint more freely, smoothly resizing brushes and adjusting brush tips — and it shows you the effects of the new Oil Painting filter in real time. It also helps you quickly render final 3D work in Adobe RayTrace mode in Photoshop CS6 Extended.

    Premiere Pro also uses the Mercury engine, but for a smaller set of models of video cards.

    For Photoshop the card has to support Open GL. For Premiere it more restrictive because it uses the gpu hardware directly.

    The supported video cards for Photoshop are at http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cs6-gpu-faq.html

    mercphoto wrote: »
    I'm a heavy Aperture user and starting to move into iMovie use as well. I'm wondering when does a video card upgrade matter. We will be getting a new iMac in the next month or two, a 27" high end model. I've about settled on getting the i7 upgrade but I'm wondering about the vide card option for this machine. Do I stick with the GTX 675MX with 1G, or pay for the GTX 680MX with 2G? I don't know under what circumstances the video card makes a difference.

    Not into games. Aperture, Photoshop and iMovie are the heavy weight hitters for this machine.

    Thanks.
  • NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms *and Olympus Boston, MARegistered Users Posts: 990 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2013
    Is that new for CS6? I'm starting to hit CPU limits in Photoshop/Lightroom (CS5, and 4) but have a GTX660 so that's a good bit of processing power if they can tap into it.
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,330 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2013
    It was first added in CS5.5 for Premiere, but it may be CS2 for Photoshop, I'm just not sure.
    Is that new for CS6? I'm starting to hit CPU limits in Photoshop/Lightroom (CS5, and 4) but have a GTX660 so that's a good bit of processing power if they can tap into it.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,330 moderator
    edited March 2, 2013
    Is that new for CS6? I'm starting to hit CPU limits in Photoshop/Lightroom (CS5, and 4) but have a GTX660 so that's a good bit of processing power if they can tap into it.

    You really have to check for compatibility at the Adobe site. Here is the Photoshop CS5 page:

    http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/tested-video-cards-photoshop-cs5.html

    (I don't see that the GTX line of cards is explicitly supported on that list, although many GeForce cards are supported.)

    Photoshop CS6 uses a new graphics engine, which does not directly address CUDA cores (using OpenGL and OpenCL instead), so as long as your video card supports OpenGL and OpenCL you would/should be OK under Photoshop CS6.

    The following page claims success for the NVidia GeForce GTX 660 on PS-CS6:

    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PhotoShop.htm
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited March 14, 2013
    Thanks everyone. Ordered the machine today. It looks as if the i7 and video card upgrades were worthwhile so I got those upgrades plus the 3T drive. About the only thing I did not opt for was the fusion drive.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
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