AMD v nVidia

I just thought I’d share my experience regarding my resolution of stability issues in Premiere Pro. I think fairly or unfairly Premiere has a reputation in the professional editing community of not being the most stable NLE out there. I was certainly in the camp that considered it unstable and (at times in my experience) borderline unusable (yes the crashes and issues were THAT bad a few years ago).

I’ve had an Nvidia 980ti in my Mac Pro 2009 / Firmware 2010 (5,1) since late 2015 and I’ve had consistent problems throughout all versions of Premiere dating back to PP2014. Regular crashes caused by this and that, too many issues to mention really. Late 2018 I was also stuck on High Sierra due to Apple dropping support for Nvidia web drivers.

The 980ti card failed around October 2018, funsies. When considering a new card purchase I was forced to re-evaluate whether or not to stick with Nvidia and be tied to High Sierra for eternity or switch to AMD. With an AMD card under the hood I could stay up to date with the current Mac OS (mostly, not until Catalina sorts its act out) but I’d lose CUDA in the process. Big choice.

I eventually opted for an AMD Vega 56. I went with the 56 over the 64 for concerns about the power supply, not wanting to rig up further external power just for the card. My Mac is decently powered, but I can’t forget it’s still running on a motherboard and tech over 10 years old now.

So, I’m currently happy sitting on MacOS Mojave knowing that I’ll get a good few more years out of this rig with future OS updates. I’ve noticed no difference in my workflow in terms of export speeds and day to day editing (can’t do a benchmark comparison with the previous card with CUDA obviously). But the biggest and best thing after the switch to AMD? I can literally count the number of Premiere crashes on one hand within the many many hours editing since October. Three, just three crashes.

If anyone is out there still stuck on High Sierra and Nvidia, and not sure if you want to jump to AMD, and if you also consider Premeire as buggy and prone to crashing. I’d highly recommend switching. The comparison of stability using AMD over Nvidia is astounding.

I’ll note I have heard many success stories of nVidia cards running without issue on Macs with similar setups to mine. Granted, this may be unique to my system, who knows. If it all just came down to some issue of compatibility with nVidia on my system, then I’m glad to be past it and happily running a stable Premiere for years to come.

I just wanted to share my experience as there may be others in the same boat, looking for that little bit of encouragement to take the leap!


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