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Premiere Pro CC 2014.0.1 GPUFoundation.dll crashes/freezes

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The lockups/crashes don't happen in OSX (10.9.5)- same hardware (doesn't run quite a fast overall (CUDA is much faster than OpenCL), but is a much better editing experience without the crashes and lockups).

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Hey John- I submitted a detailed bug report as well.  Since the OS GUI locks up too, it appears to be both Adobe and NVidia issues (the GPUFoundation.dll crashes are Adobe, however could be caused by NVidia drivers. That said, Adobe would need to work around driver issues). My temporary solution? Boot my 2010 MacPro normally running Windows 7x64sp1 into OSX 10.9.5. No more lockups or crashes so far (but occasionally black screen (audio still works)). This happens less often, so I can work faster than in Win7. When there are no issues, Win7 runs faster than OSX (same hardware). I upgraded a Quadro 5000 to a GTX 770 modded for OSX by macvidcards: major boost in editing and rendering speed. When the GTX 980 is more readily available, I'll upgrade to a macvidcards modded GTX 980 (165W for the 980 vs 230W for the 770, and of course faster too).

 

I wouldn't expect a fix from Adobe until late October when CC 2014.1 is due to be released (perhaps pressure from users and Adobe could get NVidia to fix their end sooner- they release drivers frequently). Didn't get any replies from Adobe folks on their forum for this issue.

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Premiere Pro CC 2014.1 released today, tested on Win7x64 with an NVidia GTX 770 (latest drivers):

 

The Good:

  • The new UI colors are cool.
  • Bezier masks are going to be helpful.

The Bad:

  • No change: still crashes on nested 4K green screen clips on 1080p sequences (Ultra Key, etc.).
  • No change: long pauses/lockups in Win7x64sp1

The Ugly:

  • It appears the lockups/crashes/slowdowns are related to Nvidia's drivers on both Windows and OSX.

 

After switching to OSX to finish our short film (same MacPro hardware), I also stopped using NVidia's "Web driver" and am using Apple's default Nvidia driver: less crashes. In OSX, there are no slowdowns/lockups, and crashes are far less frequent (same project files) vs. Win7x64sp1. Crashes on the OSX side also appear to be related to Nvidia's drivers. For those experiencing these issues, perhaps trying a fast ATI/AMD card (R9 290X, etc.) and OpenCL might be a workaround. 

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hmcindie- the Quadro 5000 has 2.5GB RAM (770 has 2GB). The GPU memory monitor shows max (peak) ~1GB GPU RAM utilization. A 4K texture takes 3840x2160*4*2 = 66MB of VRAM (RGBA, 16-bits per element)- 2GB is a lot of memory for 2 4K videos with alpha, and a few more 4K elements for effects. While it can peak at ~1GB, it's not anywhere near that during the lockups/crashes. As a long-time software developer, I would have my code degrade in performance gracefully in the event of limited system resources (take a slower path, swapping out memory, etc., vs no error/resource checking and crashing). Examining the stack crash traces in OSX, PPro has a lot of bugs with their internal node-based effects system (separate bugs from Nvidia's drivers): different bugs based on node (effect) ordering, etc. (not always crashes- sometime wrong results).

 

On a positive note, the node-based core of PPro should allow a more advanced GUI with a node-graph similar to more advanced systems such as Resolve, allowing for faster and more efficient workflows as well as much more complex operation support. Perhaps most folks use After Effects or other third party apps for advanced compositing. However, After Effects is so slow compared to PPro I do everything I can to avoid it at all costs. The creative process really benefits from working at or near real-time.

 

The Alpha channel system of PPro is non-standard. Bringing in an alpha-channel rendering from 3DS Max shows PPro's alpha interpretation is way off- the blending doesn't make any sense (premultiplied or not, inverted, etc., still wrong). Here's a test to try: export a frame from PPro with alpha (frame with alpha in it) and bring into Photoshop- the alpha is not correct and the 'gamma' for the alpha looks way off. Additionally, there can be garbage in the color channel. After Effects alpha also didn't work with 3DS Max alpha. Perhaps this is why the specialized compositing apps exist- Adobe's alpha support is broken (along with the crashing bugs)?

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Regarding alpha channels in Photoshop from files: they don't work as transparency blend channels when loaded. It's necessary to select the layer, then menu Layer->Layer Mask->Layer from Transparency. This creates a new alpha channel, from which the file's alpha channel can be copied into (then deleted). Not clear why this last step is sometimes necessary: why it doesn't use the alpha channel as transparency (instead of all white after the menu command). The garbage areas in PPro color channels are then are masked out and the blending looks correct.

 

To test whether 4GB VRAM will change how the Nvidia drivers behave (even though only ~50% VRAM is used when bugs/crashes are happening), I ordered a GTX 970 4GB which should be here tomorrow (980's are still hard to get).

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Received an EVGA SC ACX 1.0 GTX 970 card from Amazon today ($339). The beautiful, quiet, 3-fan (Windforce) Gigabyte GTX 770 was removed and replaced with the spartan efficient-looking though flimsy EVGA 970. Upon power up, the EVGA made an interesting 'electrical' noise that I first thought was a fan rubbing. Perhaps this is related to the 'coil whine' comments online. Not clear if the noise is electrical components (sounds a bit like arcing) or a randomized PWM noise (normally PWM noise has a purer tone, like a square or triangle wave). The fans themselves are reasonably quiet. After installing the latest GeForce drivers for the 970 (334.16), the strange noise went away.

 

Firing up Premiere Pro CC 2014.1 (latest), I'm pleased to report that the repeatable GPU crash is gone! The rendering bugs which are clearly on Adobe's side are still there, however that's only during playback, not rendering (there are other bugs I haven't tested that do appear during rendering: the workarounds are to re-order effects, change nesting, etc.).

 

GPU ram during playback gets up to 1.1GB (still not getting near 2GB), however as speculated it's clear the drivers are doing something different with the 970 (updated drivers: 334.16 vs 334.11). During rendering with PPro CC 2014.1 it appears much more CPU utilization is happening all 12 (24) cores are staying saturated longer. On the GPU side, I observed spikes up to 3.5GB and near 100% GPU utilization. Kudos to Adobe for using more of the available computing power.

 

The factory overclocked 970 is so far stable, running at 40C idle and about 52C when rendering (sometimes peaking at 100% GPU utilization, 3.5GB GPU RAM peak). While not as elegant and sturdy as the Gigabyte 770, this EVGA 970 is faster and for the price is an amazing deal. Even better, this hardware/driver combo doesn't crash/lockup Premiere. The EVGA 970 is $30 cheaper than the Gigabyte 770 3-fan version (which isn't in stock, the EVGA is as of right now). The EVGA heat-sink-fan assembly is not securely attached and wobbles when you touch it. For a static computer not being transported, not an issue. For a computer that could be moved/shipped, the extra $30 for the Gigabyte (or similar) would be worth it. If the 980 isn't any faster in Premiere, I'll keep the 970 (uses less power, ~$200 lower cost). The 980 could be here next week, else likely after Oct. 20.

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The PC versions of the GTX 970 (and 980) will work in OSX. However, it requires installing OSX 10.10 (Yosemite, free beta from Apple) and the latest Nvidia driver:

 

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/301416-nvidia-web-driver-updates-for-yosemite/ (I installed the Public Beta 5 version after updating Yosemite to Beta 5).

 

While CUDA-Z appears to work, Premiere Pro CC 2014.0.1 and 2014.1 report CUDA is unavailable. Guessing updated drivers are needed as PPro 2014.1 works OK with the 970 in Win7x64sp1.

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"The Alpha channel system of PPro is non-standard. Bringing in an alpha-channel rendering from 3DS Max shows PPro's alpha interpretation is way off- the blending doesn't make any sense (premultiplied or not, inverted, etc., still wrong)."

 

Two fixes we found yesterday:

1: Select sequence > Sequence > Sequence Settings - uncheck box "Composite in Linear Color"

2. Effects > Image Control > Gamma Correction - apply this effect to your layer with the alpha channel

 

Do either of these solve your problem?

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