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From the author of Tip 3: Optimize Your System with the Mercury Playback Engine

Tip 3: Optimize Your System with the Mercury Playback Engine

The Mercury Playback Engine is the technology that Adobe uses to get real-time playback for all these different formats and effects. It's mentioned over and over in Adobe literature.

If you want even better performance (more than just fast hardware or lots of RAM), it's crucial to configure your system with an approved video card. When you choose the right graphics processing unit—usually a CUDA, or an OpenCL card on some Macintosh systems—key effects are handled there, not by the central processing unit.

What are your most important effects? Three-way color corrector? Chroma keyer such as Ultra Key? Adobe has selected key crucial effects for acceleration.

Limit the Effects Palette to Just the Accelerated Effects

The Effects palette has a neat switch you should learn; it's the plug with a little Z (see Figure 6). Click this button and you'll see exactly which effects benefit from hardware assistance. Even if you don't have hardware assistance, these specific effects will process faster than the rest.

Figure 6 For best performance, limit your effects to just those that are accelerated.

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