In the beginning, before GPUs existed, all video scaling and rendering was done by the CPU. And, as you can imagine, that took a long time.
(I still clearly remember adding a Gaussian Blur to a clip in Premiere 4, back in 1998, that took 30 seconds to blur a single frame of video. And, at the time, I thought that was amazingly fast!)
Since then, as GPUs took over the rendering load from CPUs, editing has gotten much, MUCH faster! A GPU is optimized for rendering digital images quickly in a way that a CPU just can’t.
However, converting Premiere from CPU-based effects to GPU-based effects is neither simple or fast. Because of this, these two render options appeared many years ago and have been confusing editors ever since.
These settings can be applied to individual sequences or an entire export. But, what do they do and when do you use them?
The short answer is: As Adobe migrates toward more GPU-based effects both of these options are quickly becoming unnecessary.
SETTING SUMMARY FOR GRAPHICS ON A MAC
In Adobe Media Encoder, which handles all exports from Premiere, make sure that the Video Renderer is set to Metal (or the soon to ship Metal 2).
When creating a new sequence in Premiere Pro CC, make sure both options are turned off.
When exporting from Premiere, leave both these options off unless you are scaling images larger and seeing jagged lines on the edges of your images. In that case, turn Maximum Render Quality on.
Given the number of effects that are now GPU accelerated, there is no benefit to using Maximum Bit Depth, because that is used by the GPU automatically.
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