Enabling NVIDIA GPU for Adobe Premiere Pro in Surface Book 2

I've really been enjoying using my Surface Book 2, but it's Adobe Creative Cloud performance has been terrible. In Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder, hardware acceleration (GPU) options were all disabled, which means that doing things like encoding video were being done on the CPU. My 15" Surface Book 2 has two GPUs: an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 adapter, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. It seemed to me that Adobe products were defaulting to the Intel driver, which isn't able to be selected for hardware acceleration.

Some poking around online led me to a solution, which involved disabling OpenCL for the Intel GPU. To do this, run regedit and navigate to:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Khronos\OpenCL\Vendors

There will be .dll entries for NVIDIA, and for Intel (in my case, "IntelOpenCL64.dll"). Change the value for the Intel dll to "1", which will disable OpenCL for that GPU.

Set the Intel dll's Data value to "1" to disable OpenCL

After I did this, Hardware Acceleration appeared as an option in encoding.

When I was debugging the problem, I also tried to manually update the NVIDIA GPU driver, which was a total failure. As of today, the most recent version of the driver is 397.31, which outright fails to install on the Surface Book 2. Installing NVIDIA GeForce Experience and trying to do the driver install from there fails as well.

SNAG-0002.png

A search for the issue online yields many similar complaints from others--it's a thing, and it's apparently low enough priority that it isn't being fixed easily. I guess most people aren't doing anything GPU-intensive on the Surface Book 2!  Luckily, I have a powerful desktop machine to do real video work; otherwise, problems like this would be causing a huge amount of grief.

Despite needing to debug performance issues like this, I still think the Surface Book 2 is the best Windows notebook experience so far, and its seamless docking experience has been a first for me across both Windows and Mac / OS X ecosystems.