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I am disappointed by AE CS6's hardware requirements

Jun 20, 2012 10:08 PM

This is not a question, I just wanted to get my thoughts out there.

 

I bought my iMac a little over a year ago (last may), and it doesn't even meet the minimum graphics card requirement. I got after effects CS6 anyway because I need it, and all of the features that existed in CS5 work fine, but any of the new raytraced features that require a better graphics card are so slow they are unusable.

 

I am disappointed because I have this almost new iMac that I paid a thousand dollars for, and I am told that it is not good enough to run the latest after effects. If I want to use the new features, I must buy a new computer. I can't buy a new computer for at least another 3 years (I just started high school, and it would be impracticle to buy a new computer now because I will be buying a new computer for college).

 

Personally, my thought process is: I realize that the raytraced engine requires power, but If I can run blender and other photorealistic 3D programs fine, why can't after effects be satisfied with my computer?

 

I'd like to ask all of my fellow mac users: Do you see this as a proverbial middle finger that unless your mac is either brand new or you sprung for the top of the line model, after effects is not fully supported on it?

 

Does anyone else feel this way?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 20, 2012 10:25 PM   in reply to chuckdries

    So, you bought a mac and thought everything would be ok?

    Man, every machine has it´s own usage.

    You have to use your reason next time when buying a computer.

    I bet that with the price of this mac you´d be able to afford a good PC...

     
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    Jun 20, 2012 10:50 PM   in reply to chuckdries

    As a non-Mac person I obviously can't say much specific on the topic, but of course there is a lot of general dissatisfaction with CS6 out there. Not sure, though, if I ever would base any buying decision based on raytracing not working... Long before that, AE would have to have a decent 3D space and all that, so I never would even consider it. dealing with the "old" 2.5D stuff is pain enough. Well anyway, no need to repeat my blog posts from the last 2 months here... Things are just as they are.

     

    Mylenium

     
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    Jun 21, 2012 12:07 AM   in reply to Mylenium

    Here's one thing to consider. CS6 is represents a major change in the fundamental way one of the rendering engines works. NVIDIA was either spending more time supporting Adobe or had a better mousetrap for rendering with the CPU in a consistent enough way for the programming staff at Adobe to concentrate on their system first. Development is expensive, new features, especially ones that rely on new hardware, are going to leave some people behind until they have the resources to upgrade the hardware. That's just a fact of life.

     

    Would I be a happier guy if CS6 would run on my older MacBook Pro or my iMac with the same speed and performance you get with a NVIDIA Quadro 6000 at nearly twice the cost of a decked out iMac, or even a Quadro 2000? Sure I would, but come on, somebody's got to pay for that graphics horsepower.

     

    I'm more disappointed in Apple for not being able to work closely enough with NVIDIA soon enough to put CUDA capable graphics cards in their desktop and laptops sooner. I still think Apple makes the best built, most reliable, longest service life, boxes in the computer business with the easiest to use and most trouble free OS out there (I use windows machines too, all the time). Nobody's perfect, but leveling the entire blame for the lack of support for Mac products cannot be fairly laid entirely at Adobe's feet. Collaboration on hardware and software between manufacturers requires relationships and contracts that are not always easy to establish and maintain.

     

    CS6 may have it's problems, but for most of my work, or rather for all of my work since I've had CS6 running on my systems it's been my most used tool. I've even done some entirely rendered on the CPU Ray Traced renders on a humble 4 year old mac laptop. The renders took a very long time, but I only needed a few seconds to prove the concept and land the job.

     

    I don't want to start a war here, but CS6, in spite of it's limitations, is a much better tool in my toolbox than CS5.5 was. I'm not 100% thrilled, but I'm not 100% disappointed either.

     
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    Jun 21, 2012 6:58 AM   in reply to Rick Gerard

    I tottaly agree with you Rick. But hey, good new for you guys that uses mac

    Apple is using Nvidia Card again

    They were just using ATI on they´re computers

    now Nvidia is back

     

    http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs/

     
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    Jun 21, 2012 9:13 AM   in reply to chuckdries

    CUDA was "invented" by NVidia and until v3 they didn't license it to anyone. It kinda was always seen (and used) to help them sell their more expensive cards. And it wasn't really that exciting in its infancy due to massive technical limitations and problems. It's only now that this is beginning to be used reasonably widespread. These things take a while. It's not that OpenGL or DirectX fell out of the sky, either. OpenGL is 20 years old or so and while everybody now takes it for granted, it took a long time to catch on as well.

     

    Mylenium

     
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    Jun 22, 2012 9:33 AM   in reply to Rick Gerard

    Hey Rick, it's true that Cuda is great, but here's the problem: with out an nVidia card, CS6 Production Premium runs horribly slow on a Mac. I've got a 12 core Mac Pro with 64 Gb of Ram connected to a dual channel SAS Raid 10 and I can't get PP to play hardly anything, let alone AE to render 3D text in any semblance of a reasonable time. The Mercury Playback engine is fantastic, but why not implement something so users without an nVidia card can actually use the application. "Not as fast" shouldn't mean "Good luck playing anything."

     

    Graphics card options have always been horrible for Mac users. Hopefully with the drivers released from nVidia and the fact that Dev previews of Mountain Lion doesn't cut off access to these cards (yet), Mac users may finally see their options open up.

     

    Now if someone can get the CUDA acceleration to work for a graphics card in a thunderbolt external PCI-E expansion box, that would solve a LOT of problems.

     
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    Jun 22, 2012 10:03 PM   in reply to chuckdries

    Apple supplies all the drivers for graphics cards, so they must be approved Apple graphics cards. Therefore your choices are limited. 

     
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    Jun 23, 2012 2:28 AM   in reply to chuckdries

    Unfortunately not. As Rick said, no drivers, no card. And that is complicated further by those cards requiring a specific BIOS/ EFI extension so they actually boot on Macs.

     

    Mylenium

     
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    Jun 23, 2012 2:46 AM   in reply to chuckdries

    See the system specs. What's not listed there, doesn't support GPU raytracing. Presumably there will be some more added now that Apple have released new hardware, but the list will still be pretty short...

     

    Mylenium

     
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    Jun 24, 2012 10:36 PM   in reply to Mylenium

    If you have a look around the net you will find many people are running PC nVidia cards in Macs with great sucess in AE CS6. There is a thread on creative cow with benchmarks from ppl running PC nVidia cards. The GXT580 looks like the best performance for money so far but the 690 with 3072 cores of CUDA would no doubt be pretty fast. My prediction is apple will ether support generic PC cards with mountian lion or dump desktops altogether.

     

    Jon

     
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    Jun 26, 2012 2:43 AM   in reply to chuckdries

    I am pretty sure that with Lion 10.7.4 it is possible to put in a GTX 580 (pc version also) with a little hacking. (google it). You can then install the CUDA drivers and edit the cuda supported graphics cards .TXT in the AE application folder. It should then work. The 580 is a pretty decent card for raytracing.

     
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    Jun 26, 2012 2:51 AM   in reply to ShiftHorizon

    Yep the support is there, it's just not officially stated so adobe doesn't really have to support the cards ether.

     
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    Aug 2, 2012 3:54 PM   in reply to Bigredfirecracker2

    Its not just a MAC problem.  I have a Quad Core PC, 64 bit, 8g ram, with a Geforce GTX 580, and I can't get AE to do ANYTHING.  When I ran the same files in CS5.5 using a punky little Geforce 8500GT, it was slow, but at least I could work.  Now, I can't scrub through files and it takes minutes to update a screen.   I'm about ready to chunk CS6.

     
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    Aug 2, 2012 7:14 PM   in reply to chuckdries

    I think you are seeing it upside down. It's not that your Mac isn't good enough, it's that CS6's Raytracer isn't ready for prime time. Honestly, Adobe should have saved it for CS7 or 8... or whenever the hardware has caught up. It's just too early for public consumption and leaves plenty of new users, like yourself, a bad attitude toward Adobe. Ray Tracer has been WAAAAY over-promoted by Adobe.

     

    (What IS it with Adobe and the overmarketing of their apps 3D functions?)

     

    If you are a gamer, think of Ray Tracer as Crysis 5. It's just too bleeding edge for the nearly all of the consumer computers available.  (Keep in mind that iMac is targeted toward consumers and is essentially a laptop hardware-wise.)

     

    Does it mean your computer sucks, or maybe the game is just a little too early to market?

     
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    Aug 2, 2012 10:25 PM   in reply to McFrisco

    For most users but I know that are CS 6 it is working quite well if, and this is a big IF, the graphics drivers are up-to-date, properly installed, and the machine has plenty of memory and it is properly configured.

     

    While not perfect, AE's ray-tracing is a fabulous addition and shows great promise for more 3-D integration come in the future. My biggest fear is that they may have started down a dead-end path. I use Blender all the time. Even on a very old MacBook with no OpenGL, blender will render very serviceable ray traced images in a reasonable amount of time. GPU ray traced rendering in AE is absolutely miserable. Blenders OpenGL acceleration also works extremely well. I just hope Adobe is headed down the most efficient path for future development.

     

    I applaud Adobe's efforts, and wish them only the best. Their software has made it possible for me to make a living with an overhead that is about 1/10 the size that it was in the 1970s when I first started freelancing. The first loan that I took out for gear to simply shoot and edit standard definition video was eight times the size of my mortgage.

     
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    Aug 7, 2012 10:36 PM   in reply to TheFosterHouse

    I echo TheFosterHouse comments regarding CS6. Sure, the Mercury Playback engine brings power and features that require a specific card, and that's part of technology marching forward. I just wonder why Adobe couldn't have retained the speed of CS5.5 for users without a CUDA card, as an option. After all, do the majority of AE users already have CUDA compliant cards? If so, great, and the rest of us have to shut up, buy in and catch up. Otherwise, it seems that the Mercury Playback should be an option, not a requirement (or detrement for those that don't have the card for it). CS6 AE is much slower than CS5 and 5.5 AE on my 6-core MacPro with ATI 5870 card and 16GB or RAM.

     
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    Oct 7, 2012 11:29 AM   in reply to davidp158

    I think apple put all their apples into the iPhone/iPad basket. I've had macs for the last 8 years and couldn't be happier with them. For me it's time for a major upgrade for a new machine. We are using PP and AEcs6. I don't want to spend $14,000.00 on a Mac Pro then have to modify it. I've called apple many times over the past several months hoping they might have some nvidia cards to run cs6 better. I just get the feeling it won't happen any time soon, if at all. Spending that same amount of money on a new dell seems to buy a rocketship. My plan is to stay off of the intent as much as I can with the dell so I don't give windows the clap.

     
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    Oct 7, 2012 11:42 AM   in reply to ironhorse11a

    There are a bunch of NVIDIA cards that will run on the Mac just fine. The new MBP Retina works jsut fine. Mountian Lion makes it easier to run different cards. Last time I checked you could puck up a Mac Pro for a lot less than $14K

     
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    Oct 7, 2012 5:00 PM   in reply to chuckdries

    If you have an older Macbook Pro or iMac, then there's nothing you can do. with the new Macbook Pro 15" retina & non-retina models, things are looking up for Mac support. Hopefully there's something coming for iMacs soon. I know a lot of production people that would immediately drop money on an iMac with an nVidia card the moment that they're available. For the Mac Pro, the addition of the Quadro K5000 for the Mac is a really good sign of things to come. About a month before it was announced, I bought a GeForce GTX 570 from MacVidCards and put it in my 12core Mac Pro. After a couple steps to make sure that the applications recognized it and the driver used more than 2 Gb of RAM, the card works great. It's really easy to tell AE & PP to accept the card, but the RAM limitation thing is COMPLETELY an Apple thing. it requires editing the drivers in a hex editor to force the system to accept more RAM. It's really stupid that Apple set this limit at 2 Gb, but since the Quadro K5000 has 4Gb of RAM, that should officially change really soon. Any system or Adobe update requires me to go through all that again to ensure that it works, but it's a small price to pay to get a card that actually works. It may not be offically supported, but it's what production people have to do in order to use the tools properly.  The options are finally getting there, but if you've got a Mac that you can't change the Graphics Card, then it requires a newer machine. Frustrating as it is, this seems the only option. Adobe is going to keep pressing forward, so don't get your hopes up that there's going to be something to fix this "nVidia or nothing" path they're on.

     

    Hopefully this means that nVidia will release a card for the Mac that will allow Speedgrade actual monitoring. The fact that the application was released without any possibility to monitor color grading with a calibrated broadcast monitor on the Mac is borderline unforgivable.

     
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