I have checked through the forum a bit, and looked at some of the hardware realted queries. I am not specifically a hardware tech myself, being trained as a MCSE2003 and MCTS2007 exchange, I relied on the other guys to get the hardware mostly up and running for me. Saying this, I am going to post a spec for a PC that I want to buy for the office, and was wondering if anyone would mind taking the time to check it for me and give it a thumbs up, or down.
I do understand this is an After Effects forum, and would understand if no one has the time to reply to this specific thread - hence the "Taking a chance" in the title!
I want to move back to Windows, and have specced the following PC for After Effects and Premier Pro work.
1) ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Gen3 motherboard
2) Intel Core i7 3770 - 3.4GHz Quad Core
3) 32G Corsair memory
4) Quadro 2000 1GB 128b Video Card
5) 2X60GB Solid state HDU - one for Operating system and one for AE Cacheing
6) 1X2TB Spinning HDU for overall storage
Does this seem to be a decent PC for AE and Premier work - And when I say work, I mean Keying, Twixtor, and a few effects per project (maybe some fractals and some with only multiple layers of the same footage with masking techniques applied). At this point, I do not forsee incredibly high end special effects added to the projects.
Thank you guys
I wouldn't bother with an SSD just for the AE cache. In the crunch, it's not gonna save your bacon and it's only gonna wear out pretty quickly with possibly zero positive effect on your day to day work. I have happily turned off the AE disk cache on my new system and still see good performance - plenty of stuff you can cram into RAM on a 32GB system. Of course arguably this is a typical case of YMMV, but unless you deal with 4k and beyond and multiple layers of such footage, I doubt you'll see any advantage. From your description and past posts it seems that you mostly do tracking and keying and a simple 10k UPM platter drive or a simple RAID 0 with two disks can easily sustain the necessary data rates for a single or two streams of HD footage. The rest should be more than sufficient. Ijn fact if you realyl settle for just this simple stuff, a normal GTX line card would also be sufficient. It wouldn't even need to be a model that supports the GPU raytracer...
Thank you - I really appreciate you taking the time out to answer a question that has alredy been asked 100+ times!
Yeah, most work will be keying and tracking, and then dropping the output into footage of various sets. - As far as special effects go, we probably want to use pre-keyed stock footage items, or make our own. A little fire here, some smoke there (maybe some lasers - but they should not be too intensive). It is just that at the moment, I am sitting with two MAC's at the office, and I render TGA sequences from them, and it takes very long. 20secons of video (Keyed and Twixtor'ed) takes around 30-45-60 minutes. So I have split the workload between both machines, and queued up multiple render jobs to run overnight.
By the way, out of interrest, the current specs of the MAC's are:
After Effects CS6 with latest automatic update
MAC OS X 10.8.1
Source footage - MOV Files direct from Samurai Recording device (ProRes HQ) - Then to TGA sequences as intermediate renders
Twixtor is the only third party software installed for AE
CPU - Processor 3,1 GHz Intel Core i5
Cores - 4
MEM - Memory 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
GPU - Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1024 MB
One internal 1TB drive
The MAC's are connected to a Gigabit switch and the server they connect to runs only 1 2TB spinning disk. All machines connect at 1Gbps
I am just hoping to speed up render times with the new machine
Mmh, yeah, you're gonna see some speed-up, but don't be too optimistic about it. Twixtor (or any time-mangling for that matter) is intense and probably the single most critical issue here (aside from the memory hog that is Keylight). It's inherent in how AE treats those things...
I seem to get that feeling, the more posts I read. AE does its work a certain way, and throwing hardware at it will only increase the output so much....
Oh well, Ill take the quotes I have, pick and mix thorugh them and see wht I can come up with. Funny thing though... The specs I mentioned earlier, came to around R20 000 on the quote I got, a got another quote now from someone else for R53 000!! thats crazy - I have no idea what such major hardware will be used for here! Hell....I'll buy 6 - Holywood - here we come!
I see so
I am busy with a rather long clip, I am using it as a test project - so the render time is crazy long. Most of the projects I will be working on will have original footage clips of no longer than 5seconds. Once they have been run through the whole workflow, they should end up to be around 20seconds - and that should not take too long to render ( I hope!)
But once again, thanks for the advice guys - if it is all the same to everyone, once we are 100% ready to go, Ill update the thread with the actual specs we want, for a final once over?
While asking around about hardware and GPU's etc, I was sent htis link - with specific reminder to note the last paragraph:
"* Testing was performed by AMD using a test project provided by Adobe in XDCAM-EX format, 31 seconds, 1280×1080, 29.97fps with export to H.264 format, max render quality. With OpenCL (GPU acceleration) enabled, the export took 20.8 seconds. With CPU only, the export took 381.2 seconds. Test system was a desktop PC with an AMD Phenom™ II X6 1090T processor at 3.2 GHz with 8 GB 133 MHz DDR RAM, AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 graphics with 3GB of 384-bit GDDR5 video RAM, and Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit (GRS-2)"
But, I guess that it all depends on what effects etc they had on the clip mentioned - Twixtor and such will still play a large role in the final render speed.
With a new PC and After Effects, from all the feedback I have received, I see that Memory is the big thing, followed by the screen card. - Where does the CPU fit in to AE processing? I am being quoted on a Xeon vs an i7 processor. I dont know how AE responds to either - any idea?
Ok, I said I would put a final spec together, just out of interrest if there are any comments.
We will use the Machine for AE, Premier, and general office work.
So, reading above, this should be more than enough than we need for now, with the ability to perform more effects, if and when we need them.
I am looking into the Render Farm set up for CS6 (I have another post around that one) and Ill probably get 2 PC's of the above specs. I hope this will make a difference in my render time, but since Twixtor and Keylight are involved, I am not expecting miracles, just a bit better!
...I suggest visiting the PPro hardware forum and ask the gurus there......NVidia has been the leader with the new Adobe certified 6xx series Kepler cards......some certified for PPro AND After Effects. Some gurus there know little of AE, but some DO !!!....they have the up to date tech dope!!
The new PC has arrived. Busy installing CS6 now. Once done, Ill run some tests and advise. After seeing it in action, I am tempted to bring my pc from home in and swap - AE should be "ok" on my home pc, but I know for a fact that my games are going to be awesome on this new PC!
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