Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

New 2012 iMac slower SD renders from AE than a 2007 MacPro?

Feb 22, 2013 5:09 PM

Hi there -


I just purchased a new iMac for our small production house.  99% of the time, we are loving the machine: the performance, the stability, the speed, are all significant improvements over our 5 year-old Mac Pros.  We have run numerous tests comparing the performance of our new iMac to our old MacPros and on average, the new iMac is performing 2-4 times faster than our Mac Pros.  However, we've run into one specific issue where our iMac performs worse than our older MacPros, and unfortunately, this one issue is a major part of our everyday work flow and currently prevents us from converting all of our old Mac Pros to new iMacs.  I'll try to be as brief yet detailed as possible so you have all the specs.


Our problem is when we render out standard definition Quicktime Animation MOV's out of Adobe After Effects CS5.5, our new iMac performs 30-100% slower than our 5-year old Mac Pros. 


Here are the machines we're comparing:


Mac Pro (OS X 10.6.8)

2 x 3 GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon, 10 GB RAM,

NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB VRAM


  • vs.


2012 27" iMac (OS X 10.8.2)

3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB, 3 TB Fusion Drive with (128 GB SSD)


Both machines are running Adobe After Effects CS5.5 and are using the exact same projects and assets.  Source files were stored on the desktop for each test, and outputs were sent to the desktop. We have also manipulated Multi-Core Processing settings and RAM-Allocation settings and while we saw slight differences in render times on the iMac, it was never close to competing with the MacPro.


Here are some of the other test results we get that meet our expectations:

                  - Encodes out of Adobe Premiere Pro are about twice as fast on the new iMac

                  - HD renders out of Adobe After Effects (both H.264 and Quicktime Animation) are about twice as fast on the new iMac


Other tests

                  - We have downloaded a trial version of AE CS6 and have gotten similar results (SD renders are slower on the new iMac than our older MacPros).


Does anyone have an idea what is going on here?  Is there some way that the operating system, hardware, or Adobe software treat these files differently so that standard definition renders would be much slower than a 5-year old Mac Pro?  Considering our new iMac has far superior processors and memory, we are not surprised that our HD renders are much faster now on our new machine.  But we are just baffled on how it could be performing worse on SD exports.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2013 11:34 AM   in reply to NathanAune

    It's probably memory allocation or MP processing setup errors. There's not enough info about your project to say for sure but that's where I'd look first.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 25, 2013 10:36 AM   in reply to NathanAune

    I am having the exact same problem. I purchased an Imac and it was deliverd last week. I installed CS6 Production premium and went to work in after effects on a project that rendered very slow on my 2011 macbook pro 2.2 quad core I7 with 8gb DDR3 ram and an intel HD 3000 512 MB.

    My new Imac has the exact same specs as yours and I figured it would fly through the render, but in Premiere and AE the results are the same, my macbook pro is equaling and even surpassing the speed of the render time.


    I am very frusterated that the preformance is like this. If someone has answers please pass them on.

    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points