7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 5, 2013 8:44 AM by Rick Gerard

    Using None-Workstation Laptops


      So I have been on the hunt for a new laptop and came across something odd in the requirements section for After Effects. The only mobile GPUs listed to work were Nvidia Quadros. These are workstation cards. So I did some more hunting, and it seemed that wherever I went, people were using or recommending workstation laptops for After Effects, along with workstation (the Quadro) GPUs. Is it even possible to run After Effects on a consumer Laptop? Say...maybe an Alienware or Sager with a GPU using OpenGL like the Nvidia GTX series? Or is it required to run After Effects with a workstation GPU/laptop combo, since these tend to be much more expensive?

        • 1. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          People run AE on laptops.  They simply know better than to expect miracles when it comes to speed.

          Since Open GL is pretty much useless in AE,  just foget about a card in a laptop that makes it perform like a desktop machine, bite the bullet and expect long renders.

          • 2. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
            chriso77 Level 1

            I can deal with long renders. What frustrates me is a glitchy/slow workflow. Thank you for the response! So are the cards listed on the requirements page THE ONLY cards that work? I'd rather save a little and use a consumer/gaming laptop and card over a workstation laptop and card.

            • 3. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              There are several laptops with compatible NVIDIA GPU's including MacBook Pros and several pc's. the only thing that benefits from compatible GPU's is Ray-traced 3d rendering. This is such a small pat of most projects that require AE that not having one would not be a game changer for me especially with AE CC.

              • 4. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                Be sure to read the system requirements carefully. They say, as Rick says, that the only thing that requires an Nvidia card is one feature: the GPU acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer. That is not a feature that matters to everyone.


                Details of GPU features:


                • 5. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
                  chriso77 Level 1

                  So do you guys have any recomendations for laptops? I got the minimum requirement now, but "minimum" is rarely practical. So is there maybe a "recommended requirements" section I can read. Of course everything is relative and I understand that in general, if I'm doing a very VFX heavy shot, it will slow down. Again, I don't mind long render times, I just hate having my computer start inhibiting my workflow . Thanks again!

                  • 6. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
                    Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                    Get a laptop with as much RAM as possible and with an SSD. A fast CPU helps, too, of course.


                    See this page for information about hardware for After Effects: http://adobe.ly/pRYOuk

                    • 7. Re: Using None-Workstation Laptops
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      This kind of depends on the kind of work you are planning to do, your experience level with AE, and your budget. For me and my shop we've found that the Mac Price/performance/reliability and long term cost of ownership over the last 8 years has been better than the same performance and power on a Windows platform especially in the laptop area. That may be changing but I have no first hand data on new systems because we haven't bought a windows machine in 4 years.


                      Do your research. Check service and waranty agreements. Check the reviews and then buy the best machine you can afford considering how long you plan to keep it in service.