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What platform - Windows or OS X?
GPU capabilities are quite limited in After Effects, compared to Premiere Pro. Ultimately, you are far better off spending money on RAM and CPU performance before shelling out big bucks on GPUs. Primarily, some NVIDIA GPUs can be utilised when using the 3D Ray Traced Render Engine. Beyond that, a GPU can really only offer OpenGL preview capabilities in AE, which are provided in quite low end cards these days.
a - This page has a list of cards for After Effects CC which provide GPU acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer. Otherwise, most standard low end cards provide adequate OpenGL capabilities for AE.
b - AMD cards cannot (and will probably never) provide GPU acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer. There's no point buying a high end AMD card if it's only for AE use. As above, most standard low end cards provide adequate OpenGL capabilities for AE.
c - One GPU, as far as I'm aware. I'm happy to be corrected about this if I'm wrong. Premiere Pro CC can utilise one whilst working, and two whilst rendering. Perhaps After Effects renders via Adobe Media Encoder can also use two GPUs?
NVIDIA provide some very basic benchmarks of their GPUs with AE.
Some third party plugins are reliant on GPU acceleration, including Video Copilots Element 3D and Optical Flares. This creates a render pipeline dilemma if you are doing multi-processor rendering, because each AE render process must wait in line for GPU access, The result is that you can often render projects faster WITHOUT multi-processing if you're reliant on GPU-accelerated plugins.
Adobe spokespeople have hinted that better multi=processing management is on its way with a future release of AE, but it's not clear exactly what that will be, for now.
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To further back up what Mr. Yoole is saying, read this. Barring third-party plugins like Element 3d, After Effects only uses the GPU heavily to do one thing - acceleration of the ray-tracing renderer. That's it. And since CC comes with a free install of Cinema 4d Lite, the AE ray-tracing renderer is already an outdated way to do 3d in After Effects anyway.
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The page that Szalam pointed to says this about multiple GPUs:
"If you have multiple GPUs installed, the GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D renderer will use the CUDA cores on all of them, as long as they are of the same CUDA compute level. (See the technical specifications of your GPU for its CUDA compute level.) After Effects will also use all of the VRAM on the installed GPUs, with the caveat that both cards will be treated as if they each have the amount of VRAM on the card with the lesser amount of VRAM."
Read that whole page carefully if you want to know about After Effects and GPUs.
If you are a professional who desires to speed up workflow (rendering) in programs such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premier Pro, and all CAD applications, you're going to have to jump up a level to the NVIDIA Professional Series graphics cards, which leave consumer cards, such as the GTX 1080, in the dust.
I am a professional video editor and cinematographer with 15 years of experience. Over the years I have built many computer systems which all served one purpose; to run After Effects and Premier Pro as fast and efficiently as the current technology would allow. In the movie industry, After Effects is an absolute necessity, as you probably know. What most people don't know however is that even the newest, most expensive gaming graphics card (e.g. GTX 1080) is useless when it comes to working with video in After Effects, Premier Pro, or any type of CAD application.
Solution: NVIDIA Quadro GPUs
The Quadro series of graphics cards will allow you to render video at exponentially faster speeds. The Quadro series is made for professional editors and designers who have to get work done FAST. The down side to these mind blowing speeds, is the mind blowing prices. If you're like me and make a living working on the post-production end of the movie business, you can't afford to NOT get a Quadro series graphics card.
Take a look at this link to compare the Quadro graphics cards and view their amazing specs: http://images.nvidia.com/content/quadro/product-literature/line-card/316671-ProGraphicsLin eCard-GENERIC-Feb17-US-FNL-WEB…
You can get a lot more power for a lot less money with the GTX cards...