1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 22, 2014 1:18 PM by hbernhard

    A PC to Replace 27'' Imac for After effects.


      Hi Guys,


      I have been googling and reading for ages, read a lot of opinions about this, but could not find the answer to my question, so I've come to the place i trust.


      Basically, I have an 27" Imac with:


      Processor 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7

      Memory 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

      Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2048 MB


      I work with After Effects and Premiere, occasionally dabbing into Cinema 4d, I use a lot of Element 3d and work alot with video.

      My iMac seems ok, maybe I am expecting too much from it, but If my composition starts to be complicated, with Trapcode particular, Optical flares, then AFX slows down quite a bit.

      Am I expecting too much performance from my machine?


      And now the most important question. I have come to the stage where I have to be on the move, so I am in need of a laptop, which should be at least as powerful as my Imac.


      I am looking at something like this:


      Dell Precision M6800

      Intel® Core™ i7-4910MQ Processor (Quad Core 2.90GHz, 3.90GHz Turbo, 8MB 47W, w/HD Graphics 4600)

      16GB6 DDR3L at 1600MHz

      256GB 2.5inch SATA Solid State Drive

      2tb 7200rmp Hard Drive

      NVIDIA® Quadro® K4100M w/4GB GDDR5


      The above is about £2000, so I would have to sell my Imac to get this.

      Would a laptop like this perform well? I understand that a desktop workstation will always be better, but I am happy as long it would perform at least as good as my Imac.


      Another option I have in mind is a compact pc:


      Mini ITX - BitFenix Prodigy

      Intel i7 4790K - (4 x 4.0 GHZ) - Haswell

      Corsair Vengeance Pro Red 16GB PC3-19200 2400 MHz (2x8GB)

      NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - 4 GB - (MSI) - (PCI-E)

      With both a 7200rpm 2tb, and a 250gb SSD.


      I have always worked with macs, so I am really scared to switch to windows, but these computers blow my Imac out of the water, according to their specs.


      Is Windows possible to work with smoothly, with no lagging or handing, is it as stable and reliable as Mac OSX? Is the notion that a PC will overheat, overclog a myth?

      Its a very important step in my career, as I would have to sell my Imac and switch to Windows straight away...


      Please advise


      Thank you.


        • 1. Re: A PC to Replace 27'' Imac for After effects.
          hbernhard Level 1

          some comments:

          * Imho 32 GB memory is needed to run a semi complex After Effects setup with 3rd party plugins

          * Before you do anything else I recommend  the (nearly no cost) upgrade to 32 GB (After Effects is CPU/Memory and not GPU bound)

          * Redgiant products use the GPU, but don't scale too well (valid both on PC and iMac), don't expect a performance push from a high end PC-card from a scaleability standpoint

          * The new version of E3D is GPU optimized and will maybe perform better as before (check this out!)

          * If you run everything on the internal fusion drive you will have most likely a disk bottleneck too (for semiprofessional work a external raid5/6 is recommended)

          * If you start iStat (or a similar tool) you can measure your system balance regarding cpu, memory and gpu consumption and after interpreting the results you can make a more professional assessment regarding a possible conversion

          * In any case you need more memory, more disks (at least 3 or better a RAID5/6), recommandations for other PC system components are given quite often from ADK, my feeling is that without professional help there is a risk that you don't gain a lot with the mentioned components for your AE environment

          Good luck!