It's up to you. Ray-traced rendering is possible but slow with the CPU and (this is important) Adobe has announced that there will be no further development of the NVIDIA Ray-Traced rendering capability using CUDA. This means, if you really want to create a Ray-traced composition and use the Extrude or Bend or other features available there you can still do it, they will just take longer to render. If you upgrade to a MBPro R with NVIDIA card then you'll save a little time on those projects.
Future development of AE's 3D rendering options will be focused on integration with C4D and C4D lite which is included in all current versions of AE. You'll find that there are many advantages to using the C4D integration. I have used Ray-traced rendering on about 4 or 5 test projects and put together a couple of short tutorials for help in teaching AE but I have not delivered a single project for a client using Ray-traced rendering even though my system is loaded up as far as it can be and has a compatible NVIDIA card.
So, it's up to you. If you can afford a better box you'll be happier in the long run. If you make a living with AE and you're making your purchasing decisions on sound financial principals then the break even point for fancy hardware depends on your hourly rate, how fast you work, and what you are willing to take out of your profit to invest in future earnings. For me, it was an easy decision, I make more money every month because my system is more capable and it took exactly 3 months for the new system to pay it's own way. If AE is just a hobby then your decision is entirely a matter of the heart and I can't give you advice on that.
Hi Rick. Thanks for the helpful and speedy response but I'm afraid I'm still a little unsure about a few things.
Very useful to know that I can still use this computer to do the Ray-Traced rendering but that it will just be slower and I totally understand your advice about spending a bit more for better performance when making a living from it. However, I was unsure about two things:
- If Adobe is no longer supporting the NVIDIA using CUBA what advantage is there to upgrading to a computer that has an NVIDIA chip? Is it just simply faster having two graphics chips than one, regardless of the software support?
- Is C4D a replacement for Ray-traced rendering and will that also take advantage of the NVIDIA chip?
Also, sounds like there are different features to AE, some of which use Ray-trace and some which don't, and that would mean that I can use some (or most?) of them without having to employ the Ray-trace rendering, is that correct?
The NVIDIA card will help and give your MBPro more capabilities. The point is that Ray-traced rendering is not very helpful or useful on probably 95% of your projects. If you want to use that feature it's going to be slow with an NVIDIA card and much slower if you use CPU rendering.
What I'm trying to say is that you should buy the highest performing computer that your budget will allow. If AE is a hobby or your are a student you use one set of parameters to calculate that budget. If you make a living with AE then you use another. If you don't think about your budget and don't do some financial planning regarding your purchases then you probably won't be financially successful in many other areas of your life. The point it - carefully think about what your are going to do with what you buy and make sure the sacrifice you will have to make to purchase your tools is worth the productivity the new tool will bring to your job. Only you know that answer.
You seem to be hung up on Ray-traced rendering. For me that is a very very minor consideration. Performance and capacity is the major part so my laptop is the MBPro R that you see on the right side of the list with all of the upgrades checked. My previous MBProR was nearly the same. I bought it as soon as they were introduced in June of 2012 and sold it to upgrade in July of 2014 when the latest upgrade came out because that is what fit my business plan. The money for the upgrade came from a small portion of my billable time that is funneled into a special account just to keep my tools up to date. Any decision I make to upgrade is based on projections that weigh productivity against cost. You'll have to figure out your own criteria. IMHO Ray-traced rendering is almost not worth considering. The Retina Display and a 15" screen and processor/Ram/Storage capacity and the ability to drive a big external monitor are the major considerations.
Thanks again! The reason I got hung up on the Ray-traced thing was because that was the first message that was thrown up by AR when I launched it and I wanted to make sure I hadn't bought a computer that wasn't capable of running AR properly, or at all. So I'm glad to know it does and that the one thing it can't do very quickly is very seldom going to be used.
However, what I didn't know was that running an external monitor would be a draw on the graphics card, obvious when you think about it, I suppose. That is something that I definitely want to be able to do.
I understand what you're saying about budgets etc and that's all in hand.
Off to have a think about it. Cheers
I seem to have had the same problem as plant43, however at the moment, I can't really afford to upgrade to a Nvidia graphic card...so what would you suggest I do?
I would like to use the intel graphics card...and I know that will slow the performance down, but for the moment, until I can afford to upgrade it, what can I do? what type of driver can I install?
There is nothing you can do to accelerate the ray-traced renderer without getting an NVIDIA card. That being said, pay attention to what Rick said about the ray-traced renderer being obsolete. There are much, much better ways to do 3d in AE now.