6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 17, 2015 9:17 AM by Todd_Kopriva

    Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?

    mike flavaz

      Hello all,

       

      Curious to know thoughts on an optimal AE computer build and taking into considering that 3rd party plugins would be used (Red Giant, Boris, Sapphire.)  I'm interested in hearing thoughts on Xeon or dual Xeon vs i7.  Quadro/Firepro -vs- a top gaming card. And what system would overall get the best results from real time processing to rendering. I would also love to hear some opinions on your current build and how it's working out for you?

       

      Thanks in advance,

       

      Mike

        • 1. Re: Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Dual Xeon>i7>single Xeon (assuming you have plenty of RAM).

          Gaming card is fine for most folks in AE, but it only applies to third-party plugins that use the GPU (Red Giant Universe, Element 3d, etc.) - stock AE barely uses the GPU at all (barring one, obsolete feature - the ray-traced renderer): GPU (CUDA, OpenGL) features in After Effects Now, it does matter for Premiere and it might matter if, for example, you plan to do a lot of C4D work using the Octane renderer.

          This page might help some: FAQ: What computer and components should I buy?

          I also found this recorded live event useful to watch: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=set_registered&id=2490687&loc=en_us In it, Adobe folks from the AE and Premiere teams talk about how the two programs use system resources.

           

          Now, in all of this, keep in mind that there are some major updates in the works in how AE works. The majority of the After Effects team is working on improving the interactivity and render speed of AE. The team has gone on record as saying that it will eventually be able to take more advantage of multi-core systems.

           

          One big difficulty in offering suggestions and comparing computing power is that every project is different. So if everyone had a benchmark project to compare with, it might not help you at all because your workflow might not use what's in the benchmark. For example, having hundreds of layers in a comp including several different layers of MP4 footage, some Cineform footage, and some PNG sequences is going to require different system resources than a project using lots of 3d solids, Particular, depth of field, and motion blur.

          And it's odd, but sometimes having a screaming fast processor doesn't do much good because the RAM is the bottleneck, or the system bus, or the hard drive...

           

          General, sum-up advice: fastest core speed you can afford with as many processor cores as you can get (so long as you've got about 4GB of RAM per core). An SSD for your cache is good too. GPU would be dependent on the recommendations of the third-party plugin developers.

          • 2. Re: Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?
            mike flavaz Level 1

            Thanks Szalam,

             

            Lots of great info there. The live event link is broken however.

             

            Disk management and ram aside, it can become quite confusing on what system will hold the best and not be overkill(assuming workflow is efficient.) Say... would a 5960x hold it's own with a dual xeon system in after effects? Aside from looking at benchmarks, it's hard to distinguish whether there would be a night and day gain from the dual xeon system. And, whether of course there is a realworld benefit in using a Quadro or Firepro card as opposed to say a dual GTX 980 or titan black based system (assuming that you're not doing alot of 3d work/modeling and just need the gfx cards to process the 3rd party plugins.)

            • 3. Re: Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              mike flavaz wrote:

               

              Lots of great info there. The live event link is broken however.

              Dang. This one might work: Ask A CS Pro_DVA

               

              mike flavaz wrote:

               

              Disk management and ram aside, it can become quite confusing on what system will hold the best and not be overkill(assuming workflow is efficient.) Say... would a 5960x hold it's own with a dual xeon system in after effects? Aside from looking at benchmarks, it's hard to distinguish whether there would be a night and day gain from the dual xeon system.

              I don't have enough personal experience with enough variations on systems to really give you a more definitive answer for this. When I get some time, I would like to create a few different kinds of benchmark projects and test them on two different dual-processor systems at work (one has more cores, but a significantly lower clock speed) and compare them to each other and to a single processor machine I have at home.

               

              mike flavas wrote:

              And, whether of course there is a realworld benefit in using a Quadro or Firepro card as opposed to say a dual GTX 980 or titan black based system (assuming that you're not doing alot of 3d work/modeling and just need the gfx cards to process the 3rd party plugins.)

              Funny thing about GPUs and 3d work: Cinema 4D barely uses the GPU either right now (unless you're using third-party renderers).

              • 4. Re: Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?
                mike flavaz Level 1

                Szalam,

                 

                Thanks again.  Link works. ; )

                 

                Curious to know your thoughts on disk management, specifically on an adobe cache drive.  Do you think there would be any real world difference in using an ssd with say 550mb/sec read/write like the samsung 850 pro in comparison to a much faster m.2 or pci ssd for dedicated cache?

                • 5. Re: Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  That, I definitely can't answer. Hopefully some of the Adobe guys can poke their heads in if they get a moment or somebody else who's tried that.

                  • 6. Re: Opinions on Optimal After Effects Computer Build?
                    Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                    Faster read/write makes a big difference for the disk cache.