Hi, I have an 8 core (32GB or ram) MacPro. I am trying to optimize my CPU usage when using After Effects, as MacPros don't come with Nvidia cards. My question is two-fold. When rendering 4k footage with effects, is it more advantageous to use 5 CPUs at 4GB or RAM each or 7 CPUs at 3GB of RAM each? Secondly, when assigning my disk cache to a drive, is it better to use a non-SSD (USB 3.0) external drive for media cache, or is it more advantageous to point the media cache to my internal CPU (has an SSD drive)? Given that I don't have an external SSD.
After Effects doesn't use the GPU for anything (except for the obsolete ray-traced renderer), so you're not missing anything by not having an NVIDIA GPU.
That being said, why not test how it works for your system? The reason AE has changeable preference options is that each setup is unique and requires some tweaking. Try an identical project with both configurations and see which one renders more quickly.
Your cache should be on an SSD. Always.
Thanks for the taking the time answering my question. That helps a lot.