10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 15, 2015 8:30 AM by chrisg79533312

    Which Mac/Graphics card?

    chrisf61448732

      I am looking in to getting a macbook pro and trying to understand the best option.  My current mac is a late 2009 imac and is just about good enough for Premiere but can not really handle some of the work I've been trying to do with After Effects.  After looking around online for information on graphics card I do not understand how it relates to Adobe software, although  I have seen the system requirements page.

       

      The two macbooks currently available both have Intel Iris Pro Graphics, though this is not on the system requirements page?  And for an extra $500 the same macbook is available with AMD Radeon R9, this is also not on the system requirements page. The system requirements only has the NVIDIA GPUS listed.

       

      So my question is with either macbook would I need to upgrade the graphics card?  And either way what difference would it make, compared to either of these macs?  Does the AMD Radeon R9 not make a difference to Adobe software and is meant for gamers?

      Does this whole question only concern how the ray tracing performs or the software as a whole?

       

      Lastly it seems odd that Adobe software works best for mac users and yet to run the more demanding programs you would need to upgrade the mac out of the box.  But I do not understand this side of the technology.

       

      Thanks for any help you can give me!

        • 1. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
          chrisg79533312

          To the best of my knowedge you can't upgrade the graphics card on a macbook as it is soldered onto the motherboard.

           

          If you're going to be doing a lot of after effects work then I'd advise against the macbook and go for a new imac instead, providding portability isn't the main issue.

           

          I've done quite a lot of after effects work on my macbook and it always feels as if it's struggling. It can often overheat and you just get the feeling that it's not what it was designed for...the imac on the other hand can handle pretty much everything I can throw at it. Save yourself some money and go for the regular model instead of the retina...

           

          If you're restricted by your budget then I'd suggest looking at the second hand market and get yourself a 1-2 year old machine, prefereably with at least 2gb graphics memory and the i7 processor if possible. Ram is important too but you can add this further down the line...

          • 2. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Chris Fuentes wrote:

             

            Does this whole question only concern how the ray tracing performs or the software as a whole?

            The list of GPU's on the system requirements page that you're looking at is only to accelerate the ray-traced renderer. This is an obsolete feature that has been superseded by a more powerful way to do 3d in AE.

            Read up on GPU (CUDA, OpenGL) features in After Effects

             

            Chris Fuentes wrote:

            Lastly it seems odd that Adobe software works best for mac users

            It doesn't.

            Yosemite, especially, has some major issues (not just with Adobe software either).

            Many pros I know have made the switch to Windows 7 workstations and prefer them over newer Apple machines especially considering the bang for the buck.

            (Edit: for the record, I used to prefer Mac over Windows too and I still own a MacBook Pro for traveling work, but I have a desktop PC at home and at work we're all on PC workstations.)

             

            Whether you're getting an Apple or Windows product, I'd recommend against a laptop for professional graphics work. A desktop workstation gets you more power for your money with the ability to easily upgrade in the future.

            • 3. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
              chrisf61448732 Level 1

              Okay very helpful.  What is the difference between the i7 and i5?

              • 4. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                chrisf61448732 Level 1

                Thanks.  So the Graphics card doesn't matter?  I have seen a whole bunch of macs online and only one with a graphics card that is listed on the requirements and that mac is from October 2012.

                • 5. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Chris Fuentes wrote:

                   

                  Thanks.  So the Graphics card doesn't matter?  I have seen a whole bunch of macs online and only one with a graphics card that is listed on the requirements and that mac is from October 2012.

                  Unless you're using the ray-traced renderer, the GPU doesn't matter for stock AE.

                   

                  Now, if you plan to use Element 3d, Red Giant Universe, Mettle's ShapeShifter, or other third-party plugins that use the GPU, you should look into their requirements, but they have nothing to do with AE's ray-traced requirement list.

                  • 6. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                    chrisf61448732 Level 1

                    I see.  Then why is it so hard to find a mac with the right GPU?  None of the ones I have seen are listed on Adobes page, do you have to buy it separately and install it?

                    • 7. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                      chrisf61448732 Level 1

                      Why is the imac better than a macbook pro if the macbook has a quadcore i7 with 2gb of graphics memory?  Is it simply because it will get hotter?

                      • 8. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                        Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Chris Fuentes wrote:

                         

                        I see.  Then why is it so hard to find a mac with the right GPU?  None of the ones I have seen are listed on Adobes page, do you have to buy it separately and install it?

                        Again, unless you're planning to use the ray-traced renderer (which is obsolete), you don't need to worry about the list on Adobe's page. The third-party solutions I mentioned can work on a much wider array of cards.

                         

                        If you are planning to use the ray-traced renderer, please rethink your plan.

                         

                        If you're absolutely sure you want to use the ray-traced renderer, you will have to find a machine that has a card on the approved list. Well, you could also get an NVIDIA card that has the required Optix library and then "hack" the approved cards list on your machine to make it work, but that's an unsupported workaround.

                        I wouldn't be surprised if the very narrow list of requirements to enable the acceleration of the ray-traced renderer is one of the reasons why the AE team abandoned the ray-traced renderer altogether.

                        • 9. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                          chrisf61448732 Level 1

                          Okay.  Thanks for your help

                          • 10. Re: Which Mac/Graphics card?
                            chrisg79533312 Level 1

                            Yeah cooling is a big factor, my macbook gets up to 100 degrees when rendering which can't be healthy. There are apps to combat this like SMC fan control but I'd still suggest the imac.

                             

                            You also get a lot more screen real estate which is a god send for adobe prgrams...unless you were planning on connecting a monitor to your macbook.

                             

                            But as Szalam mentioned above, you could ditch apple altogether and go for a windows work station. Either way, go for desktop instead of laptop.