You seem to be running into a few of the usual new user "gotchas"!
The large file size is to be expected if you are exporting a lossless file. See this page: FAQ: Why is my output file huge, and why doesn't it play back smoothly?
As to the render speed, your situation is not normal. Your machine is rendering really, really fast. The very opposite of slow!
How long something takes to render depends on the content of the composition (and, to a much lesser extent, your render settings). Templates can be extremely complicated. I mean, people are not likely to buy something simple they could make themselves in five minutes! The problem is, to make things easily editable, the already complex project becomes much more complex. This may or may not lead to extremely long render times.
That being said, your project sounds like it's really simple because one minute to render ten seconds is not bad at all! Not in any way, shape, or form. That's actually really fast! I have had some projects where it takes longer than one minute per frame! Some things just take a long time to render, but you're rendering about five frames per second, which is really, really fast. If you could point us to the template you're using, it might give us at least a little clue as to what kind of project it is. 17 seconds of a project rendered in 7 minutes is also a pretty fast render time - that's about a frame a second. That's great! You would die if you saw some of the stuff I've worked on!
You seem to be comparing it to a video editor, which AE is definitely not! It does much more complex tasks and, thus, will take a lot longer to render.
It would benefit you immensely to get an understanding of what AE is, how it works, and the basic foundation of using it. This is the best (free) resource I know of to start getting up to speed: Getting started with After Effects
It is truly unbelievable how much Szalam obfuscates from the real problem.
Being a new user you're likely using AE 2015, because that's what you'd imagine to be the latest and greatest.
It is not great, despite being the latest.
AE 2015 has a "new" renderer, it's in an Alpha state. i.e. it is NOT complete.
One of its biggest failings is that it doesn't use all your CPU cores. Most of the time only one of them.
So you're seeing rendering happen at 1/4 of the speed you might achieve if you were to use AE 2014 and find a way to evenly distribute the workload across all four cores of the 2500K
// I'm going from memory here, I think the 2500K was one of the 4 cores without Hyper Threading. But could be mistaken.
Dissidently, read his post a bit more carefully, his machine is not rendering slowly.
I'm not trying to obfuscate the problem because there is no problem.
Besides, some of my projects are rendering faster on CC 2015 than they are on CC 2014, so that's not always the answer.
Since his render times seem more than reasonable (and he hasn't mentioned any issues) I didn't see any reason to suggest he download and use the old version.
Did you miss the title?
Ultra Slow rendering.
And there is ALWAYS a problem with AE 2015 rendering, it NEVER uses more than a single core.
Stop defending Adobe, and have a heart of the users.
not really sure who's right here - can anyone else chime in?
Yes, I'm using CC 2015 (13.5.1).. and yes, I use my Premiere Pro export times as a rough benchmark. There are around 20 layers in the comp, but didn't expect that it would take this long though.
Is 2014 much faster? If yes, I'll probably downgrade.
Installing CC 2014 would not be considered a downgrade because you can have the two of them installed side by side. I have CS5, CS6, CC, CC 2014, and CC 2015 all installed on the main machine in my home studio and there are no issues with that.
It wouldn't be a bad idea to try things out in CC 2014 and see how things behave. I would expect some things to render more quickly if your composition can make use of multiprocessing. The nice thing is that AE CC 2014 can open and work with files created in AE CC 2015 with no issue.
But comparing AE to Premiere is going to make you think AE is slow no matter what version of AE you use. They are very, very different software and they do very, very different things (even if you can do similar things with them).
And it's not a question of who's right or wrong. I don't disagree that CC 2014 has multiprocessing and CC 2015 doesn't. That's a fact. (Whether multiprocessing helps or not will vary wildly between projects.) The apparent disagreement is due to the fact that he didn't read your whole post to see what your issue was; he just saw that you said slow rendering and went off. If you look at his post history, he likes to rant about CC 2015 at every opportunity (he has good reason, by the way, even if his posts come off a bit yelly). However, not everyone has major issues working with CC 2015 and your post certainly indicates that things seem to be working pretty well on your end.
If you want a better idea of how AE works with rendering, go through the learning resources I linked. That page has a number of different people with very useful tutorials on workflow in AE.
Again, try CC 2014 and let us know how much of a difference it makes.