10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2016 6:55 PM by Szalam

    Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?

    danieli69885648 Level 1

      I'm about to upgrade my laptop to the following:

      i7-2670QM 2.2-3.1GHz - same as a before upgrade

      16GB RAM DDR3 1033MHz

      GTX 750Ti 4GB GDDR5

      2 SSDs with decent read/write speed of 480GB both

       

      Is that good enough to run AE smoothly with tens of layers and a few plugins? I do really want fairly quick renders and especially previews.

      Should I save up and build a desktop instead?

        • 1. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You can generally get better desktop power for your money vs. a laptop.

          You can get some used Dell workstations for VERY cheap on eBay and you can upgrade processors, RAM, etc. from parts on eBay too. I just built a hefty workhorse for my home studio that rivals the one at my full-time job for less than a tenth of the price they paid for it new. I've got dual Xeon processors, 72 GB of RAM, two SSD's, two GPU's etc. for around $700. So it's definitely something to consider.

          (Note: the two GPUs are just so I can run four monitors - you don't get a boost in AE or C4D having more than one GPU.)

           

          That being said, your notebook specs seem fairly decent to me. I'd want a faster clock speed on the processor and more RAM if it was me, but at least you would be able to work with AE reasonably well.

           

          Regardless of whether you use those specs for now or you get a beast of a workstation, renders and previews may be faster if you do them with CC 2014 instead of CC 2015 because CC 2015 doesn't have any form of multiprocessing yet. See this page: features not available in After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) Now, that being said, this does depend on the contents of your composition. Some of my projects actually rendered faster in CC 2015 on my old home machine, but most projects were faster to render in CC 2014. You'll learn with experience which projects are likely to be faster to render with multiprocessing.

          ALL projects are faster to work with in CC 2015 though. It's just rendering that's quicker in CC 2014.

          • 2. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
            picenilllo Level 1

            Szalam,

             

            Would you mind giving a few more specs on your machine, it looks like you are very happy with your new workstation and would like to know if you don't mind sharing the names of your parts. Or send a few links if possible, I am looking to build my first desktop but there is lots of info and kind of confusing to choose the right stuff, you seem very knowledgeable with helping people and I really trust your advice. hahaaa

             

            I do have a good budget for my desktop but your suggestion made me think not too spend too much on it and that there are other ways. unluckily I am not very good at choosing the right stuff.

             

            Anyway thanks in advance.

            • 4. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Well, it certainly helps that I've been a computer geek for years. I used to work as tech support for a major computer manufacturer. (I won't say who they were, just that their initials were HP )

              It also helps that my boyfriend's full-time job is with computers (and he absolutely loves shopping for deals), so - to be honest - a lot of my new computer build was his work and not me! Some of it is just taking the time to wade through all of the similar-looking systems to get to the right one (at the right price) for you. It took a while of poking around eBay to really nail down what to get.

               

              What software you use will determine what you need to get. Since AE (currently) is still pretty single-threaded in many ways, you might want a processor with a faster clock speed at the expense of number of cores. C4D uses every bit of processor you have, so you might not care if the clock speed is only 2.8 if you have 16 cores. I use both software very extensively, so I wanted lots of clock speed with as many cores as possible. However, I didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on used parts. Thus, I had to find a balance.

               

              I am currently at my full-time job (where, coincidentally, I am looking to upgrade all of our After Effects/C4D machines within the next couple of months, so I'll be shopping for new [and rather expensive] workstations soon) and I don't remember part numbers for my home system offhand. I'll try to remember to check when I get home tonight and update you guys with further details, but I can give you the gist now.

               

              It was a Dell workstation for a couple of reasons. One is that it was a very popular model for businesses to buy a few years ago, so there is a glut of them on eBay which drives the prices down. The second reason is that this kind of workstation is really easy to work on inside. It's very well made for poking around with!

              We got the riser to add the second processor from someone else on eBay.

              Then we got a matched processor pair from someone else.

              Then we got the RAM from someone else. (We actually bought 8x8GB sticks, but since the motherboard supports 9 sticks of RAM [which I thought was odd] we contacted the guy that sold us the RAM and he sent us a 9th stick free which was nice.)

              The computer came with a Quadro card and I think the second card was just one that we happened to have lying around the house. (We were also building some servers for him and a C4D render farm for me, so there were computers and components everywhere for a bit there...I still can't park my car in the garage yet!) Anyway, the second GPU didn't need to be very powerful since it's just to drive the screens and not to render anything. (I use Element 3d and am getting ready to work with NVIDIA's iRay renderer in Cinema 4D so I needed at least one decent GPU for that.)

              I think the SSD's came from somewhere on Amazon during a sale.

              And I don't even remember where we bought the silver thermal paste - probably Amazon.

               

              Like I said, I'll see if I can get some more specifics tonight. The problem is I've got to run home from work, make dinner real quick, feed the dogs and my SO, and then rush back out again (we help with a Bible study on Tuesday nights at a nearby university), so I probably won't have a chance until after that. (And, after all that, we'll be lucky if I can remember to go check!) But I hope that helps in the meantime.

              • 5. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
                Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

                Moved to the Hardware forum.

                 

                Kevin

                • 6. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
                  BerniceR Level 1

                  And here I am using the same programmes as you, using a Macbook Air (: Trying to manage. Please checkout my vids and tell me what you think. I seek your help for tutorials (:

                  • 7. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    picenilllo wrote:

                     

                    Would you mind giving a few more specs on your machine, it looks like you are very happy with your new workstation and would like to know if you don't mind sharing the names of your parts.

                    Dell Precision T5500

                    Dual Intel X5680 processors (that's a matched pair of 6-core Xeons running at 3.33 GHz)

                    72 GB of RAM

                    500 GB SSD for the OS

                    256 GB SSD for AE's cache

                    2x 4TB hard drives (currently in a RAID configuration, but I'm thinking of just splitting them back out into two normal drives and use a backup solution) for footage/project files/etc.

                    Quadro 4000 GPU for Element, iRay renderer, etc. and running my two main screens

                    Quadro FX 3800 to run my two other screens

                     

                    I just got this machine put together, so I really haven't had much time to work with it yet, but what I've done with it has been a ton of fun so far and it works really well. Bang for the buck, I'm supremely happy. I just wish I had more time to work on it! (It's even better than the machine at my full-time job!)

                    • 8. Re: Is my PC good enough to run After Effects CC smoothly?
                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                      Desktops and Workstations will always give far better performance than laptops. The mobile solution sacrifices processing capability for mobility since the CPU's draw less power. AE threads out well unless the codecs or FX used in the comp limits threading. Some do but many do not. Just depends on the work and complexity. The X99 workstation though with a 5960X gives cores/threads and high clock speed which performs well for AE especially with ram preview and Premiere. That is what I would suggest. Just make sure you get alteast 32GB of ram with 64GB being ideal since AE uses allot of ram for everything.

                       

                      Eric

                      ADK