The current version of After Effects uses the GPU for very little, so I wouldn't worry about AE too much. Premiere is much more GPU-heavy.
The people who say AE only uses CUDA are mistaken. They are probably thinking about the old ray-traced renderer. It only uses CUDA on certain NVIDIA cards to accelerate, but it is an obsolete feature that I would recommend against using at all, so don't worry about it.
The latest version of After Effects (13.8.1) does have GPU acceleration of 3 effects (Lumetri, Sharpen, and the brand new Gaussian Blur). Those three effects will use CUDA or Open CL on Windows machines.
That being said, NVIDIA cards tend to work better for video work across the board - even in the 3d world with GPU renderers like Octane (one of the most popular third-party renderers for Cinema 4D), results are much better with NVIDIA or are only possible with NVIDIA.
Thanks Szalam, very informative.
So I assume AE mainly feeds on CPU power? I have a core i7 5930k, 12 threads. But most of the time I couldn't even play my work in real-time. My current GPU is a very old GTX 760. Maybe my GPU is dragging my PC's performance down?
So I assume AE mainly feeds on CPU power?
Yes, but also having enough RAM and having a separate SSD for your cache can also significantly improve your workflow/speed.
But most of the time I couldn't even play my work in real-time.
Do you mean you open a project, press spacebar, and it's not real time? Or do you mean you open a project, cache a preview, and then play back a preview, but the cached preview's playback isn't real time?
And, in either case, what, exact, version of AE were you using for this?
My current GPU is a very old GTX 760. Maybe my GPU is dragging my PC's performance down?
Very unlikely to be the issue. That card is a good card for AE.
Thanks again for your time Szalam,
I have 32GB of DDR4 RAM and I store AE and my assets on my SSD. Still not satisfied with the speed.
When pressing spacebar, yes. And dragging my timeslider to review the small changes that I made on the project(I do use RAM preview for final previews) It takes a lot of time especially if the project has a lot of layers and are 3D layers. But considering my current set-up, I don't understand why AE's performance is slow. What are your recommendations? I'm using AE CS6.
Just in case you're wondering what kind of work I'm doing, here's my reel: Paulo Eric Motion Reel 2016 - YouTube
Just so you've an idea on how this kind of work eats up my PC's performance
I think you will just have to deal with the slowness. Unless you've accidentally set your composition go use the ray-traced renderer instead of the classic renderer, I don't think you could make it go much faster with CS6. AE must build a RAM preview for you to be able to see things in real time. You can't really preview it any other way.
Now, there are some tips to help. You shouldn't work in full res and full quality all the time. Keep your comp window smaller and use lower resolutions, use draft 3d, use proxies or low-res assets, and skip frames in the preview while you're setting up your animations. Solo parts you're working on, etc.
All of your replies have been really helpful and informative.
I guess its a little game of patience. Will still push through with my W8100 though for 3D rendering purposes.