If you have 16 gb ram just wait a while. Ray-traced rendering is going to be slow always because it's no longer being worked on. You should be using C4D lite to generate 3D elements. It renders way faster. If your MBPro is a Retina display and you have the proper CUDA drivers installed then you are running as fast as any equivalent system on Windows or Mac. I have not used Ray-traced rendering for a single project I was getting paid for, I've only done some experimenting. There are lots better and faster ways, especially now that we have C4D lite included to do that kind of thing. I only expect the integration to improve, and improve fairly quickly.
Adobe is hard at work on improving performance. Any system that you put together right now is going to be slow as molasses using Ray-traced rendering. I expect the next release to bring a lot of performance improvements based on what I've seen with the latest release.
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After Effects only needs a strong graphics card if you're using the ray-traced renderer.
If you are using the ray-traced renderer it is going to be super-slow if you don't have an appropriate NVIDIA card.
Please stay away from the ray-traced renderer.
Use Cinema 4D Lite that comes with AE. It is more powerful than the ray-traced renderer and it will render faster. If you need training on how to use it, this series is great.
The ray-traced renderer is considered dead by the AE team, so I wouldn't put any time or resources into using it if I were you.
Does this mean that if I buy an iMac and I am going to use Cinema 4D Lite instead of ray-traced renderer it's going to be all right and fast?
3D Ray-tracing is not going to be FAST but C4D Lite is very usable and not dependent on the NVIDIA CUDA system that is no longer being developed. Expect performance improvements with each new release of Adobe, or any other software on systems that use popular components, but don't expect compositing software to run really fast in the near future. There are a bunch of professionals that use iMac's every day to make a living.