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AE doesn't have any decent mutltithreading, not even in the new versions, so single-core speed and peak performance is always favorable over extra multiple cores doing nothing. A coreXi processor is way to go. Graphics hardware doesn't matter. AE itself supports very few cards natively to begin with, the 3D Raytracer is declared dead and even Media Encoder doesn't work reliably with many cards. And I'm not even talking about Quadros here. You can buy a 80 dolalr card from the budget tray and it makes no difference whatsoever with regards to AE. In so many words: AE + GPU acceleration = epic fail (yes, even in CC 2017). If at all, any such decision should be based on specific third-party plug-ins you may be using like Magic Bullet Looks ofr GenArts Sapphire that would really benefit from a better GPU. Still, even for them a Quadro or a Titan makes no sense at all.
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Trying to match hardware to AE at this point in time is not a very good idea. If it were me I would first look for the highest quality build and the best customer service. Nobody beats Apple in that regard, but Apple is not always at the top of the technology game for performance. If you are moving to a PC I would not consider building your own if you are making your living with your machine. You can't afford the down time and the research to keep drivers and components up to date. Simple as that.
Check out the system requirements for Premiere Pro and match your budget to the work you plan to do. You'll just have to wait for AE to get their rendering act together.
Thanks Mylenium - that's a good summary of my gut feeling. It seems to me that a 1080 GPU would be good for Premier, but makes little difference for AE... and that while a greater clock speed would work well for the 2017 release of AE & Pr, I gather Adobe's plan is to improve the render engine so this probably won't be the case in the future.
Good shout about plugins. I'll dig a bit deeper on that one.
Absolutely Rick - I'm not messing about with my own build!
I'm leaving Apple because I'm not happy about Tim Cook's vision of Pro computing... I want internal upgradeability, and more than 3+ year old technology. Shame really, as I've been a Mac user for more than 15 years. I'm thinking of Lenovo or Dell - both have solid warranties and decent workstation options.
I hear you about waiting for Adobe to get their rendering house in order.
I know a fancy-pants i7 would get the job done for AE (& probably Pr) - but I also do a bit of Rhino 3D too so I'm tempted by a (relatively) quick Xeon.
Thanks for your answer.
Good shout. Thanks!
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When my project from hell is over I'll try to post my own migration thoughts (one year on PC after 20 years on Mac)
In the meanwhile, here is some useful reading:
Thanks loads for the links - that was really useful, especially with regard to choosing a GPU... seems a Pascal 1080 should be perfectly adequate!
I'd really appreciate your thoughts about switching too. Most of the YouTube videos and posts focus on the big things (yeah yeah I know Adobe & Office will both work), but I'm interested in the little things. I suppose I'm more interested in how the two OS feel to use.
If that sounds a bit wishy-washy, I suppose I'm interested in the different UX paradigms and how they play out using the machine for work / personal life. Thanks again K.