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can't be overkill at any time, just the right hardware mix makes working AE flawlessly.
if your mainboard can handle that amount of RAM, fine, may you will find the benefits when activating multiprocessoring in AE. There are some topics bout that.
Get the fastest CPU you can afford. The more cores the better, if you plan to use multiprocessing.
Get minimum 2GB of RAM for each core of your processor, plus an additional 2GB. So if you have 4 cores, the minimum RAM you should get is 4 x 2 + 2 = 10GB. But more is better still, so 12GB is not too much, no.
You'd get better HDD value with 1TB drives these days, or even 1.5TB. I bought a 1.5TB Seagate drive for US$140 last week. You can never have too much drive space.
Don't spend too much on your video card, if AE is your only 3D/OpenGL application. AE's OpenGL capabilities are fairly standard, so any mid-level display card should cope with it's requirements.
Yeah, to back up what Andrew said. Even a $100 current gen graphics card is more than enough for anything AE needs.
I highly recommend a RAID if you have a multicore system. I've found that with 8-cores, each one wants to access and write a frame of footage off your drive at the same time. So if you have 1080p source files, that's nearly 50MB reading and 50MB writing. That's a lot of disk activity.
Thanks for your reponses. The Graphics card has me stumped then. What I am being told, and I take it with a grain of salt since they are trying to make a living,is that CS4 works much better with the Quadro cards and they are anywhere from 500 to 2OOO. Are they thinking Premiere and HD editing needing that type of graphics card processing power and 3D or CAD programs rather than AE? Hope so, dave me bundle on the card.
For those kind of dollars, I'd be much more inclined to buy a more moderate display card, and a true HD I/O card like a Blackmagic Decklink or AJA. Then you can have true HD monitoring separate to your workspace.
If you are working in HD, I second Navarro's RAID recommendation - drive speed is really stretched with true HD content.
>is that CS4 works much better with the Quadro cards and they are
>anywhere from 500 to 2000. Are they thinking Premiere and HD editing
>needing that type of graphics card processing power and 3D or CAD
>programs rather than AE?
Not per se. Even amongst the various Quadro types there are some that are causing problems. Compatibility and performance is dictated by the actual chipset on the card in combination with what driver version works best. It's really a lot more complicated. However, I agree with the previous posters - go for a normal GeForce. What cards like a GTX 260 or GTX 290 offer, is already way beyond what AE will ever use and, barring the aforementioned driver and config issues, should keep you happy for a while. And to echo another opinion: Get the fastest processor. Opt for an Core 7i 965 Extreme, if you have the budget, especially since it may become considerably cheaper in a month or so, when intel bring out the next stepping/ revision of their Core7i processors.
Thanks for all the info. It is really helpful. As I look at the i7 chips, what kind of improvement can I really expect between the lower and the extreme? Will the time saving really justify the expense difference? If I used AE 10 hours a day a 10% differnce would be substantial. Only using it a few hours a day then the difernce might not be justified. Hard to translate the benchmatk test with real world improvements and get beyond the advertising hype. If anyone knows when the next chip might be coming out it would be worth waiting for the price drop. Damn California economy!