5 Replies Latest reply on May 22, 2009 10:38 AM by Adolfo Rozenfeld

    Help Optimizing AE CS4




      I'm looking for help to optimize After Effects CS4 for the Mac. We have a dual 2.8ghz quad core Mac Pro with 4GB RAM and a 250GB hard drive running 10.5.5. Previously we had AE 7, which of course wasn't optimized for the Intel processor.


      I'm looking for tips on how my disk cache and memory settings should be given our RAM amount. We've been having problems with Quicktime export errors and I'm hoping to eliminate those. As you can see from the screenshots it's registering 8 CPUs for the system but only 4 for the Rendering.


      Thank you

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        • 1. Re: Help Optimizing AE CS4
          TimeRemapper Level 4

          You definitely should get oodles more RAM.

          Having 4 gigs and that many cores is starving the system.

          You should have 2GB/core, ideally (16GB, if you can afford to do so).

          Until then, you may want to limit AE to using 2 cores.


          For the time being, disable "render multiple frames simultaneously" until you can install more RAM.


          Check out Crucial for some great RAM deals.

          • 2. Re: Help Optimizing AE CS4
            dravk Level 1

            Thank you for the response.


            We thought 4GB would be ok after reading this from the CS4 online PDF:

            The operating system imposes certain limits on the amount of memory that an application can use. After Effects on the Mac OS X operating system can use up to 3.5 GB of RAM, although only about 3 GB is actually available to the foreground application, because Mac OS X uses approximately 500 MB to load the user interface libraries.

            • 3. Re: Help Optimizing AE CS4
              TimeRemapper Level 4

              Any single process on OS X can use up to 3.5 GB, but with the "render multiple frames simultaneously" option (i.e. multiprocessing) enabled, you're effectively launching multiple instances of AE, each of which can use the 3.5 GB ceiling (per process).

              Also consider the overhead that the operating system requires (~ 1 GB these days), and any other applications/background processes you may have running (i.e. Photoshop, Word, etc...).

              4 GB disappears very rapidly. 


              Also, AE is a RAM intensive application. The more RAM you have, the longer your RAM previews can be (at higher resolutions as well).

              Check out the online help files for CS4, and what they have to say about multiple core rendering.

              • 4. Re: Help Optimizing AE CS4
                dravk Level 1

                Until my extra RAM comes in, any thoughts on how to tweek it get a project out?

                I've got a user with a project that just refuses to export. Quicktime errors every time. We've tried exporting as WMV and MOV but neither is working. We've tried using the render queue and the less recommended file > export - neither works. I get errors like 'Quicktime export failed (4)' and 'Quicktime export failed - bad parameter (-50)'



                • 5. Re: Help Optimizing AE CS4
                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                  Don't use File > Export > Quicktime.


                  With 4GB, the background instances used for MP rendering will starve from lack of memory.

                  Set Memory and multiprocessing to leave 6 CPUs free (yep), so that AE can use the 4 GBs for the main app and 2 background instances. That should work well for most projects. If you still get problems, turn off Multiprocessing when using that project, so that the main app can use as much RAM as possible.