Assuming you are using a 64-bit version of Windows.
AE is a 32-bit app.
In the preferences, there is a setting for Memory and Multiprocessor.
Check that and it will fake out the 32-bit limitation by launching more AE render nodes.
However, this setting seems to come with its own stability issues, in my case anyhow.
Thanks for the reply.
I am using Windows 7 64-bit. Do you men the 'Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously' option in preferences?
I read elsewhere that with only 6GB of memory turning this option would actually decrease the performance of my rendering. Not quite sure which answer is right!
Regardless, how much RAM should be left for other applications i.e. Premiere Pro, Bridge (which I use in conjunction with AE.
Personally, I'm having trouble with the setting and I have 12Gb of ram in a Windows 7 64-bit computer.
In your case, it may not help much, since, if AE is using 4GB, you need some room to run Windows.
AE CS5 will be 64-bit and hopefully this whole situation will improve.
Hmm, I'm very new to AE however does seem like optimising performance can be very tricky!! Thanks for the help anyway, I was going to get another 6GB myself but stupidly decided on a better case instead, oops!
Does this actually mean that having 6GB won't improve my rendering at all over my old PC the had 4GB? That would be a huge bummer!
The situation is still better.
AE has a full 4GB and the remainder runs the OS.
Like I said, I have 12GB and I'm getting some crashing trying to get the multiframe render to work.
When I open AE with that box unchecked, it only uses 4GB.
I see other threads about it and it seems like some witchcraft is involved.
 my issues look to be related to a 3rd party plug-in
Running much better now.
1 person found this helpful
Here's a post that describes as simply as possible how to set up your memory preferences:
Thanks Todd, I've read through you post and it offers helpful advice.
You use an 8GB system as an example, however I only have a quad core, 6GB system and one thing that isn't clear is whether I should even have multiple frame processing on.
From you calculations I should leave 2GB to other programs leaving 4GB for AE.
If each core needs 2GB I could set it to use 2 cores, each having 2GB. Would this improve performance? I have read elsewhere that with 6GB of ram multiple frame processing should not be used so I'm a little confused.!
With only 6 GB of RAM, and 4 cores you should leave the multiprocessing features of AE disabled. If you install enough RAM so you have 10 GB or more, then by all means, enable the features.
> If each core needs 2GB I could set it to use 2 cores, each having 2GB. Would this improve performance? I have read elsewhere that with 6GB of ram multiple frame processing should not be used so I'm a little confused.!
I suggest testing both ways with your real compositions and see for yourself. Depending on your compositions, I'd think that you could benefit from using the settings that you just laid out. But, as I said in that post...
"Of course, all of the numbers that I give here are just intended as a starting point. Every composition is different, and every computer system is different. The reason that there are Memory & Multiprocessing preferences is so that you can set things as appropriate for your work."
The RAM allocation in CS4 is simply awful !
I have read all the posts and advice and still come out confused - I have 8GB (on OS X) and just leave the multiprocessor options switched off until someone comes up with a clear and concise walkthrough for idiots like me !
ideally there should be a a totally automated and dynamic memory allocation system built into AE which seeks out the best use of memory for every situation.
> I have read all the posts and advice and still come out confused - I have 8GB (on OS X) and just leave the multiprocessor options switched off until someone comes up with a clear and concise walkthrough for idiots like me !
"Let's take an example of a computer with eight processor cores and 8GB of RAM:
For HD, you want at least 2GB for each process; preferably more. And you almost always want to leave at least 2GB for other applications. That leads to some relatively simple math. For an eight-core system with 8GB of RAM, leaving 2GB for other applications gets you down to 6GB. That's enough RAM for three processes at 2GB each."
Is there something about that that you don't understand? Set Minimum Allocation Per CPU to 2GB. Set RAM To Leave For Other Applications to 2GB. You're done. After Effects will use three processes for rendering.
Cheers for the reply Todd.
"Is there something about that that you don't understand?"
Yes ! (I told you I was an idiot didn't I ?)
I entered the exact values set out in your post (and luckily my computer matches the spec you used to illustrate your answer).
. . . but rather than AE using 3 processors, it says it will use only 2 ?
You're giving a lot of RAM to to foreground application with that Longer RAM Preview / Faster Rendering slider. Slide that back and forth and notice how the RAM given to the foreground process takes away from RAM for the background processes. The background processes do the rendering; the foreground process just holds the RAM preview cache.
This is where my stupidity shines most brightly.
Your post appears to for the most part to be entirely made up of English words, but I have no idea as to how to act on the information.
I can of course slide the slider back and forth as good as the next man, but I would have no clue as to where the best place would be to leave it.
> I can of course slide the slider back and forth as good as the next man, but I would have no clue as to where the best place would be to leave it.
The reason that things like this are preferences and options rather than automatically set is because there is no single "best place to leave it". When you want longer RAM previews (at the expense of slower rendering of those previews), you take RAM away from the background rendering processes and give it to the foreground process. When you want rendering to go as fast as possible, you take RAM away from the foreground process.
No one can tell you the one right way to do something for your computer and your compositions. Every set of conditions is unique. The best that I (or anyone) can do is to tell you roughly where to start, make sure that you have the information about what the controls do, and then encourage you to tweak them, test the results, and see what works best for you.
Thanks for the pointers Todd, although I am still not 100% clear on this, I think I have a bit more of a clue now.