5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2010 9:28 AM by roflwaffle_

    How big of a bottleneck is a weak graphics card?

    roflwaffle_

      On one of my computers, I have an integrated (Intel) graphics card. Compared to discrete cards, it is pretty poor.

       

      I'm just wondering... would upgrading to a more powerful graphics card significantly improve the performance of after effects? Is it similar to video games, where the graphics card has the biggest performance impact, or is it mainly just dependant on the CPU and memory?

       

      P.S. I only work with 2D material, and sorry if this is a vague question.

        • 1. Re: How big of a bottleneck is a weak graphics card?
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          How big of a bottleneck is it? Not much. CPU and RAM have much more to do with how After Effects works.

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          • 2. Re: How big of a bottleneck is a weak graphics card?
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            I second what Szalam said. The hardware that I recommend that people optimize for After Effects performance is RAM (lots of it), CPUs (fast ones, and multiple), and hard disks (fast ones, and multiple). The video card helps some things, but you should focus on those other things first.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How big of a bottleneck is a weak graphics card?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              Is it similar to video games, where the graphics card has the biggest performance impact,

               

              No, it isn't. However, Todd and Michael have perhaps simplified a bit too much. There are benefits in having a dedicated card.

               

              • Some effects are accelerated. If you only use them, e.g. to do straight color corrections, you may see some boost. However, that will get lost as soon as you throw non-GPU effects in the mix.
              • Several good third party plug-ins use OpenGL or CUDA (Magic Bullet stuff, Sapphire, Optical Flares), so a good card will benefit them.
              • MediaCore can use some hardware to accelerate decoding of compressed footage. In turn, AE may then use its own acceleration functions for the comp, footage and layer panels to allow for faster scrubbing.
              • AE has some 3D OpenGL, if not much. If you work with 3D layers a lot, they would still benefit.
              • Premiere Pro massively uses acceleration features. That becomes relevant, when you work with Dynamic Link to bring over such stuff into AE.

               

              So in all, a dedicated card doesn't hurt. There is no need to go crazy, though. Even a 80 Euro card should provide sufficient performance boost. Just be careful with third-party stuff and Premiere. They do require specific tested/ certified cards.

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: How big of a bottleneck is a weak graphics card?
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                I don't disagree with what Mylenium said. I would just put a good graphics card at fourth on my list of aspects of my hardware to max out. I have a Quadro CX in my personal computer, but I got that after I had already gotten the maximum RAM and multiple fast internal hard disks.

                • 5. Re: How big of a bottleneck is a weak graphics card?
                  roflwaffle_ Level 1

                  Thanks for all the feedback guys! Much appreciated!