20 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2011 3:34 PM by Cysteine

    Best Desktop

    Rajan Pandit

      Please guide me for the best pc configuration for After efects cs4 with my sony handycam XR550.... It preapare .mts files with full high definition but my pc with intel core 2 dual core 2.8 with 4 gam ram with nvidia 8400 gs 512 mb graphic card play this file in after effects very slow..... guide me for the best pc configurations.............................

        • 1. Re: Best Desktop
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Converting your compressed source files to a more appropriate format, like lossless Quicktime files, will greatly improve AE's efficiency.


          Your existing system also has too little RAM. A minimum of 8GB would be preferable.


          If you're determined to buy a new system, get the fastest CPU(s) you can afford.  Make sure you have a minimum of 2GB of RAM per CPU core.  Ideally, have 4GB per core.  Upgrade to After Effects CS5.  Make sure you're using a true 64bit OS.  If you've got any money left over, store your source material on fast RAID drives to improve performance. Don't overdo it on a graphics card - any mid-range display card with decent specs should be fine.

          • 2. Re: Best Desktop
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            Andrew said exactly what I would have said.


            Once you've actually got the computer, you'll probably want to read this:

            "FAQ: What are the optimum memory and processor settings for best performance with After Effects CS5?"

            Reading it now might give you an idea of how to balance the factors that Andrew mentioned when making a buying decision.

            • 3. Re: Best Desktop
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Best is more than most powerful and fastest. Best means most stable and easiest to maintain OS, most dependable hardware from the cpu cooling system to the power supply. Best means customer support and warranty. Best means you get the most work done in a year with the least amount of maintenance while calculating cost of ownership + cost of maintenance against productive billable hours against lost time and frustration. Best also involves the display. Can you calibrate color? How accurate is the display? How easy is it to sit and stare at it all day long?


              Today "Best" may be a shiny new Dell crammed with memory and backed by a 3 year service contract or it may be a shiny new MacPro with 12 cores and a fiber channel array custom configured by a specialist VAR.


              I think you're looking for most bang for my buck and I can deal with a little frustration here and there while I'm trying to find the right drivers or dig through the case or the configuration files to make the system stop crashing all the time. If that is the case take a look at the recommendations already given to estimate the most power you can afford then take a look at the forums and try to figure out which OS seems to have the most user frustration. At one time in my life I was spending at three or four days a month just rebuilding the OS and re-installing software to keep my systems up and running. In the last 3 years I never had to nuke the hard drive and start over. Everything has been working well enough and fast enough that I can complete my projects on time without staying up all night to make a deadline. If I were to buy a new machine today I'm not sure what it would be, but I'd probably stick with the OS and the hardware manufacturer that I use for my main machines because they have both performed better than expected. I'd spend a little more on the chance that reliability would continue. If I was going to upgrade my system at the end of the year I'd start watching the forums and track OS problems and hardware problems. I'd check the tech news sources and see what was coming down the pipe from the manufacturers. Then, when it came time to buy, I'd make the decision on what I had learned and I'd spend as much as I could afford on the system that I thought would give me another 3 or 4 years of service with the least maintenance and highest level of productivity.


              I'll let you guess what I'm using. I'll let you guess what I'd buy today. I'll recommend that you consider all options and carefully consider what your time is worth.

              • 4. Re: Best Desktop
                bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

                I don't have any problem making a one-word statement: Macintosh.



                • 5. Re: Best Desktop

                  I read your post and I want to ask you for a little help,I'm planing to  buy a pc for working with adobe after effects ccs4/5,but to be honest I  don't know what are the best performances or at least not the best,but  pc that can work pretty good,I don't understand the RAID technology,I read about it on some forums and wiki but  still that's not enough,I spent a lot of time for collecting money to  buy a new desktop,so it will be so much of help if you give me help with  buying the right one.This is the configuration I'm planing to buy and I  want you to tell me what should I change about it,do I need more RAM or  what should I do with the RAID,or to say it more simple what should I  tell them how to set up my configuration.
                  I will really appriciate if you can help me with that.In question are a  lot of money for my budget so there is no turning back,hope I'll get  soon answer,thank you.

                  • Intel Core i7 920
                  • MB MSI X58-Pro
                  • HDD 1TB (2x500GB)
                  • RAM DDR3 6GB/1333
                  • VGA MSI N260GTX TwinFrozr OC
                  • Sound blaster 7.1
                  • 2 x LAN 10/100/1000
                  • Case CoolerMaster / 550W Chieftec PSU
                  • Optical: DVDR/RW LG GH22NS40                                            
                  This configuration costs about 900EU,I can afford 100EU plus.

                  • 6. Re: Best Desktop
                    Todd_Kopriva Level 8



                    The computer that you described looks like it will run After Effects OK. If you have a little extra money to spend, I suggest spending it on more RAM.


                    Don't worry about RAID. You have two hard disks, which is good. Just put the applications and OS on one and put media on the other. Make sure that you make frequent backups/archives of your important data.

                    • 7. Re: Best Desktop
                      Cysteine Level 1

                      Thank you so much

                      • 8. Re: Best Desktop
                        Dave LaRonde Level 6

                        Please guide me for the best pc configuration for After efects cs4 with my sony handycam XR550.... It preapare .mts files with full high definition


                        Oops!  You're going to have a tough time using the footage from your camera in AE 9.  Incidentally, I think you'll discover that it is NOT "full high definition" -- which to me means 1920x1080 video, but rather 1440x1080.


                        Anyway, back to the footage: the problem with long-gop footage was fixed in AE 10, but you have AE 9.  I often give this answer to pre-AE 10 render strangeness on the Creative COW:


                        Dave's Stock Answer #1:


                        If the footage you imported into AE is  any  kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, mts, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.


                        These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information.  However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information.  Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.


                        In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.


                        I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless.  I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.

                        • 9. Re: Best Desktop
                          Cysteine Level 1

                          I want to thank you again for your answer for the question above,but acctually a problem came,a financial one so I won't be able to buy the previous PC configuration and I must go with not so expensive one,that's sad but what can I do,I just hope I can fix that with another configuration...The question is also the same from the first post but it's this configuration now....I read some posts that only intel i5-760 can work good with AE,but however I want your proffessional opinion cos I really need it.So it goes like this:
                          Intel core i5-760
                          EN GTS450 1 GB DDR 5
                          H55 LGA1156
                          8GB DDR3 1333Mhz
                          HDD 1 TB
                          Case MG858 CM PSU 460W
                          I know this is maybe not so good cofiguration and I just want to work with AE cs5 and I don't know how the rendering will go and stuff,will It change the working time drastically,cos I don't want 0 button preview that lasts for a lifetime in a short duration footage,I would be very thankful If you help me with this one
                          Also I have a question about the motherboard and will I be able to set an intel i7 processor later.
                          Thx again

                          • 10. Re: Best Desktop
                            MichaelScarn Level 1

                            In hopes of getting the best bang for your buck, what is your budget right now and what country do you live in, if we may ask?

                            • 11. Re: Best Desktop
                              Cysteine Level 1

                              Well by reading your post I guess the configuration above is not the right choice?I got that opinion....However I'm from Macedonia,so I don't know how that will help,the price of a desktop PC i suppose is not so different from other country,ok maybe it's more expensive here comparing to lets say USA,but I don't think I will make a big difference.But anyway I would say that configuration is about 600-650 euros and even If I want a space shuttle I can't afford it :),that's my budget so I'm waiting for suggestions,thx anyway,I'm waiting for a reply

                              • 12. Re: Best Desktop
                                MichaelScarn Level 1

                                By no means is it a wrong choice, and what you have for a budget, it looks to be the best you can do for now. The only thing I would say is that, if you plan on upgrading parts of the computer build later on (as funds become available), do the best you can now to make that upgrade an easy one. Buying into a X58 motherboard with an i7 processor, would make the upgrade route more sensible. Go easy on the graphics card for now, maybe even ram too, with the intention of jumping up the RAM first, then the hard drive and graphics card later. From the looks of it however, I'm not sure that would be doable with the budget you have.


                                In the event you want to upgrade, changing out the motherboard, processor and RAM to go to an i7 setup will be a bit of a pain, but workable. The i5 is not bad at all, but the Hyper-Threading with the i7 does really help with video applications. I guess the only change I would make as to the current setup is: go with a Nvidia GT 240 with GDDR5 memory, put some of that savings toward more RAM and go with 2 hard drives versus 1 if possible. 16GB of RAM with an i5 will still be a heck of a machine, and the more hard drives the merrier, but I'd say two is a really good start. But again, that is one of those things that is an easy upgrade path.

                                • 13. Re: Best Desktop
                                  Cysteine Level 1

                                  Thx for your answer but if you don't mind you can help me with detailed configuration,I'll send you some links with price list...there is a price in euros in every product,so lets say I can spend 650 euros,there are so different MB,graphiic cards and processors,and I can read on google wiki or on forums whole day and still make a wrong choice,however if you are really into this you can give me a suggestion.So those are the links:


                                  MB -http://www.set.com.mk/setClient/productgroups.asp?group=18&onpage=105
                                  Proc.- http://www.set.com.mk/setClient/productgroups.asp?group=29&onpage=105
                                  GC-  http://www.set.com.mk/setClient/productgroups.asp?group=29&onpage=105
                                  HD- http://www.set.com.mk/setClient/productgroups.asp?group=35&onpage=105

                                  Ram - http://www.set.com.mk/setClient/productgroups.asp?group=19&onpage=105


                                  Message was edited by: Civci

                                  • 14. Re: Best Desktop
                                    MichaelScarn Level 1

                                    Sorry about the late reply, had a busy day today.


                                    I compiled a bunch of components from that website store and tried my best to stay in your budget:

                                    Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E LX

                                    Processor: Intel i5 750

                                    Graphics Card: ECS GT 240

                                    RAM: 4x4GB of Kingston DDR3 RAM

                                    Hard Drives: (2) Western Digital 500GB AAKX

                                    Case: Cooler Master Elite 370

                                    Power Supply: Corsair CX400


                                    I noticed you didn't have a DVD drive, mouse, keyboard, monitor or operating system in your list of components, so I didn't add that to mine. I would recommend getting one 120mm fan for the case so you have an intake and exhaust. Put the operating system on one of the hard drives, and all your media/source files/etc on the other. Ideally you would get one more hard drive for exports and possibly pagefile/cache for the OS and certain applications, but that isn't necessary.


                                    Now, I can't make any promises as to how well the 4x4GB of RAM will work with that motherboard. If you research anything, that would be something to research and completely out of my expertise (what little I have with ASUS motherboards. Gigabyte and G Skill have always been my bread and butter for any system) One thing I hope you have, if you have any business critical stuff or anything of great value, is an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). I consider UPS's more important than any amount of backups, care for organization or selection of quality computer components. If you don't already have one, it should at the very least be on your "Christmas in July" christmas list.


                                    - The power supply should be sufficient for your current system, but if you were to upgrade the graphics card and processor later on, I would ditch it for something heavier.


                                    - The GPU is more than enough for After Effects and should do well in Premiere Pro if you work at all in that workspace. The only reason I see for upgrading the GPU anytime soon is if you are a video gamer. In which case, the 450 GTS would definitely be a nice card, but the GT 240 is still a nice card some games in the past years.


                                    - I went with 4x4GB of RAM because that is what will make the biggest difference. Otherwise you would be stuck with 4x2GB and no room to upgrade. 8GB is a nice step-up from an older computer, but 16GB is definitely the way to go.


                                    - Make sure you get the Western Digital AAKX and not the AAKS. The AAKS were phenominal in their day, but these new AAKX's use 500GB platters and make a huge improvement in performance from their older brother. The case was cheap, had all the necessities, and Cooler Master has always had nice entry/mid level cases. The Centurion 590 would be a great upgrade for a case, but by no means necessary, and definitely shouldn't be a priority at this time.


                                    - The i5 750 is cheaper than the i5 760 and can always be overclocked to your heart's desire, just like a i5 760.


                                    - And for the motherboard, its tough to say what you will all be needing in the future, and even you might not know that. However, the motherboard I picked should have everything you need for now and for a while.


                                    Just curious, is the work you are doing in After Effects going to be business related, as a hobby, ... ? Things like backups and reliability play a much different role in business work as compared to simple personal interest.


                                    Hope that all helps!

                                    • 15. Re: Best Desktop
                                      Cysteine Level 1

                                      Actually you helped me more than you can imagine,you just made my day or should I say year .I want you to know that I really appreciate the time you spent to help me with this,and all detailed answers and suggestions you gave me.The employees that works in the pc stores here are always trying to sell you something not so good,but I understand them,that's how things go here.This world needs more people like you who just wanna help and not asking anything back.Maybe it's a small favour for many people but for me it's a big one.However I'm going with your configuration,and I will make an order those days.

                                      About your question,well I'm not working,I'm new in this FX world,I'm spending whole days reading books,watching tutorials and working with,believe it or not AE 7 pro,cos I had a pc that doesn't give me other choice.It all started with watching some tutorials from THE Andrew Kramer to reading books from Mark Christiansen,so now I just can't stop,I think I left my bones on my pc
                                      Btw,I don't wanna give you another job and not pay you :D,but If you know some good tutorials,books and stuff you will make my decade I think

                                      However,thank you so much again Michael!!!

                                      • 16. Re: Best Desktop
                                        Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                        > If you know some good tutorials,books and stuff you will make my decade I think



                                        Here's a good place to start:



                                        Here's a comprehensive list of After Effects resources:


                                        • 17. Re: Best Desktop
                                          Cysteine Level 1


                                          • 18. Re: Best Desktop
                                            MichaelScarn Level 1

                                            My first source of learning came from Chris and Trish Meyer. http://www.crishdesign.com/ is their website. I started out on the book "After Effects Apprentice" and "Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects". Granted, the second title was for version 4.1, (long before I started with AE) it explained many of the basics very well. I still have the book and use it as a source for creative problem solving. Their may be tools that automate what used to take hours, it serves the same purpose that teaching math does to students that already have calculators at their sides.


                                            By far the quickest way to learn, after you've become comfortable with the basics, is to take a test drive through your own projects. Refernce whatever tutorials you need if you hit a roadblock. You would be surprised how quickly you can figure things out without the need for help.


                                            Good luck with your endevours! And remember you have a whole forum of experts ready and will to help (and I'm definitely no expert, haha)

                                            • 19. Re: Best Desktop
                                              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                              There's a sample chapter from the After Effects Apprentice book in the resources that I pointed to in my first link. I promise you that the resources in that first link are the best ones for starting with After Effects.

                                              • 20. Re: Best Desktop
                                                Cysteine Level 1

                                                Thank you again,thx to the both,it's easier when someone give you the right direction and the rest of it is up to you,Michael expert no expert you have a years of background in your resume I suppose and you've helped me a lot,and to get an answer from a expert or teacher as Todd Copriva is a great feeling I must say,like that feeling when u're tired and you drink bunch od red bulls,and you feel alive again So much minds made those books tutorials spent so much hours days months, and you just need to follow them and trust them,trust yourself,and dedicate to this job as much as you can,or even more.So I respect you,maybe it doesn't change anything in your life,but in mine it does,so thank you again.I'm a begginer I should say,and I suppose I need a years and years of practice and learning and to say I can work in AE and cs suite,so cos I'm from country where there is no school or course in this subject,this is my only way,and I'm happy about it.Thx again