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Best system configuration for Adobe After Effects? Custom build questions ... THX

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William Sampson
Best system configuration for Adobe After Effects? Custom build questions ... THX
on Apr 12, 2013 at 7:22:32 pm

Greetings Gurus,

It is time to upgrade from Adobe Master Collect CS4 to its CS6+ cloud equivalent. My primary application is Adobe After Effects but all applications are used one time or another.

In preparation for this transition, I am building the most cost-effective machine possible using both new and old equipment. Your advice is appreciated in advance.

Summary: Optimized for Adobe After Effects running on Windows 7 Ultimate 64, this build-focus has been RAM and the fastest yet most cost-effective hard drive configuration. MB and CPU seem price-point standard. CPU is entry. Will upgrade when the Intel i7 is cheap. Given After Effect’s RAM hunger on the dedicated RAM per processor setting, 4x8GB for 32GB was chosen to max the board at cost-effective 1600 mhz.

Hard dive configuration: most articles read state separating OS, APPS, caches, and Media to separate hard drives is best. Given 3 existing drives, a 250GB 10K/rpm drive was added for OS on 6 Gb/s port. APPS and cache get 3Gb/s 1TB drives. Media files get 3TB 6 Gb/s drive and connection.

Questions:
• Is there an optimal RAM and hard drive configuration for After Effects 6.0+ (cloud version)?
• Can a second graphic card be added to existing EVGA GeForce 9400 to utilize 3 monitors?

Thanks,
Sam Samson
TechArt Studios


Adobe After Effect/Media Production Computer – Upgrade Review

Core: Motherboard/RAM/CPU/fan
• Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard (TOBUY)
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Intel-1155-Motherboard-GA-Z77-DS3H/dp/B007R2...
• RAM: (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Memory (TOBUY)
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Desktop-Memory-CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10/d...
• CPU: Intel Core-i5 3350P Quad-Core Processor 3.1 Ghz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 (TOBUY)
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-3350P-Quad-Core-Processor/dp/B0093H8NBY...
• Cooler Master V8 - CPU Cooler with 8 Heat Pipes and Mirror-Finished Base (OWNED)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KUV2KQ/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i02?ie=U...

Hard Drives: 4 drive SATA configuration
Notes: All drives utilized without RAID. Will consider external SATA III RAID array when needed.

• C: Drive: 250GB: Windows 7 Ultimate(OWNED)
• TOBUY: WD VelociRaptor 250 GB Workstation Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 10000 RPM, SATA III, 64 MB Cache
http://www.amazon.com/VelociRaptor-250-Workstation-Hard-Drive/dp/B007V5A1BK...
• Configuration: Connected to first SATA III 6 Gb/s port.
• D: APPS: 1TB
• OWNED: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Black-WD1001FALS/dp/B001C271MA...
• Configuration: Connected to first SATA II 3 Gb/s port.
• E: Projects and Media: 3TB
• OWNED: Seagate Barracuda 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Drive
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005T3GRLY/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=U...
• Configuration: 2nd SATA III 3 Gb/s port.
• F: App Caches/Windows Swap: 1TB
• OWNED: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Black-WD1001FALS/dp/B001C271MA...
• Configuration: 2nd SATA II 3 Gb/s port.
• Z: Backup: 4TB
• TOBUY: Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Desktop-External-STCA4000100/dp/B00829...
• Configuration: Backup C: (system image). D: and F: (data).

Additional Equipment (OWNED)
GPU: Graphics Card
• EVGA GeForce 9400 GT 1 GB DDR2 PCI-E 2.0 Graphics Card
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EH8FZA/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i02?ie=U...
• Question: Can inexpensive card be added for 3 monitor capability?

Case: ATX Mid Tower
• Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GQMHBI/ref=oh_details_o00_s06_i00?ie=U...

Power Supply 750W with GPU connectors.
• Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X2677A/ref=oh_details_o00_s08_i02?ie=U...


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Walter Soyka
Re: Best system configuration for Adobe After Effects? Custom build questions ... THX
on Apr 12, 2013 at 8:43:56 pm

[William Sampson] "Is there an optimal RAM and hard drive configuration for After Effects 6.0+ (cloud version)?"

32 GB of RAM for a quad-core CPU will be more than enough. See the recommended memory & multiprocessing settings [link] for some advice on setting Ae preferences.

My vote is one HDD for OS/apps -- optionally SSD.
One HDD for media/project files -- optionally RAID.
One HDD for Ae cache -- preferably SSD.


[William Sampson] "Can a second graphic card be added to existing EVGA GeForce 9400 to utilize 3 monitors?"

Yes. Consider replacing this with a more modern GeForce GTX-series card for improved ray-tracing performance in Ae CS6.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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William Sampson
Re: Best system configuration for Adobe After Effects? Custom build questions ... THX
on Apr 13, 2013 at 8:41:29 pm

Thanks Walter. Good advice on SSD and drive/file arrangements.

C: 250GB SSD with OS and APPS (TOBUY)
D: Media/Projects. 2x 1TB in RAID 0
E: AE cache. Old 250GB SATA? drive.
F: 3TB as backup and data overflow.

For extra GPU, will read up on ray-tracing and GeForce GTX series. Thx

Peace2U
W. Sampson


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Sean Bates
Re: Best system configuration for Adobe After Effects? Custom build questions ... THX
on Apr 15, 2013 at 12:24:49 am

You should consider getting a GTX670 or GTX680 card. Not sure if they're in your price range but either one of those cards can run a triple monitor setup on its own and will do great in After Effects or Premiere. Be warned though, once you go to three monitors, anything else feels like editing in a box :)


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Jason Jantzen
Re: Best system configuration for Adobe After Effects? Custom build questions ... THX
on Apr 15, 2013 at 8:22:57 pm

I have the 680 and can say that ray tracing 3D is actually workable with it at 720p. Nothing is really like butter at 1080p unless you break out some big big guns, like 2 quadro cards or something.

Anyway, Tigerdirect has the card here for $444 (rebate), which is where I got it about a month ago. That's the best price I could find on the net, unless there's a sale somewhere else.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=...

Jason Jantzen
vimeo.com/jasonj


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