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Setting up a new Mac Pro: Disk Cache, Multi Processing

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Rens Wegerif
Setting up a new Mac Pro: Disk Cache, Multi Processing
on Apr 17, 2014 at 11:07:59 am
Last Edited By Rens Wegerif on Apr 17, 2014 at 11:08:24 am

Hello everybody,

Tried to dig this out in the forums, but only to return with more questions than answers. This week my new Mac Pro was delivered. Here are the specs:

3,0 Ghz 8 core 25 mb l3-cache
4x8 gb 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
512 GB PCIe-flash memory
2 AMD FirePro d700 GPU

When I opened After Effects CC, I wasn't to impressed right away. However, tuning some preferences, there was this little blue line that started growing on the timeline. Found out it was the disk cache, which made sure I could easily scroll through my project.

However, sometimes this disk cache stops growing, when I edit something in the comp.
Did I have to much expectations, or is there something I can do to make sure my Mac blasts through my work and keeps doing that?

I set the Disk cache as following:

Enable Media & Disk Cache
Maximum Disk Cache Size 80 GB
Folder: Users/renswegerif/Library/Caches
Conformed Media Cache
/Users/renswegerif/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common

The Multiprocessing looks like this:
Installed RAM 32
Reserved for other application: 3

Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously

Installed CPUs 16
CPUs reserved for other applications: 4
RAM per background CPU: 1 GB
CPUs that will be used: 12

Concluding: Is there a way to keep After Effects render and render and render to the disk cache (blue line)? It looks like it had enough after an hour or so, and stops rendering that blue line. Emptying the disk cache makes no difference. Am I missing something here...?

Thanks for your help in advance,

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Walter Soyka
Re: Setting up a new Mac Pro: Disk Cache, Multi Processing
on Apr 17, 2014 at 3:59:00 pm

I think your memory & multiprocessing settings are a little aggressive. You definitely want to leave more memory for background applications -- probably 8 GB. You may also see better performance by leaving half of your CPUs available for other applications. This will give the remaining CPUs for Ae access to more RAM and let them work more efficiently.

Ae does not do speculative rendering; it is not always rendering things in the background just in case you want to use them. The best ways to fill the disk cache are by RAM previewing (Ae will dump this to the disk cache when it can), and by explicitly caching the work area in the background, which tells Ae to start a background process to render and cache the current comp's work area. Cmd+Return is the hotkey; the command is also located in the Composition menu.

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Rens Wegerif
Re: Setting up a new Mac Pro: Disk Cache, Multi Processing
on Apr 18, 2014 at 7:02:31 am

Hello Walter,

Thanks for your reply. I'll give it a shot. It's a shame though After Effects doesn't render comps to the disk cache or ram cache right away, since there is a lot of work memory on this machine. That would be a nice feature, wouldn't it?

I find this hardware set-up a real challenge, it can be the bottle-neck for al of your work. Guess it will be a lot of trail and error?

Also, with AE CC, it would be nice for Adobe to create some downloadable settings on their website; just select how many cores you have, select your graphics card, memory etcetera and here you are, your settings.

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