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New AE / C4D machine in the region of £4k - £6k

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Stephen Ong
New AE / C4D machine in the region of £4k - £6k
on Jan 18, 2015 at 1:00:50 pm

Hi guys, looking to get a machine for AE built, the bulk of my clients require 2D animation, using mainly illustrator graphics but also looking to introduce 3D into my independent work to experiment, and potentially use for clients in the future.

I've never used PC for animation before so I'm unsure of specs, so figured it's good to ask on here for any recommendations specific to AE / 3D that I'd need to look out for,
I want to spend similar region to a moderate Mac Pro on PC.

RAM, was going to max at 64GB, but then what sort of processor setup do i need to make the most out of this?
What graphics card do I need for 3D, are there recommended cards depending on software?
Also would like to have 3 displays connected, one is a Cintiq, will this effect graphics card?

I have an external Lacie SSD drive but would probably get 2x SSD's in the machine, one to use as cache, What sort of connection do I need for these within the machine to ensure the quickest speed or is it just a default connection? I'm not building this machine myself, will be paying for the build.

I'm coming from a Mac but haven't been overly impressed with the Mac Pros I've used whilst freelancing, and a friend of mine who directs for production houses in London tells me big production houses never use Mac for animation as their just not at the same level, any truth in this?

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Walter Soyka
Re: New AE / C4D machine in the region of £4k - £6k
on Jan 19, 2015 at 11:15:04 am

Stephen, you are pretty much in a "spend more, get more" situation. Both Ae and C4D will exploit multiple CPU cores. As you note, Ae will require a lot of RAM to do this effectively.

Neither Ae nor C4D particularly care about your GPU. They are both overwhelmingly CPU-bound.

You can use the processors in the Macs you're already familiar with as a guideline for what you may find acceptable.

I was a Mac guy for a long time, but I started using PCs in my business about three years ago. I was personally somewhat disappointed with the design of the current Mac Pro system; it's got only a single CPU and thus can be easily outclassed by a dual-CPU system.

However, the nMP's PCIe-connected solid state storage is very fast and a nice thing to have come standard. Internally connected SATA3 SSDs are common on the PC side, and are fast enough for practical use, but are not as fast as the nMP's internal storage. You can get PCIe-connected flash storage for the PC (such as HP's Z Drive, Fusion IO, or similar) but it's not cheap.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

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