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Specs for Mac Pro using AE

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noah klersfeld
Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 4, 2015 at 11:31:03 pm

Hello

I am looking to buy a new mac pro. my most demanding work is in After Effects making projects with 400 to 900 masks each on their own layer. for rendering this out am i looking for cores, processing speed, ram? i am hoping not to max out all of them. i did that last time for my current machine (2 x 2.93 Ghz 6-Core Xeon, 64G RAM) and it was very expensive and it still takes 4-6 hours to render 1 minute of footage.

Thank you
Noah


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Kevin Camp
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 5, 2015 at 1:04:54 am

you won't see a huge performance boost from the new mac pro compared to the mac that you currently have. at least not from a processing viewpoint. and with a new mac pro you will also be buying 2 fairly expensive graphics cards that after effects will not make much use of...

from the sounds of it, your biggest enemy may be ram... 900 layers is a lot to hold in memory.

the new mac pro's ssd may improve render times by giving you a significantly faster disk caching. however you could probably outfit your current mac pro with a ssd or two that could give you a similar performance boost for a fraction of the cost of a new mac pro (which isn't really new anymore, they came out in 2013 and haven't been updated since).

here's alink to some benchmarks comparing a ssd upgrade for a 2009 mac pro with the ssd performance of a new mac pro:

http://barefeats.com/hard200.html

i'm not endorsing the product, i've not used it, but it does look promising.

i would do some more research, and hopefully others can give more input, but that's my 2-cents.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 5, 2015 at 5:39:28 pm

Thanks Kevin - I will look into SSD for my current system. Appreciate the advice!


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noah klersfeld
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 5, 2015 at 5:43:34 pm

Kevin - My RAM is 64G and when I am running render queue in AE it reads 8% RAM utilization at the bottom of the rendering interface. What does this mean?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 5, 2015 at 1:25:08 am

AT THE MOMENT....

AE likes fast processors and a fair amount of RAM -- think 16 - 32 GB.

That's at the moment. And it all depends on the version of AE you're running, too.

On that particular topic, avoid ANY version of AE that's newer than the last iteration of AE CC 2014, which was 13.2.5 or something like that. 13.5 or over? Treat it like it's plutonium. No kidding. It's perilous software for people who are mere users. You could ace the IT Guy exam? Knock yourself out.

Adobe's working on all-new code that promises to bring rendering speed that's competitive with other compositing applications out there. When will it be ready? Cripes, I don't think even the Adobe folks are sure.

You can't buy for the future when you don't know what the future might bring. If you're looking at a new machine just 'cause you'd like to have one, I'd advise against it... particularly if you're buying it with Adobe applications in mind.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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noah klersfeld
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 5, 2015 at 5:42:18 pm

Thanks Dave - I will look to boost my processors without getting a new machine. My RAM is 64G and when I am running render queue in AE it reads 8% RAM utilization at the bottom of the rendering interface. What does this mean? I am running AE5 at the moment.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 5, 2015 at 8:21:29 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Dec 6, 2015 at 5:10:42 pm

Is this AE CS5? I'd guess the answer is yes.

And I would NOT upgrade the OS. Older applications on new operating systems frequently mske the apps do weird things.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kevin Camp
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 7, 2015 at 5:31:32 pm

Dave's right about not upgrading the OS... CS5 does not work for me on Yosemite. Interestingly, CS4 does with just a few minor hiccups.

As for your RAM usage, do you have multiprocessing enabled in CS5 (preferences>memory & multiprocessing, checkmark for 'render multiple frames simultaneously')?

if so, what are the other settings on that panel?

if not, you may want to enable that, and here's a few links you might want to take a look at to help with understanding the settings to get you started:

https://www.video2brain.com/en/lessons/using-render-multiple-frames-simulta...

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2010/10/please-try-recommended-memory-s...

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2009/12/performance-tip-dont-starve-yo....

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2010/03/performance-tip-dont-oversched....

also, with your comps with 400-900 layers with masks, are those 400-900 layers typically an image sequence or are they layered together, overlapping each other in the timeline?

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 7, 2015 at 6:57:05 pm

OK Thanks Kevin
I am running 10.6.8 so thats good.

Render Multiple Frames is enabled. From there the numbers going down the list are:
24 CPU / 10 CPU for AE / 3GB RAM per background CPU / 14 Actual CPU used.

Above that is 64G RAM / 16G RAM for other apps / 48G RAM for for AE.

The 400-900 layers overlap each other in the timeline.

Noah


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Kevin Camp
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 7, 2015 at 7:57:29 pm

those settings seem pretty good for your machine.... i'm still surprised at the low ram usage and the slow render times.

you might open the activity monitor (applications>utilities), click the cpu tab to view processes and start a render and watch the 'aeselflink' processes and see how much cpu usage each is using. you would hope to see numbers over 100%, if not there may be a data bottleneck somewhere in your system (or you maybe using an effect that does not work with 'render frames simultaneously', there are a few).

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: Specs for Mac Pro using AE
on Dec 7, 2015 at 6:58:20 pm

thank you Dave yes CS5 and I am running 10.6.8


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