FORUMS: list search recent posts

Questions regarding PC setup & general advice

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Roy Gerbille
Questions regarding PC setup & general advice
on Apr 20, 2016 at 8:24:59 pm

Dear people on this forum,

I'm currently studying AE at college. I want to upgrade my PC to improve my workflow in programs such as Premier Pro and AE. I use this PC both for practicing and learning programs such as AE, and for my hobbies (making montages with special effects and editing amateur video footage).
I currently have a i7-4790k cpu, gtx 970 gpu, only 1x 250gb SSD (no HDD), and 2x4gb RAM.

I am thinking about upgrading to 16gb RAM and buying a Samsung 850 EVO 500gb SSD and the WD Black WD1003FZEX 1tb HDD. I have quite a few questions (I'm not very technical, so forgive any stupid questions), and I'd appreciate it a lot if someone could answer (some of) these questions:

- I know AE is very RAM intensive, and the more of it the better. I know that you should aim for 4gb RAM per CPU core and that, for example, 32 RAM for a 4 core CPU is useless. My CPU has 4 cores + 4 ''virtual cores''. Does that mean that I should aim for 32gb, or 16gb? I read that AE CC doesn't support multithreading anymore, so my CPU is basically regarded as a 4 core CPU in AE. And since AE CC doesn't utilize my 4 virtual cores, 32gb instead of 16gb wouldn't improve my performance, correct?

- Regarding rendering, there isn't a ''Cores Reserved For Other Applications'' options right? Like, you can't choose how many of the cores AE can use during rendering, and a percentage that is reserved for other programs? However, you can do this with RAM if I understand correctly.
If you're working a lot dynamically between AE and Premiere Pro, what would be an ideal percentage of RAM reserved for AE/PR? Something like 60% AE, 30% PR and 10% other programs?


I currently have absolutely everything stacked in a 250gb SSD (very bad, I know). After I purchase my new SSD + HDD, I want to aim for this memory setup:

* 250gb SSD ==> Windows OS and programs (AE, PR, etc.)
* 500gb SSD ==> Disk Cache, active media and video games
* 1tb HDD ==> Finished (exported) projects

Would this be a good memory setup? I see a lot of people use the term ''active media''. With that, do they mean they make a special folder on the 500gb SSD called ''active project'' and drop all the necessary media for that project in that folder? And when they're done and have exported the final product to the HDD, they delete the contents of ''active project''?
I know most people recommend using an entire SSD for only disk cache + active media, but can I store video games on that drive in addition?
A few other questions regarding memory management:

- At 'preferences' => Media & Disk cache. What is exactly 'Conformed Media Cache'? I know that frames with a blue line above in the timeline are stored in the media cache, and that rendering those frames for a video preview is considerably faster.

- Regarding the maximum disk cache size, should I just leave it at 500gb, even if I want to install games on that drive? Because I don't think the disk cache will ever reach that maximum anyway.

Finally, if someone has any tips how to optimize my hardware optimally, or just any tips in general, always appreciated!

(I hope I posted this in the correct section).


Return to posts index

Soham Jani
Re: Questions regarding PC setup & general advice
on Apr 20, 2016 at 10:22:31 pm
Last Edited By Soham Jani on Apr 20, 2016 at 10:23:00 pm

Well, your setup doesn't seem that bad. But I found a guy who also does a lot of editing and whatnot and he made a vlog about his new rig for editing, so you should check it out!







"It's all around us Neo, temporary constructs of time....."


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Questions regarding PC setup & general advice
on Apr 21, 2016 at 1:47:18 am

[Roy Gerbille] " I know AE is very RAM intensive, and the more of it the better. I know that you should aim for 4gb RAM per CPU core and that, for example, 32 RAM for a 4 core CPU is useless."

Nope, the more the better. I'd consider the old standard "4 GB per core" as the minimum. Ae CC 2014 and previous renders a lot better with a lot of RAM because it can spawn multiple instances of the renderer, each working in its own space in RAM, to render multiple frames simultaneously. All version of Ae from CS6 forward are more interactive with lots of RAM, because they can use it to cache rendered frames extensively as you work and preview.


[Roy Gerbille] "My CPU has 4 cores + 4 ''virtual cores''. Does that mean that I should aim for 32gb, or 16gb?"

I'd go for as much as your motherboard supports.


[Roy Gerbille] "I read that AE CC doesn't support multithreading anymore, so my CPU is basically regarded as a 4 core CPU in AE."

That's not exactly what multithreading means. Let me try to put this in context specifically for After Effects.

Ae is currently in transition. Ae CC 2015 represents a major architectural change in which the renderer and the GUI have been separated for the first time in Ae's 20+ year history. This means that the renderer is no longer blocked by UI interactions, and the UI is no longer blocked by rendering. Eventually, this will hopefully provide the groundwork for a much more modern Ae.

Ae CC 2015 does not support the old "render multiple frames simultaneously" feature, also known in Ae parlance as multiprocessing, and described briefly above. Hopefully as this under-the-hood development continues, Ae will be able to take much more efficient advantage of computer resources than it does today.

Ae CC 2014 (versions 13.0 through 13.2) and Ae CC 2015 (versions 13.5 and higher) are all version 13.x, which means that they use compatible project files. My studio generally works in 2015 because of the improved interactivity, but renders from 2014 to take advantage of our big hardware and multiprocessing. As a CC subscriber, you are entitled to all version of Ae from CS6 on, and it's no problem at all to run 2014 and 2015 side by side.


[Roy Gerbille] "And since AE CC doesn't utilize my 4 virtual cores, 32gb instead of 16gb wouldn't improve my performance, correct?"

Not entirely correct; see above, and please ask questions if anything I've written is unclear.


[Roy Gerbille] "Regarding rendering, there isn't a ''Cores Reserved For Other Applications'' options right? Like, you can't choose how many of the cores AE can use during rendering, and a percentage that is reserved for other programs? "

There is with Ae CC 2014 and its multiprocessing feature. There is not with Ae CC 2015 which lacks multiprocessing.


[Roy Gerbille] "If you're working a lot dynamically between AE and Premiere Pro, what would be an ideal percentage of RAM reserved for AE/PR? Something like 60% AE, 30% PR and 10% other programs?"

Memory reservation works across the Adobe apps (Ae, Pr, Pl, AME, Ps, Sg and Au); you cannot allocate RAM specifically to Ae versus Pr. Reserve at least 25% of your RAM for other applications and let Adobe manage memory among its own apps.



[Roy Gerbille] "* 250gb SSD ==> Windows OS and programs (AE, PR, etc.)
* 500gb SSD ==> Disk Cache, active media and video games
* 1tb HDD ==> Finished (exported) projects"


That's pretty good. I'd consider moving active media onto the spinning rust (HDD), but it probably doesn't matter much. The video games don't matter at all, except that they will take up space that your disk cache would happily consume.


[Roy Gerbille] "What is exactly 'Conformed Media Cache'? I know that frames with a blue line above in the timeline are stored in the media cache, and that rendering those frames for a video preview is considerably faster. "

Ae transcodes some media from their native formats to a format that's easier to play and scrub in real time. For example, many audio formats are compressed, and Adobe apps like Ae and Pr transcode these to a lossless format and store them in the Conformed Media Cache.

This is NOT the Ae timeline's blue line. That is simply called the Disk Cache.



[Roy Gerbille] "Regarding the maximum disk cache size, should I just leave it at 500gb, even if I want to install games on that drive? Because I don't think the disk cache will ever reach that maximum anyway.
"


You will be shocked at how quickly the disk cache grows.

The disk cache stores uncompressed "layer-frames." For example, a 10-layer, 100-frame composition can generate 1,100 cache files (one per layer per frame, plus one per frame for the comp overall). A 1920x1080 @ 8bpc raster takes about 8 MB to store, so that 100-frame comp will soak up over 8 GB.

Also, the disk cache stores these layer-frames that have been rendered but are not currently in use, and associates them with the properties and settings that created them. When you can set up a comp, import some footage, apply some effects, and preview them, the intermediates and results are cached. If you change the properties of the effects, when Ae renders a preview, it will cache the new intermediates and results. If you undo, Ae still has the original renders cached and will instantly reload them without re-rendering.

All these rendered permutations are saved, uncompressed, in the cache, up to the maximum size you specify.

tl;dr -- you should definitely specify the upper limit of the cache.

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


Return to posts index


Roy Gerbille
Re: Questions regarding PC setup & general advice
on Apr 21, 2016 at 11:15:17 am

Thank you for your elaborate reply!

Ah, so the more RAM the better still applies, even for my 4-core CPU. My motherboard supports 32gb max, so I'll just go with that.
I will consider using Ae 2015 in conjunction with 2014, to take advantage of multiprocessing.

''That's pretty good. I'd consider moving active media onto the spinning rust (HDD)''

I guess that's what they mean with: ''For improved performance, choose a disk cache folder on a fast hard drive or SSD separate from your footage and allocate as much space as possible''?

So basically:

* 250gb SSD ==> Windows OS and programs (AE, PR, etc.)
* 500gb SSD ==> Disk Cache and video games
* 1tb HDD ==> Active media and finished (exported) projects.

So I just make 1 folder with ''active media'' and 1 folder with ''finished projects'' on my HDD? And a good workflow would be:

- Store all footage/files I want to use in my ''active media''
- Export finished project to my ''finished projects folder''
- Choose ''empty disk cache'' (and ''clean database & cache''?) when finished with project


Finally, I still don't quite understand the difference between Disk Cache and Conformed Media Cache. Particularly the options under ''Conformed Media Cache'' confuse me: it gives me the option to choose folders for both database and cache (what's the difference?).
Are they all just part of the Disk Cache that I put on my 500gb SSD? And I make seperate folders for my ''disk cache'' and ''conformed media cache'', and in the conformed media cache folder I make two folders: ''database'' and ''cache'' folder?


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Questions regarding PC setup & general advice
on Apr 21, 2016 at 4:18:26 pm

[Roy Gerbille] "So I just make 1 folder with ''active media'' and 1 folder with ''finished projects'' on my HDD?"

Sure.


[Roy Gerbille] "- Store all footage/files I want to use in my ''active media''
- Export finished project to my ''finished projects folder''
- Choose ''empty disk cache'' (and ''clean database & cache''?) when finished with project"


No need to empty the disk cache. Ae will prune it for you to keep within its allotted space.

You may want to occasionally Clean Database and Cache, though, as the conformed media files can add up.


[Roy Gerbille] "Finally, I still don't quite understand the difference between Disk Cache and Conformed Media Cache. Particularly the options under ''Conformed Media Cache'' confuse me: it gives me the option to choose folders for both database and cache (what's the difference?)."

Conformed Media Cache stores transcoded media, derived from your originals. If you import an MP3 audio file, it may be transcoded to a lossless audio file and stored in the Conformed Media Cache. The database manages the association between the original media files and the conformed transcodes Adobe creates.

The Disk Cache is the bit that helps After Effects remember things you've already worked on and previewed in Ae.


[Roy Gerbille] "Are they all just part of the Disk Cache that I put on my 500gb SSD? And I make seperate folders for my ''disk cache'' and ''conformed media cache'', and in the conformed media cache folder I make two folders: ''database'' and ''cache'' folder?"

You can point them all to the same folder; they'll create their own subfolders.

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


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]