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After Effects + Threadripper CPU: Your Experience?

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Peter Derek
After Effects + Threadripper CPU: Your Experience?
on Nov 29, 2017 at 7:12:55 pm

I've read a lot of posts and watched quite a few YT videos related to content creation and AMD's new Threadripper CPU. Most technical reviewers tend to focus on experiences and benchmarks with Premiere Pro; scant attention for AE. Interested to hear your experience in the AMD corner, especially if you transitioned from the 1700x or 1800x to the top-of-line Threadripper 1950x.

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Joachim Barrum
Re: After Effects + Threadripper CPU: Your Experience?
on Dec 13, 2017 at 7:59:37 am

I built a machine recently with 1950X Thredripper...with content creation in mind.
After my own experience with this I would recommend everyone working with motion and motion graphics, particularly in Adobe After Effects and Premiere to star FAR away from Threadripper. Not because Threadripper isn't a nice CPU, but Adobe is so far behind on optimizing their programs for modern multithreaded systems that your overall experience will be MUCH worse. The more cores and lower clockspeed, the worse After Effects will get. A simple gaming rig with as high Clockspeed as possible will get you much farther in AE, in particular. Just look at and their speedtests (which only includes renderspeed data)

I have two identical systems, only difference is the CPU and motherboard.
Both have:
Ram: 128 gb at 2400MhZ
HDD: 2TB 960 Pro 3500/2100 MB/s Read/write
GPU: GTX 1080Ti

The scene is a a simple scene, mostly just a few layers with a lot of vector shapes. Just look at these videos and compare, you will see how much slower the UI responsiveness and preview rendering is on the 1950X compared to the 6850K Intel CPU. This is not only happening in this scene, it is my overall experience in After Effects and even with nothing except a Solid Color, scrubbing the timeline on the Threadripper is a depressing experience. So an expensive computer with tons of cores won't give you a better working experience. And After Effects doesn't render the final shot any faster than the full quality preview is rendering, so cores won't get you anywhere....sadly.

Computer #1 has a 4,4GhZ Overclocked 6 core intel CPU:

Computer #2 has a Overclocked 1950X Threadripper 3.8GhZ CPU:

This was a lot of text, sorry..But it's important to get this info out there. People think buying an expensive computer, a Mac Pro or now iMac Pro would make their experience in Adobe programs better, when it will in fact do the exact opposite. . Hopefully Adobe reads this and see how horribly bad their optimizations are.

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Peter Derek
Re: After Effects + Threadripper CPU: Your Experience?
on Dec 13, 2017 at 4:20:00 pm

Thanks for presenting these real-world examples of AE rendering performance with an Intel CPU and AMD's Threadripper. Most of the YouTube video reviews of Threadripper showcase it as the chip for all seasons. Including content creation. But all they really offer are raw benchmark outputs, no real-world experiences and very little to no AE experience. The attitude seems to be the more cores the merrier, gaming or editing videos in PPro.

Not so.

I was still headed in the direction of Threadripper after I posted the question, but kept on coming back to the Puget System research. Then I did more research, asked more questions in various communities, and got one of two responses: 1) TR is fast, lots more cores for less money , it's not Intel, you can't go wrong, it's not Intel, it's blazing fast, it's not Intel. 2) Programs like AE do better on a single core, load up on RAM (64-128GB), and use the fastest separate disk cache you can get (think fastest M.2 you can get for separate cache disk, 250-500GB).

Yesterday my CPU arrived, the i7-8700K. The top-performing chip from the Puget research. And half the cost of the Threadripper. For 2D rendering performance, it's the right decision. But not for all. If you primarily work in 3D animation, Cinema 4D...the Puget research would say Threadripper may be a better solution.

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Joachim Barrum
Re: After Effects + Threadripper CPU: Your Experience?
on Dec 13, 2017 at 5:55:51 pm

Yes, you are right, everyone just post raw benchmark result. Since pretty much none of the youtubers are actual content creators they only rely on benchmark numbers. But, the overall experience working with the program is a totally different matter.
Like Pugetsystems points out (even though they as well only provide benchmarks numbers, at least its focused on the actual programs, not Cinebench etc..)...I'm glad I had a chance to actually test it, it gives me a good indication for my future investments...and hopefully it will alert a few that are looking to upgrade their CPU.
I would say, anyone buying a 1950X, i9 or a xeon processor solely for the purpose of using After Effects and Premiere are spending a lot of money to get a low performing system.

Photoshop is also affected by this. Brush strokes and such are less responsive with a Wacom (I've tested this as well). Only multicore filters such as radial blur improves. Which in the end isn't what matters.

You made a good choice not following the hype of the Threadripper. i7-8700K is probably the best CPU you can buy for adobe software currently. And, based on how long it is since Adobe said they would start optimizing AE for modern machines, I think its safe to say we won't see much improvement on the CPU utilization of Adobe software for years to come.

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Michael Szalapski
Re: After Effects + Threadripper CPU: Your Experience?
on Dec 15, 2017 at 3:45:32 pm

It's hard to beat Puget Systems' website for getting hardware advice! They've got several pages of stuff for After Effects alone. I would recommend starting here:
They compare a LOT of different CPUs - including Threadripper - with similar other specs to really see what is best in AE.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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