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iMac with Quad Core and AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 - for After Effects?

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Brian Cooney
iMac with Quad Core and AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 - for After Effects?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:39:36 am

Hi.. I'm needing a new workstation and rather than spend $5000 on a Mac Pro, which isn't equipped for thunderbolt as of yet, would any of you heavy AE workers think the above-mentioned machine specs would be more than adequate for a resource demanding multi-layered AE project?

thanks - B

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates


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Walter Soyka
Re: iMac with Quad Core and AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 - for After Effects?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:05:40 am

Multiprocessing [link] in After Effects greatly benefits from multiple cores and plenty of RAM, so a well-equipped Mac Pro does significantly outperform an iMac. See this BareFeats comparison [link] for some benchmarks.

The GPU does not matter at all for AE's renderer, although it can accelerate some third-party effects.

Only you can decide if the increased performance will be worth the added cost, but personally, I wouldn't trade my Mac Pro's performance for Thunderbolt connectivity.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Brian Cooney
Re: iMac with Quad Core and AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 - for After Effects?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:14:11 am

thanks. wow not a bad comparison though. Regarding thunderbolt, I was more concerned that I would go and buy a Mac Pro then in a year have technology leap forward on me. I have an iMac currently and it's fairly good with 8MB of ram and dedicated video memory.. but it's starting to struggle.. thanks for the advice. the comparisons do look fairly close between the iMac quad i7 and the mac pro.. got to think on this one. :-)

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates


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Walter Soyka
Re: iMac with Quad Core and AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 - for After Effects?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:50:18 am

[Brian Cooney] "the comparisons do look fairly close between the iMac quad i7 and the mac pro"

The Mac Pro (6 x 3.33GHz Westmere) was 25% faster than the iMac (4 x 3.4GHz Core i7) on the After Effects test -- but that Mac Pro was not maxed out on processors or RAM, while the iMac was.


[Brian Cooney] "Regarding thunderbolt, I was more concerned that I would go and buy a Mac Pro then in a year have technology leap forward on me."

A valid concern -- the Mac Pro is certainly overdue for Thunderbolt.

However, anything you can do tomorrow with Thunderbolt (like video I/O or high-speed storage), you can do today with the Mac Pro's PCIe slots.

I see the lack of Thunderbolt connectivity as more of an issue if you want to move peripherals back and forth from a laptop to your desktop, but remember, there are very few actual shipping Thunderbolt products right now.

Of course, if you wait for a Thunderbolt Mac Pro, you'll be susceptible to another leap when the newer, faster Thunderbolt 2.0 rolls out...

Whatever choice you make, good luck with the new system!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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