ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Olly Lawer
New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:15:54 pm

Hi,

Got a new MacBook Pro, 2.4GHz Quad Core i7 - 17inch model winging its way to me.

Brought a memory upgrade from crucial to 16GB. I don't really want to upgrade to CS5.5 if I can help it, but wondered what the performance difference would be?

Can CS4 use more than 4GB of RAM for each core? I know there is a restriction of 4GB for one core machines, but as it will be Quad Core, can it use the full 16GB?

If not, then it's well worth the upgrade to CS5.5 as I'm going to notice a hell of a difference!

Kind regards,

Olly Lawer


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:33:51 pm

[Olly Lawer] "Brought a memory upgrade from crucial to 16GB. I don't really want to upgrade to CS5.5 if I can help it, but wondered what the performance difference would be?"

CS5.5, being 64-bit, can access all of your RAM from in a single instance. If nothing else, you'll get longer RAM previews.

In addition to being 64-bit, CS5 made a couple other performance improvements. CS5.5 also introduced an improved disk cache system [link], which improves performance.

You'll have to upgrade all your third-party plugins. Plugins for CS4 and earlier are 32-bit and won't work in CS5 and above.




[Olly Lawer] "Can CS4 use more than 4GB of RAM for each core? I know there is a restriction of 4GB for one core machines, but as it will be Quad Core, can it use the full 16GB?"

When using multiprocessing, CS4 can use up to 4 GB per instance of the background renderer. No single instance can access more than 4 GB. Each process requires its own space in RAM, though, so CS4 could use all your RAM through multiprocessing.

Performance aside, there have been a lot of functional improvements since CS4. CS5 added the Roto Brush tool and and FreeForm (among other improvements), and CS5.5 added the Warp Stabilizer, improved camera lens blur and DoF, light fall-off, and some timecode improvements (again, among others). The AE team has been pretty busy.

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


Return to posts index

Olly Lawer
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:37:04 pm

Thank you.

So in a nutshell, both CS4 and CS5.5 can access all my memory using multiprocessing but CS5.5 is more efficient and has some great additional features?

Olly Lawer


Return to posts index


Walter Soyka
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:06:53 pm

[Olly Lawer] "So in a nutshell, both CS4 and CS5.5 can access all my memory using multiprocessing but CS5.5 is more efficient and has some great additional features?"

Yes -- but I think that oversimplifies the memory handling a little bit.

In CS4, the main process can only access a maximum of 4 GB (really about 3.5 GB, due to some overhead with Mac OS X). That means you can store a maximum of about 518 8bpc frames (~20s @ 25fps). As you increase your layer count (and with it, RAM requirements), your preview length drops.

In CS5, the main process can grab all available memory -- no 4GB ceiling, no artificial limit on the number of frames you can RAM preview. (Of course, the physical limit of 16 GB still applies!)

While CS5 render processes can also access more than 4 GB, on your specific machine (assuming you're trying to run four processes on a quad core with 16 GB of RAM), they won't be able to take advantage of any more RAM during render than CS4 could.

For the record, I'd consider that pretty aggressive. You'd probably be better off leaving a CPU idle and setting more RAM aside for other applications.

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


Return to posts index

Olly Lawer
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:21:29 pm

I'll be honest, most of that has just flown over my head.

At the moment, my real struggle is that CS4 won't even update a RAM preview of the screen for a couple of seconds whilst scrubbing. This makes it almost unworkable.

I'm sure this problem will be mostly solved by a new, faster processor and graphics card - RAM aside. But it was playing on my mind whether to upgrade to CS5.5 IF it was going to be a great deal faster than CS4 by utilising ALL the RAM (or most of it at least).

From what from you said, I understand that when it comes to the general refresh of the screen when scrubbing and when rending a comp, I probably won't notice a BIG difference between CS4 and CS5.5 but I will be able to view more of my comp due to the capability of CS5.5 to use the 16GB of RAM to provide longer renders in the timeline. Right?

As for keeping the CPU idle and setting more RAM for other applications - not really sure what you mean here.

Also, when and for what functions does AE take advantage of Quad core processing power?

Kind regards,

Olly Lawer


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:33:14 pm

There's a fully-featured 30-day trial available from Adobe. You can download it, give it a spin, and let us know how it impacts performance on your system.


[Olly Lawer] "lso, when and for what functions does AE take advantage of Quad core processing power?"

Mainly during render. With multiprocessing enabled, AE basically launches multiple copies of itself -- up to one per CPU core -- and they each render their own frame at the same time. For example, frames 0, 1, and 2 would all start rendering, each in its own process, when you ask for a RAM preview.

AE is also multithreaded, so the OS may distribute some work over multiple cores, but this doesn't give the same performance boost that multiprocessing does.

Finally, with AE CS5.5, the Warp Stabilizer runs as a background task.

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


Return to posts index


Olly Lawer
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:35:12 pm

Great. Thanks.

And just for clarity, CS4 can take advantage of multiprocessing as can CS5.5?

Olly Lawer


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:42:43 pm

[Olly Lawer] "And just for clarity, CS4 can take advantage of multiprocessing as can CS5.5?"

Yes.

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


Return to posts index

Olly Lawer
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:44:48 pm

Thanks!!

I think I'll try sticking with CS4 first as the new MacBook is going to be significantly faster and AE will utilise most of that.

But good to know I can further increase efficiencies by upgrading!

I wonder when CS6 is due out!! :)

Olly Lawer


Return to posts index


Dave LaRonde
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:45:45 pm

You won't notice that big a difference in speed. And you can NOT use all 16 gigs! You need memory for trivial little things like open applications and the operating system.

You should look over this information on memory and processor allocation:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/10/please-try-recommended-memory-se...

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


Return to posts index

Olly Lawer
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:47:20 pm

Do you mean between CS4 and CS5.5 or the computer upgrade?

Thanks for link. I'll look it over.

Olly Lawer


Return to posts index

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:43:55 pm

My personal opinion: get CS5.5. I feel limited when I use my CS4 workstation.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


Return to posts index


Brian Charles
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 7:47:13 pm

I'm going to agree with everyone else here, get CS5.5, 64 bit makes a HUGE difference in speed.



Return to posts index

Olly Lawer
Re: New machine - stick with CS4 or worth upgrading?
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:27:26 pm

Hey,

Just thought I'd update you on a recent test I performed with the new MacBook Pro comparing CS4 and CS5.5

With the same project, a RAM preview of the below, took the following amount of time:

CS4 - 1:52 seconds
CS5.5 - 1:20 seconds

Old macbook with CS4 - 3:40 seconds



Olly Lawer


Return to posts index

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