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MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?

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William Chilcoat
MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 15, 2012 at 10:41:09 pm

Having an outdated 2007 MacBook pro, leaves me no choice but to upgrade to a newer computer. My Mac can no longer run the new CS6 AE along with my 3D software. I've priced out the iMacs and I know they are coming out with a new one very soon and I'm guessing if they are retina display the Mac I'll need will cost around $4,000 or more, and the iMacs now are still pricey for my budget. Its hard to give up apple (the best computer I know), but I can no longer budget their products. I have reviewed many computers that would compare to the iMac 27". One computer has caught my eye which is the Lenovo IdeaCentre A720. A very durable band and in my budget.

Specs here
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/cata...

Would this computer be suitable for a VFX Artist? I would love to here some thoughts as this is a tough decision for myself. I just want to head in the right direction at a manageable level an with a mid size budget.

I appreciate everyone's comments!


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 16, 2012 at 6:24:47 am

That looks quite good actually. The problem with the AIOs is the fact that you really can't upgrade them. You might get a basic tower for cheaper and with more power.


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William Chilcoat
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 16, 2012 at 12:27:59 pm

I've read that the AIO's are a little tricky to upgrade but I have talked to a few people that have the A720 and have said the only issue is disconnecting the base from the CPU to upgrade its hardware. This individual actually put in a 264GB SSD...something of that stature, but with the power this things running and for the price its pretty decent.

Thank you for your reply I hope to hear others...


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Brian Charles
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 16, 2012 at 2:50:39 pm

On the surface this looks like a good value but according to the tech specs this machine max's out at 8GB of RAM with no upgrade path. That's really too little After Effects these days.



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William Chilcoat
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 16, 2012 at 3:24:31 pm

AE requires 4GB of RAM and recommends 8GB of RAM. I believe 8GB of RAM would be more then enough to run AE... Maybe you are referring to upgrading in the future.

If AE were to upgrade their specs on the RAM requirements then more likely everything else is going to increase. Requiring 4 to 8GB of RAM would be a big jump a jump I would not expect to happen with in the next 4 years at least if you know the past requirements of AE. Within that time people like us are back in the market for upgrades and new computers again. There's no secret that we upgrade are computers and software all the time. I even expect to get a new computer in the next 5 years from now (unless something bigger is invented, I'd be all over that).

I'm not trying to be pessimistic about your comment but I know from the specs that a the Lenovo can more then handle the likes of AE. There is no other computer like the Lenovo, it will more then likely change my workflow in AE, and is incredibly cheaper then the IMac.

I'm going from a 2GB of RAM MacBook Pro (bought back in 2007) to 8GB, and my MacBook can handle the programs but not as fast as I like.

I really appreciate your feedback.


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Brian Charles
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:00:49 pm

I was referring to multiprocessing requirements for RAM which are 2-3GB per process. A 4 core chip can spawn 8 processes.



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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:22:12 pm

[William Chilcoat] "AE requires 4GB of RAM and recommends 8GB of RAM. I believe 8GB of RAM would be more then enough to run AE... Maybe you are referring to upgrading in the future. "

I'm with Brian. 8 GB is not more than enough to run AE.

AE has a feature called multiprocessing, which allows it to render multiple frames at the same time. It automatically launches multiple separate renderer processes, using the multiple cores on the CPU in your computer. Each of these processes requires its own RAM.

I recommend installing at least 4 GB per CPU core. With a quad-core machine, you want a minimum of 16 GB (more if you want to use hyperthreading, which gives you 8 "virtual" cores) to make use of multiprocessing. I've got 48 GB of RAM in my 12-core workstation; any less, and I'd have to dramatically limit number of CPUs AE tries to use -- which rather defeats the points of having all that processing power in the first place.

With only 4 to 8 GB for 4 physical or 8 virtual CPU cores, you'd have to keep multiprocessing turned off in AE, and you'd be sacrificing a lot of render performance for nothing.

I think you could get a more capable tower and display for the same money as the AIO, and it'd make a big difference in your AE performance.

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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William Chilcoat
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 1:19:47 am

Walter... would this computer not be able to run AE at all. Before I saw the rest of these posts I had already purchased the computer. I was given a great deal but now I'm worried sick that AE won't preform well. Did I really just screw myself here? What are will be my limitations now? Will it run at all or will it run like the CS5 version?

Why do the specs in AE say 8GB RAM recommended and only 4 Required... I'm super confused now?

William Chilcoat


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 1:48:56 am

[William Chilcoat] "Walter... would this computer not be able to run AE at all. "

It'll run Ae.


[William Chilcoat] "I was given a great deal but now I'm worried sick that AE won't preform well. Did I really just screw myself here? What are will be my limitations now? Will it run at all or will it run like the CS5 version?"

If you leave multiprocessing off most of the time, you'll be fine. No limitations, and everything will work.

This machine, like most all-in-ones, is not built for performance, but it will blow the doors off your current 2007 MBP.


[William Chilcoat] "Why do the specs in AE say 8GB RAM recommended and only 4 Required... I'm super confused now?"

Those are the minimum specs. Ae performance scales with hardware -- the more hardware you throw at it, the better it will perform.

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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William Chilcoat
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 2:53:03 am

Walter - I appreciate all your help. It makes me feel more settled that it'll run and blow my MBP out of the water. I'm so use to my mbp i dont know the seed of a good computer. How will plug-ins preform with this computer... Such as red giant plug-ins and video copilots element 3D?

I've finally been able to pick up some work and I upgraded to the creative cloud and element 3D came out, leaving me stranded with incapable irreplaceable hardware. My computer was so out dated and burning up after and hour of run time I'm surprised I didn't get anything sooner. I hope this new computer will meet my new requirements and expectations... At least for a few years give me more time to get a more powerful computer when money isnt restricting me.

Again thank you for your comments Walter, hope to hear from you soon!


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William Chilcoat
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 3:23:03 am

Walter - I appreciate all your help. It makes me feel more settled that it'll run and blow my MBP out of the water. I'm so use to my mbp i dont know the seed of a good computer. How will plug-ins preform with this computer... Such as red giant plug-ins and video copilots element 3D?

I've finally been able to pick up some work and I upgraded to the creative cloud and element 3D came out, leaving me stranded with incapable irreplaceable hardware. My computer was so out dated and burning up after and hour of run time I'm surprised I didn't get anything sooner. I hope this new computer will meet my new requirements and expectations... At least for a few years give me more time to get a more powerful computer when money isnt restricting me.

Again thank you for your comments Walter, hope to hear from you soon!


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:31:56 pm

[William Chilcoat] "How will plug-ins preform with this computer... Such as red giant plug-ins and video copilots element 3D? "

Everything that processes on the CPU (most Red Giant effects) will be subject to the same concerns as AE itself -- most of the time, you'll be able to work faster if you leave multiprocessing off.

Some Red Giant effects like Looks, and of course Element 3D, accelerate renders with the graphics card. Performance for your card looks to be decent in its price range.


[William Chilcoat] "I hope this new computer will meet my new requirements and expectations... At least for a few years give me more time to get a more powerful computer when money isnt restricting me. "

This is not a bad system for the money; it's just that the same money could have gotten you a moderately faster machine, but without the nice AIO form factor and touch-screen.

Like I said before, it's going to be a really liberating step up from your 2007 MBP. Hopefully in another year or two, you'll have grown your business enough that by the time you've caught up to your computer, you'll be ready to upgrade it.

Good luck!

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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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook pro to All-In-One PC?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:33:32 pm

I should add -- Adobe maintains an excellent documentation page on Improving performance [link] -- including advice on configuration and workflow that you can benefit from on any machine.

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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