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Optimal hardware configuration?

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Mike MacKenzieOptimal hardware configuration?
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 1:58:29 pm

Hi everyone...

Few configuration questions here.

I have a 2 x 2.8 quad core Intel Xeon MacPro with 18 GB RAM.
What is the best RAM allocation per background CPU? I'm guessing 2gb per, but am no expert. I don't mind leaving less RAM available for other apps, I do bounce around to AI & PS while in AE, but don't do any real heavy lifting there. If I have this set to 2gb per cpu, I have 6 cpu's available when in Render Multiple Frames mode. If I set it at 3gb, it goes down to 3 cpu's. I assume more cpu's is better than 3 vs 2 gb RAM per cpu..?

Should Render Multiple frames Simultaneously be active? Seems like a good idea but when this is selected my RAM previews never get past the loading background processes stage. Seems like a no-brainer to leave it off, but maybe if my configuration changes it might work?

Lastly, I have a couple of options for my disk cache. Which is preferable: a 7200rpm HDD with hundreds of gigs available, or an SSD with about 40gb available? The SSD also houses my OS and apps, I suspect that makes it a bad choice, but again I a far from an expert.

And in case it matters: Mt. Lion & CS6

Thanks!
-Mike

Motion Graphics Designer / Art Director
Boston, MA

System:
Mountain Lion on SSD
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
18 GB RAM


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Optimal hardware configuration?
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 2:54:56 pm

There are many threads discussing the issues you mention in your post- do a search on this forum and you will find all the info you need.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Brian CharlesRe: Optimal hardware configuration?
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:02:09 pm

You may want to see this:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2011/05/after-effects-cs5-5-performance-...

If you're using CS6 see this: http://www.video2brain.com/en/lessons/global-performance-cache-and-persiste...

After Effects can use 3GB per core. The disk cache should not be on your startup or applications drive. I'm using a 120 GB SSD dedicated to cache.



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Walter SoykaRe: Optimal hardware configuration?
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:18:13 pm

[Brian Charles] "After Effects can use 3GB per core."

Just a point of pedantry -- Ae can use far more than 3GB per core. The 3GB per core figure in the multiprocessing preferences is the largest default minimum amount of RAM you can require Ae to allocate for itself, but if Ae needs more RAM and if more RAM is available, it can use it.

Of course, Brian and Ted give great advice (as always). The only thing I'd add is that some comps are more CPU-intensive, and others are more RAM-intensive; it's not universally true that it's better to have more cores running with less RAM available to them. Sometimes fewer cores running with more RAM each will render faster.

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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Brian CharlesRe: Optimal hardware configuration?
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 7:56:38 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Just a point of pedantry -- Ae can use far more than 3GB per core. The 3GB per core figure in the multiprocessing preferences is the largest default minimum amount of RAM you can require Ae to allocate for itself, but if Ae needs more RAM and if more RAM is available, it can use it.
"


As always Walter has the most accurate information, I would never accuse him of being a pedant. ;)



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Mike MacKenzieRe: Optimal hardware configuration?
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:20:28 pm

Good info, thanks guys!

Motion Graphics Designer / Art Director
Boston, MA

System:
Mountain Lion on SSD
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
18 GB RAM


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