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hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion

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Johannes Schwarzhardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 8:22:00 pm

Hi,

My system currently has the following specs:
Asus P6T deluxe v2
i7 920 (overclocked at 3.2 Mhz)
12 gig corsair 1333 ram
GTX 470 (upgrade from GTX 275 a while back)
AE Cs6 is coming to my machine in a few days

3 years ago this was a pretty popular configuration, so maybe some of you have used something similar.

Now, I have a rather large project to handle over the next 6 months
(70 episodes amounting to some 4 hours of finished 1080p animation that have to be processed in AE) and an upgrade could be a time saver.

I do have some money that I could invest (600-700 usd) if it would lead to an improvement (speed for preview renders, responsiveness etc.)

You might say: Well do it. Your PC is getting pretty old anyway...
But the reason why I'm hesitant is, that after I finish the project, the PC will be in storage for a year (as I'm leaving to travel). I want to avoid investing too much if the performance gain is not significant (considering the components would then just age without use afterwards).

I've looked at 3rd generation i7s (like the 3770k) but was surprised at how little performance gain was apparently observable in the After Effects department (over the 2700k for example) and on paper the old overclocked 920 was not totally left behind by the 2700k in some benchmarks.

What is your opinion? Can a budget of 600-700 usd (which for example would get me a 3770k + X77 mobo + ram) get me a reasonable performance gain via the CPU? Should I just stack up on new and faster ram, or get an SSD for caching?

Please share your thoughts. :-)

Johannes


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Dave LaRondeRe: hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 8:55:34 pm

AE loves memory. Think "multiprocessing". Get your machine up to 24 gigs. 36 gigs would be better, 48 gigs lets you run other apps concurrently, and 64 gigs is Nirvana. Not the band, the state of mind.

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


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Johannes SchwarzRe: hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 12, 2012 at 6:21:43 am

Thanks for the response.
My mobo will max out at 24 GB.

Ram would be a cheap upgrade too, as I could get 24 gb for only 150 usd.


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Walter SoykaRe: hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 11:20:12 pm

Watch the Performance Monitor during render -- Control-Shift-Esc to bring up the task manager, then click the performance tab. Pay attention to CPU and RAM usage. What happens to each during render?

What sort of work exactly will you be doing on the animation episodes?

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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Johannes SchwarzRe: hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 12, 2012 at 6:36:49 am

Thanks for the tip.

I monitored CPU and RAM during a preview render. CPU goes up to 100% and pretty much stays up there. RAM goes up to 10 or so gigs (for the total usage out of my 12). So it also reaches the upper limit considering my settings allocate 9 gigs to AE

What I'll be doing:
I have 1080p animation video animations, that will be combined with time remapped green screen footage, motion blur, large texture layers blending with the footage and the occasional effect. I guess it is not the most taxing work you can throw at AE, but if I can speed up the workflow (mainly preview render times) to make it as "real time" as possible, that would be great.

Generally I'm not too worried about final output renders. I'll let it do this during the night and it will be in small 3 minute chunks, so no big problem here


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Dave LaRondeRe: hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 12, 2012 at 2:46:08 pm

[Johannes Schwarz] "I have 1080p animation video animations, that will be combined with time remapped green screen footage, motion blur, large texture layers blending with the footage and the occasional effect."

With all that going on, I recommend transcoding any long-gop footage to a lossless codec before you begin AE work. Whenever you tamper with time -- as in time remapping -- AE has to work especially hard, resulting in very long renders.

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


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Walter SoykaRe: hardware upgrade - how much performance gain - your opinion
by on Sep 14, 2012 at 8:52:05 pm

[Johannes Schwarz] "I monitored CPU and RAM during a preview render. CPU goes up to 100% and pretty much stays up there. RAM goes up to 10 or so gigs (for the total usage out of my 12). So it also reaches the upper limit considering my settings allocate 9 gigs to AE "

Even if you add RAM, renders like this will not likely go faster, because the CPU is already running at full capacity.


[Johannes Schwarz] "I have 1080p animation video animations, that will be combined with time remapped green screen footage, motion blur, large texture layers blending with the footage and the occasional effect. I guess it is not the most taxing work you can throw at AE, but if I can speed up the workflow (mainly preview render times) to make it as "real time" as possible, that would be great. Generally I'm not too worried about final output renders. I'll let it do this during the night and it will be in small 3 minute chunks, so no big problem here"

Then I do advise that with a limited budget, you consider purchasing more RAM and an SSD for the cache (assuming you are running CS6) first. The larger and faster your cache is, the less re-rendering of existing assets you'll have to do during previews.

Also, check out Improve performance [link].

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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