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AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC

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Mitch DavisAE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 6, 2012 at 6:06:23 pm

Hello All,

I have fairly similar video workstations for home and work. I recently conducted a test render of the same project on each machine. I did not get the results I was expecting and I would love it if any of you could shed some light onto why that is. My test results and computer specs are as follows:

MAC (Work Computer):
CPU = 2.8 GHZ Quad-Core Intel
RAM = 32GB DDR3
Graphics = ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB

Test 1 Render Time: 03:52.7
Test 2 Render Time: 03:44.5

PC (Home Computer):
CPU = 3.61 GHZ (Over-clocked to 4 GHZ) 8-Core AMD
RAM = 32GB DDR3
Graphics = NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560

Test 1 Render Time: 09:21.0
Test 2 Render Time: 09:09.6

As you can see, the MAC did twice as good both times. I ran two tests because I assumed it must have been cache-related. I built this project on the MAC so I expected the MAC to have a little advantage there, but not twice as much. Any ideas of why the results turned out the way they did?

Side Notes:
- On the PC, All software and OS is running off of a Solid State Drive.
- On both Machines, in the After Effects "Memory & Multi-Processing" Preferences, 29GB of RAM is available and "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" is selected.
- On both Machines, in the After Effects "Media & Disk Cache" Preferences, disk cache is enabled and set to 20GB max.
- On both Machines I am running a 64-bit OS and I am using Adobe After Effects CS5.5
- On the PC I am running Windows 7
- On the MAC I am running Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63b)

If you were able to get through this long post, I thank you very much for your time. I appreciate any help you can provide.

Mitch Davis
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.mitchdavismedia.com
mitch@seven2.com


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Darby EdelenRe: AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 6, 2012 at 8:29:07 pm

What are your Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously settings exactly?

How many processes are you launching on each and how much RAM are you giving to each process?

Darby Edelen


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Mitch DavisRe: AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 6, 2012 at 10:40:10 pm

Darby,

Thank you very much for the prompt response!

Here are screen-caps of my Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously settings-

PC:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89767220@N06/8162416632/
MAC:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89767220@N06/8162383939/

Also, I ran Open GL and CPU tests on both machines using Cinebench. Here are the results:

PC:
OpenGL = 43.78 fps
CPU = 5.77 pts
MAC:
OpenGL = 30.51 fps
CPU = 4.92 pts

Again, thank you for your time!

Mitch Davis
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.mitchdavismedia.com
mitch@seven2.com


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Walter SoykaRe: AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 6, 2012 at 9:29:58 pm

AMD processors generally underperform versus Intel processors.

Can you run a cross-platform CPU benchmark like CINEBENCH [link] or Geekbench [link] on both machines and share the results?

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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Mitch DavisRe: AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 6, 2012 at 10:49:49 pm

Walter,

Thank you for your prompt response! It is very much appreciated.

I ran OpenGL and CPU tests on both machines using Cinebench (Thanks by the way, I had not heard of this). Here are the results:

PC:
OpenGL = 43.78 fps (ranking = 3rd)
CPU = 5.77 pts (ranking = 4th)

MAC:
OpenGL = 30.51 fps (ranking = 5th)
CPU = 4.92 pts (ranking = 6th)

As a side note, I conducted another test except this time I RAM previewed instead of Rendered. Surprisingly the PC's RAM preview was almost twice as fast as the MAC. Now I am thoroughly confused. I feel like there is something on my PC that is bottle-necking the rendering process.

I've also posted the results to my Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously settings-

PC:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89767220@N06/8162416632/
MAC:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89767220@N06/8162383939/

Thank you again for your time.

Mitch Davis
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.mitchdavismedia.com
mitch@seven2.com


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Darby EdelenRe: AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 7, 2012 at 12:32:32 am

[Mitch Davis] "Now I am thoroughly confused. I feel like there is something on my PC that is bottle-necking the rendering process."

Hmmmm... I guess you could double check your Render Settings and also let us know what sort of Output Module you're using.

My first guess was that your PC is running low on RAM and switching to paging files on your system drive. AE can get very slow when it runs low on RAM.

Here are a couple of factors I'd check into for differences on the two machines:

-How much space is available on the system drives on your Mac and your PC?

-Is your Disk Cache on the system drive or another drive?

Other than that I'd recommend reserving at least half of your CPU cores for other applications as a general rule of thumb.

Another thing you might do is look at your Activity Monitor (Mac) and Resource Monitor (PC) while the render is active. See if there is anything unusual like some aeselflink processes not appearing to carry their weight (can be an indication that all processes are not capable of being fed by RAM) or if you have lots of paging file IOs on your disk.

Lastly, a good machine restart can do wonders to fix problems like this :)

Darby Edelen


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Mitch DavisRe: AE Render comparisons between MAC and PC
by on Nov 7, 2012 at 5:29:07 pm

Awesome! Thank you very much Darby! I will try out these changes moving foward!

Mitch Davis
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.mitchdavismedia.com
mitch@seven2.com


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