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Upgrade Graphics Card for Better Performance?

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Erik Rosenbluh
Upgrade Graphics Card for Better Performance?
on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:39:44 am


I've recently started playing with AE CS6, and one thing that increases my blood pressure when trying to work is the processing speed. Say I'm using the Rotobrush. Every time I make an adjustment, it takes the machine 8 seconds to process it. Now, when you have a 40 second clip, and you're going nearly frame by frame, that 8 seconds adds up. I already have the resolution set to a third, so I'm not viewing it at full. So I'm wondering what I can upgrade on my system to help?

I've got an early 2009 Mac Pro with the following:

2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
32 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC
ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB
OS X 10.8.2 (12C60)

My media drive is a new 4 TB Caviar Black (yeah, it would be nice to go SSD, but that stuff is crazy expensive and my system drive IS an SSD).

I'm thinking the only thing that might be upgradeable is the graphics card. The ones I'm reading about talk about 3D rendering, but I'm not doing any 3D stuff. The footage I'm using is coming off a Canon 5D Mark II and III. I usually bring it in RAW to AE without transcoding (If I bring it into FCP, I transcode it with Magic Bullet Grinder).

Apple tells us to wait for a new Mac Pro, but even if they give us one it would probably be the last one they make (and we'll probably be disappointed). I used to have 4 computers. A PC for everyday work. A PC Xeon for my Avid. A Mac Pro for FCP. Macbook Pro for portability. Eventually settled on Mac Pro, cuz I could make a Windows partition for any Windows programs I needed. I could make a separate Avid partition that I didn't have to update as often (since Avid is always behind everyone else in updating). I'd consider building a Hackintosh, but don't know if they're solid enough for my editing software (especially Avid).

So if you guys have any thoughts on the subject, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Todd Kopriva
Re: Upgrade Graphics Card for Better Performance?
on Jan 3, 2013 at 2:06:11 am

The graphics card has nothing to do with the processing of Roto Brush, the example that you gave. For that, CPU speed matters most.

You get a great boost in many operations from using your SSD for your disk cache.

See this page for resources about making After Effects work faster:

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog

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Erik Rosenbluh
Re: Upgrade Graphics Card for Better Performance?
on Jan 3, 2013 at 2:25:55 am

Yikes, I don't have a lot of room on my SSD, only 17.11 GB. It's only a 200 GB SSD, and I have my main partition and an Avid partition on it. If they'd drop in price, I'd make all my drives SSD.

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