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Graphics cards for AE?

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Steve WalpoleGraphics cards for AE?
by on Aug 19, 2013 at 7:49:15 pm


Some advice on graphics cards, please.

I need to buy a new PC quickly, so don’t have time to save more money. (My AE [CS5] projects are small and modest, not monsters with 1000s of layers with 100s of effects.)

I know graphics cards play a big part in gaming, but how important are they for video production?

Here are my options for a six core, 8gb RAM PC that I can just afford:

ATI 5450
ATI 6450

Can I get away with a cheap card or will my system really suffer?

If these cheap cards would be a nightmare, would a 6770 or GT640 make a vast improvement?

Like I said, budget and time are both big problems!

Thanks for any help,


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Cassius MarquesRe: Graphics cards for AE?
by on Aug 19, 2013 at 8:19:36 pm

It will only make any difference if you use the 3d raytrace engine, or any openGL enabled plugin. If you do, having a slower/cheaper GPU may not be very productive.

I believe a GT640 would double the performance of a GT610.

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Steve WalpoleRe: Graphics cards for AE?
by on Aug 20, 2013 at 4:28:15 pm

Hi Cassius,

Thanks for the advice.

It's rendering speeds that I'm mainly interested in improving, and maybe scrubbing. Do you think a GT640 would have a major impact there, or am I better off investing in other areas of the system to speed things up?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Graphics cards for AE?
by on Aug 19, 2013 at 9:25:32 pm

....and if you don't do exotica like ray tracing, you'd be wise to go for memory rather than a nifty card. They don't do a whole like in the grand scheme of thing in AE.

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

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Steve WalpoleRe: Graphics cards for AE?
by on Aug 20, 2013 at 4:41:31 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the advice. Sadly, "nifty" doesn't feature in my budget for a graphics card! Life's tough, isn't it?

If graphics cards don't feature that much in AE efficiency-wise, I guess the cheapest of the bunch is the best bet - ATI 5450.

Or should I stick with Nvidia so I have CUDA acceleration?

Thanks again,

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Todd KoprivaRe: Graphics cards for AE?
by on Aug 20, 2013 at 12:04:50 am

The same answer that I gave you on the other forum where you asked:

Be careful about getting advice about graphics cards for After Effects CS5. Most people are going to give you information that's valid for CS6 and later (like about the ray-traced 3D renderer), which will be useless to you, since everything to do with the GPU was changed in After Effects CS6.

For After Effects CS5, what matters is OpenGL, and nearly any modern card will provide more than enough muscle to help you there.

You should spend your money on more RAM.

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

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