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upgrading/rebuilding computer for After Effects budget $500.00

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Ardra Neala
upgrading/rebuilding computer for After Effects budget $500.00
on Oct 2, 2013 at 6:03:21 pm

Hey I use after effects but know absolutely zero about computers. Its response time during use and also rendering time is slow and I currently have 6 gb ram. I have $500 (it can be a bit higher) to spend. I'd prefer to build a new comp that has a capacity for further upgrades, I'll have more money for it later. Is there anything I can add to my current set up to make it work better? OR what parts should I buy to build a new computer with a new cpu, mobo and ram to improve performance? (I have suggestions below) I'll re-use my HDs because they're sata and I'll try and use my old case (microatx)if possible.

Here are my specs.
cpu: Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5200 @ 2.50GHz
2x2gig ddr2 ram
2x1gig ddr2 ram
total of 6 gig over 4 slots (ie filled up)
Mainboard Model P5Q-EM
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB

An SSD was mentioned before but they said they don't do much unless big and expensive.edit: Actually there's another thread about PC buiding where a 128 gb SSD is recommended to cache.

Here is what I'm thinking of using but I don't know if they work well together for After Effects (I also use Photoshop. Large files with multiple layers respond very slowly and I also use 3ds max, mudbox and zbrush)

HERE IS A LIST OF PARTS MY FRIEND RECOMMENDED (he doesn't know much about after effects, unfortunately)

Perhaps there is some other issue causing the slow down?

More edits: I'm currenting using windows 7 to get 64 bit, I needed to access the ram. I also keep my footage on my external and render to the hard drive, which is also set as my cache.
My friend is unsure about how AE responds to multiple cores.
The quadcore is less expensive than the octa but with the octa I can add 2 more sticks of 8 gig ram later when I can afford it. If I want to add more ram later on, won't it be more useful to have 8 cores with 4 gig ram, instead of 4 cores with 8 gig ram? more threads = smoother?

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Ardra Neala
Re: upgrading/rebuilding computer for After Effects budget $500.00
on Oct 2, 2013 at 9:40:42 pm

Also, I'm hearing that Intel might be better for rendering than AMD and looking at the Intel Core i5-4570 Quad-Core Processor.

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Walter Soyka
Re: upgrading/rebuilding computer for After Effects budget $500.00
on Oct 3, 2013 at 2:15:58 pm

Building a computer with good performance for Ae on a $500 will be tough. You could easily spend that on just the CPU.

My advice is this: try to build a balanced system. It doesn't make a lot of sense to sink all your money into the CPU if means you can't afford enough RAM (aim for 4 GB per core) to use it.

AMD offers very good value (read: low price), but Intel i7 CPUs outperform them.

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
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