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Beginner: CPU allocation CS5. Can I reserve just one core for “system” on a quad core?

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Chris DavisBeginner: CPU allocation CS5. Can I reserve just one core for “system” on a quad core?
by on Jun 21, 2010 at 12:49:31 pm

If working on a four core i7 machine with 16 GB of RAM, is it OK to reserve only ONE processor (2 threads) for other applications besides AE (Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously box checked)?

You may or may not find the info below helpful…

Hyper-threading is apparently now recognized by AE CS5, according to Adobe (link below).
http://blogs.adobe.com/keyframes/2010/04/faster.html

Both presenters on lynda.com CS5 tutorials recommend reserving at least 2 cores for applications other than AE, but they are working on 8-core machines (it is unclear to me if their computers have processors that do hyper-threading).

I do not yet have experience with AE, though I have been fascinated by the program for a couple of years (and watched quite a few tutorials here and on lynda.com). I do not yet own the above mention system.


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Todd KoprivaRe: Beginner: CPU allocation CS5. Can I reserve just one core for “system” on a quad core?
by on Jun 21, 2010 at 4:52:09 pm

Yes, you're OK leaving one core for other software, as long as you're not doing anything crazy like trying to run multiple other powerful applications simultaneously.

Here are some related tips regarding allocation of processors and RAM:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/03/performance-tip-dont-oversched.h...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Chris DavisRe: Beginner: CPU allocation CS5. Can I reserve just one core for �system� on a quad core?
by on Jun 22, 2010 at 12:07:48 pm

Mr. Kopriva,

I read some of the link you provided, as well as some of the links within the reading. Below is a quote that seems to beg another question…

If I reserve one processor (with 2 threads) for “other applications,” does AE totally reserve this one processor for other applications (such as OSX, e-mail, Photoshop etc.)? Or am I just keeping AE from using this core for “Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously” multiprocessing, and still allowing AE to use this one core for other AE tasks (again, in with a four core processor with hyper-threading)?

Also, if PPro is running, does using this setting in AE relegate all PPro tasks to the 3 cores also, or does PPro still use this one processor for some tasks?

One reason I am asking is that intuitively it would seem that I would need at least one core free in order to keep the system from being prone to crashing.

I realize you said reserving only one core is fine, and I do not mean to question your advice. Just asking for some clarification... The other reason I am asking is that, if I do need to reserve TWO cores for other applications to keep things stable, then it would seem that an 8 core machine (with 32 GB RAM) would create RAM previews 3 times faster than a 4 core machine (with 16 GB RAM). If I need to reserve only ONE core for other applications, it would seem that an 8 core would create RAM previews only 2 times as fast as a 4 core. I can live with 2 times as fast. But if the 8 core is 3 times as fast, I would rather save up for the 8 core.

Thanks for your time,

Chris

“After Effects is a multithreaded application that can also use other forms of multiprocessing beyond just Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing, and it is possible for the processors to become "overscheduled" if these threads are competing for the same resources as the background processes used for rendering with Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing.
Therefore, the best approach is to begin by using a small number of processors for Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing; and then increase the number of processors used until you find the optimum number for your computer system and compositions.
For an 8-core computer system, the optimum number of processors may be 4 for some compositions, 6 for others, et cetera.”


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Todd KoprivaRe: Beginner: CPU allocation CS5. Can I reserve just one core for �system� on a quad core?
by on Jun 22, 2010 at 3:27:02 pm

> does AE totally reserve this one processor for other applications (such as OSX, e-mail, Photoshop etc.)? Or am I just keeping AE from using this core for “Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously” multiprocessing, and still allowing AE to use this one core for other AE tasks (again, in with a four core processor with hyper-threading)?

Also, if PPro is running, does using this setting in AE relegate all PPro tasks to the 3 cores also, or does PPro still use this one processor for some tasks?


This setting is just about Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously, and it's just about After Effects. It only affects how many additional background instances of the After Effects application will be started to aid with rendering.

> One reason I am asking is that intuitively it would seem that I would need at least one core free in order to keep the system from being prone to crashing.


Operating systems are smarter than that. You (probably) wouldn't get a crash. You'd get poor performance from the operating system continually needing to swap context.

But, yes, it's a good idea to leave at least a processor core or two free for other software, as I explain here. FWIW, for the projects that I do at home, I have 4GB of my 24GB reserved for other applications on a quad-core computer with hyperthreading. Since I have 8 virtual cores, I have 2 reserved for other software, so After Effects uses 5 background processes at 3GB each.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Chris DavisRe: Beginner: CPU allocation CS5. Can I reserve just one core for �system� on a quad core?
by on Jun 24, 2010 at 12:01:28 pm

“This setting is just about Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously, and it's just about After Effects. It only affects how many additional background instances of the After Effects application will be started to aid with rendering.”

I re-watched the lynda tutorials, and I see now how I got confused re: AE, PPro, Encore, and Media Encoder. They share user decided amounts of RAM, but the “Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously” is a different section. (Oops.)

“Operating systems are smarter than that. You (probably) wouldn't get a crash. You'd get poor performance from the operating system continually needing to swap context.”

By “poor performance,” are you referring to slower render times/RAM previews in AE? More beach balls when opening an e-mail, etc.? Would this be constant poor performance, or occasional hiccups? (I checked out the link you provided, BTW).

It seems like you have direct experience in this regard, your home system appears to be is similar to the one I am describing, and you also have only one core (two threads) reserved for other applications re: “Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously”.

Thanks again for your time. I hope this will be my last follow up questions.



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Chris DavisWhy I'm Asking...
by on Jun 26, 2010 at 2:00:16 pm

Because I did not get a response to my followup question above, I figured I should say that the utility of my question is whether to buy a 4 core machine or hold out for an 8 core.

My question is really twofold:

1) Is setting one core (two threads) “reserved for other applications” adequate when employing “Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously” and

2) how much faster are RAM previews/renders on an 8-core with 2 cores (four threads) “reserved for other applications” vs. a 4-core with 1 core (2 threads) “reserved for other applications” when employing “Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously.”

iMacs currently have the option of a quad-core i7, and Intel has scheduled the mobile quad-core Sandy Bridge for release Q4 this year. So it is also possible Apple will release a 17” Macbook Pro quad-core with hyper-threading before Christmas.

However, I will not need an answer until it is time to make a decision, about two months before Christmas.

So I will ask again around September or October, when enough people have experience with AE CS5.


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