I am considering getting After Effects as a supplement to a Casablanca S4000 Pro editor. We use Sony HD cameras. We need some of the extra capabilities of AE but don't know what it will require to set up CS5. I've been reading about it and can see that I will need a lot of changes just to my computer system, probably, just to start. I know I need Windows 7 and I don't know if the OS & Graphics card is 32 or 64 bit. I think 32. If it is 32 bit, does that mean I need a whole new computer? Is it possible to upgrade what I have? I'm trying to find the least expensive route to this. I could buy CS4 instead to avoid the changes. Here's what I know about my system:
2160@ 1.80 Ghz
1.80 Ghz, 1.97GB RAM
Internal GMA Driver
Intel G965 Express Chipset Family
Chip Type GMA 3000
Bios Info: Intel Video Bio 1471
Open GL, Driver vers. 18.104.22.16804
If you haven't read the system requirements for CS5 on the Adobe Web Site, you should do so.
No matter which version you end up getting, you will definitely benefit from an OS upgrade and boatloads of memory. No kidding. AE is an absolute ram hog.
Case in point: I'm getting a new machine to run AE 10. It'll have 24 GB RAM installed.
The downside to AE9: it does NOT handle long-gop codecs well AT ALL. You'd want to capture any footage in a different codec.
That's about all I can recommend, because I have no clue how a Casablanca S4000 Pro editor works. Never heard of the box.
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It looks like your system was built for XP and/or 32-bit Vista and, if that's the case, there may be some gotchas if you try to upgrade it for 64-bit Windows 7 and CS5. For example, many such systems have mainboards that max out at 8Gb RAM, which is ok for CS4 on XP.
Since you're both new to AE and looking for the least expensive approach, you might consider just adding some RAM to your system and trying CS4 for a while before making the more significant investments you would likely need to get to CS5 on a 64-bit Windows 7 system. That way, if it turns out that you love AE and use it a lot, you can then buy CS5 at the upgrade price since you already have CS4.
Either way, you'll definitely need more than 2Gb of RAM for AE CS5, CS4 or CS3 and any O/S to play nicely together. Also, I don't recall what the AE version was last time I ran it on a single processor/core system, but it was definitely pre-CS3 so I'm not sure how well CS4 would run in that environment and, personally, I wouldn't even try CS5 that way.