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New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?

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Anthony UccelloNew Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 9:51:59 pm

I am getting a new computer SPECIFICALLY to do after effects.

Right now I have dual core 2.67 ghz with 8 gb ram.

I am switching to the six core 4.0 ghz

My question is:

The ram I'm getting is 12gb, there's 1333mhz and 1600mhz. The latter costs $1,100 more. What % improvement will I see on AE if I opt for the better ram (i.e. is it worth the price).

This system will have dual 2gb radeon 5970s.

Is there anything else I should consider when getting a new computer to make after effects run smooth?


I already have 2x the recommended specs right now and I bought a simple project and it takes like 10 minutes just to ram preview this 13 second clip! Terrible for workflow

I called adobe tech support and those guys dont have a freaking clue how their own software works so I'd love to hear some feedback from smart end users like yourself :)

What do you suggest I look for in my new alien ware comp? Will solid state, or 10k rpm drives make a difference?


Here are the full specs Im considering(note I can't add more ram for some reason, but please tell me what I should look for or even get a new computer built if I need more ram).

12GB Triple Channel 1333Mhz DDR3 (will 1600 mhz make a difference?)
Overclocked Intel Core i7 980 Extreme 6C (4.0GHz, 12MB Cache)
Dual ATI Radeon HD 5970, 2GB GDDR5
300GB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 10k RPM, 16MB Cache HDD (will an SSD make a difference?)


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 18, 2010 at 2:03:01 am

Also

Would I be better off with a computer that has 24gb of ram and 3.3ghz processors (six), or a computer with 12 gb of ram and 4.0 ghz processors (six)?

Or would I be better off with a mac

Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores) and 12gb ram?


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Dave LaRondeRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 18, 2010 at 4:16:01 pm

Right now I'm typing on a computer acquired for the same thing you want. I's a dual-quad core machine with 24GB. Faster processors are nice, but personally, I go with more memory.

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


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 18, 2010 at 5:15:22 pm

So 24gb ram and a six core 3.73 ghz processor is better than 12 gigs and a 4.0 six core processor?

Do harddrives make a difference? 10kpm or SSD over the norm?


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Dave LaRondeRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 18, 2010 at 8:46:47 pm

RAM is what makes the difference in AE.

Forget hard drive speed; as long as you have a separate drive for OS & application files and a separate drive for user files (project files & media) you're okay in AE.

SSD's don't have nearly enough storage capacity yet. Forget 'em.

I've already told you what I'd do, and what I HAVE done on my own machine. The advice is there for you use or not.

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


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 18, 2010 at 9:34:19 pm

I've already re-customized what Im looking for to allow more ram.

Does 1600 mHZ make a big difference over 1333? (is it worth another $1,000)?


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Dave LaRondeRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 19, 2010 at 1:11:32 am

Nah. Okay, if you make your living off your AE skills, perhaps it might. But then you wouldn't be agonizing over what's cheaper -- you'd just get it.

I have 1333 mHz RAM, and I'm just as happy as a clam. I do, however, have dual quad-core processors, and on my machine's setup, I can expand my memory to 48 GB... which I intend to do in the future.

If you're a fighter pilot, speed is life. In AE, RAM is life.

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


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 19, 2010 at 1:34:48 am

Can you suggest a place to get this higher level of customization?

On Dell.ca
MagicMicro.com
and
StealthSystems.com

The max I can get is 24gb, what motherboard do I need to get 48 gb (which I would want :))


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Jason MyresRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:19:51 pm

At the high-end of content creation there are only two computers that exist:

1) A Mac Pro
(http://store.apple.com/us/configure/Z0M4?mco=MTg2OTQ5OTk)

or

2) or an HP z800
(http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/nz/en/sm/WF05a/12454-12454-296719-4270224-4270224-3718645.html)


You can build your own machine, but then you're spending time on computers and not art. There are lots of articles out there on how to save money building your own workstation, but anyone who's attempting to do that by putting together some i7-based, day-glow, "Mac Pro Killer" is kidding themselves. If the motherboard you've spec'ed for yourself isn't a $600+ dual-processor Westmere or Nehalem, than you're not even close.

So you have to decide: Do you care about art, or do you care about computers? If you care about art, then you spend ten minutes ordering the nicest configuration you can afford from one of the two choices above, and use the remaining 7h 50m of your day making art.

In AE the things that matter are:
-RAM: Min 6GB. Populate in sets of three or six for Nehalem or Westmere (6GB, 12GB, 24GB, etc).
-CPUs and Cores: dual CPUs are a huge help in AE.
-Dedicated disks for your media. Fast drives can help for scratch locations and rendering to disk.

A good GPU is becoming important for many apps (Cinema 4D, Maya, 3ds Max) and plug-ins (Sapphire, Boris), but as Dave will tell you, it's not quite ready for primetime in After Effects.

If you need to save money, buy used on eBay. Owners of Mac Pros and z800s generally take good care of their machines.

JM


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:36:42 pm

Brilliant answer (although the 2nd link isn't working)

I've looked at the macs, and I've spent $5k on PC software (vegas, and creative suite, camtasia, mindjet etc). Think I need to stick with PC on this one.

I've found this deal for $3500, if you've got the time to take a quick look I'd love to hear what you think


CURRENT CONFIGURATION
PARTS : CPU : Intel i7 CPU
Intel Core i7 Extreme 980x, 3.33GHz (Six Core) 12000K
PARTS : Cooling Fans : Intel i7 CPU Fans
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. extra quiet Liquid Cooling System
PARTS : Motherboards : Intel i7 Motherboards
ASUS Rampage III Extreme X58, DDR3, SLI & Cross Fire,SATA3, GB LAN, USB 3.0,iEEE
PARTS : Memory : DDR3 Triple Channel memory
24GB (6x4GB) PC3 12800 DDR3 1600 Triple Channel
PARTS : Video & TV Cards : PCI-Express Video cards
GeForce GTX 580 1536MB PCI EXpress 16X dual head, HDMI
PARTS : Video & TV Cards : TV Tuner & Capture cards
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Hard Drives
128.0GB Kingston SSDNow V Series Solid State Drive, SATA II, 200MBs
PARTS : Cooling Fans : Hard Drive Fans
Fan-Less Aluminum Silent Hard Drive Cooler with Heatpipes
PARTS : Hard Drives
128.0GB Kingston SSDNow V Series Solid State Drive, SATA II, 200MBs
PARTS : Cooling Fans : Hard Drive Fans
Fan-Less Aluminum Silent Hard Drive Cooler with Heatpipes
PARTS : CD/DVD/R/RW Drives : DVD Recorders
LG 22x DVD Recorder Dual Layer +R/RW -R/RW
PARTS : CD/DVD/R/RW Drives : DVD Recorders
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Media Card Readers
All-in-One Memory Card Reader Internal Black
PARTS : Sound Cards
Realtek HD digital audio (onboard)
PARTS : Modems
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Networking : Network Cards
Ethernet network adapter (onboard)
PARTS : Controller Cards
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Cases / Power Supplies : Cases
APEVIA X-JupiterJr. Silver, Side Window, front USB,iEEE,Temp control
PARTS : Cooling Fans : Case Fans
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Cooling Fans : Power Supply
Logisys 550W ATX Power Supply w/ 6pin PCI-E
PARTS : Keyboards
Black Windows Keyboard, 104 key, PS/2
PARTS : Mice
2-Button Wheel Mouse, PS/2 Black
PARTS : Speakers
Black Multimedia amplified stereo speakers
SOFTWARE : Operating Systems
NONE SELECTED
SOFTWARE : Office Software
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Monitors
NONE SELECTED
PARTS : Assembly and Test
Standard assembly and test 3-5 business days


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Darby EdelenRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 20, 2010 at 10:54:36 pm

[Anthony Uccello] "This system will have dual 2gb radeon 5970s."

These graphics cards will provide you with no benefit in AE and cost you upwards of $900. I'd recommend spending that money on more RAM or more CPU cores.

As long as you have (one) graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.0 you should be good. This should mean almost any graphics card made in the last 2 or 3 years.

Getting a better graphics card may help you during OpenGL previews and with some plug-ins (The Foundry's Kronos plug-in supports CUDA acceleration on higher end NVIDIA cards, which makes a HUGE difference, but it's a very specific use case). Personally I never use OpenGL preview because it is an entirely different render path, it is not likely to show you what your final render will look like and it is very rarely faster (and almost always buggier) than adaptive resolution.

Darby Edelen


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 20, 2010 at 10:59:34 pm

Thank you for that information really helps!

Im removing the video cards (I thought the bigger the video memory the better :|)

As per a suggestion above Ill be getting 1 SSD for the main install.

Will rendering a video to an SSD vs Non SSD be any faster?


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Jason MyresRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:37:02 pm

AE will should be fine on that configuration, but some things you might want to consider:

RAM: 24GB is great and you have the right dim count (6 x 4GB). No changes.

CPU: i7s are good at many things, but I would take a look at a Dual Quad-Core Xeon (Nehalem or Westmere). Dual CPUs means double the memory bandwidth, double the L2 and L3 (if not more) Cache, basically two entire processor pipelines for your apps to work with. If for instance you were able to get one 8-core i7, it would not be as fast as dual 4-core Xeons. Can't emphasize this enough. This is where you want to spend any extra money. You will feel where it went every time you render or do a ram preview.

SSDs: If used as a boot disk, they can make booting and screen refreshes faster, but I would get one or two 1TB Hitachi's for OS and media, and then aim your scratch folders at the one SSD or two SSDs as a RAID0 stripe. Don't put anything valuable on it, just scratch, render, and other temporary files. A good alternative might be to use one or two 300GB WD Raptors.

GPU: A GTX580 is a nice card, but if you're interested in ever using Adobe Premier or Photoshop under acceleration, its not currently on the supported cards list. I would change to a GTX470 or try to grab a Quadro 3800 or 4800 as they are being phased out, but are still very powerful.

Support: Call it experience, but it's tough when you've spent $3500 and there's no one to call when things go south. I'd buy from a vendor who will at least provide you with daytime support.

The new Mac Pros and z800s are a little out of your budget, so if I were you and wanted to buy new, I'd take a look at this:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/precision-t7500/pd?refid=workstation-prec...

If you want are OK with buying used, I purchased my last two Mac Pros from eBay. Both were good deals, in mint condition, and I've had no problems with either of them.

JM


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:40:59 pm

Another great answer

Thank you

Im going to think very carefully about what you've just suggested.

I was looking at the Quadros, they were pricey but maybe the way to go....


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Anthony UccelloRe: New Computer Spec For AE is it enough? Suggestions?
by on Dec 21, 2010 at 9:38:15 am

Would you say a Xenon 5650 (dual 6 core 2.66ghz) is more useful than the singe i7 6 core 3.33ghz?


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