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After effects Computer Advice Needed!

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Andy Chapman
After effects Computer Advice Needed!
on Jan 29, 2011 at 4:01:45 pm

Hello creative Cow,
I use after effects and other software such as sony vegas.
Recently i have been having problems, and i'm pretty sure it's related to my lack of RAM in my computer.
i currently have a 2gb ram very standard office computer (obviously not for video editing) but because i have taken to video editing, i'm thinking of upgrading to a new pc/laptop, as i have recieved error messages from after effects and sony vegas about low ram, and through research, have solved it but only temporarily but it comes back up every so often.

so my main question is, when buying a pc/laptop, (nothing too top end as my budget isn't massive but i have looked on pcspecialistDOTcoDOTuk and found a few i like. disregarding that, which would be better to run after effects;

i3 dual core processor with 8gb ram
i5 processor with 4gb ram (2x2) or (4x1) [what's the difference between the different ram arrangements)
as i'm struggling doing anything with my innapropriate pc.
Thanks in advance,

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Joey Foreman
Re: After effects Computer Advice Needed!
on Jan 29, 2011 at 5:28:51 pm

Definitely the Mac.

Oh, you didn't? Never mind then.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist

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Cory Petkovsek
Re: After effects Computer Advice Needed!
on Jan 29, 2011 at 10:17:32 pm

AE is memory and CPU bound. Put your money there.

However all systems are to some extent harddisk bound. This is more relevant with laptops because of poor manufacturing choices. If you get a laptop ensure your harddrive speed is at least 7200rpm, or an SSD. If it doesn't say it in the marketing materials, it doesn't have it. It will have a 5400rpm drive and will suck out your general computing experience.

Desktops typically come with 7200rpm drives, but it varies on where you get it. If you don't see it, ask before you buy.

Do not buy a system unless it has 7200rpm harddrive or faster or an ssd. Mac or PC.

Buy the system for upgradability, especially for a desktop. If the budget only allows you to pick up an i3 processor, make sure the motherboard can support an i7 so you can drop it in later. If it's a laptop, spend the money to get the i7 instead, because you won't be able to upgrade it later.

If you can afford 8gb of ram, make sure the board supports 16gb, and the 8gb you get are the largest sticks the board will support. For instance maybe there are 4 memory slots, and the max is 4x4 or 16gb. Buy two 4gbs so you have two slots free.

This is true for laptops. Though typically you'll have two slots max. Make sure that you can start with either the max memory, or moving in that direction, the memory you buy won't need to be replaced. I have a laptop that I got with 3gb; two slots with a 2gb and a 1gb. To upgrade to the max, 4gb, I had to replace the 1gb stick with a 2gb stick. Plan before you buy the system how you're going to max out the ram without having to replace sticks.

Having a fast laptop is nice. But for price/performance and far greater upgradeability, desktops are the way to go.


Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video

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