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Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?

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Kevin SeiduleOptimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 9, 2011 at 8:01:11 pm

I hope this is the correct forum for this.

Specifically I am running After Effects (CS5) and I really think on-screen rendering should be much greater than what I am getting, given I have a ridiculously awesome system. All the "footage" I am using is done withing after effects or imported graphics (a.k.a. not imported video footage). I can pre-comp and pre-render elements, but it still seems a bit slow to me. Maybe I am spoiled?

MY QUESTION IS: Does anyone know what would be the best settings in AE for the following (or similar) set-up?:

System
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two (2) Intel(R) Xeon(R) Six-Core, X5690s @ 3.47GHz (24 CPUs for Windows)
System Memory 144 GB DDR3 RAM @ 1066 MHz
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Storage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One (1) SSD Disk boot partition
Three (3) RAID5 3TB drives @ 7200 rpm
All running 6 Gb/sec

Graphics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two (2) PNY VCQ4000-PB NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Cards.

I am also moving to Premier Pro from my current NLE so any advices there would also be very welcome.

Many thanks in advance.

Best,

Kevin Seidule


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Kevin CampRe: Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 9, 2011 at 8:41:07 pm

you might want to check out the relevant info here:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/543440

and i don't know if todd mentions it in any of that information, but he has stated before that ae tops out at around 10 cores, so you could play around with leaving a dozen or so cores for other apps just to see what effect that may have -- note, ae can still use those cores for multithreaded processes (your not just throwing them away), so you should see high cpu levels for many renders.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin SeiduleRe: Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 10, 2011 at 12:13:48 am

OK, I've read all the other references you mentioned in the response and I will apply that knowledge to my settings.

FYI...For the above referenced hardware set-up, I'm am going to try a reserve of 48GB of the 144GB (1/3 memory) for other apps, and reserve 14 CPUs leaving 10 CPUs to AE at 3GB ram allocation.

I very much appreciate your knowledgeable and timely response.

Warm Regards,

Kevin Seidule


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Kevin CampRe: Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 12, 2011 at 4:29:03 pm

i would be interested in what you find out... i've never worked on a system with sooo much ram, so it's hard to have certainty in the settings...

from my experience (and from what i've read), those settings seem like a good starting place. but when you have time, you might try benchmarking a project or two, changing some of the settings to see what you get -- benchmarking i s always tough in ae, one comp may render faster with one set of settings, while another renders faster with a different set, and then there are a few effects that disable mp all together (like particle playground, cc time blend, and a few others). but i f you can find a project that has several things that you use a lot, maybe 3d layers/lights, favorite effects, etc. then it can be useful.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin SeiduleRe: Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:59:47 am

I will definitely post my findings.

It would be nice if there was a base composition that we could all use for benchmarking and comparing.

Thanks again for all the great advices!

Kevin Seidule


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Kevin CampRe: Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 3:32:46 pm

here's an old project that was designed for benchmarking ae and i think they'll still run on later versions of ae (i believe cs5.5 can open ae6+ projects):

http://www.media-motion.tv/aebenchmarks.html

if you search the web you can probably still find benchmarks of other systems that used this project. here's one that focuses on macs (i think this particular benchmark only uses one part of that project):

http://www.barefeats.com/imac11f.html

again, benchmarking can be helpful for getting the base settings, but you may find some projects that render faster with different settings... i've found one comp may render faster with more cores and less ram per core, other render faster with fewer cores and more ram per core. though with 24 cores and 144gb, i suppose you are will covered for either situation.... i only have 16 cores and 20gb... and yes, i'm a bit jealous ;-)

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin SeiduleRe: Optimal After Effects Settings on Killer Computer?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 6:23:21 pm

Wow. Thanks so much again! I will check it out!

I didn't mean to create any jealousy, but I understand totally.

Previously, I was working and rendering on an older Dell Precision M6500 (laptop - which is by no means a bad machine to have), but limited to 8GB of mems.

My projects can be rather lengthy, and the company I did work for did the math...quadruple screen and disk rendering time, multiply that out to a year, and it saves me about 2-3 months in the long run. So the cost and time savings over a year meant having their IT guys buy and build me a machine spec'd out for screen and disk rendering.

I never dreamed I would ever have something like this!

Best,

Kevin


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