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Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects

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Simon DickinsonBuying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 11:43:13 am

Hi.
I have been learning a fair bit of After Effects in college and am really enjoying it so I want to be able to carry on with projects at home. At the moment my laptop is a 5 year old Dell without a hope of running it so I want to purchase a desktop specifically for AE.

My budget can stretch to a 21.5-inch, 2.9GHz iMac with 8 GB of RAM and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB.
But for the same money I can buy a 3.4GHz i7 PC with 16BG Ram and a 2GB NVIDIA GTX680.
I can borrow a monitor for the time being so that is not an issue right now.

All the mac users that I know tell me that its not just about the numbers and that the screen alone is worth the money.
The PC users tell me that upgradability is the key and that I'm getting a more powerful system for the money.

I am planning on getting the Red Giant Particular plugin as well as I use that a lot at in my projects at school and plan on exploring that particular (no pun intended) plugin further. We use Macs at college but I use Windows at home and personally I have no preference over either.

Any thoughts on which way I should go?


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Todd KoprivaRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 3:45:14 pm

Having more RAM, a faster CPU, and a better GPU are all valuable. I'd go with the option that gave me those things.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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John CuevasRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 3:53:44 pm

I strongly suggest you go the PC route for the reasons Todd mentioned + the ease in upgrading. Even if you can't get 64GB or RAM now, try to make sure you get a motherboard that will support expansion, at least to 32GB if not 64/128.

There maybe a few OS specific plugs(i've run across one), but as long as you take care to choose codecs that are cross platform you should easily be able to put your assets on some kind hard-drive and transfer between systems.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Simon DickinsonRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 7:35:18 pm

Thanks for the replies.
At the moment the PC direction does seem to be the way to go.
I've also been told to consider a second hand i7 27 inch iMac. Apparently they can take 32GB ram. Though, from what I gather, the older ones use a 1 Gig AMD graphics card. Does the graphics card make a difference when it comes to After Effects? Or is all the rendering done by the processor.


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Todd KoprivaRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 7:54:10 pm

> Does the graphics card make a difference when it comes to After Effects? Or is all the rendering done by the processor.



See this regarding GPU usage by After Effects:
http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2012/05/gpu-cuda-opengl-features-in-aft...

See this page for much more information about hardware for After Effects: http://adobe.ly/pRYOuk

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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John CuevasRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 7:55:55 pm

Graphics card makes a difference if you plan on using any of the 3D-ray tracing ability that was introduced in CS6. I'm 99% sure that the ray-tracing uses the graphics card to render. When you use ray tracing with the CPU versus the graphics card, anything above draft quality takes forever to do, an almost impossible workflow.

Also the popular VideoCopilot plugin Element 3D also uses the graphics card, won't even work on some of the older ones. So the answer is yes, the graphics card makes a huge difference.

Supported CS6 graphics cards.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Simon DickinsonRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 8:38:24 pm

Thanks you to everyone who replied.
I'm definitely going down the pc route. I just prefer the flexibility of being able to upgrade individual components in the future rather than having to replace a whole machine. That and the fact that you seem to get similar specs for less outlay.

Thanks again.


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John CuevasRe: Buying my 1st Desktop for After Effects
by on Apr 30, 2013 at 2:39:34 pm

Glad we were able to help.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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