Hi guys, I'm sorry this isn't a very "Creative" question, but, I'm in a position where the church I work at has said they just want to know what I need and they will get it for me. So, I want to be respectful of money, I don't need a high end pro system, but I do want to run AE CS3 using lots of layers and able to do smooth 3d effects and camera movement, lighting etc.
What would you guys suggest are good system specs to run AE best?
for adobe products, i would stay away from amd processors in favor of intel... not because i think one is necessarily better, but because adobe products seem to be better optimized to run on intel cores. i don't blame adobe either, there are just a lot more intel machines out there.
i would also lean towards the newer core i7 cpus even though ae wasn't designed for them. you'll get virtually double the processing power with intel's re-introduction of hyper threading (4 physical cores will look like 8 and 8 physical cores will look like 16).
the other thing you'll want is enough ram to feed those cores. i would highly recommend 2gb per core and if you want to work in hd, i'd try to get 4gb/core. so with a 4 core i7 cpus, you would want 2gb/virtual core... so 16gb would be a good starting point. you can limit the number of cores that ae uses for multiprocessing, so you can get by with less ram, but i would shoot for 16gb. with cs3, you can hack the preference file to limit the cps, or use a script called throttle.
to use more than 4gb of ram, you'll also need a 64-bit os, so make sure that's included.
i'm really not a big fan of opengl in ae, and i wouldn't buy a graphics card just for use in ae, i'd spend the money on ram.... my recommendations for a graphics card would just be that it meets the requirements for the software that you want to use, if it's a problem in ae, just disable opengl in the previews preference.