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why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?

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Daniel Crookswhy is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:11:20 am

hi people

I'm running a fairly spec'd out Mac as my main workstation - 2x2.6(8core) Nehalem, 16GB RAM, ProAvio EB8 with Areca 1221x controller, ATI Radeon 4870. I also have a couple of PCs that I'm using only for rendering - XP64 ,i6 2.6(4 core), 12 GB RAM, some cheap video card and 2 standard internal sata drives. The PCs each cost almost a quarter of the Mac (not including the monitors). I almost fell off my chair when the PCs started rendering After Effects comps faster than the Mac. How can this be ? More processors, more RAM, 730 MB/s disk reads and still the Mac is going slower ??? I've done a lot of testing with balancing the multi-processing settings and have them pretty well tweaked to optimum but The PCs are still doing renders in 2/3s the time. Sure XP is flaky as hell and I have to reboot between renders but I am really quite disappointed in Apple.

Could someone please explain whats going on ?

../daniel


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Timo TeravainenRe: why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:52:43 am

Hi,

I have been wondering the same thing, and also the fact that my 2-year old Macbook Pro 17" is faster than a brand new Mac Pro 8-core...


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Erik WaluskaRe: why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 7, 2009 at 3:23:57 pm

I can't explain it but I can confirm it. I have a Mac Pro at work and a PC at home and the PC consistently renders about 30% faster. The Mac has a quad-core 2.66 Intel Xeon processor and the PC has a 2.66 Intel Core2 duo (not a quad). I don't know why the PC is faster, but it is.

Also, if you have to reboot your PC between renders then something is wrong. Have somebody check it out because it should be rendering just fine - mine does.

-E




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Adolfo RozenfeldRe: why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 8, 2009 at 4:45:18 am

I assume you guys have all turned on the "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" checkbox in Preferences > Memory an multiprocessing, right?

Adolfo Rozenfeld · Adobe


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Daniel CrooksRe: why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 10, 2009 at 12:38:41 am

down the bottom of the original post = "I've done a lot of testing with balancing the multi-processing settings and have them pretty well tweaked to optimum" so yes, render multiple frames is enabled and working fine.

I've asked the same question on the REDuser forum and received some interesting info regarding the difference in performance between the 32 and 64 bit versions of AE for the PC (particularly for R3D footage). Adolfo I was hoping you could confirm that AE is in fact 64 bit when running on XP64 or Vista64.

And while I'm asking, any predictions as to when AE will be 64 bit for the MAC ?

../daniel


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Adolfo RozenfeldRe: why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 10, 2009 at 2:41:01 pm

After Effects is not a 64 bit application on any platform.
AE CS4 provides some of the benefits associated with 64 bits apps (also in the Mac OS), because of how the multiprocessing scheme allows to take advantage of far more than 4 GB of RAM by launching a rendering instance for each core or processor (each able to use up to 3.5 to 4 GB).

I work for Adobe, so I don't need to predict :) Unfortunately, I can't tell you, since there are no announced plans about this. But, evidently, Adobe seems to be talking a lot about 64 bit, right?

Finally, while there can be some rendering advantages for certain features in one or the other platform, I'd consider drastic differences (> 20 per cent) very, very rare.

Adolfo Rozenfeld · Adobe


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Kim SegelRe: why is AE on a PC so much faster then a Mac ?
by on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:01:56 am

Same here.. my PC at home (4 cores) blows the doors off my 8-core Mac at work.

When I do a RAM preview on the PC, it screams through the render and then plays back in real time.
When I do a RAM preview on the Mac, it slogs through the render and then plays back in real time. Weird.

Also, the PC was $9,000.00 cheaper.

Maybe Adobe's Mac code isn't as tight..?

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

--Emo Philips


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