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G5 memory for AE - Max it out? ECC vs non-ECC?

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John DeanG5 memory for AE - Max it out? ECC vs non-ECC?
by on Oct 2, 2009 at 5:57:58 pm

I'm about to buy more memory for my PowerMac G5 Dual Core 2.3 GHz which I use for After Effects (and Photoshop).
I have 2 questions:
1. If I max out the memory (16GB), will After Effects take advantage of all of it? Does it mean I can work with bigger files? Is it worth it?
2. ECC vs non-ECC memory. Does it make a difference in After Effects? I've read that ECC memory is only needed for "mission critical applications like servers".

Thanks for your advice.


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Kevin CampRe: G5 memory for AE - Max it out? ECC vs non-ECC?
by on Oct 2, 2009 at 6:43:15 pm

i don't think either of the 2.3ghz g5s were quad-core (two dual core cpus)... so if you only have 2 cores, the most ram ae will be able to use is just under 8gb with 'render multiple frames simultaneously' enabled in the multiprocessing preference. with that option ae can launch a render engine for each available core, with each core getting a max of about 3.5gb of ram, 2 cores x 3.5gb = 7gb.

having nearly 4gb per core will make ae run more smoothly particularly for hd projects. it should eliminate the need for disk caching, and that can speed up rendering.

other parts of the mac osx and any software that is 64-bit will be able to use the full 16gb of ram, so it may not be a bad idea to max it out depending on what else you do with your system, but ae will only use about half of it.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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John DeanRe: G5 memory for AE - Max it out? ECC vs non-ECC?
by on Oct 3, 2009 at 3:28:22 pm

wow, thanks so much for your crystal clear answer kevin.
i work with huge files... do you know how much memory photoshop can take advantage of? i'm not sure if it would be smart to try to run both programs at the same time, unless it's just a matter of memory?
and lastly, is there really a limit to the file size that AE can work with?
thanks again, john

btw, i'm running CS3


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Kevin CampRe: G5 memory for AE - Max it out? ECC vs non-ECC?
by on Oct 5, 2009 at 3:14:56 pm

photoshop is a 32-bit application so it can only address 3gb of ram.

note there is a slight difference in the amount of ram that a 'foreground' process can use vs. a 'background' process. on osx a 32-bit foreground process is limited to about 3gb, a background process is around 3.5gb. photoshop is a foreground process, while the ae render engines that get used when 'render multiple frames simultaneously' is enabled are background processes, so they can grab a bit more ram.

having more than 8gb would allow you to run photoshop and ae, each with their own chunk of ram which can make working with multiple applications much smoother. however, with only 2 cores, one core would get shared by ae and photoshop. so, say you are rendering in ae with multiprocessing enabled, and switch to photoshop to do some work. you'll probably notice a some lag when manipulating the image or applying filters in ps... in situations where you know you'll want to use ps while ae is rendering, you may want to disable mp in ae to get better performance in ps...

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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