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Does anyone understand CPU speed?

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Joel Mielle
Does anyone understand CPU speed?
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:58:32 am

I'd like to know two things please:

1) what's faster to run CS4-AE
a) Intel Core i7 Extreme 3.33ghz 8mb quad core or
b) Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPUX5550 @2.67GHz (8 CPUs)2.7GHz

Also what is the best graphics card within reasonalbe price range, I understand that the Quadro CX is meant to be the best for CS4 but is it really that good? Would the Quadro FX3800 be sufficient.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


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Kevin Camp
Re: Does anyone understand CPU speed?
on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:17:30 pm

basically you can take the core speed and multiply it by the number of cores and that will give you an approximation of the processing power that ae can use with 'render multiple frames simultaneously' enabled.

however to get the most from that processing power, you will need around 2gb of ram per core, and up to 4gb per core to work efficiently in hd. to address more than 4gb of total ram, you will also need a 64-bit os. so keep that in mind when budgeting for your system.

also know that not all effects will work with ae's multiprocessing technique/technology, so comps that use those effects will not benefit from multiple cores. so the machine with the highest clock speed will be fastest. however the vast majority of effects will work with mp enabled... off the top of my head, particle playground, wide time, and time blend effects are not compatible with ae's mp, ae's help file may list others.

as far as the graphics card, ae doesn't benefit much from a good graphics card. opengl acceleration is generally limited to preview acceleration and isn't usually used for rendering. opengl also doesn't render the same as ae's software render engine, so it can create differences from the preivew vs. the final render. when enabled, previews will not use multiprocessing (they are incompatible) and not that many standard ae effects are opengl accelerated, so opengl performance gains can vary a lot. there are also some stability issues with opengl, and it is frequently one of the first things to disable when troubleshooting ae crashes...

in short, so the amount of money you spend on a graphics card doesn't have great return value in ae, and many users would tell you to buy a cheap card and spend the extra money on ram.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Joel Mielle
Re: Does anyone understand CPU speed?
on Oct 30, 2009 at 2:51:28 am

Thanks Kevin, I'll take your valid points into consideration.

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scott novasic
Re: Does anyone understand CPU speed?
on Oct 31, 2009 at 9:07:01 am

good description Kevin. I think the jury is still out on the i7 processors. 64 bit is really going to help as far as HD goes, but Ram becomes the holy grail. Computers will get much more expensive if memory prices dont dip some in the next few years. On paper, the new 27" imac 4 core i7 *8 virtual cores) for roughly $2100 Is as good a deal as you will ever find all things considered. All the power of an 8 core tower (like I have now) for half the price.... Still need to max the ram out at 16 though. (there will be better machines, but much more costly)

Animation & Visual Effects
Scott Novasic
Los Angeles Ca

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