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How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...

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Steven J CaseyHow many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 4:14:32 am

I've been told that Photoshop will only use a single quad core processor and that AE is the same. I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer to this as I'm trying to put together specs for a new workstation. Am I wasting money on a 6 core xeon? What about a dual 6 core xeon system? Is that a waste for CS5 purposes? What about future proofing? I'm already planning on 24GB RAM and an nvidia quadro 2000. Any thoughts on this?

Thx
Steven



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Jürgen HacklRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 9:16:59 am

AE can use multiple cores, but you have to switch on this feature in the prefs.

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS9F936D13-E76A-41e4-BF8F...


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Walter SoykaRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 3:05:22 pm

Like Jürgen said, AE can use multiple cores. Whoever told you that AE was limited to a single quad-core processor is misinformed.

Using multiprocessing requires a lot of RAM -- 24 GB will do for a 6-core system, but it might be a little light for a 12-core system.

AE renders on the CPU, so the graphics card won't have much impact on After Effects rendering performance.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Steven J CaseyRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 3:32:00 pm

Thanks guys. I just wasn't sure if AE would address the cores on a second processor. As for memory, I'm thinking to get the dual 6 core machine now since it'll be several years before I can upgrade again, but if I need more than 24GB RAM it's easier to add memory than upgrade processors.



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Kevin CampRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 5:18:07 pm

also, for the record, photoshop can use more cores too. maybe not all filters are multi-threaded, but many, if not most processes are.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Steven J CaseyRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 5:56:51 pm

More good to know stuff. Not trying to call out names, but this is directly from the email response I got from the NAPP help desk when I asked this question.

"Currently CS5 only takes advantage of a single quad core processor. Future versions will no doubt use more cores. My guess the same is true for After Effects."

This is where my confusion really got started. Anyway, my company has an exclusive deal with Dell, so my options are limited to them. At this point I'm looking at a T7500, Dual 6 core Xeon 2.66GHz, 24GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 2000. For the budget I have this seems like a nice balance. And if I need more RAM in the future it's the easiest piece to upgrade.



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Dave LaRondeRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 6:05:06 pm

I don't know what a NAPP is, but I can comment on the quality of information from the NAPP Help Desk in the case of CS5.

It's a wonder they can find a certain part of the anatomy above the legs and below the back in the dark using both hands.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Steven J CaseyRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 6:35:00 pm

lol NAPP is National Association of Photoshop Professionals, they publish Photoshop User magazine. http://www.photoshopuser.com/ I will say they have some great tuts on using photoshop, apparently not so much on the technical side of things.

Thanks again for the input everyone, it's much appreciated.



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Jon BaggeRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:29:44 pm

This is where my confusion really got started. Anyway, my company has an exclusive deal with Dell, so my options are limited to them. At this point I'm looking at a T7500, Dual 6 core Xeon 2.66GHz, 24GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 2000. For the budget I have this seems like a nice balance. And if I need more RAM in the future it's the easiest piece to upgrade.


I have a T7500 myself. Mine is dual 4-core with hyperthreading turned on, so I have 16 threads.
I have successfully cranked up multiprocessing to run 16 copies of AE each rendering a frame. (this is not really recommended, but I had to try) Works a treat.

Using a more reasonable 4-8 AE threads, I've had AE run at 80-95% CPU usage for entire renders. It's blasting through my renders. I'm getting impatient now if anything takes more than 10 minutes :)

I have 48GB of memory, if you can afford that I'd highly recommend it. The T7500 has a huge advantage over many other workstations in that it has 12 memory slots if you buy a dual processor. So you can get to 48GB using only 4GB modules, which are way, way, cheaper than 8GB ones.

I assume the 2.66 you're looking at is the Xeon 5650, which sounds like the best performance/price of the high end Xeons. I was going for that one myself before I found a refurbished Dell with dual 5580's.

Good luck with your purchase!

--------------
Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Steven J CaseyRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 20, 2010 at 3:12:40 am

Jon,
Yes, it's the 5650's. My IT dept. placed the order this afternoon and I'm totally psyched to get the machine. My old machine fried out last week and I'm barely limping along right now with an old D630 laptop, 1.8GHz/2GB RAM!!! I'm about to just go hang myself over this thing. Thank goodness we have a holiday next week so I'm taking the whole week off while waiting for the new workstation. After that, back to the torture for a week or so and hopefully it'll be ready.

Man, just looking at your numbers is killing me! It'll be like early Christmas when this thing shows up!



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Todd KoprivaRe: How many cores will AE use? I'm just confused now...
by on Nov 20, 2010 at 4:31:34 am

There are some recommendations regarding memory settings here.

These recommendations are especially important when you have a lot of processor cores but not a large amount of memory.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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