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New computer for After Effects CS5

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Trey DillenNew computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 5:59:19 am

Hey All,

I'm a student in college right now and have recently had the urge to begin learning after effects. I bought myself a Power Mac G5 about 5-6 years ago to learn Final Cut Pro before college. Well unfortunately, that Power Mac is pretty outdated and can't take anything but CS3 at this point. I've decided to get a new computer, but I want to make sure I get the right computer for me. I don't want to get an iMac and not be satisfied with performance, but I also don't want to go all out and spend $8,000 on a mac pro when I don't really need it. So my question is, what do you think I should go with considering I'll be working with HDV? (keep in mind I already have monitors to use if I went the mac pro way)

My understanding from reading recently is that because after effects is a 64-bit application now, it can use up to 3 gb of RAM per core. So with an iMac, your limited to (at MAX) 12 gb of usable RAM. Plus, your paying for a display and slim form factor when I don't really need either. With a mac pro, I could potentially have enough money to splurge for an 8-core. With the 8-core, I could load up the ram and have 24gb of usable RAM. I'm not sure if this matters all that much, but eventually want to be running 3d programs like maya and c4d.

In the end, do I need the Mac pro and all that RAM for AE CS5 to run smoothly (rotoscoping and such with hdv), or will I be just fine with a quad-core iMac or Mac Pro?


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Michael SzalapskiRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 4:47:37 pm

Actually, AE runs best with 4 GB of RAM per core of your processor. Also, you don't need to have a Mac to run it. Some people would argue that you'll get more processing power for your buck with a PC. I say shop around. I got a great price on an HP not too long ago and it's running the CS5 suite like a charm. I prefer Apple products, but (for several reasons) I ended up with the HP and I'm pretty happy with it.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Kevin CampRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 5:37:37 pm

[Trey Dillen] "but eventually want to be running 3d programs like maya and c4d."

working in 3d apps like maya and c4d will benefit from a good graphics card, and the imac's gpu would probably not be good enough. plus, if you're not doing 3d now, you could get a baseline card now, then upgrade it later when you need it, if you get a tower.

and i'm with michael, you don't need to buy a mac if you don't want to. pc's have a few advantages, there is a lot of competition in the pc market, so prices are typically better and there are lots of peripheral options for things like graphics cards. also with that much variety, you can really taylor the system to what you need - like if you don't need gigabit ethernet, get a 10/100 card, can't do that with a mac... (i should note that i'm a mac guy, in a mac shop, but i do get frustrated sometimes with apple).

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Michael SzalapskiRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 5:48:11 pm

Ah, I like Taylor-ing my system...

Oh, you meant tailor... ;)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Kevin CampRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:07:40 pm

:~)

thank you sir...

and that's a sweet atx case, do you know where i could find a kardashian one.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Michael SzalapskiRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:32:58 pm

"do you know where i could find a kardashian one."

Who?

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dave LaRondeRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:48:01 pm

[Michael Szalapski] "Who?"

Perhaps Kevin's referring from those recurring bad guys in the various Star Trek shows, the Cardassians.

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


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Kevin CampRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 8:26:37 pm

you know, kim kardashian and her sisters... they had that secured credit card with their likeness on it that they got a lot of bad press on just last week due to the fees associated with the card... what are they doing with that image now? it would make great atx case.

(i work for a news organization that reports all this need to know stuff)

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Michael SzalapskiRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 16, 2010 at 9:43:32 pm

Well, if you really want one, you could create a custom skin on SkinIt...

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dave LaRondeRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 5:59:34 am

[Kevin Camp] "...(i work for a news organization that reports all this need to know stuff)..."

That's "need to know" stuff?

How do you like snow and cold for five months straight? I know of an ABC affiliate in Market No. 89 that would do you the courtesy of listening if you talked.

The web folks handle the gossip here. The TV folks get to cover exciting things like school board meetings, state politics, flood recovery and the rare homicide. And the public schools are darned good.

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


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Trey DillenRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 6:28:57 am

Well, I like that my post got a lot of responses....unfortunately most of them aren't about my post haha. Thanks to those who responded with answers to my questions.

I understand the idea of a PC being an option, but I ruled that idea out because I edit with FCP and this is going to be my editing system for FCP, after effects, C4d, etc.

I've ruled out the idea of an iMac. Limitations on RAM upgrading and can't upgrade the GPU.

So that leaves me with the Mac Pro. 4-core or 8-core?? That is my next question. Do you think shelling out the cash for 8-core is worth it? The difference is like 1,000 bucks...lotta money


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Kevin CampRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:18:32 pm

sorry for hijacking your post.


fcp is a good reason to need a mac...

as far as the cores go... ae will normally use just about every core you can give it. apple's pro apps top out at around 4 cores.

if you can afford it, i would get the 8-core and at least 16gb of ram (that's currently what i have, and i can watch ae use nearly all the processing power, so that would be 2x faster than a 4-core).

also, you can save a fair amount of money on ram if you don't buy it from apple, but buy your ram from a place like otherworldcomputing.com. they are a good reputable vendor for mac products. crucial also has very good ram, but is usually a little pricier than owc.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Michael SzalapskiRe: New computer for After Effects CS5
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:31:16 pm

You could edit with Premiere Pro. It's rather similar to Final Cut, but the integration with AE is outstanding and the new Mercury Playback Engine is pretty sweet by all accounts. :)

As far as 4 or 8 cores, you're doing Cinema 4d and After Effects on this machine. Questions: how tight are the deadlines under which you work? Is this a hobby or is this a job? If it's a job and you have deadlines, it's totally worth it to get the extra cores. Time is money. A bit of money now will save you much time later. Just don't forget to get enough RAM to go with those extra cores. (If you're getting a Mac Pro, you can probably upgrade the RAM yourself cheaper than buying it from Apple.)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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