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Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?

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Hope Holmesby
Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 1:32:57 am

Dear Forum Experts,

Thanks for reading this.

1. How much extra speed does Ram and Internal Hard drives add?

a. For example if AE renders a certain file and has a benchmark of 62 min. with 8 GB of Ram (12 core Mac Pro 2.6), would it be 3x faster with 24GB of Ram for rendering that same file?

b. What about then adding to that, 3 extra internal Hard Drives = 4 internal hard drives stripped together Raid 0? Would that add 3x more again to the speed?

What would you guess might be the added speed, for example if it renders at 62 min, then with a. and b. added how long might that render take?

I uploaded a picture of the the bare feats benchmark as a visual aid. Hope it is showing.

Warmly,
Hope

__________________________________________________

Life is here to enjoy.

Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, 150 GB; Mac OS X (10.4.11) 4GB RAM; 2 La Cie external HDs 1TB each; STP v2.0.2; FCP 6; AE 8(CS3)


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Hope Holmesby
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:03:47 am

here is the picture....



mac-pro-ram.jpg

__________________________________________________

Life is here to enjoy.

Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, 150 GB; Mac OS X (10.4.11) 4GB RAM; 2 La Cie external HDs 1TB each; STP v2.0.2; FCP 6; AE 8(CS3)


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 4:04:48 am

The optimum configuration and setings differ from project to project, as they depend on footage type, complexity of composition, size of composition, and many other factors. The general guidelines are that more processors and more RAM help a lot, as does using multiple fast hard disks. There is no useful way to quantify the amount that each contributes to performance unless one restricts oneself to discussing a single standard test project (as with the Barefeats benchmark).

Here is a page that collects the best current guidance:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/543440

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Kevin Camp
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:02:36 pm

a good way to try and gauge if more ram will help (and about how much it may help) is to run the activity monitor (applications>utilities) while rendering and watch the cpu activity meter.

if the cpu level is very high, then there isn't much you can do to make them go faster... they are getting enough data to process as efficiently as possible, and that's just how fast they can go.

if the level is low then there is room for improvement. more ram can often help by providing a steady stream of data to the cpus to process. faster drives can fill the ram more quickly which could help if you are seeing that ram usage levels never get very high when performance is low, but that is not usually a problem.

other things that can effect performance are the memory settings. the link todd provided has some good tips to help with those settings, but if you aren't getting high cpu levels, try tweaking them. i've found that making sure you leave a lot of ram for other apps (this includes the os) helped lot for longer renders. i leave nearly 40% of ram for other apps, and it greatly reduced the os caching ram to disk which improved longer renders significantly.

i also left half my cores to other apps (this doesn't mean that ae won't use them if they are available, just that ae will leave more ram for the cores that i'm telling it to use).

so watch your cpu levels and follow todd's recommendations to see how they effect those levels. and as todd points out, you may find that the settings that work well for one comp, may not work as well for another.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin Camp
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:37:04 pm

hope, are you still spec'ing for a new system, or is this a system you have -- it just occurred to me that you had asked some questions about getting a new system a month or so ago, and if you don't actually have the system, you wouldn't be able to do any testing that i mentioned.

if that's the case, i do think you'd benefit a lot from getting more than 8gb of ram for a 12-core machine (with hyperthreading that's 24 cores and 8gb wouldn't be enough to get much out of multiprocessing).

24gb would seem to be a good amount to get (i have 16gb in an 8-core [16 w/ hyperthreading], and i usually get the most out all cores).

i don't think you'll get much out of the raid0, and if you were thinking about apple's raid card, you can get better raid cards for less money. but again, i don't think a raid will help you much....

also, you can get very good ram at much better prices than apple, if you look at otherworldcomputing.com... you may very well find 24gb for half of what apple charges.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin Camp
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 2:49:09 pm

[Kevin Camp] "you may very well find 24gb for half of what apple charges."

correction, it's more like 80% savings... 6 x 4gb modules at apple: $2500+; 6 x 4gb at owc: under $500.

of course you'd be installing it, but that's really not hard. no tools, just follow the instructions and be careful when handling the modules -- don't do anything to build up static while handling them (like scooting your feet on the carpet). you can touch the metal casing on the computer before handling the ram to discharge any static you have. also, avoid touching the metal contacts on the modules. and make sure the system in unplugged.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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John Smith
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 12:16:37 pm

Ram good but only if you're maxing your ram currently. See how much you are using first before you add more. (Check percentage used) Hard drives stripped together are good too but will have no effect on rendering because I believe the program initially loads from HDD to RAM then runs there. To increase render speed, upgrade your processor and your graphics cards.


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Kevin Camp
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 17, 2010 at 3:33:45 pm

[John Smith] "To increase render speed, upgrade your processor and your graphics cards."

actually, the graphics card won't help render speeds at all in ae. it can help with other software.

premiere can benefit significantly from certain qualified cards that they list, fcp and motion will also benefit from a fast graphics card.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Hope Holmesby
Re: Extra Ram and Internal Hard Drives - Speed Added?
on Dec 18, 2010 at 7:05:32 pm

Dear All,

Thank you so very much for your great input.

Yes, Kevin, thanks for remembering and for your ever in depth, comprehensive and clear responses.

Yes, am still thinking what computer to get,
(The budget department is now telling us we have about $4K to spend, which is about 1/2 of what I was hoping. So trying to convince them we need more...lol.)

1. But based on 4K, what would be the best setup to get for running After Effects? or should I make this a new topic?

2. Also, yes, the OWC is where we were looking....thanks for supporting that idea. Yes, we found 24GB for bout $600 like you said...huge savings.

...And were going for 3rd party internal hard drives too...

3. And Todd, thanks for the Adobe angle, thats what I had based the buying list on.

4. And John, don't hard drives help process any interaction with AE when working on the timeline for example? and ram previews?

Really appreciate soooooo much all your input...

Your guys are the best.

Warmly,
Hope

__________________________________________________

Life is here to enjoy.

Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, 150 GB; Mac OS X (10.4.11) 4GB RAM; 2 La Cie external HDs 1TB each; STP v2.0.2; FCP 6; AE 8(CS3)


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