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Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?

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Daniel JohnsonUpgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 2:20:01 am

I am running ae cs4 on this machine:

os x 10.6.6
Mac Pro
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Early 2008 model

I had 10 gigs of memory and I upgraded to 18.

A render out of ae project with 10 gigs of ram and it took around 3 hours. The same render with 18 took 5? I am second guessing that something else happened besides just my ram updgrade and ae settings change. I think I have my settings right from Todd K. ae expert.

I am interested in render speed not length of ram preview. Here is what my Memory & Multiprocess settings are now:
Cpus: 8
Installed Ram: 18gb
Total ae memory usage: 12gb
Ram to leave for other applications: 6

Multiprocessing on for render multiple frame simult.
Min. allocation per cpu: 2GB
Slider set to right for "faster rendering"
FG memory usage: .4GB
BG memory usage 11.6GB (2.32 GB per CPU)
Actual CPUS that will be used: 5

My hardrive is not more full then it was earlier. My ae settings and hardware settings for the project files, media cache, and render locations are the same. What am I missing?

Dan


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David CabestanyRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 5:32:32 am

Daniel, my guess is you now have an uneven amount of ram on each slot, as far as I know Macs must distribute ram evenly across the available slots and in even numbers, for example, 16 gb should be installed using four 4 gb dimms, one per slot.

How did you distribute your ram?

Also I'd consider upgrading to CS5, which by being a 64 bit application can take advantage of more ram installed.


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Daniel JohnsonRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:12:48 am

Here is how the ram is distributed:
Riser B1 1 GB
Riser B2 1 GB
Riser A1 4 GB
Riser A2 4 GB
Riser B3 empty
Riser B4 empty
Riser A3 4 GB
Riser A4 4 GB

So are my 1 GB sticks in the pair causing the problem? I would rather figure out the issue first rather then just upgrading to see if it changes anything. Thanks for the thoughts though.


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Daniel JohnsonRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 2:50:35 pm

I have mini stats for my processor, hard drive, and ram and just noticed that the ram is capping out at few gigs with about 10 free! I tried a ram preview a number of times and it keeps stopping after just a few seconds (and a couple of gigs active/wired in the ram). Maybe the different branded ram is not compatible with each other?

I tried taking out the smaller 1 gig sticks. Still not using the rest of the ram. So is the lesson I am suppose to learn: don't mix different ram brands? Or could it be something else?


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Walter SoykaRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:24:22 pm

[Daniel Johnson] "I tried taking out the smaller 1 gig sticks. Still not using the rest of the ram. So is the lesson I am suppose to learn: don't mix different ram brands? Or could it be something else?"

This is not likely the problem.


[Daniel Johnson] "Cpus: 8
Installed Ram: 18gb
Total ae memory usage: 12gb
Ram to leave for other applications: 6

Multiprocessing on for render multiple frame simult.
Min. allocation per cpu: 2GB
Slider set to right for "faster rendering"
FG memory usage: .4GB
BG memory usage 11.6GB (2.32 GB per CPU)
Actual CPUS that will be used: 5"


You have 18GB of RAM, and you're leaving 6 GB for other applications. That gives AE 12 GB to work with. You're trying to divide that 12 GB of RAM over 8 CPUs. My guess is that you are overscheduling your processors and starving them of RAM.

See Todd Kopriva's comments on the bottom of the Memory & Multiprocessing preferences (CS4) [link] page for some good performance tips.

I'd start by either lowering your minimum allocation per CPU, or reducing the number of CPUs AE uses to render (by increasing the "CPUS to leave for other applications" value). It may seem counterintuitive, but you can actually reduce your rendering performance by asking your computer to do more than it can handle.

Also, please note that the optimal settings for these values is project-dependent! Some comps and effects will have higher or lower memory requirements than others, so some testing for the best values may be helpful.


[Daniel Johnson] "I have mini stats for my processor, hard drive, and ram and just noticed that the ram is capping out at few gigs with about 10 free!"

I think monitoring your system resources like this during a render is the best thing that you can do to figure out where the bottlenecks are. If you are maxing our your RAM without maxing our your processors, some tweaking as above should help.

Good luck.

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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Daniel JohnsonRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:34:13 pm

I just set my settings to :

ae memory: 10gb
ram for other apps: 6gb
Cpus to leave for other apps: 4

That means I have 2.5 GB for each core being used for ae correct? When does a ram preview stop? In my experience it stops when it a) hits the end of a composition b) has an error c) or it runs out of ram. I should have 10 gbs of ram to preview with and it is only using less the one GB which previews about a second or so? I am not getting any errors, and I am previewing at the beginning of my composition. It makes me think there is something wrong with the ram... any other thoughts anyone?


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Walter SoykaRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:42:07 pm

[Daniel Johnson] "When does a ram preview stop? In my experience it stops when it a) hits the end of a composition b) has an error c) or it runs out of ram. I should have 10 gbs of ram to preview with and it is only using less the one GB which previews about a second or so? I am not getting any errors, and I am previewing at the beginning of my composition. It makes me think there is something wrong with the ram... any other thoughts anyone?"

RAM preview stops when it it runs out of RAM to store the previewed frames in. When you move the slider away from Longer to Faster, you decrease the amount of RAM AE allocates for storing previews.

Also, AE CS4 is 32-bit only, which means the largest amount of RAM it can grab on a Mac is somewhere between 3 and 4 GB. This will further limit your preview length. Multiprocessing launches multiple copies of the AE renderer so that it can work on multiple frames at the same time, but each process has its own separate RAM. This cannot defeat the maximum RAM preview length limitation, because the foreground process (running the GUI) must have room in its own RAM space for all the frames to preview.

AE CS5 is 64-bit only, which means that a single process can address all the RAM in your system. With CS5, your RAM preview will be limited only by available system RAM.

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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Daniel JohnsonRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:48:06 pm

I moved the slider back to the middle, and the issue is still there.

I have been running cs4 with 10 gb of ram and have had all 8 cores and my ram being used to the max. From what I recall cs4 can use up to 4GB per core. I am only using 2.5GB. So I don't think 64bit is the issue.

Maybe I am not understanding you. My machine was working fine with 10GB of ram. Now it barely works at all. If it is a setting problem then what is it? Hmm...


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Walter SoykaRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 4:18:51 pm

[Daniel Johnson] "I moved the slider back to the middle, and the issue is still there."

Which issue? Render speed, or preview length? You've mentioned both in this read, and it's an either-or choice.


[Daniel Johnson] "I have been running cs4 with 10 gb of ram and have had all 8 cores and my ram being used to the max."

Really? In my experience, 10 GB is nowhere near enough to feed 8 cores and system overhead for most comps.


[Daniel Johnson] "From what I recall cs4 can use up to 4GB per core. I am only using 2.5GB. So I don't think 64bit is the issue."

I am suggesting that 32-bit / 64-bit is the issue for RAM preview length. Because the 32-bit process that holds the RAM preview will max out at around 3.5 GB of allocated RAM, your maximum RAM preview length is the same, no matter how much RAM you add above your 10 GB.

In a 10 GB system on AE CS4, you'll get longer RAM previews with multiprocessing off -- allowing the main AE process to grab its maximum amount of RAM at around 3.5 GB -- than you will with multiprocessing on and the main process able to only 2.5 GB of RAM.


[Daniel Johnson] "Maybe I am not understanding you. My machine was working fine with 10GB of ram. Now it barely works at all. If it is a setting problem then what is it?"

What settings were you using before?

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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Brian CharlesRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 4:19:29 pm

I had the same system though with a different ram configuration. As I recall they ram should be distributed from higher densities to lower. Last two slot pairs (A + B) should have the 1 GB Chips.

Apple has an installation guide.



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Kevin CampRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:36:55 pm

yep, i think one issue is that you don't have your ram configured correctly...

top riser should be like this:
slots 1 & 2: 4gb (matched pair)
slots 3 & 4: 1gb (matched pair)

bottom riser:
slots 1 & 2: 4gb (matched pair)
slots 3 & 4: empty

and to add to the links that have been provided, here's todd's page with several links to key performance tips/suggestions:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/543440

and to add my 2-cents for base mp & memory settings:
- ram for other apps: 6-8gb (or around 30-40% total ram)
- cpus for other apps: 4 (or half of cpus)
- min ram per cpu: 1-2gb

but as walter mentioned, optimal settings are on a per comp basis more than a system basis, so the best settings can change from comp to comp... so constantly monitoring cpu, memory and disk usage is key to determining how to change those settings to improve performance.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Daniel JohnsonRe: Upgrade Ram = Slower Render?
by on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:49:28 pm

Just want to follow up on this thread. Following this advice solved my problem:

top riser:
slots 1 & 2: 4gb (matched pair)
slots 3 & 4: 1gb (matched pair)

bottom riser:
slots 1 & 2: 4gb (matched pair)
slots 3 & 4: empty

Thanks for bailing me out of that one!

Dan


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