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More than 32 GIGS of RAM?

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Craig Wall
More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 7, 2011 at 3:01:23 pm

I'm curious for those of you who have massive RAM in your Macs...48 or 64 GIGs...do you find it makes much difference with After Effects performance?

I have increasingly got the sense that there are laws of diminishing returns...both with the qty of CPUs and with RAM.

In theory I'd think..Hey, .I want to use at least 12 of my cores/threads...and ideally I should apportion 3 gigs per CPU and then have plenty left over...so 48 GIGs ought to be my sweet spot. But I've learned in recent months that my sensibilities mean little in the game of CS5 resource allocation.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Life is full of funny particles.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 7, 2011 at 7:52:44 pm

Getting an optimal RAM setting in AE is like shooting at a moving target that occasionally morphs into a transparent object.

Some computations are RAM-specific while others are pushed through the GPU. Some procedures are HD intensive while others are GPU-centric. It all depends on what the current job entails.

Todd, from Adobe, was here awhile back asking for feedback on memory settings in AE. I'm not sure what's the outcome with that.

What you should know is that generally-speaking, more RAM is good but a good AE system also entails a fast HD, a CUDA-enabled card and a good understanding of the different processes required for any specific render task.

In short, spend what you're comfortable with as far as RAM is concerned - the is more emphasis on GPU these days than there was a couple of years ago.

HTH
RoRK

AE Training in South East Asia. AE templates for sale and rental. Click here for more


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Jon Bagge
Re: More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 7, 2011 at 9:24:58 pm

First of all CUDA does nothing in AE, and the graphics card should certainly be at the bottom of your list for required components.

I have 48GB in my workstation, and AE will easilly use all of it. I have 8 cores with hyperthreading turned on, so 16 potential threads.
I normally run 8 AE threads, with 3GB/thread, and 8GB for other apps.
For renders than need lots of disk access, I might reduce the number of threads.

Remember that even if each extra thread can have max 3GB (not sure why), the main AE application will eat into your memory very fast if you work with complicated HD projects. Especially in 32bit.

I'd certainly recommend you having 32GB in an 8 core machine. Whether having 48GB is worth the extra cost is hard to tell.
On a 12 core machine though, I think you should seriously consider 48GB if you can afford it. Certainly no less than 24GB, or you might as well go with an 8 core.

But as Roland also mentioned fast disks are important too.

In the end this will all somewhat depend on what kind of projects you do.

--------------
http://www.jonbagge.net
Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Craig Wall
Re: More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:33:09 am

Thanks Jon. Yes, I'm not one of those who have ever been confused about CUDA/OpenCL. That's for the Mercury Engine and Premiere and has nothing to do with AE beyond a couple of third party plugins. GPUs have nothing to do with rendering ...so far...but that is certain to change in the next few years.

I just upgraded to a 12 TB 4 drive 0 RAID and WOW(!) what a difference that made in performance. I was beyond pleasantly surprised. Shocked really. But I think part of the problem was that previously my drives were way too full.

I already have 32 GIGS. And I have a 2009 Mac Pro with 8 CPU--16 threads. After Effects treats it as a 16 CPU system.

Again logic would tell me that AE would love 48 GIGs to happily feed all the birdlings int the nest...but real world is another matter.

Life is full of funny particles.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 2:50:36 am

Thanks for clarifying CUDA+AE's main rendering engine. However, CUDA-enabled plugins will be the rage in due time. Productivity gains with plugins that already support CUDA within AE is pretty much jaw-dropping. Additionally, any serious AE user should want to leverage on CUDA+PremierePro as their main playback engine instead of reverting to old-school ways of using the RAM Preview in AE.

Finally, there are lots of AE CS5 performance test results out on the Web. Take some time to have a look-see to have a better idea for the settings needed under various circumstances.

Cheers
RoRK

AE Training in South East Asia. AE templates for sale and rental. Click here for more


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Craig Wall
Re: More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 3:13:00 am

Roland, yes CUDA is going to be really big, and probably even more so over time we'll see the emergence of OpenCL, which is an open standards approach to the same thing CUDA is doing. OpenCL is superior not only because it's not proprietary but also because it gathers and distributes computing power from BOTH the GPUs and available CPUs.

I agree with you about RAM preview in AE...and the superior way Premiere builds out it's disk-based previews. I was a big Premiere guy a decade ago, and just returned to it recently.

Still keeping an eye out, however, for the next Final Cut Pro suite.

Life is full of funny particles.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: More than 32 GIGS of RAM?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:40:48 pm

[Craig Wall] "I was a big Premiere guy a decade ago"

Same here Craig. I doubt if I'll ever make a jump into FCPland. The biggest decision I'm now facing involves jumping into NukeX.

OpenCL sounds great but it's not a guaranteed thing. A lot depends on how fast and well the software developers adopt the technology.

Cheers
RoRK

AE Training in South East Asia. AE templates for sale and rental. Click here for more


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