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RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)

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Jonathan Kempe
RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on Apr 30, 2011 at 2:57:16 pm

Have anybody else here experience severe problems with rendering in After Effects and the MacBook Pro 2011?

I have a new 2011 MacBook Pro with 2,2 quadcore and 8 GB ram and OS 10.6.7. (I also have a older Mac Pro with same setup where I compared rendering the same project but this issue does not appear) I have limited the multiprocessor to 2 processor (meaning 4 aeslink processes) and 1 GB ram each.

Rendering works fine in the beginning, but after rendering some a heavy After Effects project (with Prores HQ material, lots of GB mov files and the only effect timelapse,) After about 30 minutes the computer slows down completely... it almost stops rendering. I cant work in the finder at all, everything is deadly slow. So... I restart the computer, then continue render the sequence from where it stopps and it works fine again for 30 minutes, than same thing...

Any suggestions what this can be since it seems to be a specific Mac Book Pro 2011 problem?


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Brian Charles
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on Apr 30, 2011 at 3:09:16 pm

Check the Activity Monitor to see whether you're generating Page Outs, you may be starving After Effects of RAM. Also check Disk Activity to see what's happening with I/0.

If you see Page Outs, the OS is using the drive as swap space when you've run out of RAM. Turn MP off or increase the RAM available to After Effects.


You can launch Activity Monitor while you render to see exactly what's going on.





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Jonathan Kempe
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on Apr 30, 2011 at 7:21:16 pm

Thanks!

Did some tests, here are the results. Seems something is really eating up the RAM...




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Brian Charles
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on Apr 30, 2011 at 7:36:37 pm

OK, so you need to get After Effects to purge memory periodically.

You can do this be enabling the "Secret Preferences", sounds idiotic I know, but Adobe has hidden a significant preference for render memory management.

Hold down the Shift Key when you select Preferences > General from the After Effects Menu.

This will reveal the "Secret Preferences", set it to Purge every x# of frames, I have mine currently set to 30 frames but YMMV depending on the effects used and type of comp you are rendering.





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Todd Kopriva
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on May 1, 2011 at 10:04:12 am

> You can do this be enabling the "Secret Preferences", sounds idiotic I know, but Adobe has hidden a significant preference for render memory management.


The reason that it's hidden is that it should never be needed. The reason that it exists at all is that we know that sometimes it is needed.

_Any_ time that you need to use that setting, it's a bug.

_Any_ time that you need to use that setting, submit a bug report.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Brian Charles
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on May 1, 2011 at 3:29:42 pm

[Todd Kopriva] "The reason that it exists at all is that we know that sometimes it is needed."

In the real world, sometimes turns out to be more often than not. I've seen dozens and dozens of instances where this is the case.

Changing the Purge settings allows renders to continue that otherwise would fail. Hiding the item from the casual user is one thing, what I find silly is calling the prefs "Secret".



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Jonathan Kempe
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on May 1, 2011 at 6:30:22 pm

Thanks alot for your help! I agree, this should not be a secret setting...

For me, the problem did not show up before 3500 frames of rendering. So I will start to set the "Purge Every 1000 frames"... (it feels like this Purge thing otherwise could slow down rendering) I will do some test...


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Jon Bagge
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on May 2, 2011 at 9:39:03 am

It sounds to me like you need to increase the amount of RAM per process. 1GB may not be enough for what you're doing. To make that work you'll need to reduce the number of AE processes.
This should take care of the problem and alleviate the need to use the secret menu.

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: RAM/RENDER problem with AE and MacBook Pro 2011 (sandybridge)
on May 2, 2011 at 2:42:28 pm

I'm with you, Jon. It sounds like insufficient RAM per core.
At work I have a dual quad-core Mac Pro with 8 gigs in it, and I don't even consider using multiprocessing. I don't feel I have enough memory to make it work effectively.

My dual quad-core machine at home has 24 gigs in it. No problem with multiprocessing.

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


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