After Effects, updating my GPU or CPU


I've been getting in AE (CS5.5) a lot lately and I find it very uncomfortable to work with something very slow. I don't want the com viewer to need time to reflect the changes I make in the effect panel. I want to be able to scrub with no pain on the composition and I feel like the RAM preview should not take ages.

Right now I have a PhII X4 955BE as CPU, non O/C. For Graphics I have an HD 4870 and 4 gigs of DDR3 for memory.

I plan on getting much more memory (adding 2x8) and maybe an SSD to install Windows and CS5.5 on it.

I don't know think it will be enough though to work comfortably.

I read that AE is much more fast when you have a lot of CPU cores to work with. But I also read that AE can take advantage of CUDA technology to render quickly things but I feel that's more to render final work than to preview current work.

Anyway, I feel lost and would love some help. Basically, it's about an X6 or an FX for CPU VS a GTX video card.

Thank you for reading.
23 answers Last reply
More about after effects updating
  1. Maybe I should post this on GPU forums.

    Maybe I should just wait. I don't know, I'm so new around here.
  2. Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II processor; 64-bit support required
    Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 (64 bit)
    4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)

    if you have a 64bit operating system I would load up on the extra ram and see how it goes. That would be the cheapest route.......... even if it means discarding what you already have I would get 8gigs of the same exact stuff.

    i work a lot with psp and work with textures for video games and I run 8gigs and it helps. new machine has 16 but haven't used it yet so can't see if it would make a big difference.
  3. Those are the minimum requirements.

    I wanna go a bit over the minmum to be comfy.
  4. buy an i7 set up.
  5. I don't wanna change the whole setup. I'm a student and can't afford that big of change. Maybe when I'll be done in two years I'll buy a whole brand new station but not now.

    I just want to upgrade it in the smartest way.
  6. screw 8gb go right to 32 (4sticks of 8gb).

    Since you have Black Edition processor you can easily overclock your cpu just by raising the multiplier but its not recommended unless you get an aftermarket cooler like the hyper 212+. Be sure to find out if the cooler will fit in your case before you buy it.

    SSD would make a nice system or programs drive for faster bootup or program loading but have little impact on AE otherwise unless your current drives are really slow to begin with. AE would really like a source disk, a scratch disk, and a destination disk in addition to your other system/program drive(s); all 7200 rpm drives or faster.

    probably the greatest speedup to cs5.5 would be gpu acceleration. Get yourself a supported Nvidia card such as a gtx 580. (lots of cuda cores)
  7. Thank you for that answer.

    I will definitely check if I can fit a cooler inside my case. I have a "smal" Antec Three Hundred.

    As a hard drive, I just have one 1To SpinPoint. As I recall it's a 7200 RPM. Although I may need another hard drive, they are so expensive right now and to be honest I don't understand much to raid stuff and how AE benefits from a multiple HDs setup.

    As for the CUDA stuff, are you positive about it ? I know CUDA can accelerate final rendering but I'm really concerned about speed when manipulating effects and the response from the composition viewer.
  8. or get hd 6850 or gtx 550ti gpu for cheap then u can it on run it on high
  9. Thank you. It deals with Premiere Pro which is very different from AE.

    I'm asking the people behind the plugins they use if they know if CUDA will help.

    Anyway, I can't really upgrade my CPU come to think about it. The X6 isn't much of an upgrade and the FX would force me to get a new mobo.

    So I guess the question is just of whether or not to invest in a GPU now or just wait to get a whole new setup.
  10. or get hd 6850 or gtx 550ti gpu for cheap then u can it on run it on high
  11. skitz9417 said:
    then u can it on run it on high

    What does that even mean ?

    And why do you repeat yourself ?
  12. sry
  13. But I would say go CUDA for Adobe.
  14. Depends on your plugin too. I use Element 3D for After Effects and the 7970's help out a lot with OpenGL.
  15. And the on the fly rendering works with nVidia cards too. All in all, nVidia is best for After Effects.
  16. Thanks.

    Why did you go with the 7970 instead of nVidia?
  17. BeeThree. Open GL works with ATi with CS5.5?
  18. I don't know, I have the CS6 Master Collection. The main plugin I use uses Open GL but some of the features don't work with anything but CUDA which is the. Hold on lemme open it up.
    So if you open up CS6 (not sure about 5.5) Open GL works for AMD but AE uses CUDA as well giving nVidia cards the upper hand. Also AE leaves Ray-Tracing on the CPU which I think if you have nVIDIA it can offload that work onto the GPU.
  19. For CS 5.5, definitely stick with an nVidia card.


    Open GL 2.0 for 5.5.
  20. i already posted that. he didn't think it relevant.
  21. I went 7970's for the potential in other than gaming tasks over the 600 series. Seemed to be much better. And the decision was based off old drivers but in areas like this:,3161-14.html
    The original 7970 in OpenGL and OpenCL with older drivers just stomped the 680. So I went with an all around card sacrificing CUDA.
  22. Thanks, I will go for an nVidia asap.

    I'm not a heavy gamer so I believe I'll do just fine.
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