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Build Advice After Effects CS5 Build

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by moody89, 10 Jun 2011.

  1. moody89

    moody89 Minimodder

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    Hi guys, just been asked to price up a build for my brother. He likes to have a play around in After Effects CS5, Photoshop etc. but nothing too serious. I've been having a nose around and from what I can gather, After Effects and Photoshop benefit more from having more memory and processing power than they would from having a high end graphics card. Originally I planned to go with 4GB RAM, a Phenom II 955 and a GTX460.

    However, after reading around I am strongly considering 8GB of memory and maybe even a jump to an i5 2500k (but that's pretty doubtful). Compared to a PII 955 bundle, the i5 2500k is very expensive and whilst there's no strict budget as such I'd like to keep the price down where possible. As I mentioned he only uses these programs casually and despite the huge performance jump in Sandybridge, I can't see his uses really justifying the price premium no matter how much I'd love to get him one!

    IMO the Phenom II 955 would serve him well enough. 8GB of memory would probably be more of a benefit to him or do you think 4GB would be enough? The main issue I'm having is with the graphics card. As I mentioned from what I've heard a graphics card isn't as important in After Effects as CPU and memory but both AE and Photoshop have GPU accelerated features. I don't want to skimp here but at the same time I don't want to spend money where it isn't needed when perhaps it could be put to better use elsewhere. Can anyone suggest a suitable option here? Traditionally, nVidia have always been better with Adobe products but I'm not sure this is the case with AE and PS CS5 since both utilise OpenGPL.

    As I mentioned, he doesn't need a really high end build, something moderate, sensible and suitable for the task is what I'm looking for here. That, and he's spoilt enough as it is! The PII 955, 4GB, GTX460 build I've popped together has come to a little over £450. So realistically I'm hoping to get away with a build between £500-600 but as low as possible. Cheers for your input!
     
  2. VictorVonZeppelin

    VictorVonZeppelin What's a Dremel?

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    8GB is definitely a consideration. My system chokes up with Photoshop and InDesign going on 4GB, so 8 would be the first thing to think about
     
  3. Instagib

    Instagib Minimodder

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    A quick build. Very basic, but should be up to the task. 8gb of RAM, a 460 at the business end of the graphics department, and a Athlon quad 645 to provide sufficient cpu grunt. All wrapped up in a mATX case. I've for one of these 342's and they're good little cases.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I've read this in various places and don't understand - I use Photoshop and Bridge professionally every day to edit (and batch process) very large jpeg and RAW files, and my ram usage rarely exceeds (or even reaches) 3GB. This is Photoshop CS5 64-bit on Windows 7 x64.

    After effects also runs absolutely fine on my system, if that helps as a guide.
     
  5. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    You're performance will depend on a few things: your video card, your RAM, and your hard drives. The video card will increase rendering performance considerably, even more so if he gets CS5.5 instead. Copious amounts of RAM will also be helpful. If he's editing HD content, I'd also recommend a RAID setup.
     
  6. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    Theres some handy stuff built into cs5 to show what its utilizing. You can find it under the info tab. They may not be enabled so have a look for 'efficiency' and 'scratch usage'. Once these are up, have a session of typical usage and keep an eye on it. That will give you the best idea of what to shoot for. Efficiency should be more than 90% with as little scratch disk usage as possible. In my opinion order of importance is something like ram, cpu, disk speed, gpu. After you determine the average ram load, go from there. For the rest if it was me I would do an i3, h67 and an ssd. If theres no gaming involved, and no 3d rendering to be offloaded to gpu, theres really no need for a dedicated card when an ssd is far more beneficial.
     
  7. VictorVonZeppelin

    VictorVonZeppelin What's a Dremel?

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    It's Photoshop in tandem with the very useful but SO very poorly made InDesign. That's what chokes the system up.
     
  8. krazykid035

    krazykid035 Entrepreneur

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    I believe rendering time is greatly effected more by which processor you have as long as you have CS4 or above and 64 bit machine.
     
  9. moody89

    moody89 Minimodder

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    Cheers for all your replies guys and cheers for your build Instagib - that's very much the kind of thing I was looking at.

    So the general consensus seems to be that a high-end GPU won't offer that much performance benefit. Would a low-mid range dedicated card offer noticeable gains over an onboard setup then or would I be better suited going for a better CPU and more memory? He does most of his gaming on console so I can't imagine him wanting to do much gaming on a PC. Even so, a dedicated card could be an upgrade option further down the line if he finds he needs it. Dropping the GPU from the build, or even opting for a lesser one would knock a fair few quid off the build which could keep the folks happy ;)

    @ lysol - that's very useful information about the typical usage etc. I didn't know this myself. Also, you suggested an i3. Do you think faster clock speed would be of more benefit to more cores (something like the PII 955)? When you factor cost into the situation as well, I could probably get hold of a 955 and AM3 board for cheaper than the i3 and H67 board, giving me more money to spend on an SSD as you suggested. Just wondering whether faster cores are better than more cores. I've only really used Photoshop extensively and have never dabbled in AE so I can't say I know an awful lot about what works best.

    Also, he mentioned that he does some casual work with audio files (simple effects or what not I'm presuming). I don't think it's to the point where he would need a dedicated sound card so again, I'm assuming the CPU will be doing most of the grunt work here and then RAM etc.?

    Cheers for all your feedback guys, it's very mch appreciated!
     
  10. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    I would say a mid-range GPU with higher CPU and SSD would give the biggest benefit. Pulling files off the drive and having a scratch disk that's lightening fast should benefit.

    If you're looking at a 635 - remember the A8 APU series from AMD is due soon and you won't even need a graphics card! 32nm SHOULD clock higher as well AND it has AMD's version of Turbo Boost.
     
  11. moody89

    moody89 Minimodder

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    Very true, I did think about this as I was posting yesterday but forgot to mention it. At this point in time, it would be silly not to wait for the new CPUs from AMD. If nothing else, just to see what they offer and if prices of current chips drop at all.

    So, a low-mid range GPU seems the way to go then! Can anyone recommend one? Is there any benefit of NVidia over AMD or is that a thing of the past?
     

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