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GrizzleFX says

The main reason I’m upgrading is to improve After Effects speeds, whether it’s RAM preview or rendering. I am also interested in starting to learn C4D, so anything that will improve performance within that program would be great.

My current system is has: AMD CPU (4 cores) @3.00GHz 16GB RAM ATI HD 4200 GPU

My budget is roughly $1,500. With this kind of budget, what should I be spending my money on to make sure I get the best performance for it’s value? Mainly I’m looking for advice regarding the RAM, GPU, CPU, motherboard, and SSD.

Also I would like to have a GPU that is compatible with Element 3D!

Thanks!

1032 posts Massfocus
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Massfocus says

I don’t have any experience with AMD and ATI brands so sorry i can’t help you much on that regard. To change everything to Intel would mean a new motherboard etc and the budget isn’t sufficient so i’m just going to address some of the more ’’generic’’ hardware you can invest in.

First of all i would throw everything you can in a new chip that is faster but compatible with your motherboard so you won’t have to upgrade that and save cost for other important things. Processor speeds / amount of cores/threads is the most beneficial in any software so this is your biggest priority, if you can get a significant amount of extra speed out of your system with a different processor chip i would look into that first.

*please note that this upgrade should be noticeable enough without sacrificing your full budget into it, as upgrading the more generic pieces of your hardware ensures more benefit in the long run. For example – you could just leave your processor alone and simply invest in more RAM and GPU/SSD’s since you can always use these later in new systems, the processor/motherboard however you can not in most cases.

Since After Effects is all about RAM i would invest in in more RAM earlier then a better GPU. Although i don’t know how your current videocard compares up to others, if you seriously want a new card for element3d and the raytracing functions you can simply pick one ATI card out of this list. (if i’m not mistaken)

With a budget like that to upgrade your current system i would recommend upgrading to 32GB of ram at least and 2 ssd’s mainly for your software and 1 purely for caching purposes, the sizes of these ssd’s depend on how much you want to spend.

I would take some time to research some of the newer SSD’s on the market before you go ahead and buy them. Since allot of the newer SSD’s advertise themselves as the fastest on the planet etc and have a (at first glance) a huge amount of write speed, they tend to be targeted more for the average consumer instead of us big data pushers. Get an SSD that writes fast continuously and doesn’t degrade after a certain amount of mb’s have been written to the disk. So invest in consistency of speed instead of those ’’lightning fast speeds when you write 500mb and after that the speed drops to 100mb/sec’’ You can see how this can influence render/caching times quite significantly.

Get a ssd that writes 350mb/sec continuously for example without the ’’new technology speedboost’’ is my advice. You pay a bit more maybe for less data but hey, this again takes you to how much you want to spend and prioritize.

Long story short.

Invest in RAM and SSD’s first. CPU only when it gives you enough bang for the buck. GPU if you really need it/your current is too slow etc.

Sorry for this wall of text again, i need to work on my ’’get to the point skills’’ when writing. Hope it helped in anyway.

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3Ddym says
2060 posts aspire to create - create to inspire
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Creattive says

I can only recommend to get rid of amd asap when you are working with adobe products. Intel processors are much better for after effects. Sad, but true.

Then, as Massfocus already said, RAM is what’s needed for AE.

Element 3D works with a rather cheap gpu very well. You can get a decent performance for $200. I’d go with nvidia, though.

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GrizzleFX says

Thanks guys.

Yeah I wasn’t planning on sticking with AMD nor with ATI. I’m thinking i’ll get something like this:

  • 4×8GB (32GB) RAM – Corsair
  • Intel i7
  • Nvidia Geforce GPU

It’s a little vague, but how does that sound?

[EDIT] Creattive, nice paw you got there ;)

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