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Workstation x Render Farm for After Effects / Premiere (and some C4D)

JuniorRamos29

JuniorRamos29

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Hi everyone.

So, i'm intending to join the Motion Design community, and work professionally with it.
I already made some stuff with After Effects / Premiere, and I know that i'll suffer if i do not have a good hardware setup.

Answering the questions:

- What are your main workloads and secondary workloads?

I'm willing to work mainly with After Effects/Premiere. Maybe to do some basic stuff with Cinema 4D or other 3D engine, but the focus is After Effects.

- What's your Budget?
- What country will you be shopping your parts in?
- Use the PC-Builder Tool first to come up with some build suggestions and post that here to have a good base to discuss


Well, here is the great drawback:
I live in Brazil, and the importation taxes + shipping usually double the parts cost if i buy at Amazon or other international shop.
And at the moment the currency exchange is US$ 1,00 = ~R$ 5,00.

Then, it's hard to define a budget, based on PC-Builder since i don't know if all parts available there are available in Brazil.
So, let's say that i have US$ 2000.00 (R$ 10.000,00), and tell me what is possible to do with this budget.
And then i'll try to found some similar build with parts that i can find here.

- Are you looking to upgrade the PC in the near future?

At a first glance, no.

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Suggested build for Motion Design at PC-Builder with a $2000 budget:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6M2o2

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 3.8GHz 8-Core Processor ($519.98)
  • CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
  • Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($267.88)
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 8GB - Asus Dual ($1009.99)
  • Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 ($139.99)
  • Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($108.48)
  • Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($139.99)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550M 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.99)
  • Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($121.06)
  • Total: $2467.26

Suggested build for Best Workstation Computer For After Effects [2021 Guide]

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6M11f

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4GHz 16-Core Processor ($1149.99)
  • CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
  • Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($267.88)
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB - Gigabyte Turbo ($1113.99)
  • Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 ($274.99)
  • Storage SSD: Samsung 870 QVO 2TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($199.99)
  • Storage PCIe-SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVME M.2 Solid State Drive ($239.99)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series RM750x 750W Power Supply ($134.99)
  • Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($121.06)
  • Total: $3592.78


Suggested build for a Render Farm / Rendernode for Video Editing & Compositing

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LABl

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor ($723.99)
  • CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite Wifi ATX AM4 ($209.99)
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 TI 11GB - MSI Gaming X ($1987.00)
  • Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 C16 ($536.99)
  • Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($155.68)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series RM650x 650W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($109.99)
  • Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($80.99)
  • Total: $3894.53
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This is my current laptop configuration, and i have some questions:

MacBook Pro 2018
  • Processor: 2,6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7
  • Memory: 16 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB

1) How much can I expect from this laptop using After Effects?

2) Can I use this laptop to edit my work, and build a PC (Windows / Linux) for the rendering, as a render farm?

3) Different OS will bring many issues due the version of the softwares/plugins/license for each OS?


Thanks in Advance.
 
Alex Glawion

Alex Glawion

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The MacBook Pro has a decent CPU, but the RAM capacity is low and the GPU is only an integrated one, which is quite weak. You'll be able to start with some projects that are low complexity for sure, but if you have a lot of layers or effects in your AE comps, you'll find working on that MacBook pro unsatisfactory and inefficient in the long run.

You can definitely split up your active work and rendering workloads onto different PCs, but I fear that even in active workloads (working within ae / animating and so on) will be too slow for more complex projects on the mac.

Adobe Apps usually work quite well even cross-platform / os. You'll have to make sure to adapt your paths so all of the footage is found. You can also usually install AE on two devices at the same time, so that shouldn't be a problem. I am not sure about plugins, though, probably depends on which ones you use.

All of the PC-Builds that you list above will be superior in every regard to the macbook.
 
JuniorRamos29

JuniorRamos29

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Thanks for the quick reply, Alex.

I read that is possible to make the After Effects use each of all CPU cores together.
If this is correct, what is the gain working on this way?

It's possible to build a hybrid workstation/render farm PC?

And regarding the suggested builds for a Render Farm for Video/Compositing and Best Workstation for After Effects, considering that some parts are from the same manufacturer, could you (if it is not asking too much) point what specs you looked for choosing one or another?

I made this spreadsheet and I appreciate it if you (or other community members) can leave your comments.

This will help me to figure out which parts I can replace with a similar and decide if is worth importing (if I can't find it here) some part in or not.

Thanks.
 
Alex Glawion

Alex Glawion

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I am not entirely sure what you mean. AE makes bad use of CPU Cores, but you can of course render multiple jobs at once with a render manager to make better use of all of the cores, but you'll need a lot of RAM for this. Depending on your project complexities this might not be necessary.

From the spreadsheet, the AE Workstation is a lot better. It has a faster cpu, a superior Motherboard, a much stronger GPU and additional storage. The reason you see large price discrepancies between cpus and gpus right now, is that the stock situation is bad. But if you can find e.g. a RTX 3080 for a good price and a 5950X for a good price, those two are better than the 3950X or 2080Ti.
 
JuniorRamos29

JuniorRamos29

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In my search for after effects build and render farm, I found articles like these below, talking about using more cores or multithreading.
Do you believe that these render managers can do what purposes or regarding the bad CPU cores usage, the gain in performance can't be optimized using more cores, even if I have RAM enough?


Thanks for the help.
 
Alex Glawion

Alex Glawion

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Yes they use rendermanagers to fully utilize your Cores. Basically what this does, is just open multiple instances of after effects (or AE Render) and each of those pick some frames to render. You'll need a lot of RAM for this though because each AE instance uses its share.
 
JuniorRamos29

JuniorRamos29

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Right.

What are the pros and cons of the build below compared to the build suggested by you?
(Obs.: I don't have any more details about the parts, because this workstation is already on sale with this configuration and the price is almost equal to the workstation suggested for AE).

CPU: AMD® Ryzen™ 9 3900X (12-Core e 24 Threads, 3.8GHz, Turbo 4.6GHz, Cache de 64MB)
Motherboard: X570 (6 SATA, 4 SLOT RAM, 1 M2, 3 PCI-E x16, 3 PCI -E x1)
GPU: Nvidia® Geforce™ RTX 3060 TI 8GB 4864 cuda cores
Memory: 64GB DDR4 3200MHz NON-ECC (4x16GB)
Storage SSD: M.2 PCIe X4 NVMe 512GB Workstation Class
Storage HDD: HDD 2 TB 7200RPM 64MB SATA III

Thanks in advance.
 
Alex Glawion

Alex Glawion

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The build you listed is good. It does have a CPU of an older AMD generation, so it will be slower than either the 5900X or the 5950X. The rest of the parts are similar to what I suggested, though of course a RTX 3070 or 3080 is faster than the 3060 Ti. But you'll only need a stronger GPU if you use 3D in AE or do some rendering with Cineware.
 
JuniorRamos29

JuniorRamos29

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Got it.
Thanks for the clarifications.
 
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