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Best Workstation Computer For Adobe After Effects [2023 Guide]

There are several factors to consider for the best workstation computer for Adobe After Effects is a demanding application that requires a powerful computer with a fast processor, plenty of RAM, a dedicated graphics card, and a fast storage solution.

When using After Effects, are you tired of sluggish performance and long rendering times? It’s time to upgrade your workstation computer! This article will guide you through the best workstation computers for After Effects in 2023.

After Effects is one of the most powerful post-production software used by video editors, graphic designers, and animators; however, running After Effects on a computer that cannot handle its workload can be frustrating—investing in a workstation computer specifically designed for After Effects can significantly improve your productivity and workflow.

Choosing the right workstation computer for After Effects can be overwhelming, with many options. In this guide, we will look at the essential components and specifications you must consider when buying a workstation computer for After Effects.

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Processor

The processor is the brain of your computer and plays a crucial role in running After Effects smoothly. We recommend a high-end processor like the Intel Core i9 or the AMD Ryzen 9. These processors have multiple cores and threads, allowing faster rendering times and multitasking. They also have a higher clock speed and can easily handle complex After Effects projects.

Graphics Card

A powerful graphics card is essential for running After Effects smoothly. The best graphics card for After Effects is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX series or the AMD Radeon Pro series. These graphics cards have dedicated GPUs that handle complex 3D animations, visual effects, and compositing.

Best Graphics Card (GPU) for After Effects

When choosing a graphics card (GPU) for After Effects, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. CUDA cores: After Effects can use CUDA acceleration for specific tasks, so look for a GPU with many CUDA cores. NVIDIA GPUs are generally recommended for After Effects due to their CUDA support.
  2. VRAM: After Effects can use a lot of VRAM, especially when working with larger projects or high-resolution footage. Look for a GPU with at least 8 GB of VRAM, although 16 GB or more is recommended for more demanding projects.
  3. Clock speed: A higher clock speed can help improve performance in After Effects, especially when working with effects that utilize GPU acceleration. Look for a GPU with a high boost clock speed.
  4. Memory bandwidth: A higher memory bandwidth can help improve performance in After Effects, especially when working with larger projects or high-resolution footage. Look for a GPU with a high memory bandwidth.

Based on these factors, some good GPU options for After Effects include the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, and the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT. These GPUs have high CUDA cores, plenty of VRAM, high clock speeds, and high memory bandwidth, making them well-suited for After Effects workflows.

RAM

After Effects uses a lot of RAM when rendering and previewing projects. We recommend purchasing at least 32GB of RAM or higher for optimal performance. The more RAM you have, the faster After Effects can load and process large files.

How much random access memory (RAM) does After Effects require?

When it comes to memory (RAM) requirements for After Effects, the amount you need depends on the complexity of your projects and the size of the files you’re working with. However, as a general rule, having at least 16 GB of RAM for After Effects is recommended.

If you’re working with larger files or more complex projects, consider increasing your RAM to 32 GB or even 64 GB for optimal performance. This can help ensure your system doesn’t slow down or experience crashes when working with large amounts of data.

It’s also worth noting that After Effects can benefit from having faster RAM, so choosing RAM with a higher frequency (such as DDR4-3200mhz or DDR4-3600 MHz) can help improve performance. Having dual-channel memory (using two or four memory modules) can also help improve performance.

When choosing how much RAM you need for After Effects, it’s essential to consider the size and complexity of your projects, your budget, and other hardware components in your system.

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Storage

Regarding storage, we recommend using an SSD (Solid State Drive) as your primary drive. An SSD has faster read and write speeds, which can significantly improve After Effects’ performance when loading and saving files. We also recommend having a secondary drive, such as an HDD (Hard Disk Drive), for storing large files and projects.

Best Hard-Drive (HDD/SSD) for After Effects

When selecting the best hard drive (HDD/SSD) for After Effects, there are a few factors to consider.

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure the hard drive has a fast read/write speed, which will help reduce load times when working with large files.

Secondly, you’ll want to ensure the hard drive has enough storage capacity to accommodate your After Effects projects.

With these factors in mind, here are some recommended hard drives for After Effects:

  1. Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD – This high-performance SSD offers fast read and write speeds, making it an excellent choice for After Effects. It’s available in sizes ranging from 250GB to 2TB.
  2. Western Digital Black SN750 NVMe SSD – Another high-performance SSD that offers fast read and write speeds. It’s available in sizes ranging from 250GB to 2TB.
  3. Seagate FireCuda 520 NVMe SSD – This fast and reliable SSD offers read and write speeds of up to 5,000 MB/s. It’s available in sizes ranging from 500GB to 2TB.
  4. Western Digital Red Pro HDD – If you’re looking for a hard drive with a large storage capacity, the Western Digital Red Pro HDD is a great option. It’s available in sizes ranging from 2TB to 18 TB.
  5. Seagate IronWolf Pro HDD is another high-capacity hard drive for storing large After Effects projects. It’s available in sizes ranging from 2TB to 18 TB.

Ultimately, the best hard drive for After Effects will depend on your specific needs and budget. But any options above should provide fast and reliable performance for your After Effects projects.

Cooling System

After Effects can generate much heat, especially when running complex projects. Investing in a workstation computer with a sound cooling system is essential to prevent your computer from overheating and crashing. We recommend using a computer with liquid cooling or a high-quality fan system.

After Effects

Active work

Active work refers to tasks that require active attention and focus. In video editing, busy work would include selecting and trimming clips, adding effects, adjusting color and sound, and creating animations. These tasks require you to be actively engaged in the editing process.

Passive Work

Passive work, on the other hand, refers to tasks that can be done without requiring your active attention. In video editing, passive work would include rendering, exporting, and uploading your finished video to a sharing platform. These tasks do not require active involvement and can often be done in the background while you work on other projects.

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Best Processor (CPU) for After Effects

Actively Working in After Effects

When choosing a CPU for actively working in After Effects, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Clock speed: After Effects relies heavily on single-core performance, so a CPU with a high clock speed is ideal. Look for a processor with a clock speed of at least 3.5 GHz.
  2. Core count: While After Effects primarily uses a single core, it can also use multiple cores for specific tasks. A CPU with 6-8 cores is a good balance between single-core performance and multi-core processing power.
  3. Hyper-threading: Hyper-threading can help improve performance in After Effects by allowing each core to handle multiple threads simultaneously. Look for a CPU with hyper-threading enabled.
  4. Cache size: A larger cache can help improve performance in After Effects by allowing the CPU to access frequently used data more quickly. Look for a CPU with at least 16 MB of cache.

Based on these factors, some good CPU options for actively working in After Effects include the Intel Core i7-11700K, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, and the Intel Core i9-11900K.

Passive tasks or using the Machine mainly as a Render-Node

When it comes to passive tasks or using the machine mainly as a render node for After Effects, there are a few different factors to consider when choosing a CPU. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Core count: A CPU with a high core count is ideal for rendering tasks. Look for a processor with at least 12 cores, allowing you to render more quickly and efficiently.
  2. Clock speed: While clock speed is less critical for rendering tasks than for actively working in After Effects, you still want to choose a CPU with a reasonable clock speed. Look for a processor with a clock speed of at least 3 GHz.
  3. Hyper-threading: Hyper-threading can help improve rendering performance by allowing each core to handle multiple threads simultaneously. Look for a CPU with hyper-threading enabled.
  4. Cache size: A larger cache can help improve performance in rendering tasks by allowing the CPU to access frequently used data quickly. Look for a CPU with at least 16 MB of cache.

Based on these factors, some good CPU options for passive tasks or using the machine mainly as a render node for After Effects include the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, the Intel Core i9-11900K, and the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X. These CPUs have high core counts, good clock speeds, hyper-threading, and large cache sizes, making them well-suited for rendering tasks.

Best Monitor for After Effects

A few factors must be considered when selecting the best monitor for After Effects.

Firstly, you’ll want a monitor with a high resolution and color accuracy, as this will help you see your work clearly and ensure that colors are displayed accurately.

Secondly, you’ll want a monitor with a fast refresh rate, as this will help reduce motion blur when working with animated content.

With these factors in mind, here are some recommended monitors for After Effects:

  1. LG 27UK850-W – This is a 27-inch 4K monitor with excellent color accuracy and a fast refresh rate of 60Hz. It also features a USB-C port for easy connectivity to your computer.
  2. Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q – This is another 27-inch 4K monitor with excellent color accuracy and a fast refresh rate of 60Hz. It also features a USB-C port and a thin bezel design.
  3. BenQ PD3200U is a 32-inch 4K monitor with excellent color accuracy and a fast refresh rate of 60Hz. It also features a unique dual-view mode that allows you to display content from two sources.
  4. ASUS ProArt PA278QV is a 27-inch monitor with a 1440p resolution and excellent color accuracy. It also features a fast refresh rate of 75Hz and a wide color gamut.
  5. EIZO ColorEdge CG247X – This is a high-end 27-inch monitor with excellent color accuracy and a fast refresh rate of 60Hz. It also features a built-in calibration sensor and a wide color gamut.

Ultimately, the best monitor for After Effects will depend on your specific needs and budget. But any options above should provide excellent color accuracy, fast refresh rates, and a high resolution for your After Effects projects.

Conclusion

You are investing in the right workstation computer for After Effects can significantly improve productivity and workflow. When buying a workstation computer, consider the essential components such as the processor, graphics card, RAM, storage, and cooling system.

With the right workstation computer, you can enjoy faster rendering times, smoother playback, and more efficient multitasking.