Adobe After Effects Hardware Requirements

Below are our suggestions for setting up the best hardware configuration for video editing with Adobe After Effects.

Intel Core i7 CPUBest CPU for Adobe After Effects

The best CPU for video editing depends on the programs you will use it with. Adobe After Effects favors a CPU with a high frequency over a CPU with a high number of processors or cores. This suggests the 4-core Intel i7 7700K running at 4.2GHz. The limitation of this CPU however is that it can only handle up to 64GB of RAM. In addition, if a video editing program like Premiere Pro features heavily in your work with After Effects, a CPU with an emphasis on processors over frequency will give you better performance. This would suggest the 6-core Intel i7 6850K running at 3.6GHz.

The GTX 1060 Graphics Card is a great option for Adobe After Effects & video editingGraphics/GPU Requirements for After Effects

Adobe After Effects CC 2017 uses the video card for processing the following effects.

  • Brightness & Contrast
  • Find Edges
  • Gaussian Blur
  • Glow
  • Hue/Saturation
  • Invert
  • Lumetri Color
  • Mosaic
  • Sharpen
  • Tint

You can see more details on GPU accelerated effects in Adobe After Effects here and here.

In Adobe After Effects, an expensive video card will not be more effective than a mid-range one so the GTX 1060 will be more than adequate for processing all of these effects.

DDR3 RAMMemory/RAM Requirements for After Effects

After Effects temporarily stores all the data it processes in RAM or memory. For example, when compositing in After Effects, all the layers are stored in RAM. Since After Effects has to store data for every frame it is compositing, this takes up a lot of RAM. Of course, the amount of RAM depends on how complex any project you work on is. However even simple projects can take up a lot of RAM so 64GB is a good place to start. More complex projects will need 128GB of RAM. CPU’s like the 4-core i7 7700K can control up to 64GB of RAM so this is why it is better to get a 6-core or more CPU that can handle up to 128GB. Even though a 6-core CPU will be slightly slower in After Effects, the extra RAM will more than compensate.

Intel SSD pictureStorage Requirements for After Effects

In keeping with other content creation programs, Adobe After Effects works best with a 3-drive set up.

  1. The first drive is for the operating system and applications like Adobe Premiere Pro. A solid state drive will ensure that the operating system and applications load quickly.
  2. The second hard drive can be used as cache or a scratch disc. This will enable you to for example scrub through a timeline with minimal stuttering. NVMe drives are highly suitable for this function since they feature very fast sequential read and write speeds.
  3. A mechanical hard drive for storage. Mechanical hard drives still have a much better gigabyte per dollar ratio than solid state drives. In addition, current mechanical hard drives are sufficiently fast to render video to.

Questions? 888-932-8880