You might be surprised if you benchmark your various Memory & Multiprocessing settings.

17thOct. × ’13

It’s been far too long since my last update on this site, so I thought I’d share some interesting findings regarding Memory & Multiprocessing settings in After Effects.

I’m currently working on a fairly intense project and decided to play with some of the preferences to determine what settings were best for my machine. One would think that allocating a large amount of RAM per background CPU would result in the best overall performance but I was wrong.

Machine Specs

  • 2009 Mac Pro model 4,1
  • 8 cores
  • 24GB RAM
  • Crucial 512GB M4 SSD for the OS
  • Hitachi 2TB 7200RPM drive for cache
  • nVidia GTX 570 GPU


For this benchmark I’m working at 1080p 29.97 and the total RAM Preview duration is approximately 60secs long. I’m also working at 1/4 resolution. Here are the results:

Render Multiple Frames RAM allocation Actual CPUs used Render Time
On 1.5GB 8 9:16
On 2GB 6 2:38
On 3GB 4 1:44
On 4GB 2 2:09
On 6GB 0 3:00
Off n/a 16 2:59

So, I’d love for someone to explain the results above. The magic number for my machine is 3GB. Before this test I had my machine set to use 1.5GB of RAM which allowed 8 CPUs according to the settings dialog window. For whatever reason, that seemed like the logical choice. I now have it obviously set to 3GB and can tell a difference in the speed of my RAM previews already.

I’d love to hear your comments below.

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