Put your After Effects to THE test!

DOWNLOAD
AE BENCHMARK

(AE CC2018 & up)

INSTALL AND LAUNCH IT TO GET YOUR SCORE

COMPARE YOUR
AEB SCORE HERE!

The AEB Scoreboard - higher is better!

Use the searchbar to find your AEB Score and compare it with others from all over the world!

NAMEAEB SCORESINGLETHREADINGMULTITHREADINGGPUAE VERSIONCPUTHREADSRAMGRAPHICS CARDOS
Dan's 60's machine19.53.141.314.02020AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Eight-Core Processor1664 GBGeForce GTX 1080/PCIe/SSE2Windows
low end PC 20185.04.29.51.2CC 2018AMD Ryzen 3 1300X Quad-Core Processor48 GBRadeon RX550/550 SeriesWindows
The Waenderer AE1911.13.123.76.6CC 2019Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz832 GBGeForce GTX 980M/PCIe/SSE2Windows
The Waenderer10.33.021.46.52020Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz832 GBGeForce GTX 980M/PCIe/SSE2Windows
Low end PC4.33.48.41.22020AMD Ryzen 3 1300X Quad-Core Processor48 GBRadeon RX550/550 SeriesWindows
9900KS Hackintosh14.41.926.914.2CC 2019Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-9900KS CPU @ 4.00GHz1664 GBAMD Radeon RX Vega 64MacOS
mbp 38.22.114.38.12020Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-9880H CPU @ 2.30GHz1616 GBAMD Radeon Pro 5500MMacOS
2018 MacBook Pro3.81.07.42.92020Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-8950HK CPU @ 2.90GHz1232 GBAMD Radeon Pro 560XMacOS
potato computer10.21.621.47.52020AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Eight-Core Processor1632 GBGeForce GTX 1060 3GB/PCIe/SSE2Windows
2014 MacBook Pro1.61.42.30.92020Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4278U CPU @ 2.60GHz48 GBIntel Iris GraphicsMacOS

AE Benchmark is an extension for AE which gives you your AEB Scores.
The higher your AEB Scores are, the faster your renders are too!

AE Benchmark uses 3 different tests to calculate your AEB Scores:
(NOTE : Disk Speed is implicitly represented in each of your AEB scores as each rendered frame is saved to disk before the next frame begins rendering.)

Singlethreading

Modern CPU’s are made up of multiple cores and usually, multiple threads per core. Each thread can perform it’s own task. Certain tasks can be divided among multiple threads that work together to generate the final result. Other tasks cannot, and in this case one thread will be working hard while the others sit there doing nothing.

Many effects in AE are single-threaded and as such, this score is very important.

Example highly single-threaded effects :

  • Radial Blur
  • Minimax (recently ported to GPU on later versions of AE)
  • Particle Playground

 

Multithreading

A multithreaded effect divides the render task into smaller pieces and sends each to a separate thread. This way the effect can be rendered in a fraction of the time and allows you to fully unleash the power of your shiny modern 18 core, 36-thread CPU.

Note that effects are not always “only single-threaded” or “only multithreaded”, often they can be a mix of both.

Example highly multi-threaded effects :

  • Camera Lens Blur
  • Diopter
  • CC Radial Blur

GPU

The graphics card is a dedicated piece of hardware that excels at running many calculations in parallel. Where your CPU may have 1-36 individual threads (possibly more), a modern GPU can have many thousands of cores (even tens of thousands) which each work on a single pixel’s rendered result. Usually effects that can be divided into smaller pieces are ideal candidates for GPU acceleration. Adobe has been making it a priority to port old CPU code to the GPU in an effort to speed renders up. With each new release, previously CPU effects now run on the GPU.

Note that some laptops and other devices do not have a dedicated GPU, and instead use the CPU to perform GPU tasks. These are usually many orders of magnitude slower than dedicated GPU’s.

Example GPU effects :

  • Element 3D
  • Optical Flares
  • Plexus
  • Deep Glow
  • Fill, Gradient Ramp, Noise, Fractal Noise
  • Gaussian Blur, Directional Blur
  • Exposure, Levels, Curve, Lumetri
  • Mosaic, Glow
  • Layer Transform,  Motion Blur
  • VR effects
  • Ray-Traced 3D Renderer
  • VC Element 3D, Red Giant Universe

"Ok, this is great but
how can I improve my render time now?"

an impatient and ungrateful AE user

Adapt your Workflow

TRIM YOUR LAYERS
Just because you can’t see a layer inside your preview window doesn’t mean it isn’t being rendered by your CPU (especially with 3D Camera).
Trim any useless layers inside your composition.

TO EXPORT MP4 VIDEO, USE AME
Don’t render .mp4’s directly from After Effects, make sure you’re using the Adobe Media Encoder.

MAKE USE OF THE ADAPTIVE RES AND REGION OF INTEREST FEATURES
Modern compositions are very large (1080p to 4k or even larger), resulting in millions of pixels that need rendering.
If you can, work at an adaptive resolution, especially when blocking out timing and animations when the fidelity of the rendered result is not too important. The region of interest can further optimise your render time by rendering only the part of the composition that you require. 

LESS EXPRESSIONS, LESS RENDER TIME
Expressions are cool but do you know if you have too many of them, it can slow down your render? Expressions are also evaluated every frame so they can become computationally cumbersome very quickly.
Avoid expensive math expressions (pow, exp, sin, cos) when you can. Or convert your expressions into keyframes : select your layer property with the expression, then click on Animation / Keyframe assistant / Convert your expression into keyframes.

QUIT UNNECESSARY APPLICATIONS
After Effects is a resources whore, and as such all other resource hogging applications can slow down After Effects. Applications that run in the background such as virus scanners and dropbox can slow down AE’s CPU access, RAM allocation, as well as disk read and write speeds.

Change your
settings

ADD MORE RAM FOR AE
As you work on a composition, After Effects temporarily stores some rendered frames and source images in RAM, so that previewing and editing can occur more quickly.  Adding more RAM for AE speeds up the render time by storing more precomputed frames for fast access.
Go to your AE Preferences / Memory : increase the amount of RAM allocated for AE.

INCREASE SPACE FOR MEDIA/DISK CACHE
As you work on a composition, After Effects stores some rendered frames and source images on your disk so that previewing and editing can occur more quickly. Adding more space for these cache files is important.
Go to your AE Preferences / Media and Disk Cache : increase the storage and choose a folder on a fast disk (like a SSD, see next section).

Update your hardware

CPU
The processor or CPU is one of the most important pieces of an After Effects workstation. Speed (for singlethread use) is often more important than the number of Cores (for Multithread use).
Check Your AEB Scores to know where you want to put your money in.

RAM
After Effects uses RAM to store previews, the more RAM you have the faster your workflow will be.
64 of RAM is a good amount to have for most projects. 

GRAPHIC CARD
The recent versions of After Effects and plugins increasingly use the GPU. Even so, your CPU remains a very important part of your build.
No need to go too wild with your graphic card, get a supported graphic card like NVidia.

STORAGE
Storage is an important factor of your build, especially its speed. It’s a good thing to have different
disks for different tasks :

  1. DISK 1 (SSD) : for your OS and After Effects
  2. DISK 2 (SSD) : your project files and your Disk Cache (you could have a disk only for your disk cache)
  3. DISK 3 (Platter Drive) : your longterm storage (footage, files you use on multiple projects)

Because the best Score is : Team Work !