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Any advice for optimising AE on M1 Macbook Pro

Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2023 Mar 16, 2023

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Hi all, 

 

I'm working on some basic UI files in After Effects and the performance is pretty slow.  Here is my Mac setup:

 

Macbook Pro M1 Max

Memory: 64GB

Storage: 2TB (1.66TB free)

 

I have an external SSD (Samsung T7 Portable SSD - 1 TB - USB 3.2 Gen.2) and have set my Disk Cache to use this drive (700 GB max allocated). The drive itself is two years old. Happy to purchase a new one if it there are any improvements to be had.

 

I have read mixed opinions about an external SSD for AE, any advice here welcome.

 

In terms of other settings, I have Adaptive Resolution set.

 

Any advice would be great.

 

Thanks

Lee

 

Any advice welcome. 

 

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Community Expert , Mar 16, 2023 Mar 16, 2023

I would recommend that you cut the size of the disk cache way down. It's going to take a long time to purge that much cache. I have mine set to 40 GB, and that's plenty for a half-rez preview of a 10-second 4K comp, and it will purge in about 2 seconds. 

 

I use similar external drives for media but keep the cache on the boot drive. It's about ten times faster than any external USB drive would be. You'll want to make sure you run some Black Magic Speed Tests to make sure that your cables are up

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Community Expert ,
Mar 16, 2023 Mar 16, 2023

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I would recommend that you cut the size of the disk cache way down. It's going to take a long time to purge that much cache. I have mine set to 40 GB, and that's plenty for a half-rez preview of a 10-second 4K comp, and it will purge in about 2 seconds. 

 

I use similar external drives for media but keep the cache on the boot drive. It's about ten times faster than any external USB drive would be. You'll want to make sure you run some Black Magic Speed Tests to make sure that your cables are up to the task. A cheap or faulty thunderbolt or USB cable can slow down external transfer speeds by as much as 300%. You have to spend the money on good cables and ensure they don't fail. I run BM Speed Test about 3 or 4 times a week to make sure everything is working properly.

 

You'll also want to assign an even multiple GB of ram to other apps. 4 GB is about the minimum. Starve other apps for memory in AE preferences, and you'll slow everything down. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2023 Mar 16, 2023

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Brilliant advice, thanks. I will do what you have suggested.

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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What is the reason for recommending assigning "an even multiple GB of ram to other apps"?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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Data likes even numbers of pathways. Reserve 3 GB for other apps, and you have removed one lane for other apps and one lane for Adobe apps. It basically has the effect of closing down an entire data highway. Until computers are completely redesigned so that it does not matter what data highway is being used or which direction the data is traveling, it will remain a good idea to assign an even number of GB of RAM to other apps. Four or eight GB to other apps has always been more stable on my machines.

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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Thanks for a quick response. So how come AE by default assigns 5GB to other apps on 16GB M1 Pro Macbook? Better idea to lower it to 4GB then?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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I've been putting that feature request in for a long time. Try 4 and see how it goes. 


I've also been requesting that the Hight Quality with Alpha preset in the output module be set to Straight Alpha instead of pre-multiplied because Straight Alpha is the industry standard, what Premiere Pro, DaVinci, and all the other apps default to. I always change my presets to matrch industry standards. 

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