Apologies for what is probably a very dull request but I was hoping to get some general advice about computers' applicability for AE. I'm planning on giving a year over to developing content for an educational website using AE and whilst I'm relatively new to AE and essentially on a steep learning curve, I have realistic expectations of what my output can be expected to look like. In other words, my content will not be very elaborate, 2D but I do rely on quite a few plugins to do small jobs for me.
I have a laptop that I thought would suffice for the task but am running into some issues. It is a:
DELL XPS 15 7590
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9750H CPU @ 2.60GHz 2.59 GHz
Installed RAM: 32.0GB
OS, APPs and Project files are on the single SSD hard drive in the computer and the cache is on a Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 1TB USB 3.2 / Thunderbolt 3 External SSD using a thunderbolt connection.
Is this a sensible set-up or would keeping project files be on a separate SSD improve performance? All footage I’m using is created within an Adobe app or there are imported images occasionally but I am not dealing with video files.
The GPU is an Intel UHD graphics 630 which I now realize is not ideal for AE and indeed I have received messages from AE telling me that GPU is out of memory. Unfortunately it’s not possible to upgrade this.
In short, I’m struggling with the speed for previews, rendering is slow and it’s starting to prove a frustrating process as you can imagine.
Are there any other steps I could take that might improve performance or am I just falling down on the GPU. From what I’ve read all the other specs should I would have imagined given better performance that I’m getting but I’m far from having much expertise here. Perhaps there are some things I don’t know about that could help. I’m obviously aware of resolution adjustments, skipping frames etc in improving preview times.
I have read quite a bit now about having a workstation built and given that I’m committed to this project, biting the bullet and buying a workstation may be the only way to go. A decent workstation from my estimation looks like it would be in the region of $2000 which I’m not excited about but perhaps better than jeopardising my sanity waiting for previews.
Any opinions, information or pointing me in a general direction would be gratefully received.
Start by actually turning off hardware acceleration in AE, reign in the disk cache to the bare minimum needed and turn off MFR. There's a good chance that the extra file I/O and defunct GPU acceleration are causing more trouble than it's worth and just relying on conventional RAM previews would be more efficient. That may be the case, anyway, as extensively using scripts and plug-ins may create complex expressions or use hardware acceleration of their own that will hinder direct previews, anyway. As for an GPU - if you have Thunderbolt/ USB 3 you can always get an external NVidia GPU. The selection is apparently limited and hooking them up in a way that AE will actualyl use them could be a pain in the posterior, but it's at least an option.
Sorry for the slow reply. Thank you for the advice. That's very helpful.