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Using After Effects 7 on Intel MacPro Computers

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Using After Effects 7 on Intel MacPro Computers
A Creative Cow Adobe After Effects Feature

 Running After Effects 7 on the new Intel-based MacPro computers


Graham Jones
Graham Jones
Vidcan Media Solutions, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

©2006 by CreativeCow.net. All rights are reserved.





Article Focus:
Creative Cow member Graham Jones was the very first guy we have found who came up with a successful way that works for most users who want to use After Effects 7 on the new Intel-based MacPro computers. While it is not guaranteed to work for everyone, if you have been wanting to use AE7 on a MacPro, Graham gives you his recipe.

Here's the story...




Caveat...
This technique is officially unsupported and will not work for everyone due to circumstances that arise from localized software conflicts and other "gotchas," but that said, I have had no problems running After Effects 6.5 (and later AE7) on my MacPro (Quad 2.66, 3GB RAM). As a matter of fact, on AE 6.5 it is virtually identical in performance to the Dual G5/2.5 I use at work (4.5GB RAM), which is better than I would have expected for a machine running in an emulation environment.

So, after this success with v6.5, I thought I would try upgrading to AE7 ... and I experienced the same memory errors and crashes when exporting that other users have noted. I've heard that GridIron Nucleo fixes the problem, but did not feel like dropping $150 on it if I could find a workaround, I wanted to find a native solution.

Here are my system specs and some of the things that I did to make this happen...

Various Notes:

  • Mac Pro 2 x Dual-core Xeon 2.66, MacOS 10.4.8
  • Final Cut Studio 5.1 on same machine
  • 3GB RAM, all Apple - 2x512 on one riser, 2x1GB on the other
  • Did NOT use Migration Assistant (no one who uses pro apps should)
  • trashed prefs and workspaces, repaired permissions
  • checked for Popwire and Avid components in /Quicktime/Components/ (some have reported conflicts with these)
  • tried lowering AE's memory settings to 50%
  • all of this didn't work, until I found...

The Recipe for SUCCESS:

  • Closed all other Rosetta apps and processes, lowered the memory settings WAY down (max memory to 30%, Max RAM Cache to 15%)
  • and this thing renders like smoke! On the latest render, it rendered more than TWICE as fast as the G5 or Mac Pro in AE 6.5!  After rendering the same file in AE 7 on the Dual G5, I found it to be still 40-50% faster.

My Theory:
I've heard Rosetta apps together can run into problems if they collectively want more than 1.5GB of RAM... They hit some kind of memory limit, though the system won't tell you anything.

This project's render times:
AE 6.5, Dual G5 2.5/4.5GB RAM: 53 min, 34 sec.
AE 7.0, Dual G5 2.5GHz/4.5GB RAM: 39 min, 36 sec.
AE 6.5, Mac Pro Quad 2.66/3GB RAM: 54 min, 44 sec.
AE 7.0, Mac Pro Quad 2.66/3GB RAM: 24 min, 21 sec.

Latest Feedback & Other Users Reports:
For the latest feedback and other user reports on success with this method, please see the AE forum thread at http://tinyurl.com/y6vc9l

Hope this helps,
Graham Jones


To discuss this process, visit Creative Cow's Adobe After Effects forum

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