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Adobe After Effects - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Performance

Written on December 30, 2020 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB performance in After Effects

For most users, After Effects is going to be CPU bottlenecked long before the performance of your GPU comes into play. But in situations where the GPU is being heavily used, the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB can be around 8% faster than the Radeon 5700 XT 8GB in After Effects. It is also only slightly slower than the more expensive RTX 3070 8GB, making it a great way to save a bit of money so you can invest more into your CPU or RAM.

Introduction

Over the last three months, NVIDIA has been doing a rolling launch of their new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards, culminating in the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB which just recently hit the market. While gaming is almost always a major focus during these launches, professional applications like After Effects are becoming more and more important for NVIDIA's GeForce line of cards.

Ever since version 2015.3, Adobe has been steadily adding support for GPU acceleration in After Effects which has made the video card an increasingly important part of an After Effects workstation. However, most of After Effects is still limited by the performance of your CPU, which means that many users will stick with a relatively moderate GPU in order to spend more of their budget on their system's processor. This should make the new RTX 3060 Ti a strong choice for After Effects on paper, but the only way to know for sure is to test it to find out.

After Effects GPU Performance Benchmark - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB

If you want to see the full specs for the latest GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD, we recommend checking out the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series and AMD Radeon RX Graphics Cards product pages. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
Radeon 5700X 8GB 2,560 1.9 GHz 225W $399
RTX 3060 Ti 8GB 4,864 1.67 GHz 200W $399
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
Radeon 6800 16GB 3,840 2.1 GHz 250W $579
Radeon 6800 XT 16GB 4,608 2.25 GHz 300W $649
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
Radeon 6900 XT 16GB 5,120 2.25 GHz 300W $999
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499

While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, the biggest thing to note is that the NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti is at the bottom end of the product stack from NVIDIA and has the same exact MSRP as the AMD Radeon 5700 XT. So, from a price-to-performance standpoint, that will be the card to beat for NVIDIA.

Note that the current supply is so poor that you will be lucky to find many of these cards for anywhere near the MSRP. However, we typically use the MSRP as a baseline for price in order to rule out fluctuations due to different brands, sales, and scarcity. The actual cost you will likely need to pay for either an AMD or NVIDIA card is likely to be quite a bit different, so keep that in mind as you read this article.

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Test Setup

Listed below is the specifications of the system we will be using for our testing:

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of December 1st, 2020

To test each GPU, we will be using one of the fastest platforms currently available for After Effects - most notably the AMD Ryzen 5950X. Since After Effects utilizes the CPU so heavily, this should minimize the impact of the processor and allow each GPU to perform at their fullest potential. Even with this, however, be aware that there typically isn't much variation in performance between different video cards outside of very specific workloads.

For the testing itself, we will be using our PugetBench for After Effects benchmark. This tests a number of different projects and includes a dedicated "GPU Stress" test that is meant to put as much load on the GPU as possible while still staying within the realm of what someone might actually do in the real world. If you wish to run our benchmark yourself, you can download the benchmark and compare your results to thousands of user-submitted results in our PugetBench database.

Raw Benchmark Results

While we are going to go through our analysis of the testing in the next section, we always like to provide the raw results for those that want to dig into the details. If there is a specific task you tend to perform in your workflow, examining the raw results is going to be much more applicable than our more general analysis.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB After Effects GPU Performance Benchmark

Overall After Effects Performance Analysis

Since looking at GPU performance in applications like After Effects is often a case of examining extreme situations where the GPU is put under a heavy load, we first wanted to start off by looking at the overall performance we saw from our After Effects benchmark with each GPU. For most users, this is likely to be the most accurate representation of what they would experience in their day-to-day work since even if you use a ton of effects, they will usually be a mix of both CPU and GPU-based effects.

Looking at the Overall Score, the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti does just fine - essentially matching the Radeon 5700 XT. Of course, if you look at just the Overall Score, the difference between the fastest and slowest GPU we tested is just under 5%, which essentially ties the performance for all the cards.

If we dive into the results a bit closer, however, the 3060 Ti does lag behind the 5700 XT by 2-4% in the RAM Preview and Render tests which gives AMD a slight lead at that price point. Interestingly, the vast majority of that higher performance was from the C4D test compositions, which shouldn't actually be using the GPU all that much.

However, the higher performance in those compositions is offset by the fact that AMD cards tend to give around 8% lower performance in our Tracking tests, which is why the RTX 3060 Ti and 5700 XT end up scoring almost exactly the same overall.

This results in a bit of a mix as far as AMD vs NVIDIA goes at the $399 price point. To get a bit of a clearer idea of how these cards perform for straight GPU performance in After Effects, we will need to examine our "GPU Stress" project by itself (which pushes the GPU as much as is realistic in After Effects).

GPU Score Analysis

After Effects GPU Effects benchmark performance NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB

Our GPU Score is calculated based on the performance of our "GPU Stress" composition which is designed to put as much load on the GPU as possible while minimizing the CPU as a bottleneck. This test is borderline synthetic since it is rare that you will only use GPU-accelerated effects, but it does a good job of showing the maximum performance delta between different GPUs in After Effects.

In this composition, the RTX 3060 Ti ended up beating the 5700 XT by a solid 8%. Even better, this means that it only lags behind the RTX 3070 by a small 2%, or the more expensive RTX 3080 and 3090 by about 13%. Considering that this is the best-case scenario for GPU performance in After Effects, this is a relatively strong showing for the RTX 3060 Ti.

How well does the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti perform in After Effects?

For most users, After Effects is going to be CPU bottlenecked long before the performance of your GPU comes into play. But in situations where the GPU is being heavily used, the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB can be around 8% faster than the Radeon 5700 XT 8GB in After Effects. It is also only slightly slower than the more expensive RTX 3070 8GB, making it a great way to save a bit of money so you can invest more into your CPU or RAM.

While some professionals may still want to invest in a higher-end GPU like the RTX 3080 for not only the higher performance in After Effects, but also rendering engines like OctaneRender or Redshift, the RTX 3060 Ti is a very solid option for those on a limited budget. In fact, in most cases we would recommend it over the RTX 3070 since the small performance loss will likely be more than made up by spending the $100 saved on a faster CPU or more RAM.

The performance difference between the GeForce 3060 Ti and the Radeon 5700 XT is also not large enough to be significant for most users, so if you prefer to use AMD over NVIDIA, the 5700 XT is a perfectly viable option for After Effects. Just keep in mind that many rendering engines that are gaining popularity in Ae workflows (like OctaneRender and Redshift) currently only work on NVIDIA GPUs. In addition, NVIDIA tends to be even stronger in other Adobe applications like Premiere Pro, making NVIDIA a better choice in most cases.

As always, keep in mind that these results are strictly for After Effects. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a range of applications perform with the new NVIDIA GeForce 30 series GPUs, as well as with different CPUs and other hardware.

After Effects Workstations

Puget Systems offers a range of poweful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

Find Out More!
Tags: NVIDIA, NVIDIA vs AMD, AMD, Radeon RX 5700 XT, RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 3080, RTX 3090, RTX 3070, Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, RTX 3060 Ti, After Effects