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Adobe After Effects - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Performance

Written on June 9, 2021 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB 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, if your workflow includes heavy use of GPU accelerated effects, the RTX 3080 Ti ties with the RTX 3090 as the fastest GPU we have tested for After Effects.

The price of the RTX 3080 Ti is certainly not cheap, however, and many users may opt to pay the extra $300 to go straight up to the RTX 3090 which has twice the VRAM (24GB vs 12GB). Even 12GB of VRAM is rarely necessary for After Effects, but with features like multi-frame rendering on the horizon that will likely increase the amount of VRAM you will want on higher-end machines, skipping the RTX 3080 Ti 12GB and going with the top-of-the-line RTX 3090 24GB is not a terrible idea if you have the budget for it.

Introduction

NVIDIA has a long history of releasing "Ti" variants of their products which in most cases are simply slight upgrades to the base model. With the recent launch of the RTX 3080 Ti (and RTX 3070 Ti), NVIDIA is continuing this trend. Compared to the base RTX 3080, the new RTX 3080 Ti has 2GB more VRAM (12GB versus 10GB) and 18% more CUDA cores, although the maximum boost clock is a bit lower. In fact, in terms of performance, the RTX 3080 Ti should be closer to the RTX 3090 than it is to the RTX 3080.

Ever since After Effects 2015.3, Adobe has been steadily adding support for GPU acceleration 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. And since having 12GB of VRAM won't be necessary for most After Effects workflows, this likely makes the RTX 3080 Ti complete overkill for After Effects, but the only way to know for sure is to test it to find out.

After Effects GPU Performance Benchmark - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB

If you want to see the full specs for the latest NVIDIA GPUs we recommend checking out the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series product page. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
RTX 3060 12GB 3,584 1.78 GHz 170W $329
RTX 3060 Ti 8GB 4,864 1.67 GHz 200W $399
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
RTX 3070 Ti 8GB 6,144 1.77 GHz 290W $599
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
RTX 3080 Ti 12GB 10,240 1.67 GHz 350W $1,199
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499

As we noted earlier, the RTX 3080 Ti has 2GB more VRAM than the RTX 3080, and has close to the same CUDA core count as the RTX 3090. Price-wise, it is $500 more than the RTX 3080, or $300 less than the RTX 3090. On paper, it looks to be a great card for those that need high GPU performance, but not necessarily the large 24GB of VRAM that is found on the RTX 3090.

One concern we have is that this is a 350W card - just like the RTX 3090 - but uses a 2-slot cooler that is essentially the same as what is on the lower wattage RTX 3080. In our testing, this makes it both louder and hotter than any other RTX 3000 series card, which can be a significant concern if your system does not have adequate cooling.

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Test Setup

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

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 its 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 3080 Ti 12GB 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, there really isn't much to talk about. Since After Effects is primarily a CPU-limited application, all of the GPUs we tested scored within 2% of each other. That is well within the margin of error for this kind of real-world testing and indicates that for most workflows, you won't notice any difference between even an RTX 3060 and an RTX 3090.

However, many of our After Effects tests are very CPU bottlenecked, so 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 3080 Ti 12GB

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 test, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti performed right where we expected - above the RTX 3080 by about 5%, and essentially on par with the RTX 3090. That isn't much of a performance gain for the $500 higher price tag, but if you are looking for the best GPU to use for After Effects, the RTX 3080 Ti is a very solid choice since it is rare to need the 24GB of VRAM that is found on the RTX 3090.

How well does the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 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, if your workflow includes heavy use of GPU accelerated effects, the RTX 3080 Ti ties with the RTX 3090 as the fastest GPU we have tested for After Effects.

The price of the RTX 3080 Ti is certainly not cheap, however, and many users may opt to pay the extra $300 to go straight up to the RTX 3090 which has twice the VRAM (24GB vs 12GB). Even 12GB of VRAM is rarely necessary for After Effects, but with features like multi-frame rendering on the horizon that will likely increase the amount of VRAM you will want on higher-end machines, skipping the RTX 3080 Ti 12GB and going with the top-of-the-line RTX 3090 24GB is not a terrible idea if you have the budget for it.

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 latest NVIDIA and AMD 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, RTX 3080, RTX 3090, RTX 3070, RTX 3060 Ti, After Effects, RTX 3060, RTX 3080 Ti