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Adobe After Effects - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Performance

Written on March 29, 2022 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24GB performance in After Effects

Overall, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti does fine in After Effects, but is at most only a few percent faster than the standard RTX 3090. Considering that the RTX 3090 Ti has a MSRP is that is $500 higher than the RTX 3090, uses 100W more power, and doesn't have any additional VRAM, the RTX 3090 Ti is likely not worth the investment. In fact, the RTX 3080 Ti should be nearly as fast as either RTX 3090 variant for most users, which would free up a significant amount of your budget to put towards a faster CPU, more RAM, faster storage, etc.

Introduction

NVIDIA has a history of releasing "Ti" variants of their products which in most cases are simply slight upgrades to the base model. Today, NVIDIA is continuing this trend with the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24GB. Compared to the base RTX 3090, the RTX 3090 Ti has the same amount of VRAM (24GB), but has a handful more CUDA cores that run at a slightly higher frequency. In order to handle the higher core count and frequency, however, the 3090 Ti has also received a large bump in power consumption - going from 350W to a massive 450W of power draw.

Taking into account the number of cores and the boost clock, rough math points to the RTX 3090 Ti being somewhere around 10% faster than the RTX 3090 assuming perfect GPU utilization. That is a decent bump in theoretical performance, although the nearly 30% increase in power/heat - as well as the much higher price - is going to make it a tough upgrade for some users.

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. Even with the recent addition of multi-frame rendering (MFR), 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. But, a more powerful GPU can be useful in workflows that utilize a decent number of GPU accelerated effects.

After Effects GPU Performance Benchmark - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24GB

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
RTX 3090 Ti 24GB 10,752 1.86GHz 450W $1,999

As we noted earlier, the RTX 3090 Ti is a slightly more powerful version of the RTX 3090 - only with a much larger power draw and price tag. While we are going to focus purely on performance in this article, it is definitely worth noting that the 3090 Ti is going to be both louder and hotter than any other RTX 3000 series card due to the much higher power draw. This can be a significant concern if your system does not have adequate cooling or a large enough power supply, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are considering getting an RTX 3090 Ti.

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Test Setup

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

To see how the RTX 3090 Ti performs in After Effects, we will be comparing it to the full range of RTX 3000 series GPUs as well as the AMD Radeon RX 6900XT. The test system we will be using is one of the fastest platforms currently available for After Effects and built around the AMD Threadripper Pro 3975WX. 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.

It is also worth pointing out that this is only the second wide-range GPU testing we have done since Adobe released the multi-frame rendering (MFR) feature. While MFR is focused more on dramatically improving CPU performance, this should remove some of the CPU bottleneck in After Effects and may end up allowing higher-end GPUs to make more of a difference than they have in the past.

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 3090 Ti 24GB After Effects Benchmark Raw Results

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.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24GB After Effects Benchmark Overall Score

For 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 about 8% of each other. That is only slightly outside the margin of error for this kind of real-world testing and indicates that for most workflows, you likely won't notice much of a difference between even an RTX 3060 and an RTX 3090 Ti.

In fact, much of that performance gap likely comes not just from the actual performance of the GPU, but also how much VRAM they have. With the new Multi-Frame Rendering (MFR) feature, After Effects is able to adjust how many CPU cores it uses based on a number of factors - including how much VRAM is available. On more complex projects, not having enough VRAM can limit how many CPU cores After Effects can use, which can cause a significant drop in performance even if the GPU itself isn't doing much in the way of processing.

This chart is a great metric to look at for most After Effects users, but the majority of the tests are heavily CPU bottlenecked. So, in order to get a clearer idea of how these cards perform in terms of 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 3090 Ti 24GB

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 performance delta between each GPU is significantly higher. Rather than an 8% difference between the fastest and slowest card, here it is closer to 34%. However, even though there is more of a benefit to using a higher-end GPU, the RTX 3090 Ti was only 3% faster than the RTX 3090.

Even if you need 24GB of VRAM - which, even with MFR, is fairly rare for After Effects - you are likely better off using an RTX 3090 rather than upgrading to the RTX 3090 Ti. And if you don't need 24GB of VRAM, the RTX 3080 Ti is nearly as fast as the RTX 3090 Ti, but at a $800 lower price tag. That is quite a bit of money that could be spent on other aspects of your system that could net you a larger performance gain overall.

How well does the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti perform in After Effects?

Overall, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti does fine in After Effects, but is at most only a few percent faster than the standard RTX 3090. Considering that the RTX 3090 Ti has a MSRP is that is $500 higher than the RTX 3090, uses 100W more power, and doesn't have any additional VRAM, the RTX 3090 Ti is likely not worth the investment. In fact, the RTX 3080 Ti should be nearly as fast as either RTX 3090 variant for most users, which would free up a significant amount of your budget to put towards a faster CPU, more RAM, faster storage, etc.

However, there are some use cases where the RTX 3090 Ti could possibly make sense. Likely not with the base version of After Effects, but if you utilize a GPU-based rendering engine like OctaneRender or Redshift, the RTX 3090 Ti could give you a small boost to performance. The advantage over the RTX 3090 is likely going to be even smaller than the 3-4% we saw in our RTX 3090 Ti OctaneRender and V-Ray articles, but even that small amount could be worth it for some power users.

As we noted at the beginning of this article, we want to again mention that if you do decide to use the RTX 3090 Ti, it will be both louder and hotter than any other RTX 3000 series card due to the much higher power draw. You will need a decent power supply, as well as a chassis with plenty of airflow to keep the GPU cool. If either of those are not up to the task, power draw or thermal throttling may well end up causing the RTX 3090 Ti to actually end up performing slower than the lower wattage cards like the RTX 3090.

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.

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After Effects Workstations

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

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Tags: NVIDIA, RTX 3080, RTX 3090, RTX 3070, RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, RTX 3080 Ti, RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3090 Ti, Radeon RX 6900 XT, After Effects
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