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Adobe After Effects - NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB Performance

Written on January 26, 2021 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB 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 NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB can be a small 8% faster than the Quadro RTX 6000 24GB or RTX 8000 48GB. However, compared to slightly older cards like the Quadro P6000 24GB, the RTX A6000 can be as much as 27% faster.

Introduction

While the launch of NVIDIA and AMD's consumer GPUs have been a major topic in recent months, NVIDIA is also starting to release the successor to their Quadro RTX line - starting with the RTX A6000. The NVIDIA RTX A6000 is a very powerful card, featuring 48GB of VRAM and significantly higher specs than the Quadro RTX 6000/8000 from the previous generation.

One thing we always like to point out when testing workstation cards like the RTX A6000 is that in many cases, straight performance is not the primary reason why you would invest in one of these cards over an NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon GPU. In fact, performance tends to be lower than a comparable "consumer" GPU since most of those cards are designed to push the boundaries of performance.

Workstation cards, on the other hand, are all about specialty features not necessary for most consumer workflows (higher VRAM capacity, ECC VRAM, vGPU support, Quadro Sync, etc.), and more importantly for many, have a strong focus on stability. Not only do workstation drivers get more validation for professional applications, but the hardware itself is also more reliable. In fact, over the last three years (Jan 2018 to Jan 2021), we have seen about 3x higher reliability in the field with Quadro cards over GeForce (.33% failure rate versus .91%).

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. This likely makes the new NVIDIA RTX A6000 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 RTX A6000 24GB

If you want to see the full specs for the NVIDIA RTX A6000 as well as the other NVIDIA and AMD workstation GPUs we will be testing, we recommend checking out the NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro product pages. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM Cores FP32 Performance Power ~MSRP
Quadro RTX 4000 8GB 2,304 7.1 TFLOPS 160W $449
Radeon Ro WX 9100 16GB 4,096 12.3 TFLOPS 230W $1,499
Radeon Pro VII 16GB 3,840 13.1 TFLOPS 250W $1,899
Quadro RTX 5000 16GB 3,072 11.2 TFLOPS 265W $2,300
Quadro RTX 6000 24GB 4,608 16.3 TFLOPS 295W $4,000
RTX A6000 48GB 10,752 38.7 TFLOPS 300W $4,650
Quadro RTX 8000 48GB 4,608 16.3 TFLOPS 295W $5,500

While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, the biggest thing to note is that the RTX A6000 includes 48GB of VRAM at a lower cost than the Quadro RTX 8000, and theoretically has more than twice the performance of any of the previous generation cards. As we said early, we don't expect this to translate into much for After Effects itself, but for those that need high amounts of VRAM and GPU performance (such as workflows that include 3D Rendering with engines like OctaneRender or RedShift), this card may be well worth its cost.

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Test Setup

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

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of Jan 20th, 2021

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.

To see how the RTX A6000 performs, we will be comparing it to most of the mid to high-end NVIDIA Quadro GPUs from the previous generation as well as the Quadro P6000 from two generations ago. One thing to note is that we are not going to test the Quadro RTX 8000 since, in terms of performance, it is actually identical to the Quadro RTX 6000. The RTX 8000 does have more VRAM than the RTX 6000 (48GB vs 24GB), but since our After Effects benchmark doesn't need much in the way of VRAM, that would not affect the results for our benchmark.

In addition, we are only including two Radeon Pro GPUs: the Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Radeon Pro VII which are currently the top-end workstation GPUs from AMD. NVIDIA tends to hold a commanding lead in applications like After Effects, but including these two cards will let us see if there are any surprises since the last time we tested workstation cards in After Effects.

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 RTX A6000 48GB 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 NVIDIA RTX A6000 does top out the chart, although the performance is not significantly different than the other NVIDIA workstation cards. Between the fastest and slowest NVIDIA GPUs we tested, the difference was just a hair over 3% which is just within the margin of error for real-world testing like this.

Compared to the AMD Radeon Pro cards, however, the A6000 did score about 6% higher than the Radeon Pro VII and 10% higher than the Radeon Pro WX9100. That isn't a very large difference (especially considering the A6000 is around 2.5x the cost of those Radeon Pro GPUs), but it is outside the margin of error which means that NVIDIA workstation cards are definitely faster than their AMD Radeon Pro counterparts.

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 Score benchmark performance NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB

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.

For this test, the RTX A6000 again tops the chart, but this time by a larger margin - about 8% faster than the RTX 6000 or about 27% faster than the Quadro P6000 from two generations ago. That performance gain over the RTX 6000 (which is the same performance as the RTX 8000 48GB) isn't huge, but if you have a bit older of a card and need 48GB of VRAM, it can give you a nice boost to performance.

We again want to point out that workstation cards like the RTX A6000 are not solely about performance, but for those that want to know how it performs relative to the NVIDIA GeForce line, you can compare it to the results in our recent Adobe After Effects - AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Performance article. In terms of just straight-up performance, the GPU score of ~131 for the RTX A6000 puts it about in line with a GeForce RTX 3070 (only with six times the VRAM, higher reliability, and all the other workstation-only features).

Something else interesting is that the AMD Radeon Pro VII did extremely well for this portion of our test. Pricing wise, it falls between the Quadro RTX 4000 and RTX 5000, but was about 15% faster than either of those cards. It still has the issue with tracking performance, however, so using it over an NVIDIA card may come down to whether you want to prioritize performance for tracking or for GPU effects.

How well does the NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB 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 NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB can be a small 8% faster than the Quadro RTX 6000 24GB or RTX 8000 48GB. However, compared to slightly older cards like the Quadro P6000 24GB, the RTX A6000 can be as much as 27% faster.

In most cases, unless you need the 48GB of VRAM (which shouldn't be necessary for the vast majority of After Effects workflows), the "sweet spot" for an NVIDIA workstation GPU is likely either the RTX 4000 8GB or RTX 5000 16GB depending on how much VRAM you need. However, the biggest reason to invest in a higher-end GPU is not for the higher performance in After Effects, but for rendering engines like OctaneRender or Redshift that you might utilize in your workflow. These engines tend to scale very well with more powerful GPUs, and having a GPU with a ton of VRAM can also be incredibly important.

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 GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA, 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, RTX A6000, RTX 4000, RTX 5000, RTX 6000, WX 9100, Radeon Pro VII, After Effects