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After Effects CC 2018 CPU Comparison: AMD Ryzen 2 vs Intel 8th Gen

Written on April 19, 2018 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

AMD has just released their second generation Ryzen CPUs and while most hardware review sites focus on gaming or general system performance, today we will be looking at how they perform in Adobe After Effects CC 2018. Not only will we be comparing them to the previous generation Ryzen CPUs, but we will also see how they hold up to similarly priced Intel 8th Gen processors.

While After Effects is primarily a single or lightly threaded application, the recent integration with Cinema4D heavily favors higher core counts. Because of this, we will be segregating our testing between "standard" projects and those that utilize the Cinema 4D Renderer.

If you would like to skip over our test setup and benchmark result/analysis sections, feel free to jump right to the Conclusion section.

Test Setup

Listed below are the test platforms and CPUs we will be using in our testing:

One thing we want to point out that while our test platforms are using a single hard drive, that is not actually what we would typically recommend to our customers. A two or more drive configuration - with the cache files on a secondary drive - can make a big impact when scrubbing through complex projects. But since we will not be testing anything that would benefit from multiple drives in this article, we opted to use a single drive to cut down on the number of hardware variables.

In order to accurately benchmark the different CPUs, we used a range of After Effects projects that are mostly publicly available for download. We did this so that anyone could replicate our testing on their own computer to see just how much of a performance boost they could expect if they upgraded to one of these CPUs.

The projects we used (along with their source) are:

Project Name Comp Name Tested Frames Notes
Countdown
by Rocketstock

(1920x1080)
Example Composition 0-40 (40 total frames)  
Electric FX
by Video Copilot

(1920x1080)
CloseCity
PlainSmoke
212-238 (26 total frames)
0-97 (97 total frames)
 
Heatwave
by EditingCorp

(960x360)
Main Comp 0-200 (200 total frames)  
Animated Polygon
by Video Copilot

(1280x720)
Green Polygon 0-78 (78 total frames)  
GPU Stress
(3840x2160)
  32610-32710 (100 total frames)

4K H.264 video with:

  • Find Edges
  • Glow
  • Brightness/Contrast
  • Transform
  • Sharpen
  • Directional Blur
  • Lumetri Color
Cineware Party
by Cineversity

(1920x1080)
Party-Lite-004Full 0-169 (169 total frames)

"Video Wall" and "*.mov" layers
removed. Tested with C4D Renderer:

  • OpenGL
  • Standard (Draft)
  • Standard (Final)

RAM Preview (RAW DATA)

[Click Here] to skip ahead to analysis section

RAM Preview (Analysis)

More than almost anything else, high performance during RAM Preview is one of the most critical aspects of a productive After Effects workstation. However, with the integration of the Cinema4D rendering engine (which should be able to utilize a higher number of CPU cores), the best CPU choice will often depend on whether or not you make use of this new feature. Because of this, we will divide up our analysis between "Standard" projects and those that utilize the CPU render portion of the Cinema4D rendering engine.


Starting with the "Standard" projects, the new Ryzen CPUs are certainly faster with the Ryzen 5 2600X performing surprisingly well. Not only is it 4-5% faster than the old Ryzen 7 1800X (at less than half the cost!) it is only a hair behind the Ryzen 7 2700X. Compared to the Intel 8th Gen CPUs, however, the Ryzen CPUs simply can't keep up for this type of work. Even the inexpensive Core i3 8350K was faster than any of the new Ryzen CPUs.


The AMD Ryzen CPUs do much better if you utilize the C4D Renderer, but even for this the Intel CPUs still have a clear edge. You could make an argument for the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 since it is slightly faster and more expensive than the Intel Core i5 8600K, but the Ryzen 7 2700 was also the worst CPU we tested for standard projects. So unless waiting on C4D renders to complete is the only thing you care about, the Core i5 8600K is probably the better choice at that price point.

Final Render (RAW DATA)

[Click Here] to skip ahead to analysis section

Final Render (Analysis)


For Final Render performance, we once again decided to separate the "standard" projects and those using the Cinema4D CPU Renderer since whether or not you use that feature dramatically changes performance.

Starting with the standard projects, the relative performance between each CPU is pretty much identical to what we saw in the RAM Preview testing. This makes sense as rendering each frame into RAM is really not all that much different than rendering each from to the hard drive even if there is the addition step of encoding it to a .AVI video file. Overall for this type of project, the Intel 8th Gen CPUs are simply faster than their AMD Ryzen counterparts.

When using the Cinema4D Renderer, the AMD Ryzen CPUs did much better, but only the Ryzen 5 2600X was strictly faster than the similarly priced Intel option. For the Ryzen 7 2700 and 2700X, the Intel Core i7 8700 is faster at a similar or lower price point.

Conclusion

While the new second generation AMD Ryzen CPUs are certainly faster than the old Ryzen CPUs, they still can't quite keep up with their Intel counterparts in After Effects. The Ryzen 5 2600X gets pretty close, but spending a bit more on the Intel Core i5 8600K will get you a much better CPU overall and is likely well worth the small price increase. At the top end, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 and 2700X are strictly slower than the Intel Core i7 8700 or 8700K.

What this means is that for now, the Intel 8th Gen CPUs like the Core i7 8700K are still our go-to recommendation for those looking for the best general After Effects performance.

Tags: After Effects, Ryzen, Coffee Lake, 8th Gen, i7 8700K, i5 8600K, i3 8350K, 2700X, 2700, 2600X
KeepDown

too heavily single threaded

Posted on 2018-04-19 22:44:25

After Effects is too single threaded ;)

Posted on 2018-09-29 14:56:02
Justin

Intel Core i5 8700 in results. That's incorrect. And the Software in Test Hardware is Photoshop CC 2018 (ver. 19.1.3).

Posted on 2018-04-20 01:27:40

Yep, that's a typo. I'll get it fixed tomorrow - thanks for pointing that out.

Posted on 2018-04-20 01:32:29
Justin

Users often open multiple After Effects (or AE render engine) and render AE project to image sequence. Then import these image in Pr to create the video. In this way, all CPU threads can be used and Ryzen may perform much better. Network muti-computer rendering also take this method.
Others may split video to several parts and render them all together. That is like what you do in Warp Stabilize of old Pr test. It can also use all threads.
People, at least my friends, don't like rendering project to video directly. Because if the application crash when rendering a complex project, you must render the film from its head. That's can waste a lot of time. But if rendering the project to image sequence, you can break the render at any time and it won't miss the frame.

Posted on 2018-04-20 03:18:50

Not enough folks render terminal, or utilize the plug-ins that offer that work around of utilizing multiple threads with After Effects.
I've found AE to be very stable over the past couple of years and only deal with image sequences with 3D applications.

Based on my workflows, more time is spent RAM Previewing than anything. It's a fair point to make which is why opted for 2 workstations.
An animation box with an i7 8700K and a render box with the TR2 2950x

Posted on 2018-09-29 14:55:33
Ned Flanders

The Ryzen2 picks up pace with fast RAM and although specified for 2993MHz RAM, you tested with 2666MHz RAM. Any reason?

Posted on 2018-04-21 07:33:18

RAM support on Ryzen is actually a bit unusual, but AMD doesn't present it very clearly. 2933mhz is the maximum supported frequency, but it is only officially supported if you are using 1 DIMM per channel (so two sticks). We are trying to get confirmation from AMD what the specific speed that is supported by various RAM configurations but so far that is the only official word we have right now. On the original Ryzen CPUs it depended not only on how many sticks you used but also whether they were dual or single rank. So until we get word, we decided to stick with the same speed we use on our Intel based systems.

If I had to guess, I think upgrading to 2933mhz would net another few percent, but not much more than that. DDR4-2666 is also where the sweet spot for maximum stability appears to be at the moment, however, so a few percent may not be worth it even if the CPU and RAM configuration supports it.

Posted on 2018-04-21 14:48:31
Ned Flanders

Thanks Matt! And Second Question. Were both Sys fully patched for Meltdown and Spectre? Would be sad to buy the 8700k Sys and figure that after updating, the Performance crumbles (e.g. the NVMe Performance might be relevant here, but also the CPU of course)

Posted on 2018-04-23 10:36:44

Yep, we're using the latest BIOS and Firmware so the systems are fully patched for Meltdown and Spectre. In most cases, the performance difference with the patch is pretty minor, it is typically only in isolated cases where you would notice any performance change.

Posted on 2018-04-23 16:51:40
d3ac0n

Was the OS fully patched with Meltdown and Spectre patches too?

Posted on 2018-04-24 10:57:19

Yes, we have everything updated.

Posted on 2018-04-24 21:53:23
godisafairytale

Thank you for asking this, and thanks Matt for the heads up. I think this is an important question given all the dire, calamitous articles about these two exploits.

Posted on 2018-06-12 21:18:04
Philippe

Great article as ever - thanks. Typo on 2600x MSRP - should read $229 not $329. Same for your PS article.

Posted on 2018-04-22 11:48:48

You scared me for a minute thinking that I had the price wrong on all the charts and that our conclusions were way off as a result! Thanks for pointing that out though, I fixed the price in the "Test Setup" sections of this article and the Photoshop one.

Posted on 2018-04-23 16:52:59
Philippe

Ha yes - can imagine the thought of having to update all the charts! :(

Posted on 2018-04-24 22:22:13
Tone Loke

Do we need to host a Bake Sale to get these guys some faster ram to take full advantage of Ryzen?

Posted on 2018-04-25 04:12:22
Angelscry

Cl19 RAM at 2666Mhz! No wonder Ryzen 2 lost by that much.

Posted on 2018-04-29 08:17:16
Len

Yeah. Even if they wanted to stay withing official supported frequency, they should have tested at 2933mhz cl14.

Posted on 2018-05-01 01:02:03

RAM support on Ryzen is actually a bit unusual, but AMD doesn't present it very clearly. 2933mhz is the maximum supported frequency, but it is only officially supported if you are using 1 DIMM per channel (so two sticks). We are trying to get confirmation from AMD what the specific speed that is supported by various RAM configurations but so far that is the only official word we have right now. On the original Ryzen CPUs it depended not only on how many sticks you used but also whether they were dual or single rank. So until we get word, we decided to stick with the same speed we use on our Intel based systems.

If I had to guess, I think upgrading to 2933mhz would net another few percent, but not much more than that. DDR4-2666 is also where the sweet spot for maximum stability appears to be at the moment, however, so a few percent may not be worth it even if the CPU and RAM configuration supports it.

Posted on 2018-05-01 01:33:49
hedge

Your test is absolutely invalid, don't bottleneck Ryzen so much by using trash tier ram. You should know better. Yet another misleading review biased towards Intel because the user has no idea how frequencies and timings work. Dont call yourself a pc enthusiast or anything close to a tech person if you can't perform simple tasks like replacing ram for a fair test.

Posted on 2018-10-11 22:19:20
Dsdfa Sefes

For those wondering: Ryzen 2600X gets about 10% increase in speed with 3400 memory (14-13-13-13-28) at stock clocks (in Final Render - Countdown test) with render done in 180 seconds. At 4.25 GHz OC on all cores it takes about 172 seconds to render (so OC and 3400 memory will give you ~18% speed boost compared to stock with 2666 memory). That's if I've done test properly.

Posted on 2018-05-04 00:59:04
Sai Krishna Vajjala (Krishna)

Yeah, but you cannot run 4x8 gb at 3200 Mhz like done here. Only 2x8 can do 3200 CL14 or 3400 CL14/16.
If you use 4 sticks, most people get 3000 Mhz only and with specific kits. If you go to reddit forums, max speed for Ryzen 1 is 2666mhz with 4 kits. It would be 2933 for Ryzen 2 may be. Even the official QVLs say that.

Posted on 2018-05-25 22:17:21
ekrem ekrem

what do you think about 7820x vs 2700x?
I'm using premiere pro after effects photoshop lightroom davinci etc.
I know that after effects use single thread performance at some effects also photoshop. But premiere uses single core just at warp stabilizer. So which cpu will be best opinion for my software at 1080p and 4k?

2700x is better multicore than 8700k.
But ı don't know what about 7820x vs 2700x.
If 2700x will be better ı will choose 2700x.It has cooler and cheaper than intel.
By the way intel is hotter than ryzen. Also has not a cooler.
I can use my motherboard next years in the future. But it is impossinle with intel.

What should ı do??

On the other hand ı want to wait 2800x.
If 2700x is worse than 7820x ı will wait for 2800x.

What is your suggestion for me??

Posted on 2018-05-12 23:44:42
amd zombie

How can ryzen with it;s infinity fablic loose? I heard from youtube it's the fastest greatest CPU in the world!

Posted on 2018-06-21 09:23:05
Aasif Haque

Can we get Adobe Premiere Pro (Pr) benchmark for ryzen 2 vs intel 8th gen? Please be as soon as possible.

Posted on 2018-07-17 19:33:34
Amalkumar

Ryzen Or Intel Best For Premiere pro CC ??

recommend Best Cpu For Edting My pc rig Ryzen 1700 lagging For HD

Posted on 2018-08-10 14:41:05
kylejwx

Hello,
Based on my understanding of this article, the main factor in After Effects performance is single-threaded clock speed. In my situation, I am comparing some older processors. I'm looking at the i7-4770 and the i5-4670. They both have base clock of 3.4GHz. The main difference as far as I can tell is that the i7-4770 is hyper-threaded giving it four more threads. Will this really matter for After Effects or other Adobe software? I can save a decent amount of money by going with the i5 so I would prefer that option if the performance difference is not that much.

Posted on 2018-11-11 03:22:13

Something to keep in mind is that the base clock is mostly a meaningless number as long as you have a decent motherboard and CPU cooling. The more important numbers is the maximum Turbo (which is published) and the all-core Turbo (which tends to not be). In this case, the i7 4770 has a .1GHz higher Maximum Turbo, however, which is unlikely to really change anything. Hyperthreading can make a difference and is more important with lower core count CPUs, but I would guess you are looking at about a 5% difference with the i7 4770 over the i5 4670.

Posted on 2018-11-12 17:09:34