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Puget Systems Adobe After Effects CC Benchmark

Written on December 5, 2018 by Matt Bach

At Puget Systems, one of our primary goals is to make sure that our customers end up with a fast, reliable workstation that is perfectly tailored to their unique workflow. The main way we do this is by benchmarking a wide range of hardware in After Effects (and numerous other software packages) that we then publish in our ongoing series of hardware articles.

However, while this ensures we are selling the right hardware, it does not give our customers a great idea of how much faster a new workstation would be compared to their existing system. To address this issue, we are making our internal Ae benchmark available for public download so that anyone can compare their own computer to our latest After Effects hardware articles. Even better, this benchmark is compatible with both Windows and Mac-based systems!

Puget Systems After Effects CC 2019 Benchmark
(BETA ver 18.12.10)

How to run the benchmark

After downloading the benchmark, unzip it to a convenient location - we recommend placing it on the same drive that you store your active projects as there are a few media assets used throughout the benchmark. Next, simply open the "PugetBenchmark.aep" project file and follow the instructions shown in the "Benchmark Instructions" composition.

Note that while a number of settings will be automatically set by the benchmark script, there are three that you will need to set manually as they cannot be effectively scripted. These settings are:

  • Enable "Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network" in "Edit -> Preferences -> General"
  • Disable "Disk Cache" in "Edit -> Preferences -> Media & Disk Cache" (having disk cache enabled results in inconsistent results as Ae is not fully consistent on when it will write files to the cache)
  • Set Spacebar Preview to "Play Once" in the Preview Window

Once the benchmark is completed, we recommend reverting these back to their original settings since things like Disk Cache are probably something you want to have enabled.

With After Effects configured, you can run the "PugetBenchmark.jsxbin" script by going to "File -> Scripts -> Run Script File" and browsing to the benchmark folder. If you do not see this script, make sure the open dialog is not restricted to only showing ".jsx" files. You will need to confirm one prompt to clear your existing disk cache, then the benchmark will proceed. Most systems should be able to complete the benchmark in 30-60 minutes, although it will vary based on the performance of your system.

When the benchmark is complete, it will give you an "Overall Score" as well as individual scores for the different types of tests. A log file is generated in the benchmark folder that includes these scores as well as the time in seconds it took to complete each individual task. You can compare your scores to those in our After Effects hardware articles dated from December 2018 and newer.


This benchmark is designed for After Effects 2019 and should run on virtually any Windows or Mac-based system that has After Effects CC 2019 installed. However, due to the size of the test projects it is ideal to have 16GB or more of system RAM and a GPU with 2GB+ of VRAM.

Note that this benchmark is still in BETA. Plug-ins and customized preferences in particular may prevent the benchmark from running properly. If you run into any issues, we recommend resetting your preferences to default - be sure to make a backup first!

Benchmark tests and projects

Our benchmark tests RAM Preview FPS (in both half and full resolution), FPS when rendering a composition out to a file, and performance when doing a warp stabilize and 3D camera tracker analysis.

Many of our benchmarks are based around the excellent tutorials provided by VIDEO COPILOT. If you wish to understand what is going on in those compositions, we highly recommend watching the following tutorials:

How does the scoring work?

The scoring system used in our benchmark is based on the performance relative to a reference system with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i9 9900K 8 Core
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
  • 64GB of RAM
  • Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
  • Windows 10
  • Adobe After Effects CC 2019 (ver. 16.0.0)
  • Overall Score: 1000
  • Standard Score: 100
  • C4D Score: 100
  • Tracking Score: 100

The Tracking Score is the average of the scores for warp stabilize and 3D camera tracker tests. The C4D Score includes the average of RAM Preview (half and full res) and Final Render results for the compositions that utilize the Cinema 4D 3D renderer. Likewise, the Standard Score is the average of the RAM Preview (half and full res) and Final Render results for the compositions that do not use the C4D renderer.

The Overall Score is based on a weighted average of the three types of tests based on what our customers tend to be the most concerned about:

  • Standard Score - 50%
  • C4D Score - 25%
  • Tracking Score - 25%

Commercial use & pricing

Our After Effects benchmark is provided completely free of charge for anyone to download and use. We only ask that you do not directly re-distribute the benchmark and if using it for public benchmarking that you credit Puget Systems for the benchmark process. If in doubt, just toss in a link to this page!

Update Log

Version 18.12.10

  • Added Ae version check to make sure Ae 2019 (ver 16.x) is being used.
  • Initial benchmark errors (Disk Cache not disabled, Ae not using English, Ae version mismatch, etc) anow allow for you to continue the benchmark anyways (although the benchmark will probably break).

Version 18.12.0

  • First release.
Tags: After Effects, Benchmark, Public

Hi! thanks a lot for this! But, I tried to set preview to loop once, but the script still wont start and says I need to set preview to "loop once". Despite having restarted AE and even rebooted the machine and previews actually only playing once when testing. Any ideas?

Posted on 2018-12-06 06:47:13

Huh, interesting. Are you on Mac or PC? And you sure you are setting it for spacebar and not any of the other preview hot keys? That setting is a little bit weird in the setting files, so I'm worried there might be something weird with it. I'll take a look at it later to see if there is something I missed and worst case I'll swap it over to a warning rather than a hard error that stops the benchmark from being run.

Posted on 2018-12-06 06:55:57

Hey, yeah I'm on a PC. I have tried to restart AE many times and also tried to change all the other playback settings (range and play from) - It refuse to start. See screenshot: http://prntscr.com/lrcx82

Posted on 2018-12-06 06:59:02

Yea, looks like a bug then. I can't check it right now (and unfortunately I might not be able to tomorrow either), but when I can I'll check it and release an update. My guess is just that the script isn't finding that one setting since I actually have to do a file text search to get it and there is probably some weirdness going on.

Thanks for pointing out the bug!

Posted on 2018-12-06 07:08:06

Thank you - looking forward to test :) I was just curious as to how my threadripper 1950x performed - which I expect is quite low - as I noticed the slower responsiveness of the entire program after getting this CPU. Though based on your charts, even the 2950x scores pretty bad compared to Intel CPUs - proving that AMD threadripper series is a pretty bad investment for any AE users.

Posted on 2018-12-06 07:26:15

I couldn't find anything wrong, the only other thing I can think of is that if you aren't use Ae 2019 (ver 16.x) it wouldn't be able to detect that you changed that setting since the setting file wouldn't exist.

I just added a Ae version check to the script, but also made it so those errors are more of a warning. You can have it run the benchmark anyway, but it just means that it might break at some point or get stuck. So re-download it and give it a try.

Posted on 2018-12-10 21:40:28

thanks will test it. I use the very latest version of CC 2019 AE.

Posted on 2018-12-10 21:48:36

So even though it gave me the same warning now and also another which was called "unknown" it worked fine. It wen't through all the benchmarkings. It said also that it couldnt perform the changes, though I had set it up myself. (perhaps I should have started AE in administrator mode?)

Anyway, results for my 1950x was rather bad, as anticipated, but it was good to see that the experience I have had with the CPU made sense according to the test.
Overall:634 - standard:66 - C4D: 58 - Tracking: 63

Almost as bad as Mac Pro, So awful results both in standard and C4D scenes, which you guys have stated before. TR4 is by no means a good overall CPU for creators, except only those who need many cores for rendering for a cheap buck.

Posted on 2018-12-11 12:18:18
Hugo Scali

Hi, I wanted to ask permission to use the results of their benchmarks on my Spanish-language YouTube channel since I plan to make a video about the workstation. Since it is not true that always more nucleos is the best choice and the choice of components should be based on the determined task that they are going to execute. Obviously I will put in the description that the data was extracted and analyzed from pugetsystem and I will leave the link to the site.

This is my channel: https://www.youtube.com/cha...

Posted on 2018-12-09 08:15:59

Sure! We would appreciate having some reference to "Puget System's After Effects CC Benchmark" (or something along those lines) on the graphic itself in addition to a link in the description, but absolutely you can use results from our benchmark.

Posted on 2018-12-10 18:13:50

Thanks for this!! it's really helpful :) Something that would make this more awesome IMHO is to include in the downloads the benchLog csv of scoring machine, in order to be able to compare in detail each one of the tests with the base config that sets the benchmark score. I for one, would love to see how many fps the base machine got in the polygon test RAM preview in order to compare to mine. In the polygon test I got: RAM Preview (Half Res.),Polygon Project,11.1,FPS.

Posted on 2018-12-08 12:02:58

The main reason we didn't get too much into the reference scores is because that score is not going to change over time. So as there are driver updates, Windows updates, Ae updates, etc. the actual performance of a system with a i9 9900K is going to change more and more from the reference score. What I would do is to compare your results to those in out hardware articles. https://www.pugetsystems.co... right now is the only article using this exact benchmark, but it includes results for CPUs like the i9 9900K.

Posted on 2018-12-10 18:11:11