Puget Systems Adobe After Effects CC Benchmark (Updated 6-13-2019)Written on June 10, 2019 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!
If you are interested in how your system performs in other creative applications, we care currently working on making our benchmarks available to the public. At the moment, we have a benchmark available for Adobe Photoshop CC and are working on others for Premiere Pro, Lightroom Classic, DaVinci Resolve, and more.
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 -> Scripts & Expressions"
- 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 and screenshot of th results is generated in the benchmark folder that includes these scores as well as the FPS for each individual task. You can compare your scores to those in our After Effects hardware articles - just make sure they used the same benchmark version!
While our latest After Effects Hardware Articles will have the most up to date results (just make sure the benchmark version matches!), below are some sample results with Ae CC 16.1.1:
Intel Core i9 9900K 8 Core, 128GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
- Overall Score: 990
- Render Score: 98.7
- Preview Score: 99.3
- Tracking Score: 100.2
Intel Core i9 9960X 16 Core, 128GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
- Overall Score: 950
- Render Score: 96.6
- Preview Score: 92
- Tracking Score: 97.7
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8 Core, 64GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
- Overall Score: 850
- Render Score: 83.5
- Preview Score: 80.8
- Tracking Score: 90.6
Apple iMac Pro 14 Core, 64GB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 64
- Overall Score: 830
- Render Score: 85.5
- Preview Score: 78.9
- Tracking Score: 84.1
Apple Mac Pro 12 Core, 64GB of RAM, Dual AMD FirePro D700
- Overall Score: 590
- Render Score: 58.5
- Preview Score: 56.2
- Tracking Score: 61
This benchmark is designed for After Effects 2019 (although it should work on older versions as well) and should run on virtually any Windows or Mac-based system with at least 16GB of system memory (12GB of which is available for Ae to use).
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!
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 (1809)
- Adobe After Effects CC 2019 (ver. 16.1.1)
- Overall Score: 1000
- Render Score: 100
- Preview Score: 100
- Tracking Score: 100
The Overall Score is simply the average of the three types of tests and multiplied by 10 since bigger score = more important.
Version .51 BETA
- Added Windows buildnumber to the Benchmark Results page
- Making sure to set the renderer to "Classic 3D" on most comps, or "Cinema 4D" on the C4D comps (just incase it gets changed somehow)
- More robust reporting for render errors such as not enough frames rendering or the render failing completely.
- Clearing out export folder at the start of each run just so that aerender doesn't have to overwrite files.
- Scoring fix for when a render completes in exactly a minute (the log reports different if it is less than a minute, over a minute, or exactly on a minute)
Version .5 BETA (Major Update)
- Switching from "year.mon.day" version format to a more typical versioning scheme so that we can more easily show when things like the scoring has changed enough to not be interchangeable with previous versions.
- Dropping color depth from 32 bpc to 16 bpc. At 32 bpc, you needed more than 20GB of RAM in order to RAM preview the UHD compositions and anything less simply stopped the test early resulting in artificially high scores for that test. Dropping to 16 bpc will allow people with 16GB of RAM to successfully run the benchmark.
- Added a RAM checker that throws an error if you have less than 12GB of RAM available for AE to use. Anything less results in the same issue mentioned in the previous bullet point with artificially high scores.
- This checker is not very robust at the moment since it has to read some configuration files from /Adobe/dynamiclinkmanager/*version*. I can't find a way to directly link the version of AE with the version of the DLM, so for now it is hard coded and allows you to keep running the benchmark if it breaks.
- Added a "Progress" text layer on each test comp that updates automatically so you can visually see how far along the benchmark is.
- Export (Final Render) test now uses aerender (background renderer) rather than the render queue built in to After Effects. This is nearly the same performance as using the render queue, but much easier to automate.
- Added a "status" comp that shows you how far along it is since there is little to no visual feedback that After Effects isn't just broken
- This fixes most of the issues we've seen with this test failing on some systems
- This removes the need to do any security setting changes in MacOS (yay!)
- This also opens up the possibility of adding a render node test in the future that spawns multiple instances of aerender.
- Switching from Overall/Standard/C4D/Tracking scores to Overall/Render/Preview/Tracking to align better with what people are interested in. If someone only cares about C4D performance, they can look at the raw results for those compositions.
- There is now a "Benchmark Results" comp that comes up at the end of the benchmark that displays a bunch of useful information including:
- Benchmark version
- Overall & section scores
- FPS results for each individual test
- System information like CPU, RAM, OS, GPU, GPU acceleration mode, and After Effects version
- In addition to the log file with the results, the benchmark now also makes a PNG of the "Benchmark Results" comp
- Adjusting benchmark tests:
- Adding three new compositions:
- "Expressions" - almost exclusively uses expressions
- "Motion Blur" - Simply comp with motion blur being the limiting factor
- "GPU Stress" - our attempt to show the maximum difference you would see with a higher-end GPU
- Removing old compositions that were either redundant or are tested better with the new comps:
- "Glitch Project"
- "Turbulant Noise Keyframe"
- "Rotation Keyframe"
- "C4D Text Draft Project"
- "C4D Track Draft Project"
- Replaced video media in the "Phone Composite Project", "Tracking", and "C4D Track Final Project" with lower bitrate H.264 media. It doesn't significantly impact the performance, but results in a much smaller benchmark download size.
- Adding three new compositions:
- Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements
Version 19.5.16 BETA
- Fixed issue where the benchmark could not verify the loop playback setting on minor revisions of AE.
Version 19.4.4 BETA
- Reordered the tests to Render->Half Res Preview->Full Res Preview in order to try to resolve issues with some systems improperly using the disc cache files for the render test which resulted in too high of scores.
- Added additional checks during the Render tests so that if the benchmark is not able to start the render automatically, it will prompt the user to click the "Render" button manually.
Version 18.12.18 BETA
- Minor bug fix
Version 18.12.17 BETA
- Added more robust detection for when the benchmark starts/stops RAM Preview and Render testing. This is to fix a bug on some systems where if the test doesn't start within a few seconds, the benchmark thinks it already finished.
Version 18.12.10 BETA
- 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) now allow for you to continue the benchmark anyways - although the benchmark will probably break so that isn't recommended.
Version 18.12.0 BETA
- First release.
Looking for a
Content Creation Workstation?
Puget Systems offers a range of workstations designed specifically for video and image editing applications including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, DaVinci Resolve, and more.