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Puget Systems Adobe After Effects CC Render Node Benchmark

Written on July 18, 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.

While most motion graphics artists use After Effects in a fairly traditional manner, many are starting to leverage multiprocessing plugins or homemade scripts like BG Renderer Max or RenderGarden to improve rendering performance. These typically leverage an application called "aerender" that is installed alongside After Effects that lets you divide up your render across multiple threads in order to fully utilize the performance of your CPU and GPU. In fact, the limiting factor is often the amount of RAM and VRAM you have available since each thread requires its own share of memory.

With this benchmark, we can not only ensure that we are selling the right hardware to our customers, but also allow you to get a sense for how much faster a new workstation would be compared to your existing system. Even better, this benchmark is compatible with both Windows and Mac-based systems!

Puget Systems Adobe After Effects Render Node Benchmark

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 the following benchmarks available:

Looking for an After Effects Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of workstations that are tailor made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

Configure a System!

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.

If you are on MacOS, we recommend opening the "PugetBenchmark_RenderNode.aep" project, going to the project settings, and making sure the Mercury Playback engine is set to either Metal or OpenCL. This is done automatically on Windows. Next, simply run "Benchmark_Run.exe" on Windows or "MacOS_Benchmark_Run.app" on MacOS to start the benchmark.

This benchmark starts with a single thread, and adds more threads until it hits either the number of physical cores on your CPU or the render fails. A failed render does not mean your system has a problem, but rather that you simply do not have enough system RAM or VRAM for the render to complete sucessfully with that many render threads.

Depending on the speed of your system and the number of CPU cores, most systems should be able to complete the benchmark in 20-40 minutes. When the benchmark is complete, it will give you an "Overall Score" as well as individual scores for the different tests. A log file and screenshot of the results (Windows only) is generated in the benchmark folder. You can compare your scores to those in our After Effects hardware articles - just make sure they used the same benchmark version!

Sample Results

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 overall scores with Ae CC 16.1.2:

  • Intel Core i9 9900K 8 Core, 128GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB: 2727
  • Intel Core i9 9960X 16 Core, 128GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB: 3029
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core, 64GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB: 2469
  • Apple iMac Pro 14 Core, 64GB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 64: 2390
  • Apple Mac Pro 12 Core, 64GB of RAM, Dual AMD FirePro D700: 1890


This benchmark is designed for After Effects 2019 and should run on virtually any Windows or Mac-based system with at least 16GB of system memory. However, since spawning multiple render threads quickly increases the RAM/VRAM usage, having more system resources generally means you will be able to spawn more render threads which often results in faster performance.

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 with a single render thread:

  • 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. 16.1.2)

The Overall Score is simply the average of the tested compositions and multiplied by 10 since bigger score = more important.

Update Log

Version .5 BETA

  • First release.

Looking for an After Effects Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of workstations that are tailor made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

Configure a System!

Tags: After Effects, Benchmark, Public, Render Node

Not bad, was possibly expecting higher though...


Posted on 2019-07-23 14:08:12
James Nielson

My 6-core Macbook Pro with 32GB RAM and an RX580 eGPU scored 1588. So yours scores about 20% higher but I, too, would expect a bit more from a 10-core with a 1080Ti. I'm no expert though. Is that the right benchmark version?

Posted on 2019-08-16 20:21:06
James Nielson

What if, hypothetically speaking, a person were to get an error of "You don’t have permission to create a folder here. (-10000)" on a Mac?

Posted on 2019-08-15 23:42:27
James Nielson

And when I try to edit your script (to try another path for that folder) I am told the file (the script I'm looking at) does not exist. That's deep. I'm stumped.

Posted on 2019-08-15 23:50:16

Sounds like you have the benchmark in a folder that you don't have write access to, or have some other security/permission setting set that doesn't allow scripts to create folders. Apple has a guide for folder permissions here: https://support.apple.com/e... , but if it is a security thing you might need to talk to Apple or check in your security and permission settings to see if there is something you can change.

Posted on 2019-08-16 16:02:57
James Nielson

I should have mentioned that I was running straight from the unzipped folder in my Downloads folder. I did check permissions and I have Read+Write (while "everyone" is granted no access). I copied the code into a new app (same directory, RW for me, R only for "everyone" and "staff") and it works fine, but the original app still gives me "You don’t have permission to create a folder here." Wierd.

Posted on 2019-08-16 19:55:14