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PugetBench for AERender (After Effects Render Node)

Written on December 11, 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.

However, while our testing ensures that we are selling the right hardware, it does not give our customers a great idea of how much faster a new workstation might be compared to their existing system. In addition, with the amount of hardware that is currently available, it is impossible for us to test everything on our own, so we want to provide tools for other hardware reviewers to perform real world benchmarking in professional applications like After Effects.

To address both of these issues, we are making our After Effects benchmark available for download so that anyone can can perform the same testing we do in our hardware articles. Even better, this benchmark is compatible with both Windows and Mac-based systems which allows for cross-platform performance comparisons.

Download PugetBench for AERender

PugetBench for AERender free edition

Free Edition

Download V0.8 BETA

Suitable for personal use

PugetBench for AERender commercial edition

Commercial Edition

More Information

For commercial use
Includes email support, automation, and logging

Be sure to check out the full list of benchmarks we have available!

System Requirements

  • Adobe After Effects 2020 or Adobe After Effects CC 2019
  • 16GB of memory
  • Windows 10 (no MacOS support currently)

Note that 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. In addition, 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 to run the benchmark

  1. Download the benchmark from the link above
  2. Unzip the benchmark to a convenient location - we recommend placing it on the same drive that you store active projects
  3. Run "PugetBench_AERender.exe" 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 successfully 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 screenshot of the results 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!

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.

PugetBench for AERender sample results

Sample result screen

Update Log

Version 0.8 BETA

  • Added support for After Effects 2020
  • Renamed benchmark to "PugetBench for AERender"
  • Removed initial benchmark GUI (all it did was make you press another button)
  • There is now a "Benchmark Results" screen that comes up at the end of the benchmark that displays a bunch of useful information including: benchmark version, cores, results for each individual test, and system information like CPU, RAM, OS, GPU, and Photoshop version
  • The benchmark now also makes a PNG of the "Benchmark Results" screen for easy sharing
  • Removed .csv log file support in the free edition (log files will be a feature in the commercial use version)
  • Removed Mac support (hoping to add back in later)
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements

Version .51 BETA

  • Fixed individual score display bug (log file scores not affected)

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 the 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, Download

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
Dmyto Korolkov

Hi! I'm using Win10 x64, admin login, run exe file as administrator, but get this:

Unable to read vr path registry from c:\Users\**Username**\AppData\Local\openvr\openvrpaths.vrpath

The same error I see in log file for PugetBenchmark for AE 2019 for step of Cloud Lightning Project (only it fails instead of all other steps)

Any ideas? I've read one of your posts regarding plugins and clean preferences, but all are cleaned now.

Posted on 2019-09-15 17:14:00

I haven't seen that error. You might want to try re-installing Ae and/or clearing your Ae preferences.

I looked around a bit and it doesn't look like many people have found a solid fix for that issue. There are indications it might be a Firefox thing (if you have that installed) or possibly due to special characters being used in your username.

Posted on 2019-09-16 17:20:09
Samuel Shi

Tried fresh Windows10 with no special characters in username. The issue remains.
There is no "\openvr\openvrpaths.vrpath" in "local". (No such doc was created in my PC in the first place). I was wondering does this issue related to my GPU driver. Or sth wrong with my AE, or specific setting...

Posted on 2019-10-24 11:11:36
Samuel Shi

I have same issue and it is remaining. Did you find solution yet?

Posted on 2019-10-24 10:57:47
Samuel Shi

And I failled to run all of the steps~ tried AE 2019 and 2020

Posted on 2019-10-24 10:59:02