PugetBench for After EffectsWritten on December 10, 2019 by Matt Bach
At Puget Systems, one of our primary goals is to provide fast and reliable workstations that are perfectly tailored to each customer's unique workflow. As a part of this, we publish an ongoing series of hardware articles for After Effects - as well as numerous other software packages - in order to discover what hardware configurations are optimal for these specific applications.
However, while this 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.
Update 1/17/2019: Version 8.2 includes fixes for a recent issue where the benchmark got stuck in a loop playing back the same comp over and over. Huge thank you to the After Effects dev team for helping us find a much more reliable way to implement our RAM Preview and Render tests!
Download PugetBench for After Effects
Suitable for personal use
For commercial use
Includes email support, automation, and logging
Be sure to check out the full list of benchmarks we have available!
- Adobe After Effects 2020 or Adobe After Effects CC 2019
- 16GB of memory (at least 12GB of which is available for Ae to use)
- Compatible with both Windows 10 and MacOS
- After Effects/OS language must be set to English
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 to run the benchmark
- Download the benchmark from the link above
- Unzip the benchmark to a convenient location - we recommend placing it on the same drive that you store active projects
- Open the "PugetBenchmark.aep" project
- Configure the necessary settings shown in the "Benchmark Instructions" composition - 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)
- Close After Effects and re-open the project to make sure the settings are saved
- Launch a supported version of After Effects - Currently After Effects 2020 or After Effects CC 2019
- Go to "File -> Scripts -> Run Script File"
- Navigate to the location of the benchmark folder and load the "PugetBenchmark_Vxxx.jsxbin" script
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. 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 screenshot of the 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!
Commercial use & pricing
Our After Effects benchmark is provided completely free of charge for anyone to download and use for personal use. If you will be using it for commercial use or want command line automation and log file support, however, we also have a paid version coming soon!
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 0.82 BETA
- The Adobe After Effects team helped us figure out most of the improvements in this update. Thank you to the dev team!
- Improved method for starting the RAM Preview tests. This fixes numerous issues with the previous method
- No longer need to manually set spacebar playback settings for "loop once"
- We can now detect when not all frames were played during RAM Preview (due to user intervention or lack of RAM) and can throw an error
- Now able to start the render queue without it looking like AE froze. Due to this, we no longer need to use AERender for the render tests and can use the built-in render queue
- Misc improvements for how we loop through the different tests
- Due to the change to using the render queue, the scores/results in this version may be slightly different than previous versions
Version 0.8 BETA
- Added support for After Effects 2020
- Renamed benchmark to "PugetBench for After Effects"
- Added motherboard and RAM speed (Windows only) to the results page
- Removed .csv log file support in the free edition (log files will be a feature in the commercial use version)
- More code to ensure consistency between benchmark runs
- Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements
Version 0.52 BETA
- Overall Score rounding error fix. Previous versions were rounding to the nearest 10. I.E. "950" instead of "948"
Version 0.51 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 0.5 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 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.