Adobe Hardware Performance White Paper

Creating Motion Graphics on PVC by Chris Meyer

One of the early advantages of desktop video production software over dedicated hardware was that it could run on “any” computer. As tasks became more demanding (multiple streams of 4k video, anyone?), and computers become more capable (4 gigabyte drive modules used to be considered huge; now that’s a minimum RAM configuration), configuring desktop computers to get the most out of this software became more of a black art. Recent advances in using graphics processing units (GPUs) on video cards for tasks beyond faster interactive gaming have only upped the ante.

Against this backdrop, Adobe has made available a “white paper” with background information and suggestions on configuring workstations to get the most out of the CS6 versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade, and Photoshop Extended. This document is not aimed at those already proficient at customizing their computers to wring the most out of them; instead, it is aimed at artists who are more likely to buy an already-built system, and needs advice on what options to order or what upgrades to plug in to either a new or already-existing system. The emphasis is placed on workstations, as they have the most expansion options, although laptops and all-in-ones are also briefly discussed. Windows and Mac OS are covered equally.

For the beginner, this paper first demystifies what the major computing components are (CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage). The core of it then goes through each of the programs covered and discusses which functions in each stresses which components of a system (for example, ray-traced 3D rendering in After Effects CS6 greatly benefits from specific qualified NVIDIA video cards that support CUDA processing, read more...

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