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  • AE ray trace engine/CUDA GPU performance comparison

  • Juan Salvo

    June 8, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Danny Princz and I have been doing a series of tests using various nvidia graphics cards and After Effects new ray trace engine. It yielded some interesting results, particularly considering the possibility of an updated MacPro with a GTX600 series card.

    The benchmark itself is a 6:12 render of an animated scene (made by Danny Princz) composed of no external textures, so GPU memory would not be a major factor in performance. CPU usage during renders is negligible, so it seems to be largely or even entirely CUDA processor dependent.

    There’s a link to the full datasheet at the bottom, but the most interesting finding is in this price to performance chart.

    The lower number suggests a lesser value. Higher price/Lower render speed. Take away: don’t buy a Quadro 4000 for the mac.

    Secondary take away, the 600s are not a friend to CUDA processing. Best to pick up at GTX500 card while you can.

    More data here and a full link bellow:

    Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

  • Walter Soyka

    June 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

    Care to add the Quadro 6000 to your test lineup? I’ve got one in a workstation here that I could run the benchmark project on. I imagine it’d time similarly to the GTX480, since this render seems to be CUDA-only and wouldn’t exploit all the RAM.

    I’ve seen others say the Quadros are designed for continuous use, whereas the GTX series is not. Have you encountered any thermal or reliability issues with the GTXs?

    Walter Soyka
    Principal & Designer at Keen Live
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    RenderBreak Blog – What I’m thinking when my workstation’s thinking
    Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

  • Juan Salvo

    June 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Walter, would love to add the q6000 to the test. Email me at js at and I’ll send you a link to the benchmark. I’m really curious to see how it does.

    As to the thermal/ reliability issues with the GTX, they do get hot, require good ventilation. I imagine in a case with poor airflow there would be issues with regards to longevity. I’ve worked with probably a dozen of these cards for 4 years or so now, and have only had one fail, while it was still under warranty. So that’s been my experience. I think in the cost benefit analysis the GTX is still the better value, though the 600 series may be changing that intentionally.

    Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

  • Roland R. Kahlenberg

    June 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Juan, many thanks to yourself and Danny for sharing the info here. Please drop by with updated results when you find it appropriate to do so.


    Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
    Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer

  • Peter Holm

    June 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for taking the effort to do this and thank you for sharing!

    So just to make sure even I understand this right: I can buy the GTX580 for my Mac Pro 5.1 and it will outperform the Quadro 4000 using Adobe After Effects/Premiere Pro CS6? But there won’t be any drivers for Mac, or…?

    Again, thank you for your time.

    Peter Holm

  • Luke McFadden

    June 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Please someone run this for the 650M! All the benchmarks on the new MBP and rMBP are ignoring the gfx. For those of us wanting to jump ship to the rMBP (I only do part time motion work, so portability is more important than pure power) need some numbers! If you email me the file, I’ll get some numbers for you.

  • Juan Salvo

    June 19, 2012 at 6:44 am

    The nvidea drivers added support for pc cards on the Mac. The caveat is that boot screen doesn’t display. But you can add the card as a secondary card and not connect the GUI display to it and still use it for CUDA, or you can buy a card from macvidcards with efi firmware modded on that allows support durring boot.

    Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

  • Juan Salvo

    June 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I’ll do a new post when I have more updates. But we’ve added a few other cards to the list as you can see in the chart on the first post.

    Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

  • Juan Salvo

    June 19, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Working on it. Not even sure if cs6 supports the 650m even by force. Will let you know,

    Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

  • Juan Salvo

    June 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Meant to add: Big thanks to Walter Soyka for running the benchmark on the Quadro 6000! Very revealing results. Thank you for sharing.

    Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

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