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Building a Custom PC for Adobe After Effects

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Building a custom PC for a software can save you hours of frustration from editing on a laggy and unoptimized program. We regularly get customers asking for component recommendations for the Adobe Suite. Our sales team is always standing by to give you product recommendations, but if you’d like to read up on building a PC for Adobe After Effects you can see some helpful tips from us below!

What is Adobe After Effects?

Used by Visual Artists, Adobe After Effects specializes in motion graphics, VR video, Animation and CGI Effects. Part of the Adobe Suite, After Effects differentiates itself from Premiere by allowing artists to put the finishing touches on scenes and incorporate and variety of effects unavailable in Adobe Premiere.

After Effects is a great choice for those looking to take their video creations to the next level. Premiere is primarily used to stitch together the “bigger picture”, while After Effects could be used to add an explosion to a scene, change the atmosphere with CGI fog and a variety of other uses.

What are the Minimum PC Specs I need to run Adobe After Effects?

Below are the requirements straight from Adobe themselves! Adobe provides both minimum and recommended specs. Minimum PC specs will be enough to open the program and complete simple tasks, while recommended should let you complete most things, it just might take a while and test your patience a bit if you’re pushing the program.

 Minimum specifications
ProcessorMulticore Intel processor with 64-bit support
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows 10 (64 bit) versions 1803 and later
RAM16 GB minimum (32 GB recommended)
GPU2GB of GPU VRAM.Adobe strongly recommends updating to NVIDIA driver 451.77 or later when using After Effects. Drivers prior to this have a known issue which can lead to a crash.
Hard disk space5GB of available hard-disk space; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)Additional disk space for disk cache (10GB recommended)
Monitor resolution1280×1080 or greater display resolution
InternetInternet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

The above information is a good start and would be fine for someone who is just learning Adobe After Effects and the recommended components could get a casual After Effects user by just fine. 

How can my PC run After Effects better?

Look, if you’re actively using Adobe After Effects to complete projects then you know the importance of the After Effects running smoothly. No one likes when a program closes unexpectedly or takes hours to render. However, After Effects has a variety of uses and each of them tax different components of the PC. Depending on the projects you typically do, another RAM kit may be more beneficial than a CPU upgrade. Our sales team has researched and worked extensively with the Adobe Suite and can give you optimized recommendations within your budget, but we’ll go over a basic understanding of optimizing your custom PC for Adobe After Effects.

What CPU should I get for After Effects?

After Effects prefers CPUs with more cores rather than a higher operating frequency, but that hits a cap at a point.

We recommend an Intel Core i9-10900F. If you’d prefer to go with an AMD powered system then a Ryzen 9 3900X is a great choice as well. You’ll typically see better performance opting for RAM, GPU or storage upgrades than you would from upgrading to Intel’s Xeon platform or AMD Ryzen Processors. It’s usually better to allocate more of your budget into other components.

What GPU works best with Adobe After Effects?

Adobe recommends using a graphics card with 2GB vRAM, which would be most current gen GPUs. After Effects relies quite heavily on a GPUs performance for most tasks, so we recommend going with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti. The best gaming graphics card on the market.

Using a workstation GPU with Adobe tends to have marginally increased performance and workstation class GPUs usually have better longevity. However, the performance isn’t really worth the price increase and your money can be better spent elsewhere. If you’re particularly worried about straining your graphics cards, then Quadro RTX cards are always an option!

How much RAM does After Effects need? 

After Effects requires 16GB of RAM, but recommends 32GB which is what we’ve opted for in our After Effects Custom PC Configuration. Depending on how complicated of models and effects you plan on working with, you really can’t go wrong with upgrading RAM regarding After Effects. Extra wiggle room in your budget should likely be spent bumping this up to 64GB.

AVADirect’s Adobe After Effects Custom PC Recommendation

Our configurations come with options to upgrade components without the help of our sales team.

Adobe After Effects Workstation PC

  • Socket: 1200
  • CPU: Core i7 , Core i9
  • Chipset: Intel Z490
  • Memory: Up to 128 GB
  • Storage: Up to 8 hard drives or SSD drives
  • Graphics: Supports up to 2 video cards

Our custom Adobe After Effects PC features components optimized to run After Effects efficiently, while still remaining budget friendly. This PC comes base configured with an Intel Core i9-10900F, with the option to upgrade up to an Intel i9-10900K if you’d like a higher frequency to better optimize your system. We also chose an ASUS ProArt Z490-Creator, which is optimized for workstation use. Choose from a wide variety of graphics cards, with the base configuration coming preselected with a ASUS GeForce RTX™ 2080 Ti OC. Mentioned above, the base configuration comes with 32GB Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4. Opt for a larger memory kit if you plan on multitasking. You might want to swap out the fan cooler for an AIO if you plan on overclocking your CPU or pushing your system for hours on end.

Storage wise, we offer plenty of options! Feel free to upgrade the 250 GB m.2 Samsung SSD or swap to a SATA-based SSD for better write speeds. The base configuration comes with plenty of storage with a hefty 4TB HDD, but you are sacrificing a bit of speed for this budget.

Want an Adobe After Effects custom PC optimized for your use-case and budget? Our knowledgeable sales team is available by phone, email and livechat during our usual business hours. They’d love to discuss your work and provide feedback on which components will optimize your workflow depending on your specific projects.


Hi! My name is Brooke, and when I'm not running social for AVADirect, I'm raising dinos on Ark.