What’s the best computer for Adobe After Effects?

Antonio Velázquez January 28, 2012
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I’m looking into buying a computer to edit videos on it, do animations and more using After Effects and other Adobe application I’ve seen some of them, and want to know your opinion in the following things:

Which of these is MORE important in my case? Processor, RAM or GPU? I know, the three of them are important, but which is the most?

In processors, is it better Intel or AMD? In GPUs, NVIDIA or ATI?

In general, which would be better, HP, Sony or Lenovo desktops?

My main choices so far are:
1. HP AIO 420 1045 – Core i3 – 6 RAM – With Intel graphics media accelerator HD2000

2. Lenovo AIO B520 – Core i5 – 6 RAM – NVIDIA 1GB

3. Hp Pavillion AIO 610 1260 – Core i5 – 8 RAM – ** – HIGH PRICE

4. Sony VAIO ??? – i3 – 6 RAM – NVIDIA – HIGH PRICE

5. Laptop* Sony VAIO – i7 – 6 RAM –ATI RADDEON – HIGH PRICE

6. HP AIO 220 1022 – AMD Quad Core – 4 RAM**

7. HP P71180 – i7 – 8 RAM **

I would really like to buy a laptop. I’ve never had one, cause I’ve never needed to take a computer with me. Is there any problem if I use it 8 hours a day? Wouldn’t that harm the battery, or something?

** Don’t know about the GPU of these ones


  1. Alex Perkins
    October 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I would say number 7, about the battery if you aren't moving about with it then keep it plugged in and take the battery out, just be careful not pulling out the plug by accident.

  2. Jay.0
    January 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Dell, core i3 , NVIDIA.

    you may go for i5 or i7, but i3 will also work.

  3. Anonymous
    January 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    If you go here, you can read about Adobe After Effect requirements
    Based on it you can choose which is closer or better

    Laptop* Sony VAIO – i7 – 6 RAM –ATI RADDEON – HIGH PRICE

    January 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Hello, with regards to question about graphics cards it all depends on what the use is going to be.  Both ATI and Nvidia have good quality cards and you will find out that the highest the price the better with regards to extras.  It has been my impresion that ATI provides better performance for multimedia and Nvidia for gaming.  That does not mean that you can not use both for either.

    With regards to processor, if you could get an i7 would be optimal but you would do good enough witn an i3 and up.  AMD produces decent processors but the main advantage is that they are usually cheaper than intel based ones.  If you use something like the phenom II processors with 2 cores an up, it would be a good base for your video editing.  The Phenom II has several core configurations, 2, 3, 4 and 6 cores.  I would personally start with a quad core processor like A8 3850 with socked FM1.  A computer I built not long ago, had this processor in a quad core configuration.  In my trials, it run at pretty good speed comparable with and i7 quad core first generation.  You can install a graphic card compatible with the integrated one and run the system in a crossfire configuration(two graphics cards).  With AMD, processors it is very imporant to have a well ventilated case.

    With regards to RAM, it is always important no matter what system you run.  I would say, just make sure to know how much memory your system can handle and also the proper memory sticks.  For a video editing computer, I would not use less than 6 GBs of memory provided your system runs a 64 bit operating system.  If you a x86(32 bits), no matter how much RAM you install, it will only recognized 4 GBs.  Personally, I would not run heavy editing applications in a 32 bit operating system.  It is not that they would not run, it is that you could easily reach the limitations of the system. 

    With the choices you have provided:

    1.  I would not consider any desktop with an integrated graphics card unless you are planning to add a graphics card.  

    2. Lenovo has been good to me in the past, but this is from a laptop point of view.  The specs look good.


    • Antonio Velázquez
      January 29, 2012 at 2:34 am

      thanks A LOT for yours answer...

      by the way, I've been doing some research about All-In-Ones, and i want to know your opinion about this topic: is it true that they get TOO hot??? is this a problem in performance or durabillity???

      • FIDELIS
        January 29, 2012 at 3:15 am

        Hola Antonio, from personal experience I can tell you that all in one desktops tend to have more  issues with overheating due to their compact design which can affect ventilation.  If you have a desktop with a regular configuration you have the option of adding extra fans, which is an option that all in ones do not have or if they do, it is very limited. 

        It is a big YES for affecting performance and durability.  If a computer overheats, you will find that it shuts down a lot without any warning.  If that happens too often your graphics card and specially the motherboard can go really quick.  Also if your system has wireless you will see that it can affect that too.  One day it is working ok and the next day, it might not turn on at all.

        While I am not saying that all are like that, I had this experience with an HP.  You could even feel the keyboard getting really hot.  Not long after, it started shutting down until the time where when you turn it on and you could hear the fans and harddrive starting but there was nothing on the screen.  The first symptom was the incorporated wireless loosing connection up to the point of not being recognized at all.  The first time was still under warranty so I sent it back.  The motherboard was changed but after about 6 months it started happening again.  This time the warranty was not there anymore so I open it up and change the thermal paste and wireless started working again.  I managed to fix it but after that I just decided to get rid of it really cheap. 

        Like you said in your original posting, you want a computer for video editing which can be a resource intensive task.  I would say that in my opinion, an all in one would not be the best option for you.  Intensive applications make your system work harder and therefore it can cause overheating faster than running normal applications.  Heavy video editing needs a fast processor, lots of memory and a good video card that can handle heave applications with an average temperature.

        Let me know if this helps or you need more info.               

        • Anonymous
          January 29, 2012 at 8:19 am

          Desktop computers will be always faster than laptops and can undergone to hardware modification easily than laptops. You can cool it easier with liquid cooler! 

          SO once you decide on a desktop pc and after somewhile you see that Adobe needs more power then you can decide to chanfe some computer parts easily. Well only drawback Desktop PC are not easily portable. 

        • Antonio Velázquez
          January 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

          Yep, thanks to all your advices, i've decided to buy an affordable DESKTOP with the best processor (newer and/or with more cores) and with the highest RAM capacity... then i will look to add it any other feature i may need

        • Anonymous
          January 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm

          Wise decision, better cpu faster adobe.

        • FIDELIS
          January 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

          Hello, congratulations on making a decision.  In between us, that would have been my decision too.

  5. Anonymous
    January 28, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Well, to anwser your question about GPUs, If you go with a Intel processor you will want to use nVidia. With AMD you would want to use ATI. Mainly because these are optimized for each, You can use any combo you want of course but this will not give the best performance. My preference is AMD and ATI, but that gets into opinion... For me I get more bang for the buck with AMD.

    To answer which is more important, in your cases it would be RAM. Doing heave video editing you will need a good bit of ram... But it will only matter with newer versions of the software you are using because older software will only use a max of 2 gb of ram. So having 8 gb of ram would not help much in the case. Also you have to look at 64 bit versus 32 bit operating system. If you what the most ram possible 64 bit is the answer, but your software has to be atleast compatible and may cuase some troubles. 32 bit operating systems are capped at around 4 gb of ram.

    On laptop brand, Lenovo is the best in my opinion. I have been a Thinkpad fan sense the late nineties. They are build very well and are really great laptops but can be expensive.

    It will not harm a laptop to use it for 8 hours, that said very few laptops with go 8 hours on a full charge. My Macbook will get close to that though. Also the battery life rating are rubbish, they usually get those numbers with the computer just sitting doing nothing for 8 hours. Do heavy work on a laptop and will not last 8 hours.

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