Monthly Archives: August 2012

Benchmarking CUDA performance in After Effects CS6

The current state of CUDA cards for the Mac has been pretty sad for a while now.
We really only have the Quadro 4000 at this time that is officially supported while on the PC there has been a plethora of GTX cards that have amazing CUDA performance for a lot less money.

Thanks to Juan Salvo @j_salvo for providing the first batch of systems that kicked off this test, and many others since, we have compiled this list of cards rendering a Raytrace comp in After Effects CS6.

I created a that comp contains some extruded shape layers that make a little robot, with a few lights and some more shape layers building the environment. Depth of Field and Motion Blur are enabled as well as reflections, soft shadows, etc. The test is very CUDA centric but of course the underlying machine will still have some influence over the results

As you can see this list has many PC GTX running in MacPros mostly under Lion
All you need to do is be install the Quadro 4000 drivers from nvidia and the CUDA drivers.
When using these cards you do have to be wary of power usage. The 4XX series uses more power than the 5XX which uses more than the 6XX. If you do need more power or are installing multiple cards, the FSP Group Booster has been used in the macpros 2nd optical bay which then provides a clean solution.

If you’re card is not list it needs to be added to the file called raytracer_supported_cards.txt








On OSX you have to “show package contents”  of the AE app and then navigate to “Support Files” folder

On windows machines its path is C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS\Support Files\


If you have a card that is not on here or would like to try the benchmark you can email me or reply in the comments and i can set you up with the file

For a live link the to the results chart go to



For a very detailed and information filled post on using these cards with after effects and pp cs6 check out