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Adobe After Effects minimum and recommended system requirements

Bring a little Hollywood to your videos - as long as your computer can handle it

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on May 6, 2024
The image shows the Adobe After effects logo on a blue background below the PC guide logo
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Adobe’s handy digital visual editing software, After Effects, has been around since 1993 and is used in the post-production process in film-making, animation, video games, and more. This software is known for its versatility, and since its inception, 50 different versions have been released.

Adobe After Effects is available on Mac and Windows. In order to run this software you’ll have to ensure that your system is running the correct hardware. The go-to Adobe app in Creative Cloud for special effects and giving your footage that extra pizazz is a CPU-hungry monster. This is why, in this guide, we’ll outline the minimum and recommended systems requirements to run this software, so you can ensure you’re system has what it takes.

Knowing exactly what you’ll need from your PC when running Adobe After Effects is an important step in ensuring a smooth process when running the software. In the list below we’ve outlined both the minimum and recommended system requirements for running this software on a Windows PC. It’s important to note that it is never recommended to run software at the minimum system requirements, and if possible the recommended options should be utilized. This will make sure that the visual quality is high and the software runs smoothly.

SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel 8th Gen or newer
AMD Ryzen 1000 Series or newer
Intel 11th Gen or newer
AMD Ryzen 3000 series/Threadripper 2000 series or newer
OSWindows 10 (64-bit)Windows 10 (64-bit) or Windows 11
RAM16GBHD media – 16 GB
4K and higher – 32 GB or more
GPUNvidia GPU – must be of the Maxwell generation or newer and have at least 4GB of VRAM
Intel or AMD GPU – must have at least 4GB VRAM and support for OpenCL
Nvidia GPU – must be of the Maxwell generation or newer and have at least 4GB of VRAM
Intel or AMD GPU – must have at least 4GB VRAM and support for OpenCL
Plus 4GB of GPU memory (HD and 4K media) and 6 GB or more for 4K and higher.
Storage15GB available space64GB+
Additional disk space for disk cache
Display1920×10801920×1080 or more

To run Adobe After Effects on Windows you need Windows 10 or 11 (version 22H2 or later) as an operating system. In addition to this, you’ll need a minimum of 16GB RAM, or 32GB+ if you’re using 4K and higher. The baseline for your display to run the software is 1920×1080, however, anything above that will only benefit your work.

Intel 8th Gen and AMD Ryzen 1000 Series CPUs are the minimum for processors when running Adobe After Effect. Ensure that it’s a multi-core processor that you are using like Intel’s Core i7-8086K. Alternatively, if you’re looking for top-notch quality when using this software you may want to consider a newer CPU from Intel’s 11th gen, AMD’s Ryzen 3000, or AMD Threadripper 2000 series, that utilizes Quick sync.

To run Adobe After Effects you’ll need a Nvidia GPU from the Maxwell generation with at least 4GB of VRAM, or an Intel or AMD GPU with at least 4GB VRAM and support for OpenCL. Something like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980 will do. However, if you’d like to get the most out of After Effects, you’ll have to find a GPU that also has 4GB of GPU memory for HD and 4K media, or 6GB for 4K and higher.

If your system falls below the minimum requirements then we recommend looking at our guide for the best photo-editing GPUs and CPUs that will provide the best experience when using this software.

If you’re hoping to use Adobe After Effects on Mac check out the system requirements below. Both minimum and recommended requirements are listed, providing options in terms of upgrades. It’s important to note that using the recommended options in this list will provide you with a better all-round experience when using this software. If you’re looking for high-quality and smooth displays then opting for the recommended options may be the right choice.

SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel 6thGen or newer Apple silicon M1 or newer
OSmacOS Monterey (version 12) or latermacOS Monterey (version 12) or later
RAM16GB32GB
GPUApple Silicon – 16GB of RAM
Intel Macs with an AMD GPU – 4GB of VRAM
Apple silicon – 16 GB of unified memory
Storage15GB available space64GB+
Additional disk space for disk cache
Display1920 x 10801920 x 1080 or more

It is recommended to run Adobe After Effects on Mac that you use Apple’s silicon M1 chip or newer to ensure high quality and fast calculations. The CPU used has to be a multi-core chip and Rosetta2 Supported. Alternatively, as shown above, the minimum CPU requirement is Intel’s 6thGen or equivalent chips, for example, Intel’s i3-6006U processor. On top of this, it is recommended that macOS Monterey, version 12 or later, is used and you have 32GB of RAM when launching this software.

When considering whether your graphics card is enough to power Adobe After Effects, you’ll have to consider how much RAM your option includes. An Apple Silicon GPU with 16GB of RAM or Intel Macs with an AMD GPU and 4GB VRAM is the minimum option. However, to get the most out of the software you may want to opt for an Apple silicon option with 16GB of unified memory.

Conclusion

Ensuring you have the right hardware to run Adobe After Effects is the first step in making your creative process as smooth as possible. Having hardware that can ease the most demanding of tasks will make your experience while using whatever app you’re using more seamless. Take a look at the lists above to find out the minimum and recommended system requirements for using Adobe After Effects on both Mac and Windows.

Paul is a contributor to PC Guide, having covered news coverage, Raspberry Pi, Windows releases and peripherals - among other things - across the site.