Is it worth installing a SSD into an older laptop?

That’s a good question. With the prices of SSD’s coming down, I decided to upgrade an older HP laptop I have.  The laptop is running a dual core AMD CPU at 2.2 GHz with 4 GB of ram and a 300 GB Hard Drive that has a SATA II interface.  I am also running Windows 10.

Since this is an older laptop, I didn’t expect too much with this upgrade as I figured the older dual core CPU and only have 4 GB of ram were going to keep things running slow.

I have always noticed the boot time to be very slow and it’s slow loading programs.  I seem to always be waiting on the hard drive to read or write the files I am working with.  So, I ran the ATTO Disk Benchmark and found my maximum write speed was around 66 MB/s and the read speed was around 78 MB/s.  Not that great.

So after looking at several SSD’s I purchased the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5” 240GB SSD.  While this SSD is a SATA III device, it is fully backwards compatible with SATA II and SATA I.

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos SSDThis Mushkin SSD has a maximum sequential Read that is rated at up to 555 MB/s and a maximum sequential write that is rated up to 535 MB/s when using an SATA III connection.

I made a backup of the hard drive using Macrium Reflect and a WinPE boot disk direct from Macrium Reflect.

Once that was completed, I installed the Mushkin SSD, which was very easy.  Next, I booted from the WinPE boot disk and restored all of the partitions on to the SSD.

Once that was done I rebooted the computer. It booted at least 60% faster. Nice.

Next, I opened up several programs and right away I noticed how much faster they loaded.  I was impressed, I didn’t expect it.

Then I ran the ATTO Disk Bench test. Here were my new results:

Maximum Write Speed 241 MB/s
Maximum Read Speed 274 MB/s

That’s over 3 times faster than when I was running with a hard disk.  Now remember, the laptop only has a SATA II interface, so these read and write speed are excellent for a SATA II interface.

I did the upgrade to this laptop back in September of 2015.  I have to say by just adding a SSD to this laptop, it has given it a new life.

Now some of you might be thinking, “Why not just buy a new laptop?” Well, for what I use the laptop for, which is editing web pages, email, surfing the web, editing photos, some light video editing with Sony Vegas Movie Studio and a few other things, just by adding the SSD to it, it is running so much faster, that for what I am doing with it, I just didn’t need a new laptop.

Sure, there are a few times when I am using Sony Vegas Movie Studio, that a more powerful CPU would make rendering faster, but most of the time, Movie Studio runs just fine for what I am doing with it.

The cost of the Mushkin Enchance Chronos 240 GB SSD was $79.00 at the time I purchased it.  This is a lot less than the cost of a new laptop.

If you have an older laptop or desktop and you notice the hard drive light is always on, you might want to try swapping out the hard drive with an SSD.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how you can breath some new life into an older computer.

Please Note: SSD prices are always changing, both up and down. Mostly down.

After Effects error: Ray-traced 3D: Initial shader compile failed. (5070::0)

After Effects Studio 1 Productions

After Effects error: Ray-traced 3D: Initial shader compile failed. (5070::0)

Have you gotten this error message when you start up Adobe After Effects?
After Effects error: Ray-traced 3D: Initial shader compile failed. (5070::0)

If you have, don’t worry, your not alone.

First, let me say that Adobe’s response to the Ray-Traced 3D renderer is that it is obsolete and not officially supported. So, don’t look for any fixes to the problem from Adobe.

Second, Adobe states the ray-traced 3D renderer in After Effects is built on the Nvidia OptiX ray-tracing engine. NVIDIA GPU’s that support CUDA can accelerate this engine*, or it can run on the CPU, though obviously not accelerated. Other GPU’s are not supported for acceleration.

*The version of OptiX built into After Effects is not compatible with more recent NVIDIA GPU’s. Meaning the NVIDIA’s video cards that are using the Maxwell architecture.

The GTX-750, GTX-750 Ti, GTX-960, GTX-970 and the GTX-980 video cards.

These video cards are built using the Maxwell architecture. So, I am sorry to say, if you have on of these video cards, you can NOT use the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine.  These newer Maxwell based NVidia card do not have the OptiX Library which is needed for the Ray Traced 3D Render engine. If you try to use one of the GTX-750, GTX-750 Ti or the GTX 900 series video cards, you will simply get the “After Effects error: Ray-traced 3D: Initial shader compile failed. (5070::0)” error and a couple of other errors as you try to use actually use the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine.

Adobe has bundled Cinema 4D Lite with the later versions of After Effects and this is what you will need to use instead of the Ray Trace 3D Renderer.

If you don’t have one of these cards and are still getting the error message.

First, make sure you have all of the After Effects updates installed. This is important as Adobe has made many fixes, including ones that will allow more video cards to use the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine, especially with After Effects CS6.

Second, with After Effects CS6 (11.0) and CC (12.0), After Effects has a list of video cards that Adobe has tested or approved. If you video card is not on this list and you go to choose GPU and find it grayed out, that’s not a problem we will just add your video card to the list. I will show you how, a little farther down in the article.

Third, if you are using After Effects CC (12.1) or After Effects CC 2014, Adobe has added this checkbox – “Enable untested, unsupported GPU for CUDA acceleration of Ray-Traced 3D Renderer.”

Go ahead and simply check the box or follow the steps below to add your video card to the list of approved video cards.  Either way, After Effects will allow you to use the Ray-Traced 3D Render Engine will use your video card.

raytracer_supported_cards.txt file

After Effects has a text file called raytracer_supported_cards.txt that contains a list of video cards. This list tells After Effects which cards are “certified” or approved by Adobe for use with After Effects.

I wrote a program called cuda.bat to create a new raytracer_supported_cards.txt file that includes all the NVIDIA video cards. This way you can use your video card whether or not Adobe has approved it.

You can also just edit this text file and add your own video card to the list. It is easier to just use the program, that way you don’t have to worry about getting the spelling or capitalization correct.

NOTE: Even if you add the GTX-750, GTX-750 Ti or one of the GTX-900 series video cards, you will still get the “After Effects error: Ray-traced 3D: Initial shader compile failed. (5070::0)” error, as these video cards are built using the Maxwell architecture and will not work with After Effects, even if the video card is added to the raytracer_supported_cards.txt file.

How to Add Your Video Card to the raytracer_supported_cards.txt

After you finish reading this page go to:

Near the end of the article on the LEFT side of the page you will find the program CUDA.BAT under Automatic Method for adding your video card to the raytracer_supported_cards.txt file.

While on the right side of the page you will find step by step instructions to manually add your card to the list raytracer_supported_cards.txt file.

You must follow the instructions EXACTLY or it won’t work. This is why I wrote the program to make it easier for everyone to do.

What Video Cards Did Adobe Approve?

This is the list of video cards that Adobe has certified or approved for After Effects on Windows:

GeForce GTX 285
GeForce GTX 470
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 580
GeForce GTX 590
GeForce GTX 670
GeForce GTX 675MX
GeForce GTX 680
GeForce GTX 680MX
GeForce GTX 690
GeForce GTX 760
GeForce GTX 770
GeForce GTX 780
GeForce GT 650M
Quadro CX
Quadro FX 3700M
Quadro FX 3800
Quadro FX 3800M
Quadro FX 4800
Quadro FX 5800
Quadro 2000
Quadro 2000D
Quadro 2000M
Quadro 3000M
Quadro 4000
Quadro 4000M
Quadro 5000
Quadro 5000M
Quadro 5010M
Quadro 6000
Quadro K2000
Quadro K2100M
Quadro K3000M
Quadro K3100M
Quadro K4000
Quadro K4000M
Quadro K4100M
Quadro K5000
Quadro K5000M
Quadro K5100M
Quadro K6000
Tesla C2075

Just remember, if you video card is NOT in this list you can add it to the list so you can use the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine in After Effects.

I have tried the GTX-650TI, GTX-660, GTX-760 and the GTX-770 video cards with After Effects CS6 and After Effects CC 2014 and I have had NO problems using the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine.  All I did was add the name of my video card to the raytracer_supported_cards.txt file with the program I wrote.

Final Note

I have seen some YouTube videos where the person says they have a fix for the GTX 900 series of video cards. Their fix is to simply add the video card to the raytracer_supported_cards.txt file and to then ignore the “After Effects error: Ray-traced 3D: Initial shader compile failed. (5070::0)” error message.

They will then show you that you can set the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine to GPU. The problem is, when you actually try to use the Ray Traced 3D Render Engine you will get the same error message and several other error and it will simply not work.

CUDA.BAT program updated for GTX 970 and GTX 980

The blog has been quiet for the last couple of months, the reason is we have moved to a new location.  While we did out best to plan everything out for the move, nothing went according to the plans.   lol.

Anyhow, I just got time to update the cuda.bat program for Premiere, After Effects, Adobe Media Encoder and Prelude, but adding several new video cards including the GTX 970 and GTX 980.

To get the latest version of the program, it is on page 2 of our article titled Video Cards for Adobe Premiere CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5 and CS5.

I will be getting in a GTX 970 to do some testing with, so I will be updating the article around mid-November 2014.

Adobe Premiere CC 2014 and After Effects CC 2014

Adobe has release an update to their Creative Cloud suite of software packages. Programs such as Adobe Premiere CC will now be called Adobe Premiere CC 2014.

All of the new CC versions of programs will now end with 2014 to mark the difference version.

I have updated the CUDA.BAT program to all you to use any of the Nvidia video cards with the new CC 2014 versions of the following programs:

Adobe Premiere CC 2014
Adobe After Effects CC 2014
Adobe SpeedGrade CC 2014
Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014
Adobe Prelude CC 2014

You can download the new 6.1.0 CUDA.BAT program at either of these locations:

Should you update to this new version?

From what I am reading on the Adobe forums, I would hold off. Premiere and some of the other programs appear to be some what buggy. What worked fine before with the older CC version, may not work in the CC 2014 version.

I would what until they release a bug fix for the CC 2014 version of programs.

If you decide to upgrade now, it will NOT bother the old CC version that you have already installed. So you will have both versions to work with. This way if you find something now working correctly, you can fall back to the older CC version.

Updates to the CUDA.BAT program

I just updated the CUDA.BAT program to include the new mobile (laptop) GPU’s from NVidia.  They are the GTX 850M, GTX 860M, GTX 870M and the GTX 880M.

Also, the CUDA.BAT program will also enable Adobe Media Encoder CC (AME), along with Premiere and After Effects to use the GPU.

It will also all you to enable the GPU to be used with the Mercury Transmit in SpeedGrade CC.

The CUDA.BAT program can be found in these two articles:

Nvidia is releasing new 700 series video cards

Nvidia has released the GTX 760, GTX 770 and GTX 780 video cards. If you are looking at buying a new video card, then skip the GTX 600 series and go straight for the new 700 series.

The 700 series offer more cuda cores, faster clock speed, a wider memory interface width and a higher memory bandwidth. With these better specs, you will get better performance.

We tested the GTX 770 against the GTX 680 and the GTX 770 was faster.

Right now I am testing the GTX 760 video card and it is slightly faster than the GTX 670. Also, I am finding the GTX 760 for only $249.

Again, if you are in the market for a video card, check out the new GTX 700 series.

Special Offers to Adobe Users

For those of you who are using Adobe products and looking to move on to new software since Adobe has gone to a rental system, Corel is offering specials here

And XARA is offering

In addition you can also do a google search on

grass valley EDIUS crossgrade


Sony Vegas Crossgrade

There are several resellers offing special crossgrade packages that will save you up to 50% off new editing software.

At Studio 1 Productions, we have moved over to Sony Vegas Pro 12.  It works great, we have had no problems with it.  I only have 1 computer with Adobe Premiere on it, just so I can open old projects.


Trouble with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, the next update for Premiere, After Effect, etc

If you haven’t heard Adobe is moving everything to the Creative Cloud and you will now have to “rent” the software each month with a annual contract.

Right now they are offering you a special price of $29.95 per month for the first year.  Then the price goes up to $49.95 a month.  You will get all of programs you had in the Creative Suite package and you can run the software on two different computers.

Now stop and think about this.  If I am paying $50 a month for the next 5 years, that comes to $3000 and that is they done raise the prices, which you know they will.

What if you are running Adobe products on 3 computer?  Well, you will need 2 subscriptions.  That will be $100 a month or $6000 over 3 years.

This brings up another major concern, how often is Adobe going to be raising the prices and how much are they going to be raise by.

If you sign up for the Creative Cloud and later decide you can’t afford it or don’t want to pay a monthly fee to Adobe, then they will deactivate your software and you have nothing.  That’s right nothing.  You won’t be able to open any of the work you created with the Creative Cloud software.  There is no exit plan for the customer.  It’s like once you decide to stop paying for the Creative Cloud, you never existed as far as Adobe is concerned.

Not everyone upgrades each time a new version was release.  They may upgrade to CS5 and then skip CS5.5 and upgrade to CS6 over the course of 5 years.  Upgrade this way is a whole lot less expensive than paying a monthly subscription.

This has people in an uproar on forum all over the net, especially the Adobe forums.

Yesterday, the Adobe forum moderators move all of the posting in to two locations.  You should read them and the arguments for the pro’s and con’s of this new subscription model.   They are:

I strongly recommend you read the posts in the forums.

Adobe will NOT be offering their software where you could purchase it and use it for as long as you like or until you upgrade to the next version.  This was call a perpetual license.  The perpetual license will NOT be available on the new version of the Adobe software.

Now if you have, let’s say, CS5 or CS5.5 or CS6, you can keep using it.  However, there will not be any upgrade for the older versions.  You just have to use it as it is.  The good thing is you don’t have to pay monthly to use the software, because when you bought it, it came with a perpetual license.

Now Adobe said they will keep selling CS6, but for how long, nobody knows.  Some people on the forums have tried to buy upgrades from CS5 to CS6 and they couldn’t.  They could only buy a whole new package, as if you are a first time buyer.  People are mad about this too.

A lot of people have lost their trust in Adobe.

So what are people doing?

1. Some people are just going to the Creative Cloud and pay Adobe for the rest of their life and just hope they don’t raise their price too much.  Now remember, once they stop or cancel the subscription, they will have nothing to show for it.  It will be like they never had it in the first place.

2. Other people are just going to say on what ever version they have and hope it will be compatible with future operating systems.

3. While other people are taking this route.  They are not giving Adobe another penny of their money and they are either starting to look around at different software or they are making the move to new software right now.

Number 3 is the way I am going.  I am not giving Adobe another penny.  When I found out about all of this on Monday, May 6, I was furious.  I was planning on upgrade to the new version because of all of the bugs in Premiere CS6.

Oh, what about the bugs in Premiere CS6, is Adobe at least going to fix them?  No.  They say the might, but some of the bugs will require major over haul to the software and Adobe is not going to go back and fix the problems.

The problems are fix in the Creative Cloud version that will be release around June 17.  While that’s nice, how about all of us who paid for the CS6 Master Collection?  We have to either suffer with the bugs or switch over to the subscription Creative Cloud.  Neither of these choices are sitting to well with their customers.

So when I found out about this new subscription model, I decide I was done with Adobe.  I started download trail software from other video editing software packages.  Now, I have worked with Adobe products for over 15 years and I am very use to Premiere and how it works.  So when I started trying out these different trail packages I found myself thinking “this is how you do it Premiere, the way they are doing is strange”.

Once I realized I was doing that, I had to approach it as if I was just learning how to edit videos for the first time.  I watched different training videos on YouTube and Vimeo for each of the software packaged I was testing out and found that this was very helpful.

By Wednesday I had decided to move over to Sony Vegas Pro 12 Suite.  This package give you Sony Vegas Pro 12, 2D and 3D titling and another program called HitFilm 2 Ultimate.  This HitFilm 2 Ultimate is similar to After Effects.

All of these programs use the video card’s GPU for increase speed and a better work flow.

For a replacement to Photoshop, I am working with the trail version of Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 Ultimate.

It can open and work with .PSD files from Photoshop and it does offer some high features that Photoshop has.  Even though this package is price less than $100, it is a pretty powerful program.

For those of you who don’t want to spend a lot of money on video editing software, then check out Sony Movie Studio Platinum Visual Effects Suite 2.  Yes, that is a mouth full.  The Move Studio package are built from the Vegas Pro software so they look and operate almost identical.

The reason I said to check out the Sony Movie Studio Platinum Visual Effects Suite 2, it because it come with HitFilm 2 Express.  This is a stripped down version of the Ultimate version that comes in Sony Vegas Pro 12 Suite.

One thing about Sony Vegas and Sony Movie Studio is you do NOT need as much computing power that you did with Premiere and After Effects.  They will run on older computer systems, were Premiere and After Effects would choke.

If you are going to walk away from Adobe, like I did and so many other are doing, make sure you download the trail version to the software you are looking at.  Watch some videos on YouTub or Vimeo to get yourself up to speed on the different packages.

Goodbye to Adobe Creative Suite and Hello to Adobe’s Creative Cloud

Adobe has announced the rebranding of the Creative Suite (CS) tools to CC (Creative Cloud).   Creative Cloud will allow you to run on two machines concurrently.
Adobe has announced at its Max conference in Los Angeles today, it’s about to stop selling shrink-wrapped versions and perpetual licenses of its Creative Suite.
Creative Cloud, is a subscription service for getting all of its tools for designers, photographers, videographers, web developers and audio professionals. Going forward, this will be the only way to get access to its tools.

Most Max attendees probably expected Adobe to reveal Creative Suite 7 today. Instead, the Creative Suite name is actually going away in favor of Creative Cloud, which won’t have traditional version numbers anymore.   For Adobe, of course, this also means the company is now making the move to a new business model, where the focus will be squarely on subscriptions and not on selling boxed software, licenses and upgrades anymore.

This means you can NOT buy a license for After Effects or Premiere or any other product.  You will have to  buy a subscription to use the software.

Adobe announces plans to stop boxed sales of its Creative Suite software

Adobe announces plans to stop boxed sales of its Creative Suite software

Adobe announced today that it plans to stop offering boxed versions of its Creative Suite software. Instead, the company will follow the growing trend of only offering its professional software via online download.

“As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will be phasing out shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite and Acrobat products,” an Adobe spokesperson informed TechHive vial email earlier today.

Retailers have reported May 1 will be the cut-off date for boxed sales of Adobe’s Creative Suite software.

Consumers will be able to choose either the download any of Adobe’s Creative Suite apps from their website or access them via a monthly subscription.