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View Full Version : Need a perfomance boost. Any ideas?


Simon
10-31-2004, 01:12 PM
Hi guys

Currently I have a few projects on the go, and I'm starting to get bogged down by long render times in lw 8. Personally I love my workstation, but I could do with any tips That you have to get faster renders (without comprimising quality). btw Lw doesnt use the graphics card for rendering) I could really do with a render boxx!

Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 160GB 1600JD SATA 8MB Cache

Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800SE 128MB DDR TV-Out/DVI (AGP)

AMD Athlon 64 3500 Retail (3% ai overclocked)
Asus A8V Deluxe

1GB Corsair XMS3200XLPT Dual Channel Kit 2*512


Heres the ideas I've had, be sure to shoot me down if they are stupid:

Buying another hard disk (probably the same model) and setting up a raid 0 array.
Water cooling the processor (suicide?) with a zalman and upping it about 500mhz. I've seen this done and It was stable and gave a good perfomance increase.
Buying a raptor drive and keeping my os and programs on it.
Getting another gb of ram in the form of 2*512.
Fill it with cathodes and gawp at it during long renders.
Waiting till early next year and going to a fx55 when its cheaper.
Set up a network with my old 1.7ghz pc and network render.

I'm also thinking of upgrading my video card. At the moment Its converted into a toned down 9800 pro. Is it worth the money upgrading it to a x800 xt, or should I wait for the next generation of cards. And also would pcie increase the speed, as most cards dont even use the whole bandwidth of agp.

Cheers

Simon

lv-88
10-31-2004, 02:24 PM
about the watercooling, I myself use a self-modded watercooling for my mobile athlon xp (barton core) that I'm curently running at 2.8GHz (2GHz original) which is an 800MHz increase, yes, the render times are better, however, the amd 64 that you have isn't quite as easy to overclock,

you say that if you get watercooling you could probobly get another 500MHz from the cpu since you've seen others make it, but it's not that simple, it might be possible with mach2/vapochill/prometia but with watercooling it might be to difficult...

remeber that not all cpu's are the same...some overclock good while others don't...

as for the pcie, it's not worth it right now since the bandwith isn't used completely so keep that radeon for another while ;)

Simon
10-31-2004, 08:29 PM
The zalman seems to be a pretty good cooler. It only cools to room temp. But I know someone who has a 1700 overclocked to 2.2 ghz, I think the 1700 runs at about 1.2ghz. So the leap is obvious. The cooler is also silent. This is good because I sleep in the room where my workstation is, this means I can leave it rendering overnight. :)

However, it is about a metre high, so takes up more desk space! damn 19" crts! What problems could I expect from overclocks? Apart from the blue screen of death, and leaks!

lots
10-31-2004, 09:04 PM
Heres the ideas I've had, be sure to shoot me down if they are stupid:





Buying another hard disk (probably the same model) and setting up a raid 0 array.
Water cooling the processor (suicide?) with a zalman and upping it about 500mhz. I've seen this done and It was stable and gave a good perfomance increase.
Buying a raptor drive and keeping my os and programs on it.
Getting another gb of ram in the form of 2*512.
Fill it with cathodes and gawp at it during long renders.
Waiting till early next year and going to a fx55 when its cheaper.
Set up a network with my old 1.7ghz pc and network render.

1. Setting up RAID 0 would not make a difference. At least in this case. Seeing as this is currently the only machine rendering, disk IO should be fairly low, unless you've got huge textures and full RAM...

2. I wouldnt worry about overclocking. You might value stability more than the speed, I know I could do more if I spent more time modelling and rendering rather than crashing and waiting for a reboot ;)

3. Like the RAID 0 option, this might not help things too terribly much.

4. 2GB of ram seems to be the top of what most renderers can handle, OS also plays a factor into how well this extra ram is managed. But this could help, to a point.

5. I like this idea ;)

6. You could upgrade to the FX55. Its not a bad idea. But I think you might benifit more in a dual CPU setup, if you want your rendering times to improve.

7. This is probably the best option. You wont have to spend ANY money this way. LW offers unlimited network rendering nodes at no additional charge. :) As evidence of how handy this is. I had a rendering job to do a few years ago. It was a 1700 frame animation someone wanted rendered quickly. So I loaded my laptop (a 1.3GHz Athlon xp-m with 256 megs of ram :)) up with the scene, wandered into one of my school's computer labs after hours (I work Tech for the dept so I had access :P) and "hijacked" 40 Pentium 4 1.8GHz computers and finished the animation in about 2 hours ;). I've also on occasion used a small group of 2 or 3 machines in my dorm for rendering purposes and this has been one of the most benificial things when it comes to render times that I've done.

Simon
10-31-2004, 09:20 PM
I'm in with the techie staff at my school, but I doubt I'd get away with that rendering solution.

Setting up a network with my old rig wouldnt be too hard, all I need is an ethernet cable, I've got the hub. Is it difficult to set up a network render? I dont want to save 20 minutes, but waste 40 installing software.

lots
10-31-2004, 09:33 PM
I never found it too terribly difficult. Once I had my laptop setup properly (which in its self only takes a few minutes), it only takes a few seconds to set up a render node. I also ran a 3rd party network rendering agent (LightNet, setup is pretty well documented, you can probably look it up on google though.). My 40+ computer lab example is just to show you how fast it can get if you find.. more and more "extra" computers laying around ;) But even adding just the old rig to your render farm would improve your rendering speeds (in animation) by quite a bit. After all two's better than one, right :)

Keep in mind though, that the network rendering is best used when you want to get out the animation. If you're doing a single frame or lots of work with stills, you wont benifit from the extra render node. At least in the case of Lightwave. This is where I think a dual CPU system would be your best bet for improovment. Or you could just make your case pretty with lights and stare at it for a while, or maybe go outside? *twitch*

Simon
10-31-2004, 09:53 PM
I remember discussing the difficulty in rendering single frames using networking with someone before. Its possible but not worth it.

I think the duel processor route is feasible, but I'm doubtful the price pay off would be worth it. We're talking 2000 to get a mobo and 2 processors. What kind of increase in performance would I get.

I only got my rig about 3 months ago, and its still quite high spec considering.

I would go outside *twitch* but the weathers all poopy at the moment. Half the roads down where I live are closed due to the sea flooding them!

Simon

lots
11-01-2004, 05:13 AM
Yeah.. so I guess if animations are your thing, then using your extra comp as a render node will really help things. If not, there's not too much you can do about it. At least at the moment. AMD's desktop dual core CPUs are slated for some time maybe late 05 ish, if that interests you. It would be like dual CPUs in one socket... (assuming you've got a socket 939 mobo) If you save for that kinda upgrade, that would probably do you better than a straight up (expencive) dual CPU system..

deumilcat
11-01-2004, 02:33 PM
it s possible to network render single frame with Brazil renderer plugin

Though it works only with 3DsMax (with maya? i m not sure)
It might be a p. in a. to find a suitable export format from LW to 3DS and then to understand how to single frame render with Brazil (email me if you get the 3D max5 & teh brazil plugin and I ll explain it all to you) but at the end of the day it worthes it (I myself combine 2 Athlon Xp2400 (2ghz clock each.. you can set up such a box for less than 400$ nowdays) and single frame render time divided by two is really sweet I can tell you that..

lv-88
11-01-2004, 04:23 PM
The zalman seems to be a pretty good cooler. It only cools to room temp. But I know someone who has a 1700 overclocked to 2.2 ghz, I think the 1700 runs at about 1.2ghz. So the leap is obvious. The cooler is also silent. This is good because I sleep in the room where my workstation is, this means I can leave it rendering overnight. :)

However, it is about a metre high, so takes up more desk space! damn 19" crts! What problems could I expect from overclocks? Apart from the blue screen of death, and leaks!
well...there are some dangerous stuff with overclocking if you aren't familiar with it. if you
are new and haven't overclocked before then you should do some reading ;)

some problems that occur when overclocking is blue screens, computer won't boot up etc. but most of these problems are fixed by reseting cmos. One thing you don't want to do is to give the cpu and memory to much vcore/vdimm because it could burn and destroy them...
it's all about playing around and see how far it will go, but be carefull ;)

Rabid pitbull
11-01-2004, 04:52 PM
Have you thought about fprime?? It is the single best thing that has happened to LW. Somewhat restricted, but still working within the restrictions (no shaders, hypervoxels) is not that hard. You will definitly get render speed improvements over the native renderer.

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