You'd think Blender would run better...

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Old 09 September 2013   #16
Originally Posted by DrCharbonneau: ...or particle systems, I can grow a beard waiting for the pointer to catch up with my mouse movement. Hair, for example, would likely take me a few hours to get it combed into place.

Particle systems and hair are calculated by the processor and then the resulting geometry is handed off to graphics card to draw using OpenGL. That graphics card can handle a million or more particles in realtime (30+ FPS) so that's probably not the bottleneck you're experiencing. It sounds to me like the processor is the bottleneck at least regarding particle systems and hair. It could also be swapping to the disk if running out of memory, but that can't happen anymore with 4GB on Windows XP because all of the addressable memory space is already physical memory.

When you're working on something open up the task manager and watch the processor activity. You'll likely see one or both processor cores maxed out when working with particle systems and hair. If you want to improve the performance of CPU bound tasks I'd suggest looking at upgrading the motherboard, processor, and memory. Spending $400 or $500 on those components could provide a substantial boost in performance over the Celeron processor in the system now.
Old 09 September 2013   #17
Wait, hang on, its been a while since Ive looked into it, but winxp 32bit has 4 gigs of addressable space. The gfx card will be taking 2 gigs of space, and the os always takes half of the remaining 2 gigs system ram by default, so unless Im missing something, you probably only have 1 gig of ram to work with. Im not surprised in the slightest that your performance sucks.

You need a 64bit OS, its really not optional at this point in time.
Matthew O'Neill

Last edited by imashination : 09 September 2013 at 07:47 AM.
Old 09 September 2013   #18
If the 32-bit memory address space ceiling was a factor it wouldn't slow down it would simply crash when the application requests more than the maximum addressable space. I've been there. It doesn't slow down because there's nothing to swap to (all of the addressable space is already physical memory). I agree completely that a 64-bit operating system is in order (hence the Linux suggestion previously), but it's not the performance bottleneck described.
Old 09 September 2013   #19

The machine I'm typing on in this discussion has 4Gb RAM and a P6100 CPU 2.0 Ghz (laptop) with its on board gfx. It does much better, but it is also 64 bit. I agree about the upgrade to at least W7 64 bit. Linux is not an option with my current coding impetus. Same as learning more about Blender. It's wise to find something one likes and master it.

It sounds as though I've done just about all I can with the other machine for now. I'll install a larger HDD and the OS by January, but my intent is simply to spend a grand on a whole new system next year sometime. As long as a machine is relatively current, I rarely trash them.

As I mentioned, I have a lot of other work, too. I'm researching dark matter with a variation of an atom interferometer, set as an array matrix. A lot of money goes there and into home improvement in readying for a winter that is likely going to be unpredictable except that it'll be a doozer either way. I tend to think the system will do what I need for technical renderings in the meantime, but I may have to put the illustrations for my novel on hold till I build a serious gfx machine. I'll probably report back on how it does for the general work and how that 32" flat screen works, still feel free to suggest any other possible methods to improve on everything if any of you get a eureka moment.

I sincerely appreciate all the technical opinions. The more food for thought I have, the less I'm starving for an answer. Thanx again to all.

Dr. C.
Old 09 September 2013   #20
Keep in mind though that some apps cleverly work around the 4 gig limit by using their own harddrive paging systems, eg. photoshop. With potentially only a single gig of workable space, it may be paging out all over the place.
Matthew O'Neill
Old 09 September 2013   #21
Virtual memory is handy. Slow, but handy. I wonder if a SSD might speed that up.
Old 09 September 2013   #22
Putting an SSD in that ageing wreck of a machine would be like putting a pair of Nikes on a 90 year old bed-bound cripple.
Matthew O'Neill
Old 09 September 2013   #23
That aging wreck is only 2 years old...

THIS 60 year old dude can still deliver a flying side kick or a round-house that would keep the dentist in business

Does Blender use a lot of virtual memory that you know of? I'm actually wondering if I might be better going to the coding board and just write my own vert slinger that does quite the opposite.

I imagine I'd need to go to another forum category to start that discussion...

Sort of like Chinese black magic. It always starts small... (Big Trouble in Little China)
Old 09 September 2013   #24
Blender does cache some stuff to the disk like simulations, but you have to explicitly tell it to do so. I'd upgrade the motherboard, processor, memory, and operating system before considering a SSD.

While the machine isn't necessarily old, it was a poor choice of components for computer graphics work. It's on par with a typical computer graphics workstation from a decade ago because the processor is just awful.

When you want to upgrade the machine or build a new machine check back here. We'd be happy to help select components based on whatever budget you specify. For example this is what I would've built two or three years ago for a budget minded computer graphics workstation (six processor cores, 8GB of memory, 64-bit operating system, etc.).

Of course today I would pick different components but you get the idea. A passable machine doesn't have to cost a fortune!
Old 09 September 2013   #25
I'm already planning an I7, but by the time I get serious about it all that may be obsolete, too. I'm sure in the meantime I can do a good bit of workaround methods. Wally world didn't have an adapter, so I may try RShack next month. I avoid them because they want big bucks for something that costs a buck online. I have a lot to learn in Blender, still, so I think my poorly chosen machine will suffice. It really isn't all that bad; I just want more, more, more...
Old 09 September 2013   #26
One thing I probably neglected to mention is the particular TV I'm referring to has a VGA port built right in to connect say a laptop to. I'll probably give it a whirl later this week when I can pry the other half away from it for a BBQ to nuke the fleas in the house. The card does have a DVI port, but no Display or HDMI port.
Old 09 September 2013   #27

This is what I'm thinking of going to. Probably next Spring or late Winter.
Old 09 September 2013   #28
Originally Posted by DrCharbonneau:

This is what I'm thinking of going to. Probably next Spring or late Winter.

That's a pretty good choice, but a year from now that processor might not even be on the market or there might be something better for less money. Do the research and pick the components when you're ready to do the upgrade.
Old 09 September 2013   #29
That's pretty much why I take my time and don't go overboard with upgrades to a particular machine. The G41T does reasonably well with my own CAD program (If you recall I write stuff like that and made a clone of ProE5...) so I can more than limp along with it. What I'm anticipating is that particular MoBo/CPU combo may come down in price by spring, so I'll work at getting what I have to work for me while becoming more proficient at Blender. I'll likely add a 64 bit OS and a 1 or 2 Tb HDD to it, although I'm considering the SSD just to see what tricks I can do with it.

For the next couple months it's DIY home improvement. Are you familiar with what a chateau awning is?
Old 09 September 2013   #30
Socket 1150 just got released a few months ago. I think you don't need to worry much about being obsolete for another 2 years or so.
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