3ds max 4.2.5/4.2.6 Service Pack


#1

Has anyone tried this yet? I saw it on the discreet website and wondered why no body’s mentioned it yet? What exactly does it improve?


#2

I know there was a problem with e-poly that was corrected, I’m sure it addresses other things as well, but the e-poly thing is something I remember reading. The difference between 25 and 26 depends on the processor, I believe 26 is if you are running 1 of the newer intel chips.


#3

I’m running a p4@1.9ghz and the service pack 26 just gave me a small boost in speed. nothing fancy, so if ur running a new p4 chip, give it a whirl, otherwise I don’t think it does much extra to help in the normal run of the mill things.


#4

From the discreet site:

Notes About Installation and Compatibility
· WARNING: This Performance Pack is a Beta Release, provided for evaluation purposes only. At any time, subsequent beta releases may be issued by Discreet to fix defects in this Performance Pack. It is the User’s responsibility to obtain the latest versions.

· This Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance Pack is compatible ONLY with a registered version of 3ds max 4.2.

· DO NOT INSTALL OVER 3ds max 4.02 or older versions (for example, 3.0 , 3.1, 4.0). Installation over anything other than 3ds max 4.2 will corrupt your installation and prevent 3ds max from running.

· If you have 3ds max 4.0 or 4.02, you must register and download the free update to 3ds max 4.2 first before installing this Performance Pack. See www.discreet.com for more details. (3ds max 4.2 upgrade CDs are also available; consult your local Discreet dealer.)

· No additional authorization, registration, or license update is necessary to use this Performance Pack.

· As with all 3ds max update releases from Discreet, this Performance Pack must be installed uniformly for all 3ds max 4.2 PC’s within a project’s workgroup, including non-Intel CPU’s, to prevent inconsistencies in rendered results. This Performance Pack will not degrade performance on any PC configuration, including AMD.

General Notes
· This Performance Pack is the result of a collaboration between Discreet and Intel to provide optimizations for Pentium® 4- and Pentium® III-based 3ds max 4.2 users. Performance increases on other platforms, including AMD, are likely, but not guaranteed. Pentium® 4 performance increases are the most significant. No effective performance decreases have been observed on or between any platforms as a result of these optimizations.

· Performance increases on the Pentium® 4 using this Performance Pack range from 5 to 30 percent depending on the types of 3ds max operations used. Rendering performance performance improvements are fastest for operations that make heavy use of ray-tracing and the Blur rendering effect lights (Rendering menu > Effects > Rendering Effects dialog > Add > Add Effect dialog > Blur).

· This Performance Pack is compatible with all standard 3ds max 4.2 supported platforms, including non-Intel PCs.

· This Performance Pack updates a subset of 3ds max 4.2 DLL’s. No other files are changed.

· The following DLLs have been recompiled with the Intel compiler using optimizations targeted for the Intel P4 processor (/G7 switch):

Core.dll

Geom.dll

Mesh.dll

Blur.dlv

Colliders.dlu

Mtl.dlt

Rend.dlr

Rayfx.dlu

Stdfilt.bmf

· In addition to being recompiled with the Intel compiler, the following DLLs have had key performance functions optimized using SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions). Pentium® III class processors and higher will be able to take advantage of these optimizations.

Rend.dlr

Blur.dlv

· The following DLL contains Intel-Optimized intrinsic functions that are invoked directly by the Intel compiler. These functions replace the corresponding Microsoft intrinsics for modules built with the Intel compiler.

Libmmd.dll

· Once augmented with this Performance Pack, 3ds max 4.2 represents a hybrid build of DLL’s generated by both the Microsoft and Intel compilers. References to the Intel Hybrid Build in Discreet’s Performance Results section below refer to the overlay of the Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance pack on top of a standard 3ds max 4.2 installation.

· Use of the Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance Pack results in increased performance and in some cases increased precision in computation of various algorithms throughout the application. The increase in precision is generally not apparent, but does yield detectable differences in special cases. See sections below entitled Special Rendering Notice and Expected Differences due to Increased Precision for details.
http://support.discreet.com/webboard/wbpx.dll/~max/upload/Readme_3dsMAX4.2_IntelOptimized.htm


#5

And some more:

Special Rendering Notice
· Due to the precision increase resulting from the Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance Pack, it is strongly recommended that all final rendering of animation within a project be generated with identical installations of 3ds max 4.2 software. In particular, render farm environments should be updated uniformly with the Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance Pack to avoid potential shifts in lighting and color between successive frames that are computed by different PC’s.

Discreet’s Performance Results
· This Performance Pack provides optimizations for Pentium® 4- and Pentium® III-based 3ds max 4.2 users. Performance increases on other platforms, including AMD, are possible, but not guaranteed. Pentium® 4 performance increases are the most significant. No effective performance decreases have been observed on, or between any platforms as a result of these optimizations.

· Internal Discreet benchmarks compare the standard 3ds max 4.2 application against an identical installation that has been augmented with this Performance Pack. A summary of these times are listed below and in more detail in the attached html file Optimized_benchmarks.htm. NOTE: these tests are part of Discreet’s internal test suite and are not publicly available. They are listed here to provide a general idea of potential speed-ups in a variety of cases. Benchmark tests were performed on a Pentium® 4 1.5GHz processor with 512 megabytes of RAM.

Standard Build
Time (sec)

Hybrid Intel build
Time (sec)

Testcase
Lower is better

Testcase
Lower is better

rend_atmo_vol_light
26.924

rend_atmo_vol_light
16.221

rend_ray_cballs
17.441

rend_ray_cballs
12.009

rend_high_poly_bnchmrk8
15.236

rend_high_poly_bnchmrk8
13.246

rend_high_poly_geom1
4.092

rend_high_poly_geom1
3.083

rend_ray_dualpipe
103.151

rend_ray_dualpipe
90.837

rend_ray_singlepipe
686.2

rend_ray_singlepipe
475.956

Expected Differences due to Increased Precision
Due to the Intel compiler’s increased use of floating point registers to hold intermediate results, an increase in precision can result for geometry and images generated by the Performance Pack. This is due to the increased precision of internal registers (80 bits) versus saving variables to memory in their native single-precision format (32 bits). Slight differences in precision are also possible in the SSE coded functions due to the different rounding algorithm for SSE registers. Differences between 3ds max 4.2 and the Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance Pack are noticeable in the following areas:

Flex Modifier
· The Performance Pack version of the Flex modifier utilizes floating point registers as described above, and thus offers higher precision results. Differences in calculated results accumulate to produce a larger discrepancy over the duration of an animation. Thus, a 3ds max 4.2 Flex-based animation and a Performance Pack animation might be similar at frame 1, but at a later frame the difference can be very apparent.

Dynamics
· The Performance Pack version of the Dynamics utility utilizes floating point registers as described above, and thus offers higher precision results. Differences in calculated results accumulate to produce a larger discrepancy over the duration of an animation. Thus, a 3ds max 4.2 Dynamics-based animation and a Performance Pack animation might be similar at frame 1, but at a later frame the difference can be very apparent.

Particle Systems
· The turbulence setting for Wind can cause different results.

Raytrace Materials
· Raytrace materials can exhibit differences in edge anti-aliasing along object edges. These differences are generally not noticeable in single images unless compared on a pixel by pixel basis in a zoomed format.

Cellular Map
· Cellular maps render slightly differently. These differences are generally not noticeable in single images unless compared on a pixel by pixel basis in a zoomed format.

Reflection and Refraction Maps
· Reflection and Refraction maps with bump maps render slightly differently. Most noticeable of these is ThinWall Refraction map. These differences are generally not noticeable in single images unless compared on a pixel by pixel basis in a zoomed format.

Known Beta Issues
The following examples from Discreet’s automation test cases indicate unresolved issues that exist in the Intel-Optimized 3ds max 4.2 Performance Pack. These examples result in different or incorrect geometry in the viewport (i.e. before rendering) or differences in animation paths. These problems are being investigated.

Object Motion Blur
· When duration subdivisions is set to 1, the object disappears instead of being rendered with no blur.

Splines

· When animating splines with path controllers, the result is different.

WARRANTY DISCLAIMER. DISCREET MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, BY STATUTE OR OTHERWISE, REGARDING THE SOFTWARE, ITS FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE, ITS QUALITY, ITS MERCHANTABILITY, OR OTHERWISE. Discreet does not warrant that the operation of the Software will be uninterrupted or error free. you acknowledges that THE SOFTWARE LICENSED HEREUNDER ARE preliminary releaseS only and it is possible that the Software will undergo significant changes prior to release of THE CORRESPONDING generally available final version.

EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY STATED HEREIN, DISCREET HAS MADE NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED BY OPERATION OF LAW OR OTHERWISE, CONCERNING THE SOFTWARE TO BE PROVIDED HEREUNDER. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NOT RELIED ON ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATION OF DISCREET, WRITTEN OR ORAL, AS AN INDUCEMENT TO ENTERING INTO THIS AGREEMENT.

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#6

Um…Wow! That was a little more specific than my post! =)


#7

:slight_smile: Well, i couldn’t link it directly, so i just copy/pasted it.

-Alex


#8

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