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Planning for a new PC
Posted: 06 August 2012 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m thinking my current PC is getting old and tired.  It’s developing multiple issues including:

One monitor not working (not monitor but video card - likely)

Crashing on large renders in DS, Vue 8, Cararra (2000+ X 2000+ pixels).  Does not crash on non CPU intensive applications.  Doesn’t crash as often when using Reality and the Lux render engine, rendering with the GPU.

I have a Win7 Home 64 bit based system with a AMD Phenom Quad core, 8GB RAM.  Video card is a Nvidia GeForce 9400GT.

A sales rep at Fry’s told me the Phenom is not powerful enough to handle the kinds of graphic intensive applications I’m trying to do, which are mostly still scenes.  Sometimes I render larger outputs 2000+ pixels for print applications.

I used to be a gamer and used AMD exclusively for many years but am now looking at switching to an i7.  What are your thoughts?

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Posted: 06 August 2012 11:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I use a AMD 2 core, 4GB RAM - windows 64 bit - DS 4.5 - C8.5 - and lots more - working great .
So some one is full of it .

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Posted: 07 August 2012 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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WTF. Yeah, definitely, someone is totally full of it and possibly trying to bilk a commission as well. Mind, I’d personally go with AMD FX (I pretty much use nothing but AMD at home)—I have AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core Processor in my current rendering computer and it works without a problem with DAZ Studio. The price difference wasn’t that great, and I figured that if I am going to use this desktop for the next six years, why not go for full power…

 

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Posted: 07 August 2012 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The 9400 can be used but it may lack driver support for raytracing in LuxRender in hybrid mode. Use CPU rendering instead.
http://www.luxrender.net/wiki/GPU

The best bang for the buck in the 3D world of PCs is a dekstop gaming rig with a very minimum of 8 GB RAM, GPU will play a part in LuxRender and in your interface response time. If you want to go portable expect to pay a lot more.

You can verify if your monitor is dead by connecting the port that is working on your video card directly to that monitor. You may want to check the pins on the cable, if a single one is bent that a problem.

I went from AMD to Intel, I’m very happy with the Intel and $ vs Clockspeed is not a singular argument.

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Posted: 07 August 2012 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I used a Phenom II for 3.5 years with no problems at all before going with my current Intel i7. As already mentioned. I think the guy is on commission and just trying to sell you the biggest system possible.

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Posted: 07 August 2012 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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StratDragon - 07 August 2012 06:33 AM

The 9400 can be used but it may lack driver support for raytracing in LuxRender in hybrid mode. Use CPU rendering instead.
http://www.luxrender.net/wiki/GPU

The best bang for the buck in the 3D world of PCs is a dekstop gaming rig with a very minimum of 8 GB RAM, GPU will play a part in LuxRender and in your interface response time. If you want to go portable expect to pay a lot more.

You can verify if your monitor is dead by connecting the port that is working on your video card directly to that monitor. You may want to check the pins on the cable, if a single one is bent that a problem.

I went from AMD to Intel, I’m very happy with the Intel and $ vs Clockspeed is not a singular argument.

I was convinced the problem wasn’t the monitor due to the intermittent nature of the problem.  It appears now that in fact it is.  I swapped it into the known good port on the video card and it still isn’t working.  I swapped cables using the known good cable and known good port.  Monitor still isn’t working.  It apparantly was going out and now has finally died.

I’m still wondering about the crash issues - and thinking my CPU may have heat issues and thus, time to build a new system.  Now I’ve got to buy a new monitor to replace the old if I want dual monitor support (can’t live without it at this point).

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Posted: 07 August 2012 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’m on a Quadcore Phenom with an ATI X800XL (rather old isn’t it?) and 16Go Ram on Win 7 x64 since last year and it works fine. And before that I had an Athlon 3500 with 4 Go and still rendered fine even if it took me at least 8 hours. So you should be fine and only need to buy if you want more horsepower


As you say you mainly crash on CPU intensive renders you may want to chek your fan/heat-sink and monitor the temperature to see if it’s fine. It could also come from your Power supply, or it could be caused by some misconfiguration in your OS. But you can only know if you check or get your computer checked. It’s up to you.


If you go for a new computer i7 is very good and you’ll certainly be happy with it

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Posted: 07 August 2012 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You didn’t indicate how much RAM was installed - if it’s less than 6 or 8 GB (whichever is optimum for that CPU) then you should add more. And then check fan, heatsink, and over-all air flow.

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Posted: 08 August 2012 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Heat is going to be a big issue, especially with 3D where the system is constantly being pushed to perform. Heat up a system long enough and you’ll swear you have a virus running. CPU cycling up to full power is a serious heat issue and LuxRender keeping that CPU pinned for 8 hrs at 100% is going to complicate that issue.

The latest versions of Lux (1.0 RC 1,2, & 3) have been very temperamental on my box but I may have finally hit my 12GB RAM limit. I noticed when Lux now tries to use pageing when physical RAM is no longer available the system gets very unstable and the CPU is all over the place.

Ventilation is another issue. What’s your system placement like? has it got good airflow? A/C in the room? Or is it next to direct sunlight with small rodents made of cat hair and dust burrowed on top of your fans? A can of compressed air is a beautiful thing sometimes. I take my box down about every 3 months and spray the crap out of it. Kids at home: WD40 is flammable and conductive, it does not get used in a computer unless you want to use a $4 can of spray to do $800 worth of damage.

As far as LCD’s go I replaced a bunch of various brands at the office I work with Samsungs, replaced my home LCD’s with Samsungs. I can not recommend a better LCD, they’ve been very good and I support a bunch of Prima Donna artists. cheese

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Posted: 08 August 2012 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I decided to go with liquid cooling on my new system I got a few months back. I was only about $50 more then air cooling. I’ve maxed out all 12 of my cores while doing simultaneous renders in DS and Poser. They were maxed for several hours and the temperature never went above 31C or @ 86F.

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Posted: 08 August 2012 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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StratDragon - 07 August 2012 06:33 AM

The best bang for the buck in the 3D world of PCs is a dekstop gaming rig with a very minimum of 8 GB RAM, GPU will play a part in LuxRender and in your interface response time. If you want to go portable expect to pay a lot more.

I’m personally not convinced gaming-specced rigs are ideal for Poser or Studio, they tend to emphasise the most powerful video card possible and most top-end 3D gaming cards should be overspecced for supporting the interface window. If you have software that uses the GPU for rendering, then there’s a call for it, but otherwise I suspect it’s better to invest your pennies in a more powerful CPU than a more powerful GPU. The one thing gaming rigs have going for them is that they should have adequate cooling specified.

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Posted: 08 August 2012 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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DWG - 08 August 2012 08:42 AM
StratDragon - 07 August 2012 06:33 AM

The best bang for the buck in the 3D world of PCs is a dekstop gaming rig with a very minimum of 8 GB RAM, GPU will play a part in LuxRender and in your interface response time. If you want to go portable expect to pay a lot more.

I’m personally not convinced gaming-specced rigs are ideal for Poser or Studio, they tend to emphasise the most powerful video card possible and most top-end 3D gaming cards should be overspecced for supporting the interface window. If you have software that uses the GPU for rendering, then there’s a call for it, but otherwise I suspect it’s better to invest your pennies in a more powerful CPU than a more powerful GPU. The one thing gaming rigs have going for them is that they should have adequate cooling specified.


GPU rendering aside the better the video card the better your interface responds. A lower end card is going to be a response issue, and an integrated cards (most lower end systems and laptops) is not an advised investment. f you don’t build (and I suspect if the OP is taking to a salesman at a brick and mortar store that they dont) a laptop is not cost effective unless you must be portable and a graphic workstation will be an expensive mistake since their cards are more in line with higher end applications, Daz ones are excluded. Gaming rigs out-of-the-box tend to have better made parts which offer better cooling and faster components like RAM and HD and MOBO bridges which response time is everything. Overall a gaming rig tends to lend itself to the way Studio is set up, and the OP is already doing GPU assisted in Lux with a very low end card. A fast CPU may be the biggest single factor in the build but its still a singular factor. A computer is only a good as it’s worst component.

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Posted: 09 August 2012 11:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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StratDragon - 08 August 2012 09:40 AM
DWG - 08 August 2012 08:42 AM
StratDragon - 07 August 2012 06:33 AM

The best bang for the buck in the 3D world of PCs is a dekstop gaming rig with a very minimum of 8 GB RAM, GPU will play a part in LuxRender and in your interface response time. If you want to go portable expect to pay a lot more.

I’m personally not convinced gaming-specced rigs are ideal for Poser or Studio, they tend to emphasise the most powerful video card possible and most top-end 3D gaming cards should be overspecced for supporting the interface window. If you have software that uses the GPU for rendering, then there’s a call for it, but otherwise I suspect it’s better to invest your pennies in a more powerful CPU than a more powerful GPU. The one thing gaming rigs have going for them is that they should have adequate cooling specified.


GPU rendering aside the better the video card the better your interface responds. A lower end card is going to be a response issue, and an integrated cards (most lower end systems and laptops) is not an advised investment. f you don’t build (and I suspect if the OP is taking to a salesman at a brick and mortar store that they dont) a laptop is not cost effective unless you must be portable and a graphic workstation will be an expensive mistake since their cards are more in line with higher end applications, Daz ones are excluded. Gaming rigs out-of-the-box tend to have better made parts which offer better cooling and faster components like RAM and HD and MOBO bridges which response time is everything. Overall a gaming rig tends to lend itself to the way Studio is set up, and the OP is already doing GPU assisted in Lux with a very low end card. A fast CPU may be the biggest single factor in the build but its still a singular factor. A computer is only a good as it’s worst component.

Not quite true. A good gamer card will have lots of power which will compensate the fact that it will have locked OpenGL capabilities. However AMD is going to release the A300 and A320 which could be a good low cost gear with an IGP and could be the good choice to get good OpenGL performance at a low price. If you then want more horsepower for GPU rendering you could still add another (Nvidia?) GC

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Posted: 10 August 2012 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Here’s some things I’ve seen through the years:
  The speed of the GPU doesn’t matter that much.  It doesn’t affect your rendering time.  You still want good quality, but can avoid the really expensive and fast.  Get one or two generations behind the latest for best value.  (I do gaming so want the faster cards).
  If you want to get more than 4GB Ram - the more ram the better -  you have to use 64 bit system or there is no value to it.  64 is good, but not a lot of other programs use it.  You have to judge what is best for you.  32-bit will take a long time to give you big detailed scene renders, and maybe crash.  Small scenes and pin-up style work is fine in 32-bit as far as I’ve experienced.
  Daz Studio uses the 3Delight render engine.  The program only works well at full software rendering.  OpenGL is only good for fast views.  Poser is different and can use OpenGL as far as I know (I don’t use it).
  A big hard drive capacity is HIGHLY recommended.
  Processors are always under heated debate so no comment there.
 

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