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Top 3 Must Haves for Rendering PC
Posted: 18 August 2012 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am looking to have a computer built from scratch and am curious what your ‘Top 3 Must Haves’ for the ultimate rendering PC would be?

I am currently using Carrara Pro, DAZ Studio 4+ (just DL’d 4.5 have not installed yet) and PhotoShop. I would like to get more from these programs and also use Reality for rendering (my current set-up limps along at best with Reality) and am wondering what to get in a newly built PC.

I will definatly be getting a Quad Core for sure but beyond that I don’t know what to have put in a new PC for rendering and graphic ‘power’.....So if you could only have 3 things in a PC for rendering what would they be?

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Posted: 18 August 2012 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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1) As many cores as possible.  Renderers like LuxRender work well with HyperThreading, so I would say 8 logical cores at the minimum.  16 logical cores is more ideal.  Beyond that, you start to run into contention issues with all the cores trying to add their contributions to the shared film memory buffer (though this has been improved with the tile-based locking in LuxRender).
2) As much memory as possible.  8GB bare minimum, 12GB more realistic minimum, 24GB-32GB ideal.  (I have LuxRender running right now on a render taking nearly 10GB of RAM to render at 2560x1440 with eight light groups and outlier rejection enabled.  4.5-6.5GB is probably ‘normal’ for LuxRender RAM usage at 2560x1440 with only one or two light groups.  At 5kx3k resolution, it’s easy to consume 18-20GB of RAM in the LuxRender process.)  Unlike many apps, exceeding physical memory with LuxRender will absolutely kill your machine.  LuxRender continuously touches almost all of its working memory.  Thus, there are no sections that can be pushed to swap on disc and stay there because they are infrequently accessed.  With Windows 7, LuxRender exceeding physical memory usually causes so much swapping that it literally requires hard rebooting the machine to get the system to recover.
3) Lots of HD space for all your content and your .flm files generated by LuxRender, if you intend to keep them around.

(And I know you said only 3, but…)

4) An external drive to do regular backups to.

You’ll note that I did not include GPU power in my list.  Most GPUs these days will be more than sufficient for the viewport rendering within Studio itself while you are building your scenes.  GPU rendering in LuxRender is still not ready for prime time; the same scene rendered in hybrid mode will look different than CPU-only rendering.  And not different in a good way, either…  And SLG is extremely limited for what it can do vs. full LuxRender.  While hybrid mode has been improving, it can often be slower than all-native CPU rendering unless you are rendering extremely complex scenes.  (The overhead of collecting and sending rays to the GPU to trace can outweigh the performance of the GPU over just tracing the rays on the CPU.)  SLG is much faster, since it is entirely GPU based.  But it’s so crippled in terms of features supported and GPU memory restrictions that it’s not something you can rely/depend on.  You’d be better off getting multiple machines to take advantage of LuxRender’s network rendering feature than spending a ton of money on a fancy GPU.

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Posted: 18 August 2012 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with cwichura, but he made an assumption in (1) that needs to be clarified - as many cores as possible, 64 bit CPUs.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks ‘cwichura’.

Everyone must overwhelmingly agree judging from the lack of other suggestions/opinions…....now to start getting something like what you described put into action.

wink

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I went with dual quads with 16 virtual with hyperthreading, and am very happy watching all the little buckets on a Carrara render smile

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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In the OP, you said you use Photoshop. In that case, the GPU does matter. It needs to be more than the rendering programs require. You may not need a killer video card, but definitely get something better than bare minimum. The priority cwichura posted is good. I would state it as, “Yeah, do those three, but don’t forget 4) halfway decent GPU, 5) external backup.”

There are several places on the web that will custom build for you, and provide a warranty. If you build yourself, there is no warranty. wink

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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System Stability.

Does not matter how good any part of the PC is, if software and hardware dont play well together then its useless.

Learning to tweak your OS is imho, very crucial.  Turning off the “User Friendly” services and a lot of the useless shiney stuff is a good start.

If you are a brave soul, or you have done it before, I recommend this - http://www.blackviper.com/

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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This thread is pretty much the same as this one that was posted today as well
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/5620/

A good over all computer would be a custom built one. I got mine at IbuyPower.com http://www.ibuypower.com/
right now PC World Magazine test benched AMD and itel and Mac computers for 3D performance.

The computer http://www.pcworld.com recom.mended in June 2012 for work flow and PC gaming was a.
Intel i7 -Ivy bridge 3800 series - 64xbyte 6 core liquid cooled processor running at a whooping speed of 5.2 ghz.with capability to be over clocked safely to 20% which will bring around 6.0 ghz ( most computers today are around 2.8 and 3.3 ghz.)
pcworld recommended 12 gigs of ram. which I have   But i feel that 16gigs would be better for rendering 3d art.especially if your going to render animation with 3dlight.
pcworld gave 2 options for graphic cards one for AMD which is ATI RADON. But I would recommend a Nvida GTX 590 LE with 4 GIGS of Video Memory. the performance ratings were much better. Both are directx 11 backward compatible drivers

I have a Nvida gtx460 with a dual 2 gig card pushing 4 gig of graphic ram its RealD-3D compatible and its well worth having it to view finished work and play 3d video games and watch realD 3d movies on. Make sure you get a pen and touch monitor for future upgrade etc.
Lastly . Have at least 2 hard drives one 100 gigs or better SSD (Solid State drive) for the operating system . This will give you Unbelievable boot & start up times. the 2 Hard drive should be around 2 TB (Tara-Bytes) for storage,

Their bottom line was to shoot for a computer with a “windows index experience”  in the high 7’s. Being 7.9 is the highest rating and PC word considered to be a god Machine . My machine is a year old and my “windows index experience” rating is a 7.4 and my 60 gig SSD hard drive is the problem from ever reaching the 7.9 rating. Its to small.
Also windows 8 will be out in Nov 2012 with the new Metro style interface some will love most it will hate..  windows 8 runs like a App on a tablet so. I would properly stay away from windows 8 until the software companies have time to catch up with it.

I paid $5200 a year ago for my system with a few more add-ons than what I listed here..  so all it takes is money the more you spend the better the system smile

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Slimer_J_Spud - 20 August 2012 04:30 PM

In the OP, you said you use Photoshop. In that case, the GPU does matter. It needs to be more than the rendering programs require. You may not need a killer video card, but definitely get something better than bare minimum. The priority cwichura posted is good. I would state it as, “Yeah, do those three, but don’t forget 4) halfway decent GPU, 5) external backup.”

There are several places on the web that will custom build for you, and provide a warranty. If you build yourself, there is no warranty. wink

Thanks ‘Slimer’, you are right I don’t want to overlook PhotoShop, I use it A LOT! I am planning to have a drive to use exclusivly as a scratch disk…that is something I do not currently have the luxury of.

I am looking into an online back-up option for all my stuff, something like Carbonite (not necissarily Carbonite but something like it), not sure if this is the route to go or an ‘in house’ external back-up.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Ivy - 20 August 2012 04:42 PM

This thread is pretty much the same as this one that was posted today as well
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/5620/

I saw that one to while browsing the commons…..I’m knida partial to this thread…;-)

I started this thread to see what different peoples opinion was for top 3 things in a render computer instead of saying “what should I get in a kick butt render computer”.....same thing overall.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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For years the answer to this question never changed. Then along came LuxRender.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I second the recommendation for ibuypower.com. I got my daughter a desktop rig from there and she was overjoyed how much better it was than her old lump. She used it to finish off her BFA degree in Illustration. Now the challenge is finding real work…

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