Carrara not using all of my render nodes! Solved!

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566
    3drendero said:

    Maximum amount of cores per rig, below 500$, is probably and old AMD G34 4P folding monster, 48 cores for 400$ here:

    https://hardforum.com/threads/fs-48-core-supermicro-4p-amd-g34-workstation-servers-overclocking-ready.1908904/

    A few years ago they were 2000$, when shopping for used CPU's and modding regular heatsinks, OEM price was probably >5000$

    Today a 2p Xeon rig is faster, but that costs more 500.

    You bring up a very interesting point that I was completely overlooking, which is that AMD is usually priced even more economically than Intel, but Carrara doesn't discriminate and loves them both equally (my first 3 laptops, which are all dead now, were all AMD based and I rendered Carrara and Poser just fine on them).  So I went out searching for AMD-based workstations on ebay, searching by cpu, but I could only find bladeservers.  I don't know if a blade would be something that would be practical for me to try to put into my mini network, don't they strip out power supplies and fans and other things that a workstation (desktop) would have space for?  I always thought that blade servers needed a server room, with special racks and cooling and power, etc, but maybe I've got that wrong and I should be considering blades as viable parts of a Carrara home network too.

  • I remember we had blade servers at work, and I wouldn't recommend them for home use. First of all they're rack mounted 1U or 2U units (depending on age) with sharp edges, and they're extremely noisy (we're talking hair dryer type noise, or like the sound made by a hand dryer in public restrooms). The fans are much stronger than on desktop machines, because they're designed for durability and 24/7 operations. In regards to power supplies, they have two for redundancy as well as hot swappable hard disks so you can do maintenance on them while they work. Blade servers also run hotter than desktops because the hardware is packed into a smaller space, and they rely on a rack that's centrally air conditioned. Don't know much about the internals, but other than hard disks, there's not much room for PCI expansions. 

  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    Intel Xeon W3670 3.2GHz Six Core Processor  - is it good for 12 buckets?  

    or is it only i7 doubles the buckets?   

     

    thanks!

  • Looks like it has 12 threads, so that would be 12 render tiles in Carrara.

  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    yayy.  thanks!

  • MistyMist said:

    Intel Xeon W3670 3.2GHz Six Core Processor  - is it good for 12 buckets?  

    or is it only i7 doubles the buckets?   

     

    thanks!

    But since my CPU is 3.5GHz would not my lowly 4 core single processor be just as fast with 8 tiles?

    this is what confuses me.

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 19,013
    ToeJam said:
    MistyMist said:

    Intel Xeon W3670 3.2GHz Six Core Processor  - is it good for 12 buckets?  

    or is it only i7 doubles the buckets?   

     

    thanks!

    But since my CPU is 3.5GHz would not my lowly 4 core single processor be just as fast with 8 tiles?

    this is what confuses me.

    10% faster clock speed vs. 50% more threads, i'd bet on the hexacore.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    ToeJam said:
    MistyMist said:

    Intel Xeon W3670 3.2GHz Six Core Processor  - is it good for 12 buckets?  

    or is it only i7 doubles the buckets?   

     

    thanks!

    But since my CPU is 3.5GHz would not my lowly 4 core single processor be just as fast with 8 tiles?

    this is what confuses me.

    10% faster clock speed vs. 50% more threads, i'd bet on the hexacore.

    Me too. It would be diffrent in like my situation, where I bought a quad - only realizing later that it's only 1.5GHz!

    3.2 vs 3.5 isn't bad.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited September 2016

    I see that AMD now has 16 core Server cpus

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100008494 50001028 600252262

    Pack two of those on a dual cpu motherboard and let 'er schnap! :)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109

    Yup. This baby handles the two 16-core cpu, and can take uup to 256GB RAM!!! Bravo!

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131643

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109

    Hey Fixmypcmike, could I build a server-class machine, nd just run Windows on it, like a regular PC, or are there difficulties... do you know?

    This would end up being only a couple $Grand.

  • chickenmanchickenman Posts: 1,199

    Hey Fixmypcmike, could I build a server-class machine, nd just run Windows on it, like a regular PC, or are there difficulties... do you know?

    This would end up being only a couple $Grand.

    Hey Dart i will try it on Monday If I get a chance on a HP DL360 Gen 9 Server we have laying around I am suppose to be rebuilding it with Server 2012R2 but take a detour through Windows 10 would just a little longer.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566

    Hey Fixmypcmike, could I build a server-class machine, nd just run Windows on it, like a regular PC, or are there difficulties... do you know?

    This would end up being only a couple $Grand.

    Well it's older tech, but the z600 I ordered came in and I've got it all set up and integrated, running Windows 7 on it and it looks and behaves just like a regular computer.  I did have to go into the BIOS to enable hyperthreading, as at first I was only getting 8 more render buckets, but other than that, I can't tell any difference between it being a 'server' as far as the hardware and any other regular pc that I bought from the store.  I even for fun installed Carrara on it (not just the render node, but the main program) and built and rendered a few tests scenes in it (just to see those 16 multi colored buckets.  Sadly, the colors repeat after I think 10, so it's not as much of a rainbow as I had hoped) smiley   

    But I think it's all down to the software the machine is running and the purpose it's being used for that really makes a server a 'server' and I sort of doubt it's any different for the latest/greatest server equipment; I'm betting you would just install Windows and Carrara, and you're off to the races (and not really noticing any real difference to any regular pc you've used before).

    It's fun to see 48 render cores filling up my screen  smiley    I need more time to play obviously.

    Also I was shocked by how quiet the z600 is and also how it runs cool as a cucumber.  Even though it's got 2 cpus it runs super-cool even under heavy rendering load and I think it's the most silent pc I've used.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109

    Cool! Yeah, the AMDs have 16 physical (actual individual) cores, so no hyperthreading needed! 

    I've always had great luck with AMD. When I decided to switch to Intel's Core2Duo when they came out, reviews were claiming how much better they were than AMD's dual core cpus. My wife, whom didn't care about super performance, bought a much less expensive AMD dual core. It blew away my Core2Duo! I couldn't believe the difference!

    But that doesn't mean anything, and I'm certainly not trying to say that this is better than that... 

    They're all damn good when it comes down to it!

    Now I can't sleep. Keep thinking about two 16 core cpus in the same box, with 128GB RAM for starters. It's just keeping me awake :|

    I'll add some further insult to it by keeping it away from PBR by giving it a low-end graphics card! LOL

  • Jay VersluisJay Versluis Posts: 176
    edited September 2016

    @Jonstark Fantastic, glad you got it working! Mine arrived on Monday, and I don't mind telling you, I LOVE the Z600! I installed three flavours of Windows on it until I stuck with Windows 10 Pro (Vista was annoying, and my WIndows 7 install disk is Home Premium only, so Carrara can only see 8 cores and only uses 1 CPU with it).

    Like you, I'm so amazed by how quiet this thing is - and it's about twice as fast as my quad core i7. Even with a long busy render, the fans make no noise at all. I added a GTX 970 and now it can do DAZ Studio renders in no time. The way I integrated it into my pipeline is that I setup a scene on my Mac, save it to Dropbox or a network drive, then pick it up on the Z600 and let it render. If I need more than 16 cores, I'll add my laptop nodes to the Z600 and have a all the power of my main desktop to use for other things (like setting up the next scene, while the others are busy rendering). 

    All in all a super investment! Z600 = highly recommended, at under $200. I would have never done it without you, Jon :-)

    Post edited by Jay Versluis on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited September 2016

    @Jonstark Fantastic, glad you got it working! Mine arrived on Monday, and I don't mind telling you, I LOVE the Z600! I installed three flavours of Windows on it until I stuck with Windows 10 Pro (Vista was annoying, and my WIndows 7 install disk is Home Premium only, so Carrara can only see 8 cores and only uses 1 CPU with it).

    Like you, I'm so amazed by how quiet this thing is - and it's about twice as fast as my quad core i7. Even with a long busy render, the fans make no noise at all. I added a GTX 970 and now it can do DAZ Studio renders in no time. The way I integrated it into my pipeline is that I setup a scene on my Mac, save it to Dropbox or a network drive, then pick it up on the Z600 and let it render. If I need more than 16 cores, I'll add my laptop nodes to the Z600 and have a all the power of my main desktop to use for other things (like setting up the next scene, while the others are busy rendering). 

    All in all a super investment! Z600 = highly recommended, at under $200. I would have never done it without you, Jon :-)

    That's awesome! That seems better for me too, I think.

    So Win7 Home Premium can't see dual cpus or something?

    A nice GTX would fit nicely too....

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • Indeed, the Home flavours of Windows work on a dual-CPU system, but they're only utilising the first CPU. Only the Pro and above versions make full use of a dual-CPU system. Here's a writeup I did about getting my new workstation to actually "work": http://www.versluis.com/2016/09/my-new-hp-z600-workstation/

    Join the Z600 club, Dart!!! :-)))

  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    remembering rendering secret lake 11 days for 25seconds of footage

    xeon 22 core/44 threads, would that like render secret lake in real time?

    http://ark.intel.com/products/91317/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2699-v4-55M-Cache-2_20-GHz

  • Whoa, $4k just for the CPU. Can you imagine a dual CPU workstation with two of those? 88 combined cores? I bet we'd still have to wait for the pre-render light calculation, I think Carrara only does that with a single thread.

    I'd love to see that footage, MistyMist.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566

    Congrats Jay, that's awesome!  I loved reading through the blog post and seeing the step-by-step as you went.  So far I've just been using my z600 strictly as a render node (and to be fair, my main pc is so beefy that I have no trouble doing other tasks at the same time it's rendering) but I really like the RDS idea; I'm going to have to investigate more and see about setting something like that up for myself.  I was also very intrigued to learn you could put a GTX970 in one of these things.  I'm wondering if it's possible by jury rigging in a separate power supply line to put in something like a GTX1080; if so I might even consider switching to make the z600 my primary machine.  I'm already investigating getting a pair of hex core xeon cpus to upgrade it in both power, clockspeed and of course even more cores, but I'm afraid I might have to upgrade my existing bios to make it work, and I'm a little scared because I see people online using terms like 'flash the bios' but I don't really know what that entails or how you actually upgrade the bios (I'm guessing you download the bios version onto a usb or something, and then enter the bios and there's some way it can see the usb and upgrade from it, but I've never done anything like that before).  But those hexcore xeons that fit this socket type are also pretty dang cheap on ebay at the moment, and it seems both like it would be fun to do and also like a shame not to use untapped potential power in this baby.

    Great blogpost, fun to read and very descriptive, had me chuckling out loud at several points; you're a very entertaining writer. smiley

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566
    MistyMist said:

    remembering rendering secret lake 11 days for 25seconds of footage

    xeon 22 core/44 threads, would that like render secret lake in real time?

    http://ark.intel.com/products/91317/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2699-v4-55M-Cache-2_20-GHz

    Not sure anything short of a (big) render farm with lots of nodes using similarly beefy cpus would be capable of rendering a Secret Lake animation in real time  smiley

     

    I can't help but lust after the prospect of a dual-cpu server running 2 of those 44-thread monsters though.  At $4k a pop, those bad boys are well out of reach for me.  The CPUs these z600 servers use were extremely pricey when they were new too.  Who knows?  6 years from now, maybe these E5-2699 will be selling for peanuts on ebay too smiley

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566

    Oh and btw if anyone finds they need to get Windows 10 Pro, apparently you can get a legit key for $20.  Youtube search 'Windows 10 for 20 dollars' and you'll see there are sellers on places like Kinguin dot net going for only 20 bucks.  I haven't done it myself yet, but since I keep seeing all these computers on ebay that come with no operating system or COA, I went searching to find out what the least amount I would need to pay to legally obtain Win10 would be, and I thought I would pass it on.

  • MistaraMistara Posts: 38,675

    Whoa, $4k just for the CPU. Can you imagine a dual CPU workstation with two of those? 88 combined cores? I bet we'd still have to wait for the pre-render light calculation, I think Carrara only does that with a single thread.

    I'd love to see that footage, MistyMist.

     

    i left the pngs up, if you'd like to try them in a video aditor  760 frames
    http://www.realmsandgalaxies.com/SecretLake/

    incognito in my siggie links to my utoob channel

     

    dual 22core dreamheart

     

    single thread light calculation? >.<  need for sss snow

     

  • Jay VersluisJay Versluis Posts: 176
    edited September 2016

    Yeah, it's a shame indeed. It says here, in an official DAZ article: 

    The render engine in Carrara normally uses a multi-threaded render.  That is, if the hardware supports multiple threading in the processor(s), then Carrara will use them. 

    However, if a scene incorporates 'Indirect Lighting,' Then Carrara will perform a first pass before starting the main render.  During this time of the first pass, the progress bar will report "Precalculating Lighting."  During this period of time, it is *not* multi-threaded.  Once this first pass for Indirect Lighting concludes, the main render will begin and will be multi-threaded.

    I like your Secret Lake animation, Misty! Perhaps there's a market for anyone with a render node setup to hire it out on a per-project basis? Could cut 11 days down to an afternoon.

    Post edited by Jay Versluis on
  • Jay VersluisJay Versluis Posts: 176
    edited September 2016

    Thanks for the compliment, Jon - glad you enjoyed my article :-) Oooh, $25 for a genuine Pro license sounds very good indeed! I've seen some on Amazon for over $100, and everyone was complaining that they're not genuine. But at $25, I'm happy to take the risk.

    It's a tricky one in regards to taking the Z600 even further I guess: when you're talking about replacing the CPUs, adding a power supply and a GTX 1080, you're getting into the "real money" realm. Is it worth it? Would it actually work? It's probably cheaper just to get another Z600 for much less and add it to your network. But then of course, there's always the enjoyable tinkering aspect. Keep us posted on your progress, I enjoy hearing about it!

    In the meantime, Happy Rendering to all of us!

    Post edited by Jay Versluis on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566

    Wowsers!  I just picked up a Lenovo D20 dual xeon E5520 machine for $149!   Everything included, with a 500GB hdd, 8 Gb RAM, mouse, keyboard, vga cord, power adapter, only limitation is that no OS is installed (listing didn't say whether there was a COA key on it or not, but either way not much of a limitation).  Going to the 'buy it now' marketplace I can't find any other D20's that are under $300, and all the lower priced ones only have one cpu installed.  I really believe I could turn around and sell this thing immediately for nearly double what I paid for it (not that that's my plan, but it's a nice option).  

    I've been watching ebay auctions rabidly for the last week, and I've never done any bidding on ebay before, but I've been kind of amazed at some of the deals I've seen go through.  It really, really matters what time of day and day of the week a listing comes due for how much of a spread of prices there are.  I've seen several where I was stunned by people overpaying, and others in just the opposite direction. I think it really helps to find 'servers' on the weekends or during late night non-business hours, and I don't think regular consumers are even thinking to look for servers and businesses who would be the main potential rival bidders aren't in office hours or looking.  A smart business selling these things would make sure only to list the items at a time when they knew it was peak business hours for the final selling time, but I'm picturing some lazy government working who doesn't care just listing the item whenever it's most convenient is probably pretty common.

    I do think I'm in serious trouble with this ebay thing though.  I know genetically in my family we have a predispotion for addiction, which is partly why I've never done drugs, drank alchohol, or smoked.  A long while back I was touring the country in a production of Robin Hood and one of the other actors taught me how to play blackjack and took me to a casino.  I won I think a little over $200 and walked away from the experience extremely shaken because I realized afterwards how out of control I was, and I have never gambled since.

    But bidding on ebay feels a *lot* like I did when I was in that casino, my heart rate spikes, adrenaline courses as I watch that timer tick down to the final seconds, can't concentrate or focus and I feel very out of control.  I have now got some tremendous deals, but wow is it nerve-racking and I'm afraid I'm flirting with danger...

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 32,802
    edited September 2016

    my problem is I would not know what to look for if buying old computers to make a farm

    something like this

    http://www.pickles.com.au/general/item/-/details/Workstation--Lenovo--4157M8M--Intel-R--Xeon-R--CPU-W3550--3060MHertz/202471502

    or

    http://www.pickles.com.au/general/item/-/details/Workstation--Lenovo--4105RF5--Intel-R--Xeon-R--CPU-E5620--2400MHertz/202471504

    can be had cheap enough to bundle up a few in a farm but if its any good I would not know

    Post edited by WendyLuvsCatz on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,566
    edited September 2016

    Either of those would work fine, the currently lower-priced one looks like it's got an E5620 which is newer tech with 12MB cache, more than the other but it has also lower Ghz (2.4), whereas the currently higher-priced one has a W3550 with 3.02 Ghz but lower cache of only 8MB.  Either of these would work fine as a render node, and either of them would add 8 more render cores.  These are both 1 cpu devices though, so of course they couldn't be upgraded with dual cpus, but on the other hand you certainly could update the cpu on either of these devices all the way up to a hex core X5690 xeon that runs at 3.46 Ghz and would give you an extra 12 render cores to your setup.  Of course, the X5690 xeons are still kind of expensive when you can more easily obtain a different hex core xeon for much less, like the x5650 which is 2.66 Ghz and I think I saw one going for $50 on ebay, so not a tremendous drop in power and you'd still have 12 extra rendering cores from one of these boxes to add to your setup.  But yeah, either of these would work fine.

    On the other hand if you're asking about how durable/quality the machines and brand is in general, I also wouldn't know, except to say that from my observation usually Lenovo bids up for higher prices than comparable HP servers, and HP servers usually seem to bid up to be more expensive than Dell servers, at least from what I've seen so far.  I do have to say the z600 is a dream to open up and work on, it's made in such a way that theoretically you don't need to use any tools at all (other than your own fingers) to access and remove any component inside it.

    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • is interstate and a PITA to get so will wait till something comes up in my state but yeah several lesser machines if cheap enough  in a farm using render nodes was what I was considering, grid even if on sale again

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109

    I just read Jay's cool article on his blog regarding the Z600 awakening event! What a fun article! 

    I'm kinda glad now that I never throw away those extra power cords (I call them Euro Cords) - I have a box full of them and other assorted cables and connectors.

    It's also a great reminder that we must use a bit of caution going back into yesteryear's technology. Really cool to know that Win 10 Pro has no troubles with it! Go too far back, however, and I'm sure we'd see some flags! LOL

    When I bought my current power supply, I was grateful to find such a deal. The thing can power up all of the latest dual or more GPU setups along with many other extra connections - along with being very stable even under heavy drag. It's so sweet to buy a new GPU and have the correct power connections right there!

    The PSU (Power supply) I had previously was 'modular' in that it came with a plethora of different cables for different things, with a slew of outlets to plug them into in the back. They only plug into specific outlets depending upon the type of cord/power needs. Great concept but the PSU itself didn't last too long.

    Hmmm... a 16 core workstation does sound like a lot of fun!

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