I’m getting tired of waiting 3+ hours to render, and have some money to spare. What’s the best way to increase render times?
I noticed in task manager (or top in linux I suppose, I tend to use windows usually), that the CPU is at 100% whenever yafray is rendering, while memory usage is only about 20MB, though it creeps up really slowly.
Does this mean raytracers basically brute force calculations through the CPU?
I already have 512MB Ram, and currently have a AthlonXP 2400+ (runs at 2.0 Ghz). If I upgraded to an AthlonXP 3200+ would I notice a significant decrease in render times?
I believe that Yafray can utilize multiple processors. If you have enough money to spend, get yourself a dual P4 or Athlon MP mobo with processors, then spec Yaf to use both. Get a GB of RAM. That’ll do it.
Barring that, put the fastest processor on your mobo that it can run, and push your RAM up to 1 GB.
There has also been some experiments with Intel (also works with AMD) optimized builds of blender that dramatically increase render times (Blender internal renderer). This doesn’t help with Yafray but it would be interesting if someone could try and compile Yafray with optimization. Not sure if it’s possible but worth looking at.
I agree that hardware wise, CPU upgrade is the way to go. I’ve also noticed marked improvement in render times under Linux vs Windows on the same machine.
My plan is set up an Xbox rendering farm, running Linux, probably with Yafray as a renderer. I’ve heard they may drop the price to $100 this summer, so it may be the most CPU cycles you can buy for the price.
Think about it – for the price of a decent commodity PC, you can buy 10 XBoxes, and some network gear. Each probably only has about half the rendering power of a new PC, but it’s still a system with impressive specs, and probably about a quarter of the cost of an equivality PC-based system, no matter how beige the box.
Of course, what you don’t pay in money, you may pay in time. Setting up a system like this – chipping the boxes, installing the OS, cabling it up – is a non-trivial proposition.
umm, your standards for decent are quite different from mine
(or you buy intel hardware)
so, build your own decent system costs:
cpu and mobo, $130 (athlon xp 2400 or 2600)
ram $150 (512Mb)
no hard disk (it is a render farm, if you need to hold more put in more ram)
perhaps a floppy or cdrom (else network boot) $15
video card $20
nic card $15 - $50 (gigabit? could a gigabit card work on such an inexpensive mobo?)
I don’t exactly think modding xboxes to use in a renderfarm is worth the effort manily because they have so little ram (64Mb).
Ahahaha, my Dual Processor 2GHz G5 with FOUR gigs of RAM flies through all renders. Get a mac. They’re better. Way more stable. Way more fun. I was a die-hard pc user for years, then my 3.2 GHz P4 keeled over, the company (Alienware - they’re dicks.) refused to replace it, and I switched to apple. Haven’t been happier.
I would, if I had enough money to get multiple PC’s for different purposes. But I imagine that alienware was a mean-machine for gaming, while the mac, well, there aren’t many games made for it really are there?
The best way to speed up renders is a faster processor. I also found a 10 to 15 % speed increase when using Linux (Mandrake 10.0) and another 10% when I switched to Gentoo (stage 1, EVERYTHING compiled from source with optimizations for my processor)
If you’re using windows, use the task manager to shut down all those unneeded processes that always seem to be running (like realplayer - HATE that thing) and disconnect from the net so you can stop your antivirus, etc.
There’s an Athlon 64 and also make sure the CPU you buy have the most amount of cache with it. Also make sure you have the highest speed for the cpu as well, you may also want to make sure that the memory you buy is to the highest speed and proper voltage according to your mainboard manual. Get a fast Ultra ATA2 with SATA support but an SCSI hard drive is much faster. Also take into account the RPM of the hard drive. And make sure you get a graphic card with the highest amount of SRAM.
Get a fast Ultra ATA2 with SATA support but an SCSI hard drive is much faster. Also take into account the RPM of the hard drive. And make sure you get a graphic card with the highest amount of SRAM.
Hard drive speed only affects render speed if you have insufficient memory. You’re better off getting more memory, it will be much faster than swap (or page file for you MS users).
And the graphics card has NOTHING to do with render speed.
There’s an Athlon 64 and also make sure the CPU you buy have the most amount of cache with it. Also make sure you have the highest speed for the cpu as well, you may also want to make sure that the memory you buy is to the highest speed and proper voltage according to your mainboard manual.
This is truly good advice. Many people don’t think about memory speed, and even fewer think about cache size. Both would affect render speed. Select a Mobo that supports the highest speed registered memory (and the most of it) that you can find.
64 bit procs seem to be faster than 32 bit procs, even when running in 32 bit mode, so that’s a good choice even if you use regular Windows and the precompiled Blender binaries.
I may be wrong, but I believe the procs floating point math speed is the key element in render speed, and AMD chips benchmark noticably higher than equivalent Intel chips in floating point calculations. Of course, that’s in the benchmarks, and may not be true in real life apps.