Drivers not Living up to their Full Potential

I’ve recently invested about $700 into a custom computer that is supposed to increase my experience in 3D modeling software and decrease render time. But, I’m feeling like I’m not getting the full potential out of Blender or my graphics Card.

I have a Quadro pny fx 580 graphics card from NVidia. I know it’s not a lot, but it should still work better than it does now. I know the card works for everything else (Games, Videos, etc…) but in Blender it:

  • renders as fast as a board graphics unit (Which it may be using to render. It could just be bypassing the card. I don’t know.)
  • crashes on renders that include heavy ammounts of ray tracing

There might be one of many things wrong with it:

  • I’m using Ubuntu Karmic (This probably isn’t it since I’ve seen many people use Blender just fine on this before)
  • There is a problem with my driver (I’m using the NVidia Accelerated Graphics Driver (Version 65))
  • There’s a glitch with 2.5 Alpha 2 that only effects me.

Or there could be another reason. Here are my specs:

misalignsse 3dnowprefetch osvw ibs skinit wdt cpufreq
*-cache:0
description: L1 cache
physical id: a
slot: Internal Cache
size: 128KiB
capacity: 128KiB
capabilities: synchronous internal write-back
*-cache:1
description: L2 cache
physical id: c
slot: External Cache
size: 512KiB
capacity: 512KiB
capabilities: synchronous internal write-back
*-cache
description: L1 cache
physical id: b
slot: Internal Cache
size: 128KiB
capacity: 128KiB
capabilities: synchronous internal write-back
*-memory
description: System Memory
physical id: 25
slot: System board or motherboard
size: 4GiB
*-bank:0
description: DIMM 800 MHz (1.2 ns)
product: None
vendor: None
physical id: 0
serial: None
slot: A0
size: 2GiB
width: 64 bits
clock: 800MHz (1.2ns)
*-bank:1
description: DIMM 800 MHz (1.2 ns)
product: None
vendor: None
physical id: 1
serial: None
slot: A1
size: 2GiB
width: 64 bits
clock: 800MHz (1.2ns)
*-bank:2
description: DIMM 800 MHz (1.2 ns) [empty]
product: None
vendor: None
physical id: 2
serial: None
slot: A2
width: 64 bits
clock: 800MHz (1.2ns)
*-bank:3
description: DIMM 800 MHz (1.2 ns) [empty]
product: None
vendor: None
physical id: 3
serial: None
slot: A3
width: 64 bits
clock: 800MHz (1.2ns)
*-cpu:1
physical id: 1
bus info: [email protected]
version: 15.4.2
size: 800MHz
capacity: 800MHz
capabilities: cpufreq
*-cache:0
description: L1 cache
physical id: 0
size: 128KiB
*-cache:1
description: L2 cache
physical id: 1
size: 512KiB
*-cpu:2
physical id: 2
bus info: [email protected]
version: 15.4.2
size: 800MHz
capacity: 800MHz
capabilities: cpufreq
*-cache:0
description: L1 cache
physical id: 0
size: 128KiB
*-cache:1
description: L2 cache
physical id: 1
size: 512KiB
*-cpu:3
physical id: 3
bus info: [email protected]
version: 15.4.2
size: 800MHz
capacity: 800MHz
capabilities: cpufreq
*-cache:0
description: L1 cache
physical id: 0
size: 128KiB
*-cache:1
description: L2 cache
physical id: 1
size: 512KiB
*-pci:0
description: Host bridge
product: RS780 Host Bridge Alternate
vendor: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]
physical id: 100
bus info: [email protected]:00:00.0
version: 00
width: 64 bits
clock: 66MHz
configuration: latency=32
resources: memory:0-1fffffff
*-pci:0
description: PCI bridge
product: RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (ext gfx port 0)
vendor: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]
physical id: 2
bus info: [email protected]:00:02.0
version: 00
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pci pm pciexpress msi ht bus_master cap_list
configuration: driver=pcieport-driver
resources: irq:25 ioport:e000(size=4096) memory:f8000000-fbffffff ioport:c0000000(size=536870912)
*-display
description: VGA compatible controller
product: G96 [Quadro FX 580]
vendor: nVidia Corporation
physical id: 0
bus info: [email protected]:01:00.0
version: a1
width: 64 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom
configuration: driver=nvidia latency=0
resources: irq:18 memory:fa000000-faffffff memory:c0000000-dfffffff(prefetchable) memory:f8000000-f9ffffff ioport:ef00(size=128) memory:fb000000-fb07ffff(prefetchable)
*-pci:1
description: PCI bridge
product: RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 5)
vendor: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]
physical id: a
bus info: [email protected]:00:0a.0
version: 00
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pci pm pciexpress msi ht bus_master cap_list
configuration: driver=pcieport-driver
resources: irq:26 ioport:d000(size=4096) memory:fdc00000-fdcfffff ioport:fdf00000(size=1048576)
*-storage
description: SATA controller
product: SB700/SB800 SATA Controller [AHCI mode]
vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
physical id: 11
bus info: [email protected]:00:11.0
logical name: scsi2
logical name: scsi4
version: 00
width: 32 bits
clock: 66MHz
capabilities: storage pm bus_master cap_list emulated
configuration: driver=ahci latency=32
resources: irq:22 ioport:ff00(size=8) ioport:fe00(size=4) ioport:fd00(size=8) ioport:fc00(size=4) ioport:fb00(size=16) memory:fe02f000-fe02f3ff
*-cdrom
description: DVD-RAM writer
product: CDDVDW TS-H653N
vendor: TSSTcorp
physical id: 0
bus info: [email protected]:0.0.0
logical name: /dev/cdrom2
logical name: /dev/cdrw2
logical name: /dev/dvd2
logical name: /dev/dvdrw2
logical name: /dev/scd0
logical name: /dev/sr0
logical name: /media/cdrom0
version: 0208
capabilities: removable audio cd-r cd-rw dvd dvd-r dvd-ram
configuration: ansiversion=5 mount.fstype=iso9660 mount.options=ro,nosuid,nodev,relatime,utf8 state=mounted status=ready
*-medium
physical id: 0
logical name: /dev/cdrom2
logical name: /media/cdrom0
configuration: mount.fstype=iso9660 mount.options=ro,nosuid,nodev,relatime,utf8 state=mounted
*-disk
description: ATA Disk
product: WDC WD5000BEVT-0
vendor: Western Digital
physical id: 1
bus info: [email protected]:0.0.0
logical name: /dev/sda
version: 01.0
serial: WD-WX80A89V4290
size: 465GiB (500GB)
capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
configuration: ansiversion=5 signature=000378a5
*-volume:0
description: EXT4 volume
vendor: Linux
physical id: 1
bus info: [email protected]:0.0.0,1
logical name: /dev/sda1
logical name: /
version: 1.0
serial: 04691010-6913-44f6-a50a-861d945fd921
size: 457GiB
capacity: 457GiB
capabilities: primary bootable journaled extended_attributes large_files huge_files dir_nlink extents ext4 ext2 initialized

Thanks. If you have any ideas about what’s wrong I’d appreciate them.

What’s the glitch? I have one that only affects me and 2 others that I know of… just curious…

Now I could be very wrong here, but AFAIK rendering is a cpu task as long as your not using a gpu render like octane. So if you can display graphics fine, but can’t render… don’t blame the video card…

I know that’s not much help…
Randy

Unless you’re using a special 3rd party external renderer, the GPU is not used for rendering, you want a fast multicore cpu.
You say you’re using 2.5alpha2. I assume this is the one from blender.org. This version is way way out of date. There have been masses of changes/bug fixes since then so get a recent build. There are even ones optimised for faster rendering. Try them out before making a real judgement on your hardware.

Ok, Thanks for that, but my processor should be able to do a somewhat quality job as well. Its an AMD Phenom II quad-core processor. But, I’ll have to do a bit of research on that.

Thanks again. I learned something about computers today.

Recent builds can be downloaded from graphicall.org.

If you are on Ubuntu 64 bit, and with your nice quad core I’ll bet you are, then you can try this optimized build that I made which works really fast on both of my computers that I run it on.

Thanks for that… Um… I feel really stupid here, but whenever I try to use the builds from graphicall.org I download them, unzip the file into my downloads folder, and try to open the blender application. But, Blender never opens. I can only run the ones I download from blender.org. Is there anything special I need to do for the graphicall builds?

I tried to run the application from graphicall.org with terminal and it came up with a syntax error saying:

1: Syntax error: word unexpected (expecting “)”)

It didn’t tell me where the error is, but I would assume it is in the blender executable itself. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to access the coding for that.