TurboCAD Forums

Turbo Talk => General Discussion => Topic started by: sgedesigns on April 24, 2010, 09:27:19 PM

Title: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: sgedesigns on April 24, 2010, 09:27:19 PM
I need a faster machine.  Waiting over an hour to see if a postage-stamp size preview rendering looks right is just waaay tooo long.  Render to file takes 6 hours, so it's overnight or I can't use the machine for anything else.  So aside from the graphics card (more in a minute), here's what I think is true, from reading lots of posts.  Is this right ?  Please correct me if not.

1)  on multicore processors, TCAD only uses one core
2)  on multiprocessor machines, TCAD only uses one processor
3)  max RAM TCAD can use is 2Gb

So it seems that the fastest processor, front-side bus and RAM I can get will do the most.  And when I upgrade to v17, 512K or 1Mb VRAM would be a bonus.  Am I on the right track ? 

Budget is tight, new system out of the question, so I'm looking at used Precision 490s from eBay for around $600-700.  They usually have a pair of dual-core chips, up to 3.7MHz.  Two chips and more ram would be a plus for photoshop and dtp, even if TCAD doesn't use them.

So . . .what's fast and costs $700 ?

Thanks/Steve
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: wd on April 27, 2010, 07:50:15 AM
"What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ? "I find that when I upgraded to Windows 7 Pro  I have a better performance.My experience with Vista was nothing but problems.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Brad Easterday on April 28, 2010, 09:26:55 PM
So it seems that the fastest processor, front-side bus and RAM I can get will do the most.  And when I upgrade to v17, 512K or 1Mb VRAM would be a bonus.  Am I on the right track ?  

I would say you're on the right track. In my experience with TC, processor speed, FSB and RAM certainly do the most for rendering. On the old forum a small render testing program was posted that provides the minutes and seconds taken to render the test scene. I wish I could remember who posted it. I still have a copy and it works fine on XP, Vista and Win7 machines. I believe it's okay to re-post the program since it was originally offered to the forum public, so I've attached it below.

If anyone would like to test their machine and post the results along with their system specs I think we can give Steve a good idea of what is pulling good numbers these days. I built my computer about three years ago, so I'm sure some of the newer processors out there will produce a better result than I can offer.

There are four .bat files in the zip file that will each test a different resolution on a machine. If everyone can post results from the "800x600.bat" test we can compare based on the same test. To run the test just unzip the folder and click the "800x600.bat" file. When the test is complete a dialog window will pop up with the resulting time.

My Result:
800x600 @ 2min, 50sec
Vista Ultimate SP2
E6700 Intel® Core™2 Duo processor running @ 3.2 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB
4 GB DDR2 RAM (PC2 6400)
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Don Cheke on April 28, 2010, 09:44:31 PM
Well, if the render test is a contest I suspect I will lose with my old HP.

My Result:
800x600 @ 4min, 45sec
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Guojing on April 28, 2010, 10:43:57 PM
Hi Steve

There's an older thread about performance of different machines and the render-test in this forum:
http://forums.turbocad.com/index.php/topic,856.0.html
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Julian Thomas on April 28, 2010, 10:50:29 PM
See my signature
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: John R on April 29, 2010, 03:00:06 AM
If anyone would like to test their machine and post the results along with their system specs…

No real difference since Aug 2009 (http://forums.turbocad.com/index.php/topic,856.msg4694.html#msg4694).

2 min., 22 sec.

Intel® Xeon® CPU — W5580  @ 3.20GHz, Quad Core
RAM — 6GB, DDR3 RDIMM Memory, 1333MHz, ECC
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800, 1.50 GB
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: T. Karlmann on April 29, 2010, 07:41:22 AM
Wow, I must be really Quick:
0 min, 22 sec.

I have quad-core processor and dual graphics cards that are linked.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Don Cheke on April 29, 2010, 08:05:18 AM
Wow, I must be really Quick:
0 min, 22 sec.

I have quad-core processor and dual graphics cards that are linked.
Wow, I must be really Quick:
0 min, 22 sec.

I have quad-core processor and dual graphics cards that are linked.

Looks like you ran one of the small size tests. Try double clicking the the 800x600.bat file.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: groundhog on April 29, 2010, 10:03:43 AM
Hey Don,
I beat you with a whopping 4 min. 39 sec.! That is on my machine at work.
Dual Core running at 2GH, 800 MHz bus
3G memory
But using the on-board graphics chip (Intel 946 GZ Express), which I am guessing the bottleneck is.

Will post tonight with my home machine, which I think hope will be better?

Mike Paul
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Andy H on April 29, 2010, 10:11:27 AM
2 minutes 54 seconds

2.66 intel i7 processor, single nvidia gfx 260 graphics, 6 gig ram, windows 7.

Andy
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Richard on April 29, 2010, 12:41:06 PM
I wish I could remember who posted it.

George McNamara shared it on the public forum Sept/03 originally from Vlad of SoftDev.

800x600
2 min 27sec
i7 860 @ 2.80 Ghz
8.00 GB Ram
Win 7
ATI Radeon 4650
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Brad Easterday on April 29, 2010, 12:50:26 PM
I wish I could remember who posted it.
George McNamara shared it on the public forum Sept/03 originally from Vlad of SoftDev.

Thanks for jogging my memory Richard. And thank you Vlad for the test program.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: John R on April 29, 2010, 03:18:27 PM
I ran all the tests, plus I added some for my current screen(s) native resolution.  ;D


Title: rendertest
Post by: sgedesigns on April 29, 2010, 11:19:57 PM
Yeh, my 670 is a bit slow. . . 5m 50s.  OK, so more like 4 minutes seems within reach . . this is good to look forward to.  Right now can't afford to layout the bucks anyway, but  there seems to always be lots of choice 490s on eBay, so an even better setup will be there when I'm ready <futurevibe>.  And I'm still learning, so except for those big renders, it's cool for now.  Small models like the one attached are workable, it rendered while I was over at the shop for a few hours today.  Haha, on this I still did the first pass in DesignCAD, and then when imported, polylines and sweeps didn't work right.  Gotta work the whole thing in TCAD.  Thanks for the lively conversation and specs.
Steve
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Jeffin90620 on April 30, 2010, 03:07:56 AM
My performance seems to be somewhat below midrange.

Jeff
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: groundhog on April 30, 2010, 06:02:39 PM
Work Machine;
Quote
4 min. 39 sec.! That is on my machine at work.
Dual Core running at 2GH, 800 MHz bus
3G memory
But using the on-board graphics chip (Intel 946 GZ Express), which I am guessing the bottleneck is.

Home 2 min. 41 sec.
Dual Core running at 3.33
3G memory
GeForce 9400GT with 1gig memory

both running XP Pro SP3
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: sgedesigns on April 30, 2010, 09:59:17 PM
Well, from everyone's setups, it seems that dual-core chips are key, not even so much clock speed.  Then at least 3GB ram and as much vram as possible.  Now we know what works, that's great.

Been thinking that when I add the new system, maybe I'll keep this machine on the network as a background renderbox . . . ?

Steve
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: lemel_man on May 02, 2010, 01:50:16 AM
Well, from everyone's setups, it seems that dual-core chips are key, not even so much clock speed.  Then at least 3GB ram and as much vram as possible.  Now we know what works, that's great.

Steve
I don't think that's right.
I got 2m 46s on a 3.15GHz Intel Core2 Duo with 4GB 1066 RAM and Nvidia 8400 running under XP Pro+SP3.
Only one core was used and the RAM usage was never more than 1.24GB.
I reckon processor and RAM speed are the main players, assuming sufficient RAM. Multiple cores (currently) buy nothing for TCAD.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Guojing on May 02, 2010, 06:47:51 AM
The operating system might matter too.

Looking at the state of the art computers of Richard and Andy (running on Windows 7), whose core i7 CPU should nominally outperform Core 2 Duo CPU's with higher speeds because of their more sophisticated architecture, with RAM exceeding 6GB and all, their machines should way outperform, say Lemel's, Groundhog's, or mine (running XP), but they are just right about there. - Please don't take the comparison personal, it's just my observation...

BDW: Intel Core 2 duo, 3.16GHz, 3GB DDR2 800 SDRAM, WinXP Rro SP3 (Downgraded from Vista) ATI Radeon HD3650 Graphics card with 512MB RAM, 2min. 49s (the graphics card did not do better than the onboard chip with 256MB!)

Cheers Kurt
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: POEMC on May 02, 2010, 06:09:36 PM
Thanks for all the helpful information on how TCAD uses the processor and ram. I am in the process of getting a new computer and wanted to make sure I pick the rignt components for rendering speed while not breaking the bank.

I know it has been stated that TCAD only uses one core so the clock speed is more impartant than the number of cores. But I was wondering about the difference between getting the new i7 620M-4MB-2.67 GHz with 4GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM, or the i7 720QM-6MB-1.60 GHz with 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM? The clock speed is slower but the ram speed is faster. This is for a Dell Mobile Precision 4500.

Also does it matter if the new operating system is 32 or 64 bit?

I would appreciate any advice anyone can give.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: Stephane F. on May 02, 2010, 07:20:29 PM
HI!

You are right to believe that clock speed or architecture has something to do with rendering time. I had a intel D820 processor clocked at 2.8 GHz with blown by hi temperatures (bad architecture).
I then upgraded to a 2.2 GHz Intel E2200 and it ran the test faster. I actually have a e5400 processor base clocked at 2.7 GHZ OC'd to 2.9 (temp and perf. wise) that gets me to a relatively reasonable 3 mins 3 for the rendertest.
Quad core are not an advantage if you are looking for TurboCAD. If you overclock them, they produce more heat. If you use any other multi-threaded 3D renderer, they have a real gain over a dual-core though.

Actually, the fastest processors are intel I7 models if you are looking for brute processing. AMD are WAY cheaper (for price, not for overall comparison) as they can perform as an hi-level I7 but for quarter of the price. The motherboard are less expensive for AMD too.
You can also look for intel i5 processors that have a high base clock (intel i5 660 and higher) that will process a lot of data.

Some of the guys on this forum have server class processors (Xeon and Opterons which last one is from AMD). The only feed-back I would like is : does this work with every day applications? Does it support home class processor instructions?

www.tomshardware.com might get a light on all this.
Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: sgedesigns on May 03, 2010, 09:29:29 PM
Well, for my circa 2004 Xeon, every type of program has run fine - MS Office, Acrobat, Firefox, Visio, PagePlus, Quicken, as well as DesignCAD, various dwg converters, atomic clock sync, everything. 

So then dual-core chips don't speed up TCAD, since it only uses one core, is this our consensus ?  What makes the biggest difference appears to be the more evolved architectures inside the core, which can supercede clock speed.  Makes sense, right ?

Conclusion - in searching for the best Precision 490, the newest processor family will be the most desirable, with the fastest FSB.  Clock speed doesn't have to be absolutely the fastest.  RAM could go to 4GB, so other apps have some room to run concurrently, and maybe even a ramdisk.  Haha, do we still have those ? ;D  Graphics card, 256Mb would be OK, again, more would be good for other apps, and Redway. 

Here's an idea - IMSI could sell machines optimized for TurboCAD !  Don't know if they want to get into the hardware business, but they sure have a large installed base.  Are you listening IMSI ?  A small commission will be fine . . .

Steve



Title: Re: What makes a fast TurboCAD machine ?
Post by: tcw2010 on May 07, 2010, 11:52:58 AM
As what WD quoted about the Windows 7 upgrade when I upgraded both my AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Gateway AMD Turion X2 dual core machines form Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit) to Windows 7 pro (64-bit) I noticed a real speed difference and performance boost in TCW 17 Deluxe.

I agree that either dual or quad core 64-bit CPU platforms and 64-bit OS are the way to go plus any good ATI Radeon or NVIDA GPU with 512GB or more memory really helps in the gradient rendering performance, smooth shading, snap points.