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Upgrading my system for rendering work?

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ikix

Registered
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Location
OCworld
Hi,

I managed to get hold of a base unit for around £120 Pound. So it leaves me with some money to spend. Basically i am going to be using this system for 3ds max work,rendering and other 3d apps such as google sketchup and autocad.

The current system spec is:-

Intel Core2Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz Overclocked to 3.0GHZ
Corsair 2GB DDR2 RAM pc-6400
400GB SATA 2 Hard Drive
512MB Nvidia Geforce 8800GT OC2

Now i've managed to get a few projects for rendering 3ds max work for people, and i need to be able to render the scenes as quickly as possible. What can i do to improve render times.

Im thinking of increasing RAM to around 6-8GB as i think that would help. Not sure why but i think it will.

Also which graphics card should i get? It needs to be quite powerful i think as im running a 32" display at 1360 x 768 even when rendering.
 

Xtreme Barton

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
this post was taken from exq at toms hardware

"The things that will most improve speed, roughly in order of appearance, are:
CPU speed
FPU speed
Buss speed and level one and two memory cache - More is better. The faster the buss speed the faster the processor can swap out computations into its level 2 cache and then read them back in. Buss speed therefore can have a large impact on both FPU and CPU calculation times. The more cache memory you have available the faster the operation becomes because the CPU does not have to rely on the much slower system RAM to store information in.
Memory amount, type, and speed. Faster and more is undoubtably better. Swapping out to the hard drive for increasing memory should be considered the last possible option for increasing system memory. The speed of the read/write to disk operation is like walking compared to driving a car. Here again is were buss speed is a major player in the fast rendering game.
Your OS and number of applications open. Closing open applications, including background items like system monitor, task scheduler, internet connections, windows volume control, and all other applications, people have hiding in the background, can greatly increase rendering time by stealing cpu cycles. Open task manager and see what you have open and then close everything but the absolute necessities. Other multi-tasking OS's have other methods of determining open application and should be used accordingly.
And lastly your graphics card. This may seem unlikely to you but it is true. If you have a simple 16 bit graphics card your render times, compared to other systems with the same processor and memory but better CG cards, will be equal. No more no less. If you play a lot of games or watch a lot of mpeg movies on your system then by all means own a good CG card. If it is rendering and raytracing you want to do then invest in the best system speed and architecture your money can buy. The graphics cards with hardware acceleration are designed to support fast shading of simple polygons, prevalent in the gaming industry, and offer no support for the intense mathematical number crunching that goes on inside a rendering/raytracing program like Pov-Ray, Studio Max, and Lightwave. If your modeling program uses OpenGl shading methods then a CG card with support for OpenGL will help increase the speed of updating the shading window but when it comes time to render or raytrace the image its support dissapears. ."





link to the thread i got it from
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/266511-28-rendering-faster
 
Last edited:

jgv115

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Location
Australia
Probably not within your budget but an upgrade to the i7 860 or 920 will drastically improve your render times
 

Marshmallow64

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Location
California
Graphics card I would recommend the ATI Radeon 4890, good bang for your buck card. I do not know if that will help much though since the CPU is the main thing when rendering.
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
he doesnt need a 4890 i dont think

a good openGL card will help with real time viewing, are things slow right now when viewing in real time?

render time = raw cpu speed / cores

you could get a Q9550 and over clock it nicely, it would show a boost

also a 2nd hard drive, you would have a working drive and a save drive, vs working and saving on the same drive, that will cut back performance.
 
OP
I

ikix

Registered
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Location
OCworld
he doesnt need a 4890 i dont think

a good openGL card will help with real time viewing, are things slow right now when viewing in real time?

render time = raw cpu speed / cores

you could get a Q9550 and over clock it nicely, it would show a boost

also a 2nd hard drive, you would have a working drive and a save drive, vs working and saving on the same drive, that will cut back performance.

Im currently got a msi ms 7357 motherboard its a mini atx board and i think it can support the Q9950 http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-MSI/G33M_(MS-7357).html . However overclocked on this board how high can i get it if its sitting at around 2.8Ghz stock.
I do not have a high end budget so the only real cooling will be a new heatsink and fans. I am limited to 800mhz ddr2 ram.

Probably not within your budget but an upgrade to the i7 860 or 920 will drastically improve your render times

Not sure if the ms 7357 msi board supports i7. Though i have heard great things about the i7 and sometimes an increase of 20-40% quicker render times. However it does support the Intel Xeon chip

E3110 3GHz, C0, 65W, 45nm, 1333 MHz FSB, Wolfdale

X3350 3GHz, C0, 65W, 45nm, 1333 MHz FSB, Yorkfield

X3360 3GHz, C0, 65W, 45nm, 1333 MHz FSB, Yorkfield


Any of those any good and whats the overclocking performance on these Xeon CPUS. Remember only air cooling.

Thanks
 

MattNo5ss

5up3r m0d3r4t0r
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Here are the C2D/Q equivalent of those Xeons:
E3110 = E8400
X3350 = Q9450
X3360 = Q9550

Usually the C2D/Q versions are cheaper.

Is 333MHz your FSB limit? If so, I highly doubt a jump from Q6600 3GHz to Q9550 stock will net you any noticeable improvement. And even if you can get the Q9550 to a high clock 3.8-4.0GHz, I can't see the improvement over a Q6600 being worth the $230 for the Q9550. But that's for you to decide.

Wouldn't adding more RAM help out the rendering program?
 
OP
I

ikix

Registered
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Location
OCworld
Here are the C2D/Q equivalent of those Xeons:
E3110 = E8400
X3350 = Q9450
X3360 = Q9550

Usually the C2D/Q versions are cheaper.

Is 333MHz your FSB limit? If so, I highly doubt a jump from Q6600 3GHz to Q9550 stock will net you any noticeable improvement. And even if you can get the Q9550 to a high clock 3.8-4.0GHz, I can't see the improvement over a Q6600 being worth the $230 for the Q9550. But that's for you to decide.

Wouldn't adding more RAM help out the rendering program?

True i think im going to upgrade slowly just to see what significant changes i can achieve. If i'm limited i think its time for first a motherbaord upgrade maybe one of those nvidia 750i ones i think and then maybe a cpu.

Can any one recommend any motherboards? Preferably one that can take more then 8GB RAM and supports cpu quads/i7. Though i think it would need to be compatible with my q6600 for a while until i can save to get an i7.

I remember reading i7 chips work in triple's with ram for e.g. you can have 1-1-1=3gb ram or 2-2-2=6gb ram 3-3-3=9gb ram 4-4-4=12gb ram. is this true.
 

MattNo5ss

5up3r m0d3r4t0r
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
True i think im going to upgrade slowly just to see what significant changes i can achieve. If i'm limited i think its time for first a motherbaord upgrade maybe one of those nvidia 750i ones i think and then maybe a cpu.

Can any one recommend any motherboards? Preferably one that can take more then 8GB RAM and supports cpu quads/i7. Though i think it would need to be compatible with my q6600 for a while until i can save to get an i7.

I remember reading i7 chips work in triple's with ram for e.g. you can have 1-1-1=3gb ram or 2-2-2=6gb ram 3-3-3=9gb ram 4-4-4=12gb ram. is this true.

Your Q6600 and i5/i7 use completely different motherboard sockets. So, there aren't any motherboards that will support your Q6600 and an i5/i7 CPU.

You can either get a good LGA775 mobo for a Q6600 and Q9550 (P45, X48, 7XXi) or you can save for a little while longer and go i5/i7. I think i5/i7 is the best option in your case. This is b/c if you upgraded to a Q9550/Q9650 you would spend $230-$330 for just a CPU, whereas you could get i5/i7(P55) CPU/Mobo/RAM for as low as $410 or i7(X58) for ~$620

You're right that X58 motherboards support triple channel DDR3 RAM, so you can have 3x1GB, 3x2GB, 3x4GB, 6x1GB, 6x2GB, or 6x4GB of RAM. P55 motherboards use dual channel DDR3 so 2x1GB, 2x2GB, 2x4GB, 4x1GB, 4x2GB, or 4x4GB.
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
the 9550 is a jump from a Q6600, faster process, not huge but it would be a jump when rendering.

also ram wouldn't help as much in rendering, as rendering = cpu power mostly.