Mac/Win Performance Tests

Started by ajoe, September 08, 2008, 09:22:35 am

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inkydigit

using the benchmark from http://tg2bench.kk3d.de/
when I tested 1.9.98.1 on my iMac -intel core 2 duo - 2.4 ghz - 3 gb Ram
took 2minutes 25 seconds

ajoe

Now that we have some of this sorted out--at least as much as possible at this stage of development--I would only add that it is a bit frustrating to have all this cpu power and RAM be underutilized while having to wait for renders.

My activity monitor shows that TG2 typically only uses 1/16 of available RAM and about 1/2 of available CPUs, at least with the render settings I have tried to exploit.

If there is a way in future development to give the user the option to have TG2 use the maximum resources available, I would certainly appreciate shorter render times and improved 3d Preview performance.

Just my 2 cents.

Joe

RArcher

There are options right now to use the maximum resources available, but not all scenes are going to use the maximum amount of RAM that you have.

In my experience, having large amounts of RAM is only useful when you are using large amounts of objects and populations.  For scenes without populations of objects you will not see much of your RAM being used. 

In terms of your cpu usage, you are directly controlling that by reducing the threads you are using.  By restricting your threads to a maximum of 2 or 4, what you are doing is limiting your computer to using either a max of 2 or 4 of your cores instead of the full 8. 

Right now your best bet seems to go with default settings using Vista 64 which will use all 8 cores.  However if you are determined to use OSX you could try to experiment with running two separate instances of TG2, each one restricting the threads to 4. Theoretically this should max out your cpu usage without running into the current problems you are facing when trying to use all 8 cores within a single instance.


ajoe

Quote from: RArcher on September 09, 2008, 12:25:43 pm
There are options right now...


Thanks for the suggestions. I am continuing to experiment. My problem is that I am Mac guy at heart, having used Macs since '85, so that is where I am most comfortable and where I do my primary work.

However, TG2 is not the only app I have that likes the Windows side, so it is looking more and more like I need to get comfortable living in Windows.

Incidentally, although I only have cursory observations at this point, it does appear that the quality of the final renders are superior on Windows. I'm going to do some more tests on that aspect of things and will report back.

Joe

jo

Hi Joe,

TG2 is using only half your CPU power because you've set it to use 4 cores. As you've found, right now TG2 doesn't scale well beyond 4 cores and gets slower once you go over that. This is probably largely because of overhead incurred by the OS, relative to Windows and Linux. As I said before, this is effecting a number of Mac developers. Hopefully Apple will resolve some of these issues, but at the moment they're suggesting workarounds which are quite a lot of work which is especially annoying when then Windows version, for example, requires no changes to perform well.

TG2 is currently at alpha level. When we move to beta we will be able to spend more time investigating performance issues and may be able to optimise things so the renderer scales better with more cores.

Part of the reason the 3D Preview is relatively slow is that it isn't multithreaded yet. Originally we did have it multithreaded but it lead to stability issues. I believe at some point we'll look into the changes required to make it stable when threaded, we know what's required but it will take some time. It may not happen prior to the final release.

TG2 only uses as much RAM as it needs. Sometimes that means it wants far more than you have available, sometimes it needs far less. There is no particular benefit to just grabbing all your RAM if it doesn't need it, in fact that may lead to your system as a whole slowing down. At the moment TG2 Mac will take up to about 1/2 of your RAM max, I think you said you have 8 GB and TG2 Mac can only use a maximum of 4 GB. This is the same for every application you use which is 32 bit and not 64 bit. After the final release we will be working on making both the Mac and Windows versions 64 bit and then TG2 Mac will be able to use all your RAM if that's is what is required for your scene.

Regards,

Jo

ajoe

Jo,

Thanks for the feedback and your participation in this thread. I respect the fact that TG2 is early in the development process and there is much to be done. But, since this is in public preview, I hope that Mac users don't get turned off by the performance. The render qualities are superb but if I was on a lesser machine, I don't know that I could handle the 3d Preview and render performance.

But it sounds like you folks are on top of it.

Thanks,

Joe

efflux

I don't have an Intel Mac but I have a G5 dual core. I was a bit disappointed with render times on My Mac with the multi core TG2 compared to my Windows HT PIV machine.

I've moved nearly all of what I do to Linux now. Even Windows apps running under Wine are outperforming from a Windows system.

TG2 runs out the box now on Linux Wine but unfortunately rendering performance is not so good. The MSI installer works and I didn't need to pull any .dlls from Windows.

My Mac is heading for eBay because Linux is way way ahead of both Windows and OSX now. I'd have said Apple were top dog at one point but now I'd go as far as to say they are below Windows (XP that is). OSX is simply too bloated now. I've moved all my audio production off the Mac and Linux's audio performance completely destroys my Mac. This is on a 6 year old PC!

I'd say a TG2 Linux rendering engine is a must.

plugsnpixels

efflux, I'm interested in more details about your Linux migration and your comments about OS-X. I'm a Mac user that runs Windows via Parallels as necessary; I've played with Ubuntu Linux in the past and while I like the concept (everything is free and the community seems to really care about its work), I can't see using it full-time, especially after getting used to all the goodies available for OS-X. Perhaps if I were a Windows user looking for an escape...

I'm curious why you don't run Linux on your G5, unless the old PC's processor is somehow faster.

This is not a Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux post; I'm really interested in your experiences and opinions. Perhaps your decision is based around TG2 itself and its performance on Macs, but you also mentioned audio work (Audacity?).
Free digital imaging ezine
www.plugsandpixels.com

ajoe

Quote from: plugsnpixels on September 13, 2008, 03:48:41 pm

This is not a Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux post...


Correct. This is not an OS issue but a software specific issue with Terragen. I've done tests with modo and Vue using this same set up and found the render times to be virtually identical on both Win and Mac.

Firechild

March 15, 2012, 05:36:56 am #24 Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 05:56:50 am by Firechild
I am really interested in more recent figures Mac vs Win performance.
I am building my scenes on a Mac Pro hexacore and I´m quite satisfied with the rendering speed. All 12 cores are working very hard. However the 3D preview is another matter... looking on tutorials on youtube made on windows the 3D preview screen updates WAY faster than on my Mac Pro. Also the 3D preview is not using more than 1 core, correct ? Or is it just on OS X Terragen2 uses only 1 core for 3D preview ?

I have also another 8 core Mac Pro that will be my rendering machine so my question is. Will I get faster rendering times with Terragen 2 installing windows 7 on a bootcamp partition instead of using Snow Leopard?

Edit: I saw in another thread that 3D preview is one core on both platforms.
However, still interesting in rendering times Mac vs Win ( on the same or similar machine of course ).

jo

Hi,

With regards to rendering speeds I would say the Windows version is perhaps a smidgen faster than the Mac version but there's not much in it. The upcoming v2.4 release does make some further improvements in some cases. I don't think it's enough difference to install Windows. This is from testing with OS X (10.6) and Windows (64 bit Vista) on the same Mac Pro, using Bootcamp for Windows. If you have a copy of Windows already you could try and see if there's a difference with types of scenes you're rendering but I'm pretty confident the performance will be similar. When I was doing some testing a while back the Mac version was even a bit faster sometimes.

It's interesting you say you've noticed a speed difference in the preview rendering. I'm responsible for the Mac version but I also do a lot of the Windows stuff as well so I'm often booted into Windows on my Mac Pro. I've never noticed any particular difference but I also spend most of my time working with debug builds (when not doing performance tests) which are slower than release and not good for gauging performance. I'll have to check it out.

The 3D Preview uses only 1 core on both Mac and Windows.

Regards,

Jo

reck

Quote from: jo on March 15, 2012, 06:31:22 am


The 3D Preview uses only 1 core on both Mac and Windows.



Is there nothing to add after this bit? Like "... but in 2.5 the preview window will be multi-threaded and take advantage of all cores"  ;D

hehe I know that request is on the list but I guess we won't get that any time soon? Thinking about it wasn't multi-threading added to the preview windows around the same times that the main renderer was multi-threaded but it had to be taken out because of issues?

Firechild

@ Jo
Ok, thanks. I don´t have a Windows version installed so I am glad that you say the performance should be similar on both platforms. You saved me 2-3 hours work of not going through a windows installation procedure... :D

ajcgi

Quote from: reck on March 15, 2012, 09:03:42 am
Quote from: jo on March 15, 2012, 06:31:22 am


The 3D Preview uses only 1 core on both Mac and Windows.



Is there nothing to add after this bit? Like "... but in 2.5 the preview window will be multi-threaded and take advantage of all cores"  ;D

hehe I know that request is on the list but I guess we won't get that any time soon? Thinking about it wasn't multi-threading added to the preview windows around the same times that the main renderer was multi-threaded but it had to be taken out because of issues?


Man even just 2 threads would be nice. got an 8 core thing here that barely ticks over previewing. Just a waste. I end up quick rendering for the simplest of changes.

elipsis1

Quote from: jo on September 10, 2008, 08:55:44 pm
right now TG2 doesn't scale well beyond 4 cores and gets slower once you go over that.


On my Macbook Pro i7 machine, should I limit the cores to 4 then?