Anybody using dual processors out there? Does it make a world of differenc or are rendering times only slightly improved?
Yeah good post, what tasks in Lightwave does a dual cpu mac excel at?
The area of Lightwave OSX that lets you directly manipulate its usage of dual processors is rendering where you can choose to use either 1, 2, 4 or 8 threads. With most duals using 4 or 8 threads will yield significantly faster render times (maybe 40% faster). However there are many things to watch - often times volumetric lighting and HVs work best with lower thread settings; specific images seem to work better with lower thread values; some effects (like baking) require a single thread. It's often a case of suck it and see.
The real question is how effectively does OSX distribute the elements of Lightwave that aren't specifically coded by Newtek for threading in OSX - Viper, OGL, Modeling operations, PFX, Motion Designer etc. I'm pretty certain that MD and PFX are not multithreaded on a Mac. For many other tasks you rarely see concurrent maximum dual processor usage (as you do when you're rendering) - you normally see both processors used so that the cumulative amount adds up to 100% i.e. 30% of one processor and 70% of another. The load is being distrubuted but not such that it utilises both processors fully.
The Mac Lightwave Resource Page
They're great in the respect that you can switch to a different app (like a web browser or email) and still render in the background without the machine coming to a grinding halt.
Being able to run another App while rendering in the BG is great, but I could just switch over to my PC while my Mac renders. I'm interested in gains in productivity, if I can render faster I can do more work. Are dual processors worth the investment?
it's noticably faster for me. I haven't any benchmarks for you, but I definitely notice a boost worth the investment in a dual processor machine.
normally i am different
Well the benchmarks are here -> http://www.blanos.com/benchmark/
An additional advantage is in network rendering. A dual processor machine can be set up as two render nodes, rather than just one, maximizing the processor power of the system.