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yaschan
08-24-2009, 07:40 AM
I have been using my Macbook Pro 2,4 for rendering about a year now. I decided finally to step up and now I'm considering the new Mac Pro Quad. Do you think there will be a big increase in speed?
I'd love to hear what hardware do you guys use for rendering. Has anyone set up screamernet with intel macs?

littlewaves
08-24-2009, 10:14 AM
if you're just after a render speed increase then why not get a couple of (much cheaper) quad PCs and then you've got a farm. You still get to work on your macbook pro if you prefer that and just render via screamernet to the PCs

Personally I don't really see that the quad core Mac Pro is worth the money. The eight core version is still competitive against other 8-core workstations but the quad core has always seemed outrageously overpriced to me compared to PC equivalent.

I know as mac users we're used to paying more and there's more to it than just chip speed but this is one model where I really don't think it can be argued that you're getting value for money

Of course the Mac pro quad core is still one hell of a machine. I just don't think it justifies the price tag

Anyway just my opinion.

for a pretty comprehensive guide to screamernet on osx see this site by Scazzino http://www.dreamlight.com/insights/10/

avkills
08-24-2009, 12:00 PM
Using 8 Core monsters. Love em. Currently have 3 at work.

Although I am currently having a weird issue with ScreamerNet and Textured Environment plugin, but that is for another thread...

-mark

Johnny
08-24-2009, 12:55 PM
I have been using my Macbook Pro 2,4 for rendering about a year now. I decided finally to step up and now I'm considering the new Mac Pro Quad. Do you think there will be a big increase in speed?
I'd love to hear what hardware do you guys use for rendering. Has anyone set up screamernet with intel macs?


I'm about 2 months into a nahalem 8-core mac pro. I'm very happy with it, and even still using LW 8.5, I guess in rhapsody mode. I don't get the boost others who have the newer version do, but it's dang zippy.

the real reason I'm chiming in is that I just left an 8-month project where my machine was a 2.4GHZ MacBook Pro, and my new 8-core MP spanks it silly. I was not doing 3D anything on that book, but for those things I do on both machines, the 8-coreMP is way faster.

I guess the best answer to your question is: which of your tools can make use of multiple cores?

As 3D rendering appears to have been, is and will be, a matter of bringing the most ghz to bear on the work, having multiple cores, and software that puts them to use, are the real questions to evaluate.

J

4dartist
08-24-2009, 01:02 PM
We have 4 8core Mac Pros. They rock. You will most definitely notice much faster rendering than with a core2duo Macbook Pro. Mainly because of the number of cores. I bet your render speeds are almost 4 times as fast. They scale up with cores pretty evenly we have found. Plus they are great work stations. I render on 2 lightwaves and still can animate on a 3rd. When rendering on 2 lightwaves at once they are almost exactly 1/2 the normal speed. (8Gb RAM though)

:)

virtualcomposer
08-24-2009, 02:21 PM
I use the quad core 2.66 with 4 gigs RAM. I love it!! I'm going to be buying 4 more Gb RAM soon though. It's still incredibly fast and renders scenes that used to take a week on my old G5 and LW 8.3 and now takes a couple hours. I love my Mac! My while family is converting to Apple to. ( :

yaschan
08-24-2009, 07:05 PM
Thanks for your replies. For me, I'm doing post processing with AE, sound with Logic Studio 8 and I have got the licenses on the Mac so I guess that's why I prefer to lean on the Apple side. The Mac conversion is currently in progress here too.. Not that my wife's VAIO is bad, I just try to gently point her into the Apple store way.. No viruses there..
Of course, sometimes I am tempted to install Windows XP 64 via boot camp and transfer my Lightwave license to it. But then, as you pointed out, it would make as much sense just to buy couple of PC's and build the actual render farm that way.
But I just love OSX user interface and the way how easy it is to maintain. I feel I'm too old/lazy to maintain PC's.. And Time Machine is great. So I decided to go with the Mac Pro Quad, even if I have to pay the premium. And I will wait until Snow Leopard comes with them.
I have also 2 ghz intel iMac, but I wonder if it's worth of pairing it with the quad with Screamernet or not, since it's just Core 2 Duo.

avkills
08-24-2009, 07:14 PM
You could use the iMac as the ScreamerNet controller.

-mark

JonW
08-25-2009, 12:17 AM
1:04 W5580 3.2 Ghz V8
1:38 E5450 3.0 Ghz V8
1:49 940 @ 3.83
2:06 920 @ 3.15
2:31 5335 2.0 Ghz V8
9:14 2.0 Ghz Mac Mini

(min:sec from 3dspeed)

I use the Mac for some LW tasks, but as said above Buy a PC for the render tasks, get a 920. Unfortunately Mac goes from slow CPUs to expensive Dual x55xx CPUs.

My 920 was basically the same price as my Mac mini by the time I replaced the HD & ram (320 & 4gb), & I did that on the cheap myself.

3.15 Ghz on a 920, even someone like me who has never had any experience & mostly used Macs could do this as a bare minimum. I basically only have the PCs for rendering.

JonW
08-25-2009, 12:25 AM
A Quad W3520 2.66 Ghz will render in about 2:29 based on the above. You can’t overclock it either.

POTO2220
09-02-2009, 01:13 PM
running the quad core (dual with 8 cores) 2.8 Ghz with 12 GB of ram. This machine smokes when it renders. It is way faster than a straight dual core by many times. It is definitely worth the extra $$ IMO. I do like the idea of several cheaper PC boxes setup with screamernet to be a dedicated render farm...that is high on my radar.

Scazzino
09-02-2009, 02:21 PM
...I'd love to hear what hardware do you guys use for rendering. Has anyone set up screamernet with intel macs?

My main workstation is a 3GHz 8-core MacPro (2x Quad Xeon), 13 GB RAM, ATI-X1900-XT driving dual monitors at 1920x1200 & 1280x1024, Mac OS X v. 10.5.7

I'm also running a Mac OS X render farm consisting of the MacPro and a bunch of older dual processor G5 & G4's. For the render farm I'm using Jon Baker's OSX ScreamerNet Controller (http://www.catalystproductions.cc/screamernet/) to run the farm and my DLI_SNUB-Launcher (http://dreamlight.com/webshop/utilities/snublauncher.html) to configure and launch all the nodes.

:beerchug:

yaschan
09-04-2009, 04:25 PM
That sounds excellent system you have Scazzino. By the way, I am big fan of your website and introduction of running Screamernet. It's only website I have found about running Screamernet on Mac. I also tried the demo of your launcher. I will buy it after I get the Mac Pro tower.
Do I necessarely need the controller app? Does it make the process much easier? I am ashamed to admit but Im all in thumbs what comes to screamernet. I hope I could make the process as easy as possible.

Scazzino
09-04-2009, 08:09 PM
That sounds excellent system you have Scazzino. By the way, I am big fan of your website and introduction of running Screamernet. It's only website I have found about running Screamernet on Mac. I also tried the demo of your launcher. I will buy it after I get the Mac Pro tower.
Do I necessarely need the controller app? Does it make the process much easier? I am ashamed to admit but Im all in thumbs what comes to screamernet. I hope I could make the process as easy as possible.

Thanks Yaschan, much appreciated! :thumbsup:

No you don't "need" a third-party controller. The built-in controller can be used for basic network rendering. The third-party controller gives you more power if you are in more of a heavy production environment. For instance, with the third-party controller you can add new scenes to the render queue as new scenes need to be rendered without stopping the whole farm. The built-in controller needs to stop everything to add new scenes or change the queue. This means you then need to restart the currently rendering scenes and change the frames being rendered, by re-opening the scene in LW, changing the render range, re-saving the scene and re-adding to the queue. The third-party controller has many other features that really keep things moving smoothly in a production environment. If you only render on the farm occasionally, then it may not be as necessary. You can also start with the built-in controller and then add a third-party controller if you find it necessary later.

yaschan
09-05-2009, 08:25 PM
Thank you for great info!
Does DLI_SNUB Launcher work in Snow Leopard? I'm delaying upgrade the Leopard because I have heard some issues with software I use, but eventually I want to upgrade, of course.
I think I will be happy with the Lightwave's controller and your great launcher application for the time being. It's very cool!
By the way, have you used HD_instance 2 with your mac render farm?

Scazzino
09-08-2009, 09:40 AM
Hi Yaschan,

DLI_SNUB-Launcher should work fine in Snow Leopard, though I haven't tested it here yet myself. I tend to wait a short while before upgrading to the latest OS version till I'm between projects. I don't like to do a full OS upgrade in the middle of a project. It should work fine though. It was originally written on Tiger and worked fine on Leopard. It's written in XCode using Apple Script Studio and since I didn't do anything outside the box it shouldn't really be affected by normal OS upgrades unless there's a bug in the OS upgrade itself that would affect all applications that use similarly standard features. I doubt Apple would release a major OS upgrade with very basic features broken.

I've only used HD_Instance 1.8.2 on my farm so far. I'll probably wait to upgrade to HDI 2 until after 9.6.1 is released and HDI is upgraded to support it. Since 9.6.1 will be my main workhorse until CORE can replace Layout.

:beerchug:

yaschan
09-15-2009, 04:19 PM
I just bought the STD license for 10 nodes. I wonder how long does it take to arrive?
By the way, new Mac Pro comes today!

yaschan
09-15-2009, 08:05 PM
Thank you for good customer service! :)

Scazzino
09-15-2009, 09:00 PM
Thanks for your support Yaschan, it's much appreciated!
Enjoy! :D

yaschan
09-16-2009, 01:42 AM
Thanks! I will! The new Mac Pro shows promise in rendering speed. I hope to be able to make more advanced stuff in future.
By the way, do you have more animations you have made available? I would love to see them.
Also Id love to hear your comment on my short animation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dWYlZ2ciok

yaschan
09-17-2009, 02:04 AM
I am getting hang of how to use Screamernet now. I am rendering my first movie using it now! It's very exciting.
But I wonder how much worth it is to run my Core 2 Duo macbook pro and iMac with it. Macbook Pro gets very hot and I wonder if it can handle this kind of heavy work long time. Not that it haven't in the past, this baby has really done some heavy calculation almost on daily basis during the last 15 months.
The temperature of CPU is around 75C when rendering. Actually Mac Pro's CPU runs almost as hot, mostly 73C. But I sometimes wonder a little a bit..

ingo
09-17-2009, 04:13 AM
No problem, my MacMini gets very hot sometimes too because its rendering several days in a row, but worked nice so far. Just take care that the heat can get away from the computer, so putting it on some small feet for example will help a lot.

yaschan
09-17-2009, 05:44 AM
Yeah, I have bought actually external cooler for my Macbook Pro, noisy fans blowing air around the aluminium case.. But it's so noisy that I don't want to use it..
I so much more prefer Mac Pro's almost entirely silent cooling. The hum is very low and I barely notice it.
How's Mac Mini's render times? good? I think of buying three or four of those..

ingo
09-17-2009, 08:17 AM
I am still on LW 8.5, so rendertimes are slow compared to what it could be.

Scazzino
09-25-2009, 10:48 PM
Thanks! I will! The new Mac Pro shows promise in rendering speed. I hope to be able to make more advanced stuff in future.
By the way, do you have more animations you have made available? I would love to see them.
Also Id love to hear your comment on my short animation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dWYlZ2ciok

Hi Yaschan,

Sorry it took so long for me to check out your animation. I've been swamped lately. I didn't understand it since it's not english but I liked some of the sequences. I liked the old looking footage of the fighter planes as well as the more colorful plane sequences. I liked the dog and stylized tree. I'm not a big fan of 3D cell-shading in general but that's just a personal preference. 10 minutes is quite ambitious. Good job! :thumbsup:

yaschan
09-26-2009, 01:12 AM
Thanks a lot for your comment! I think of making a shorter but more ambitious animation, now that I have some rendering power. I actually have some ideas sketched down and a piece of a story. I doubt I will be using cell shading though.