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View Full Version : Do Sonnet's upgrade chips work with Lightwave?



dranos
03-30-2004, 10:23 PM
I purchased a Sonnet Encore™/ST G4 Duet 500Mhz processor product over a year ago and I'd like to know how compatible it is with the latest version of Lightwave. Ever since upgrading to version 7.5, I've been having unexplainable freezing during renders. It renders faster when set to use 1 processor, it actually takes a whole minute more when set to 2 processors. It is as if Lightwave doesn't detect the second processor. Even my 667Mhz Powerbook outperforms my desktop, with less ram.
Any official word on this?

brayne
03-31-2004, 08:04 AM
Dranos, Lightwave doesn't actually "detect" if you are using a dual processor. If you set your threads to 2, it simply breaks the render process into 2 threads, and then the operating system will do the rest. Have you had a look at your Activity Monitor? (or CPU monitor on 10.2.X). See what percentage the CPU usage is while you're rendering. This might tell you more about what's going on.

I'm assuming you're using OSX. If you're not - upgrade! You haven't truly used Lightwave until you've used it under OSX. (Not to mention the fact that OSX is much better at managing dual CPU systems)

dranos
03-31-2004, 09:29 AM
I'm actually running on Panther now. The problems started showing up from 10.2. Renders would just freeze. It seems to work better on 1 thread. Thats just strange. My laptop beats it by 30 secs per frame on average.

My machine's specs are:
500mhz Dp G4
1024mb RAM
ATI Radeon 8500 with 64mb DDR.
Panther 10.3.3

My Titanium has:
667mhz
512mb
ATI 16mb DDR video card
Panther 10.3.3

I recently added a 1.8mhz Dp G5 to my fleet and it screams. I just want my old machine to help out the way it should.

mlinde
03-31-2004, 09:32 AM
Processor upgrades (I own and have used both Sonnet and others) should be transparent to anything at the application level in OSX, assuming you aren't running a completely unsupported system. One of my systems (8600 upgraded to a G3/450) is less stable than the others when utilizing LW/Screamernet, but that stability increased significantly when I upgraded the RAM from 256 to 768. Of course, your mileage may vary, but brayne has good suggestions on verifying the output. In addition, open up the terminal, type "top" and move the window somewhere you can watch it to see what is utlizing the processor cycles when you render.

Zarathustra
04-01-2004, 08:23 AM
Slightly OT - I use Powerlogix upgrade cards and LW works with them no problem. However, the dual 1ghz is a bit buggy (in general, not LW's fault) and Powerlogix no longer handles their own tech support so in the future I will either buy Sonnet or OWC's new cards.

Further OT - Is it even possible to have a G5 upgrade card for a G4? I'm wondering how much more practical usage I'll get out of my G4s - 1 year? 2?
I'm currently borrowing a friend's dual 2ghz G5 and wow!

mlinde
04-01-2004, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Zarathustra
Further OT - Is it even possible to have a G5 upgrade card for a G4? I'm wondering how much more practical usage I'll get out of my G4s - 1 year? 2?Even the G3 has only been off the market (in an apple product) for about 6 months. I would expect that the G4 will be around for more than a year or two, based solely on the fact that for Apple to migrate the entire line to G5 processors makes the high-end machines' value proposition (especially between iBook/Powerbook) a little difficult. I would expect that in two years the entire line may have been upgraded to the G5, but I'm just speculating. If the G4 is still a selling product for a while, and someone overcomes the MHz ceiling it hit, that would add life even to older G4 machines.

There is no practical upgrade path to the G5 from a G4. The chips use a different connection to the MLB, and require specialized power/cooling solutions. If you liked the idea of a windtunnel G4 coming back non-stop, that's the best bet (assuming the physical challenges could be overcome) in cooling the G5.