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View Full Version : 64 bit rendering for the rest of us....



caesar
04-05-2004, 07:15 AM
Does anyone knows whats/guess the NT planīs for 64 bit - AMD/G5 - Proton maybe :)?
I read in www.tomshardware.com that porting just the rendering engine (not the whole app) would be a great strategy, since it would get the new 64 bit proc powers, with relative low cost, short time with the 32 compatibility ...

benhaines
04-05-2004, 09:20 AM
I would certainly be interested as I'm just about to buy an Athlon64 3000+ :)

wp_capozzi
04-05-2004, 02:28 PM
Maybe Worley should consider a stand alone render engine option along these lines.

Beamtracer
04-05-2004, 03:31 PM
Nobody is going to release any software for a beta operating system. Microsoft has so far only displayed a beta 64-bit OS, but it is not ready to be released.

While AMD has been innovative in developing a 64-bit desktop processor, Intel hasn't. I suspect that Intel pressured Microsoft to delay any 64-bit Windows OS until such time as Intel is able to release a 64-bit desktop processor.

KillMe
04-05-2004, 04:08 PM
argh tell me about it about time microsoft got there *** moving with xp 64 - i've got the eval version ready to go when my new motherboard and opteron cpu's turn up but as you say without an officiual release from microsoft they aren't going to release any 64 bit apps =/

Strider_X
04-05-2004, 04:57 PM
There was a version of ScreamerNet for Linux that could possibly have an upgrade for X86-64

If the POV-Ray benchmark is in any way an indicator of the potential benefits of 64bit computing ( LINK (http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/17/189239&mode=thread) Scroll to the bottom of the page of the for an image comparison :eek: ) we could see Radiosity renders in seconds instead of minutes.

Beamtracer
04-05-2004, 07:05 PM
Current estimates are that Microsoft's next major OS release ("Longhorn") won't be ready until 2007 or later.

Because of the long wait for Longhorn, Microsoft needs to make some revenue, so will release a "service pack" for the current Windows OS.

What's going on over there at Redmond? Why aren't they pushing out some substantial product? They have vast resources with armies of thousands of programmers, but things get delayed for years and years. Aren't you glad that Microsoft is not responsible for the release of Lightwave 8?


Meanwhile, the open source Linux OS is ready now for 64-bit Opteron. Maybe Newtek really should release a Screamernet for Linux 64.

cagey5
04-06-2004, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by caesar
Does anyone knows whats/guess the NT planīs for 64 bit - AMD/G5 - Proton maybe :)?


Proton? Who's Proton?. I know a dude called Memo.

WizCraker
04-06-2004, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Current estimates are that Microsoft's next major OS release ("Longhorn") won't be ready until 2007 or later.

Because of the long wait for Longhorn, Microsoft needs to make some revenue, so will release a "service pack" for the current Windows OS.


Too bad it is going to be a free service pack for its users.

benhaines
04-06-2004, 02:07 AM
Beamtracer,

sorry I was talking Linux renderer....

Lightwolf
04-06-2004, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Current estimates are that Microsoft's next major OS release ("Longhorn") won't be ready until 2007 or later.
What relevance does Longhorn have to XP-64 which is due by the end of this year?

On a side note, a 64 bit compile is pretty much a moot point until there is a decent compiler out that supports x86-64. Currently 64bit apps on the Athlon64 are only faster compared to apps compiled using gcc in 32 bit mode.
Add intels compiler (used for LW) to the equation (which only supports 32bit at the moment - well and the itanium), and the x86-64 speed advantage will diminish.
Then again, since intel jumped on x86-64 as well, we'll probably see a new version of their compiler soon.

Cheers,
Mike

Beamtracer
04-06-2004, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
What relevance does Longhorn have to XP-64 which is due by the end of this year? XP-64 was due last year! Longhorn is draining resources from everything else.

64-bit computing is becoming more essential every day. Programs like FPrime are RAM hungry. It has been said that all G5 PowerMacs will soon be shipping with 1GB of RAM as the minimum option. The maximum option is already 8GB.

Same goes for hard drives. Anyone who's rendered animation with FPrime will see how massive the data files are. We suddenly find ourselves shunting more data around than we previously thought we would need to.

The sooner all hardware and software vendors do whatever it takes to bring 64-bit computing to the people, the better.

Lightwolf
04-06-2004, 06:15 AM
Beam:
At least the x86-64 faction gets to beta a _real_ 64 bit OS right now ;) And, by the time a 64bit savvy LW gets released, it won't make much of a difference...

What do hardrives have to do with 64bit?
64bit is currently only needed for a very small niche (one being compositing), everything else is more a matter of smart programming than anything else imho (after all, which video editing app needs to load a whole movie into RAM to work on it?).
Even FPrime will in the future use less RAM for final print res renders (Steven Worley hinted at that), and file compression rocks on FPrime data files :)

I see more bottlenecks in networking and hard drive speeds at the moment to be honest...

Cheers,
Mike

mlinde
04-06-2004, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
I see more bottlenecks in networking and hard drive speeds at the moment to be honest... I bet that beamtracer guy doesn't though. His G5 has Serial ATA, which is the fastest available ATA bus, and gigabit ethernet, unless he opted for fibre channel to connect to an external RAID array with dual 512MB controllers and 3TB of storage. Oh, these things are all easily availble features from Apple ;)

Lightwolf
04-06-2004, 08:04 AM
Well, to saturate GBit ethernet with a decent RAID I still need at least 5 HDs (how do you fit those in a G5 ?), especially if I want RAID 3 or 5 and decent write speeds.
And once you churn HD or 2K frames across the GBit network...

FC is a tad better performance wise, but limits write access.

Of course Beam could also buy a standard 4TB FC array, and save a bunch off the Xserve RAID ;)

mlinde, I guess you know that all of these technologies are available for other platforms as well? You know, like Macs can use three button mice too ;) <- note!

Cheers,
Mike

caesar
04-06-2004, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Aren't you glad that Microsoft is not responsible for the release of Lightwave 8?


LOL:D

But I thought 64bit app could run on Win XP right now - but not using the whole power??? Weīll need a 64bit OS version to run 64bit apps? CRAP!!!!!!

mlinde
04-06-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
Well, to saturate GBit ethernet with a decent RAID I still need at least 5 HDs (how do you fit those in a G5 ?), especially if I want RAID 3 or 5 and decent write speeds.
And once you churn HD or 2K frames across the GBit network... I was yanking the chain a bit because there are some good, HQ techologies built into the Mac that many non-mac users blow off as useless or unimportant. I know you are a more ...
...
...
... level headed person, although you do use and prefer (from what I remember) Windows-based machines. At this point I think the internal max you can get in a G5 is 4 drives, and they would be Serial ATA. To utilize the GB/Ethernet you'd need a file server & NAS.

FC is a tad better performance wise, but limits write access.I didn't know there was a technological bottleneck with FC writing data. Why does that exist, and can you explain it?

Of course Beam could also buy a standard 4TB FC array, and save a bunch off the Xserve RAID ;) Yeah, but is it a cool-looking 3U unit with hot swappable drives?

mlinde, I guess you know that all of these technologies are available for other platforms as well? You know, like Macs can use three button mice too ;) <- note! Mike, you may not realize this, but I've been around for a while. I have (and use) a 3 button mouse. I did (recently) finally get good drivers for the MMB controls which I have lusted after for years.

I've been a certified DEC Intel server technician. In fact, I authored & developed the last version of the interactive training for DEC server certification. (DEC = Digital Equipment Corporation). I'm not platform ignorant, just made a choice that I'm happy with, and not afraid to mention the good things about that choice.

Beamtracer
04-06-2004, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
What do hardrives have to do with 64bit? Hard drives were just another example of how the amount of data computers are dealing with keeps increasing. It increases to levels we previously didn't expect we'd need.

The same applies to RAM and 64-bit computing. Some people try to argue that we don't need 64-bit computing at any stage soon. I disagree. I think 32-bit computing is holding us back now.

As I said in older posts, the theoretical RAM limit for 32-bit programs is 4GB. In practice, most 32-bit apps can only address 2GB of RAM. I believe that Lightwave (currently a 32-bit app) can only access a maximum of 2GB of RAM, no matter what platform it is run on (Mac/Windows) or whether it's a 64-bit machine or not.

But despite Lightwave's 2GB RAM limit, on my 64-bit machine Lightwave 7.5 can use the entire 2GB of RAM to itself. Most 32-bit machines have to share the RAM with the OS and any other open applications.

If I wish I can open 3 instances of Lightwave at once, each one getting 2GB of RAM, to a total of 6GB of RAM. Much of Lightwave can only use a single processor, so I can see the merit of running at least 2 instances of Lightwave at once.

Most times I can work with Lightwave under 2GB of RAM. On occasions I have hit the RAM limit for a 32-bit application. There are times when more RAM is needed.

In the not too distant future, all our software will be 64-bit. I look forward to that. Apart from allowing more RAM to be used, software programers may take advantage of being able to use larger numbers in their software. It can result in a greater decimal accuracy, without slowing things down by splitting up the algorithms into smaller digits.

When you start doing 3D in full 64-bit mode you'll wonder how you ever did without it!

stone
04-06-2004, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
When you start doing 3D in full 64-bit mode you'll wonder how you ever did without it!

not that you have ever tried it, and it wont really mean much difference - yeah ram requirements are getting higher but its still not a limiting factor. if it were, 3d applications would have migrated long ago.

moving to a 64bit system doesnt mean anything for the user sitting behind the screen. sure there might be larger harddisk partitions and more ram under the hood, but the program itself doesnt feel any different.

also you can get around the ram limitation on 32bit systems and adress more than 4gb. its not particular fast, but it can be and have been done.

conclusion is that 64bit is nice - my friend had an alpha workstation back in early 90's with softimage 3d. back then there wasnt much difference forthe end-user sitting at the screen, just as there arnt today.

/stone

mlinde
04-06-2004, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by stone
conclusion is that 64bit is nice - my friend had an alpha workstation back in early 90's with softimage 3d. back then there wasnt much difference forthe end-user sitting at the screen, just as there aren't today. So the Alpha wasn't faster than the Pentium II? It didn't render faster, or allow more memory, or have any advantages?

3DBob
04-06-2004, 05:58 PM
My alphas supported 16GB of RAM when even todays pcs are stuck at 2 GB per app - this made very large scenes possible without brakes - also at the same time a Pentium Pro 150MHz was Intels best offering - and the 666Mhz alphas were MUCH quicker - AURA simply rocketed with a 256 bit wide bus to all that loverly ram - and Photoshop was great too.

think about it - processing 128bit LW FP data is going to take fewer cycles as longwords are 64bit instead of 32!

3DBob

Beamtracer
04-06-2004, 08:09 PM
I can't believe so many people seem to think we don't or won't need more than 2GB of RAM, which is what most of today's 32-bit apps are limited to.

I don't program software, but I imagine that there's a difference between making a program (like Lightwave for example) simply operate on a 64-bit platform and access +4gigs of RAM, to creating new code that can take advantage of the very large numbers that 64-bit computing allows.

I assume that as 64-bit computing becomes more pervasive we'll see new applications that can work in new ways to take advantage of 64-bit features. Maybe new programs will emerge that can do things that can't be done on 32-bit computers.

NanoGator
04-06-2004, 09:28 PM
Originally posted by 3DBob
think about it - processing 128bit LW FP data is going to take fewer cycles as longwords are 64bit instead of 32!

Yeah but the the <32 bit data will take up more space. It's not a matter of everything getting faster, it's a matter of whether or not the longer word stuff outweighs the shorter word stuff. (I imagine in LW's case it would, but that's not true with all apps, and yes that WILL hurt 64-bit adoption.)

NanoGator
04-06-2004, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
I can't believe so many people seem to think we don't or won't need more than 2GB of RAM, which is what most of today's 32-bit apps are limited to.



That's the thing, it really isn't all that necessary. There isn't a huge line of apps just waiting to be run that require that kind of resources. I have 768 on my laptop here and it does PLENTY of stuff just fine. The only time I've deseperately ached for more RAM was when I tried to fire up my horribly complex cannon scene. I think us 3D artists pretty much know that more RAM == better (especially those of us that use AfterEffects...) but the average computer user... well until a new game or something comes out, how are they even going to consider it?

mlinde
04-06-2004, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by 3DBob
My alphas supported 16GB of RAM when even todays pcs are stuck at 2 GB per app - this made very large scenes possible without brakes - also at the same time a Pentium Pro 150MHz was Intels best offering - and the 666Mhz alphas were MUCH quicker - AURA simply rocketed with a 256 bit wide bus to all that loverly ram - and Photoshop was great too. That's what I thought. I remembered the Alpha having a LOOOOOONG lifespan because it was so forward-looking. I think the "problem" with 64-bit is that so many people don't see a need or an advantage to it, that it will be constrained in the M$ Windows world. Those constraints will, to some extent, also affect the Mac world because the cross-platform applications then could require two different codebases. That's not likely, unless the developer were selling more Mac than Windows versions of their software...

WizCraker
04-06-2004, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
XP-64 was due last year! Longhorn is draining resources from everything else.

64-bit computing is becoming more essential every day. Programs like FPrime are RAM hungry. It has been said that all G5 PowerMacs will soon be shipping with 1GB of RAM as the minimum option. The maximum option is already 8GB.

Same goes for hard drives. Anyone who's rendered animation with FPrime will see how massive the data files are. We suddenly find ourselves shunting more data around than we previously thought we would need to.

The sooner all hardware and software vendors do whatever it takes to bring 64-bit computing to the people, the better.

Why don't you just stay with a mac. You will not have to worry what Microsoft does.

NanoGator
04-06-2004, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by WizCraker
Why don't you just stay with a mac. You will not have to worry what Microsoft does.

Easier said than done. 64-bit apps for the Mac still need to be made to support 64-bit. This is no different than Intel/AMD. It's likely to happen faster on the X86 platform and more robustly.

Believe me, I'd like to be using Mac right now. Man I hope Newtek finds a way to make platform independent plugins. (edit: That'd be L-script, but compiled plugins are still valuable...)

Beamtracer
04-06-2004, 11:10 PM
If an app went 64-bit on the Mac but remained 32-bit on Windows, would that require two code bases? Not sure about that.

The Mac OS as it stands has a 64-bit kernel and can address 8 gigs of RAM. Apple's next OS release (OS X 10.4 "Tiger") will take advantage of many more 64-bit features. The Mac users will soon want lots of 64-bit apps.

I would have thought that on the Windows side, Opteron users would want 64-bit apps also. People should put more pressure on Microsoft to finish the work on Win64 and get it released.

If you want 64-bit hardware, you have to forget Intel. Go AMD or go Mac. Your only alternatives.

Beamtracer
04-06-2004, 11:11 PM
`

Lightwolf
04-07-2004, 02:46 AM
Hi there...

Originally posted by mlinde
I was yanking the chain a bit because there are some good, HQ techologies built into the Mac that many non-mac users blow off as useless or unimportant. I know you are a more ...
...
...
... level headed person, although you do use and prefer (from what I remember) Windows-based machines.
Which for me is basically a question of price vs. performance. Plus I enjoy assembling my own machines, I'm a big fan of custom builts...
Well, as to SATA being HQ tech, well, it seems to be more like base line tech at the moment... ;)

I didn't know there was a technological bottleneck with FC writing data. Why does that exist, and can you explain it?
Well, basically FC is a bunch of disks on a wire. You can read from all of them on any client (read: computer) attached to the wire, but you have to lock a drive(...raid) for write access, so only one CPU can write to the FC drives at any time. This is a bit like logging on to a server every time you want to write to a file. You can circumvent this by partitioning the raid, but FC is still imho a decent solution for a small workgroup that needs high data transfers (i.e. editing), but in now way a file server replacement.

Yeah, but is it a cool-looking 3U unit with hot swappable drives?
2U, 3U, 4U, 6U, 8U, redundant controllers, optional U160/U320 SCSI, redundant power supplies, hot swappable drives, RAID levels 0,1,0+1, 3,5,10,30,50,JBOD... 16 drives in 3U for example. Alas, most that I've seen are black and not brushed metal ;)
And currently there is a nicer surge of affordable internal SATA Raid controllers hopping along as well...


Mike, you may not realize this, but I've been around for a while. I have (and use) a 3 button mouse. I did (recently) finally get good drivers for the MMB controls which I have lusted after for years.

Actually I know you've been around a while, and I've read your post about the drivers, that is exactly why I wrote that bit about three button mice :p . See, I gotcha back, I was pulling your leg this time ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
04-07-2004, 02:56 AM
Hi 3DBob

Originally posted by 3DBob
My alphas supported 16GB of RAM when even todays pcs are stuck at 2 GB per app -
If coded properly, you can squeeze out 3GB per app on XP Pro. It does take stable drivers though.


this made very large scenes possible without brakes - also at the same time a Pentium Pro 150MHz was Intels best offering - and the 666Mhz alphas were MUCH quicker - AURA simply rocketed with a 256 bit wide bus to all that loverly ram - and Photoshop was great too.

think about it - processing 128bit LW FP data is going to take fewer cycles as longwords are 64bit instead of 32!

O.k.:
Bus width has _nothing_ to do with 64bit adressing.
FP processing has _nothing_ to do with 64bit adressing.

Double floats are 64 bit now, and actually have been for some time, on x86 processors even utilize 80bit floats, that doesn't turn them into 80bit processors though.

As you've written, the performance gains were due to the fast memory bus. Go Opteron then, they scream in that respect :)

Performance gains due to a 64bit recompile (if there are gains) come from processor optimizations, not from the actual 64bit switch (which on the other hand bloats the code).
Opterons aren't faster in 64bit because they run in 64bit, but because in AMD have extended the instruction set in 64bit mode to include more registers (after all, there is no legacy code that could break).
On the G5 you're not very likely to see much of a difference between a G5 optimized app in 32bit and 64bit mode, since the instruction sets are identical.

Cheers,
Mike - scnr :p

Lightwolf
04-07-2004, 03:00 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
If an app went 64-bit on the Mac but remained 32-bit on Windows, would that require two code bases? Not sure about that.
Not really. A couple of #defines in the code may be to differentiate (size of variables), but that would be it.
You would of course need recompiled plugins for every flavour, but since the jump to XCode will probably mean a recomplie for plugins as well, I guess that won't be the issue.


I would have thought that on the Windows side, Opteron users would want 64-bit apps also. People should put more pressure on Microsoft to finish the work on Win64 and get it released.
It'll be done when its done :) Since there aren't any apps available at the moment anyhow, what is the point? MS drives a large open beta, drivers are slowly emerging (ATI, nVidia), and it gives the software developers a chance to port their software.

Cheers,
Mike