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peter66
09-06-2005, 05:21 AM
Hey, I've had a P4 3.4ghz machine for about 7 months now and it's not a bad piece of kit but it's only got 1GB of DDR2 and it crashes when I try and load up big scenes (I'm trying to deal with one that has 150000 particles).

I'm considering getting another 1GB to help sooth the crashes, has anyone got much experience with making the leap from 1gb to 2gb, is it a big step up?

cheers
Pete

AbnRanger
09-06-2005, 06:04 AM
It certainly helps with big files...if you have a P4 3.4 Ghz, your MB should allow for 4Gb...throw 3 more 1Gb sticks in there, so you will have a much smoother workflow. Memory was high about a year ago but has gone down drastically in the past few months. Are you using Open GL for your hardware acceleration or Direct3D? Open GL is much more stable.
One other thing you can do, is go into your system properties, under the advanced tab > performance, and change your page file/virtual memory to about 150-200% more than what your physical RAM is. That alone could stop your system from crashing.

peter66
09-06-2005, 06:50 AM
Yeah the price of DDR2 has definitely dropped since I bought my system. How do I switch between OpenGL and DirectX?

peter66
09-06-2005, 06:54 AM
I guess this means I'm already on OpenGL

peter66
09-06-2005, 08:27 AM
How can I get it so that I can still see the mesh of the object while I'm rotating in layout in perspective? At the moment it switches to bounding box while I rotate...
cheers for the help!
Pete

androidmaker
09-06-2005, 08:35 AM
How can I get it so that I can still see the mesh of the object while I'm rotating in layout in perspective? At the moment it switches to bounding box while I rotate...
cheers for the help!
Pete

Up your bounding box threshold number. if you have more polys then this number you will get the box.

peter66
09-06-2005, 09:58 AM
awesome, my PC still loves the abuse at 100000 polys...

AbnRanger
09-06-2005, 02:51 PM
Yes, you're using OpenGL. If you go into sytem display properties (within Windows) and under settings > advanced...see if your video card allows you to adjust your OpenGL settings. I've used ATI cards for the longest, and they allow you to adjust those settings. I set mine closer to PERFORMANCE as opposed to Quality.
If you bumped up your page file, you shouldn't experience crashes any more.
It will, of course, operate more slowly than if you added additional RAM, but it was probably conking out when it ran out of both RAM and virtual memory.

peter66
09-06-2005, 10:44 PM
hehe, i just ordered 3GB, should arrive tomorrow or friday :D

AbnRanger
09-06-2005, 11:50 PM
:rock: Good deal. You will see a pretty drastic difference once they are installed.
Windows system resources will use almost 1/2 Gig alone. That's why you will see system properties showing that you only have 3.5 Gig (it's weird, but that's what I read in my MB manual)
Make sure that the 1Gb RAM you have in your system is just one module and not 2 sticks of 512Mb. The reason I say this is because Intel chips above 3Ghz generally have Dual-Channel RAM (they're not special memory modules...it's just that it requires 2 pairs of equal size modules), and you don't want to have different RAM sizes in there. You can run a pair of 512 Mb, and a pair of 1Gb modules....but that limits the amount of total RAM you are working with, and is a bit like racing with a 3 legged horse. You want 4 sticks of 1Gb each.
Right now, you don't have your Dual Channel capability working for you. Once you max out your Mem modules, it kicks in and really helps reduce memory bottle-necks.
If you'd like a little more info on the benefits of Dual Channel, you can check out this informative little article:
http://www.cpuplanet.com/features/article.php/1587771
You should be able to easily handle some intensive scenes now, without your PC even breaking a sweat.

peter66
09-07-2005, 12:07 AM
cool man, it should be all good. I'll have 4x 1024mb Kingmax DDR2 all up

BloodQuest
09-07-2005, 01:12 AM
cool man, it should be all good. I'll have 4x 1024mb Kingmax DDR2 all up

Don't forget to add the /3GB switch in boot.ini

AbnRanger
09-07-2005, 03:31 AM
With most Motherboards, made within the past year or so, having 4Gb's of space, I thought the rambling about Windows XP (32 bit) memory limitations was old hat. But after you mentioned it, I found an article that describes what you were refering to.

http://searchwinsystems.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid68_gci1108831,00.html

I'm running XP Pro 64bit, and I wonder if I need to do the same thing...the whole premise behind 64 bit technology was to increase memory capacity.

mattclary
09-07-2005, 09:20 AM
I guess this means I'm already on OpenGL


No, THIS means you are using OpenGL. LightWave does not use DirectX. :tsktsk:

mattclary
09-07-2005, 09:22 AM
1gb of memory is pretty good. It's doubtful that adding memory will alleviate the crashes. I would analyze the scenes themselves to see if the cause is there.

AbnRanger
09-07-2005, 11:24 AM
I'm new to Lightwave myself since I just came over from 3ds Max (7)...largely due to the current promotion/price drop. Since Max asks you to choose upon first installion (OpenGL or Direct3D), I assumed LW probably did too. It's a good thing, since OpenGL is faster and seems more stable.

As I mentioned earlier, with the size of file he was working with, he may have run out of pagefile space. For general desktop programs like MS Office, MS Word, etc. the default page file size is ok, but as you know, video editing, and 3d Applications really push it. That's why it's helpful to manually increase Windows Virtual Memory size to at least 150-200% of physical RAM.

Extra RAM helps a great deal. Back when I had just 1Gb I could tell the difference (when I increased the amount to 2Gb and recently 4 ) in doing even simple things like applying a bevel to text. He will notice a very tangible difference, regardless of whether the crashes were related to RAM.
You can indeed get by with 1Gb if you are just doing low-med poly modeling, but working with high poly scenes and particles w/ dynamics, etc. is the whole reason why LW and other apps are moving toward 64 bit platforms....to make use of greater amounts of RAM. Rob Powers demonstrated the benefit of this when he did a short, but complex scene for Microsoft (64 bit Win XP) and NewTek...check out his presentation at Siggraph
http://www.newtek.com/shows/siggraph/2005/2005.php

mattclary
09-07-2005, 12:13 PM
I agree with you 100% that RAM is critical, but I just have a feeling that's not what his issue is. Or at least I don't think it will resolve his issue. I am anxious to see the outcome when he adds more RAM.

peter66
09-07-2005, 05:39 PM
I also often have several applications open, usually large RAM consumers too, like Adobe Premiere so I can preview image sequences as I render. By the time I'm switching largeish files between Premiere, Photoshop and LW Layout + Modeler, the current 1gb RAM is usually being pushed pretty hard! Throw in some motion matching software and a few browser windows and it's the land of the eternal crashes.

AbnRanger
09-07-2005, 08:26 PM
Have you tried to increase your page file size yet? If you have a partition that is just for storage (no applications), then it is the best place to designate for your page file. Just in case you aren't sure how to do it:

Right click "My Computer" Icon > Properties > Advanced Tab > in PERFORMANCE section click SETTINGS > (while you are here, in VISUAL EFFECTS, select ADJUST FOR BEST PERFORMANCE) , then Advanced > in VIRTUAL MEMORY section click CHANGE > Select HD or partition for page file >
Custom Size (Inital 150% amount of physical RAM/ Maximum 200%) > Set > OK

Also, if you haven't done this yet....go to START > RUN > type MSCONFIG > OK > STARTUP tab , and deselect all the crap you KNOW you don't need to load at startup...also under the services tab, you can deselect stuff like "Help and Support," Smart Card, Remote Desktop Help, etc. If you aren't sure about a service, don't bother it.

These few things will help speed things up a bit

peter66
09-08-2005, 05:47 AM
Yeah I did increase my page file size, cheers for all the help again, always appreciated. Still waiting on the arrival of my new RAM.

mattclary
09-08-2005, 05:52 AM
Increasing the pagefile size is not a bad idea, but I recommend you make it static to avoid fragmentation. Just set the initial size and maximum size to the same value.

starbase1
09-08-2005, 07:46 AM
As a rule of thumb, if your hard drive light is flashing a lot, you need more ram!

If you want to be more specific press ctrl-alt-del to bring up the task manager. If you poke around the tabs you will find one that shows how much memory is being used by each process. if the total of this excedes your physical memory significantly, you will see useful performance benefits by installing more ram.

If it is over double your physical memory you will see MAJOR performance benefits with more ram. (Like 3-4 times faster!)

While a shortage of memory should only result in disk swaps, in practice you may well find your system goes wobbly.

If you are under memory pressure, and the hard drive is going as a result of memory you will also see significantly improved performace if you are writing your output to a disk other than your swap file disk, (normally C:)

In general, keep your LW data data away from your swap file in these circumastances. (The disk heqds end up moving a lot between the swap file, your objects, and your output).

Nick

andypete
09-08-2005, 04:48 PM
Hey Pete,
I'm also a bit suspicious about the crashes. I once had bad RAM. I discovered it because I could reproduce the crash. I just pulled the RAM out, one module at a time. It was very obvious which chip was the culprit.
Andy

peter66
09-08-2005, 07:49 PM
I just installed the new RAM and it makes a big difference, switching between all my apps even when they've loaded up some heavy files is a breeze.

I'm just trying to have another look at my scene which was repeatedly crashing the system a few days ago. It loads up fine, it used to crash when I tried to scrub through the frames but it's good now and only a slight delay going on. It also used to crash when I tried to render but now, I don't think it's crashed but it's taking a really long time at the "sorting polygons" stage...

Overall though, I can see this upgrade saving me a lot of time on those rare occasions where I work hard. :thumbsup:

peter66
09-08-2005, 08:01 PM
Don't forget to add the /3GB switch in boot.ini
What does that do? I haven't done it yet and my system properties is claiming I have 3.25GB...

AbnRanger
09-09-2005, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the tip MattClary.
I posted a link on this a while back, but here it is again. It's something I didn't know much about til someone mentioned it here. Then I looked into it and found this handy article:

http://www.cpuplanet.com/features/article.php/1587771

My system shows only 3.5 Gb as well. My Motherboard manual states that Windows system resources will use about 1/2 Gb and would reflect that by showing only 3.5 Gb. The following text is copied from an article I found on the topic:

(Q)My Scenic or Celsius workstation has 4GB of memory but Windows only shows 3.5GB, why is this?
(A) In 4GB configurations the visible memory may be reduced down to 3.5GB depending on your system configuration. Under current PC memory addressing, there is a memory area (of approximatley 0,5GB) which is reserved permanently. The reserved area is for the system BIOS to store APIC, ACPI Table, PCI Devices', Resources and AGP aperture information. If the system DRAM is above 3.5GB of memory, the actual amount of memory that the system shows will be less due to this reserved area. Regardless of memory size, the reserved memory addressing is always present, but only when the DRAM rises above the 3.5 GB will that area become visible.
The available memory size may be less than 3.5GB if for example a PCI card needed more memory. eg. for large Graphics AGP Aperture size.


Pete66, Do you have a second HD or separate partition? If at all possible, create/format a partition with NOTHING on it, then in the Virtual Memory section, disable the page file on the partitions with applications on it, and the one that's clean set it at 6144mb (1.5 of physical RAM) and as MattClary stated, set the Maximum the same size (our Network Administrator told me the same thing today). This space is like a temporary "shelf" for you physical RAM to offload data that is not currently in use, but may need to be accessed quickly later on...
Another thing is to remember to defrag your HD's and do a complete Disc (Error) check if you haven't done that in a while.
You can also run a diagnostic utility to check your memory (the first one you had before the upgrade), such as this one:
http://www.download.com/-1-TuffTEST-Lite/3000-2086_4-8596189.html?tag=lst-0-7

Check in your Bios settings and make sure your memory is running at it's proper speed rating (I had an MSI board that, by default set, my DDR 400 to 333...I had to correct it manually).
I'm not trying to get you to void your warranty, but you should know that Intel CPUs are well known to be able to overclock a good deal and quite comfortably. If you have a good CPU cooler, you can go into Bios and boost your CPU multiplier easily 5-10 points higher (start low, and don't push it)

http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q4/p4-overclock/index.x?pg=2

mattclary
09-09-2005, 06:39 AM
I just installed the new RAM and it makes a big difference, switching between all my apps even when they've loaded up some heavy files is a breeze.

I'm just trying to have another look at my scene which was repeatedly crashing the system a few days ago. It loads up fine, it used to crash when I tried to scrub through the frames but it's good now and only a slight delay going on. It also used to crash when I tried to render but now, I don't think it's crashed but it's taking a really long time at the "sorting polygons" stage...

Overall though, I can see this upgrade saving me a lot of time on those rare occasions where I work hard. :thumbsup:

Excellent! Glad to hear I was wrong!

peter66
09-09-2005, 10:39 AM
Pete66, Do you have a second HD or separate partition? If at all possible, create/format a partition with NOTHING on it, then in the Virtual Memory section, disable the page file on the partitions with applications on it, and the one that's clean set it at 6144mb (1.5 of physical RAM) and as MattClary stated, set the Maximum the same size
I spose it's about time I did a bit of a HDD cleanup anyway.

I've got 2x 200GB SATA drives
and
1 x 70GB ATA
no partitions

I've managed to clear up enough space to have nothing on the 70GB. Does the 6144mb only get used after I use up the 4GB? So would that be like having 10GB RAM where only 4GB is really fast?

peter66
09-09-2005, 10:49 AM
It doesn't seem to accept anything larger than 4096MB as the Page file size. I guess I'll just set it to

Initial: 4096MB
Maximum: 4096MB

Or is there another way I can crank it up to 6144mb?
It's interesting to see that the "recommended" size at the bottom of the box is 4990MB which is more than it'll let me assign!

cheers

mattclary
09-09-2005, 11:19 AM
IMO, 4gb is quite big enough for a pagefile.

AbnRanger
09-09-2005, 11:53 AM
I've got 2x 200GB SATA drives and 1 x 70GB ATA/no partitions

You may just want to create a large partitiion on the extra drive for backup files/storage, and a second smaller partition about 10GB that's empty, and use that exclusively for your page file


I've managed to clear up enough space to have nothing on the 70GB. Does the 6144mb only get used after I use up the 4GB? So would that be like having 10GB RAM where only 4GB is really fast?

The Page file is NOT a replacement in any way for RAM, it's like an Assistant to RAM. Your physical RAM will use it to dump data that's not in immediate use, but instead of clearing that data completely, it temporarily stores it on your hard drive (in the page file) where it can reach that info MUCH more quickly than if it had to go back and search through your HD all over again.
It just helps your RAM work more efficiently.
I'm running Win XP Pro x64, so it may be that it doesn't slap a limitation on your page file, whereas 32 bit XP may...someone else will have to answer that one. I've recently read an article that stated Win XP 32 bit is limited to 4GB of Physical memory/RAM and 4GB of virtual memory/page file.

Now the 3GB switch, as best I can tell, simply allows your Applications to use 3GB of RAM (leaving system resources with 1GB), instead of just 2GB. Windows, by default wants to divide it up 50/50. I'm sure glad Bloodquest mentioned that. That's good-to-know info. :thumbsup:

AbnRanger
09-09-2005, 01:33 PM
Here's another clip from an article that you might find helpful, regarding the optimization of you page file:

Here are some basic rules you should follow:

Move the pagefile off the disk that holds your system and boot partitions to another fast and dedicated hard disk. If you do put the file elsewhere, you should leave a small amount on C: - an initial size of 2MB with a Maximum of 50 is suitable - so it can be used in emergency. Without this, the system is inclined to ignore the settings and either have no page file at all (and complain) or make a very large one indeed on the C: drive.

Format the partition where the page file is placed with NTFS and a 4kb cluster size (which is in fact the default setting for an NTFS partition).

Have the initial size be at least 1.5 times bigger than the amount of physical RAM. Do NOT make the pagefile smaller than the amount of physical RAM you've got installed on your system.

Make its initial size as big as the maximum size.

Do not place multiple paging files on different partitions on the same physical disk drive.

If you have a RAID-0 (Stripe Set) array, use it to store the pagefile.

Avoid putting a paging file on a fault-tolerant drive, such as a mirrored volume (RAID-1) or a RAID-5 volume. Paging files do not need fault-tolerance, and some fault-tolerant systems suffer from slow data writes because they write data to multiple locations.

If you use Windows XP and Fast User Switching, there are special considerations: When a user is not active, there will need to be space available in the page file to ‘roll out’ his or her work: therefore, the page file will need to be larger. Only experiment in a real situation will establish how big, but a start point might be an initial size equal to half the size of RAM for each user logged in.

If you can spare an extra Hard Disk (preferably a fast one) or if you have some free HD space on your system (again, preferably on a fast HD, and NOT on the HD that's holding the SYSTEM or DATA partitions) I'd suggest you use it for the sole purpose of the pagefile. Remember that using another partition on the same SYSTEM or DATA HD will not improve your system's performance at all. To do that you'll need a separate fast HD, preferably connected to a different controller.

starbase1
09-10-2005, 05:04 AM
Agreed, if your swap file is bigger than your physical ram it will be slow, more than double and it will be almost stopped.

AbnRanger
09-10-2005, 11:23 PM
So Pete66,
How's the machine running now? Did we help..make things worse, or is it running on all cylinders?

On another note regarding the OpenGL / Direct X situation. MattClary was right about Lightwave only having OpenGL...on Macintosh, but on Windows it offers both. Just noticed that on the packaging. Not that many would want to use Direct X...but it's there nonetheless.

peter66
09-12-2005, 08:44 AM
hi, it's been going ok but I've been having a few problems and I'm not quite sure what the deal is.

I tried rendering a scene in Vue5 and I don't know if it was the software or the RAM but only about 1 in every 20 frames actually rendered correctly with the other frames only rendering the objects with no sign of the actual landscape!

Now, tonight when I need to get stuff done I've had it twice suddenly boot for no reason. The first time it did this, when it loaded back up again it was missing one of the hard drives (I thought maybe a hard drive had died on me).

So I took the case off and unplugged stuff and plugged stuff back in, fired it up and it was fine again.

Then about an hour later it rebooted out of the blue again (btw, this machine has never done this "trick" before tonight, and i haven't used it all that much since installing the new ram). This time when it came back on it was complaining about "No OS detected" (or something like that). After a few reboots it came back up again.

The system is still only reporting 3.25gb RAM in system properties... and only 3328mb in BIOS. I've just tried taking a RAM stick out and then it reports 3072mb (as i should). Then when I put that RAM stick back in it reports 3328mb again. I've tried taking out a different RAM stick aswell and then it reports 3072 again.

Can't find anything about this anywhere... it's an ASUS P5GD2-Deluxe motherboard and they're all Kingmax 1GB DDR2-533 chips if thats any use?

Cheers
Pete

AbnRanger
09-12-2005, 06:42 PM
Have you run a complete disk error check on all your HD's? It sounds like the common denominator in all the symptoms you mentioned, is that a HD has a bad sector, or is laying down on you.

mattclary
09-13-2005, 09:28 AM
Peter66, a magically rebooting PC is a sign of a bad power supply. I think their are utilities you can get that will monitor your voltages. My mobo (an Intel board) came with a utility that does that. When my machine started rebooting itself, I loaded the utility and it would keep a log of any events. After a week or two, I was able to catch it in the log file. Replaced the PSU and never had a problem since.

MiniFireDragon
09-13-2005, 02:27 PM
Peter66 - Missing HD and rebooting is definitely (like mattclary stated) a bad power supply, or failing one. Another way to tell is feel the top of your in the back where the power supply is, is it hot? I mean really hot. If it is, change the supply. You were probably pushing the envelope of your power supply before the ram was installed, and now with the new ram it is over taxed (a faster running system sucks more juice then a clunker).

AbnRanger - You actually want to get a hard drive that is seperate from your system to make a swap disk. If you partition it, you are still accessing the same disk, the hard drive now has to work harder.

Jim_C
09-13-2005, 02:36 PM
If you have a RAID-0 (Stripe Set) array, use it to store the pagefile. [/B]


Unless you use your raid for real time video storage for your editing app. (Such as VToaster)
Then you don't want your system writing to the page file while you are pulling data to edit with. Hiccup, hiccup.

The rest of Ranger's advice is golden.

AbnRanger
09-13-2005, 09:22 PM
AbnRanger - You actually want to get a hard drive that is seperate from your system to make a swap disk. If you partition it, you are still accessing the same disk, the hard drive now has to work harder.
The article clip I provided mentioned exactly what you just stated.
However, it sounds like you misunderstood what I said. He was going to use the spare (70GB) HD for his page file. He doesn't have to use the whole thing as such. I suggested creating a partition on the separate disk just for the page file...about 10GB, and use the other, not for scene files that he will be using, but simply as a backup..that will not be utilitized for any other purposes.