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Johnny
09-13-2005, 04:07 PM
Well, this isn't scientific, and I haven't had time to mess with any rendering benchmarks, but I can share some info about LW Modeler on a 1.42Ghz Mini with 1GB of RAM, and an external 7200RPM FW Boot Drive (Tiger).

I was modelling something yesterday and did so in a sloppy way which produced way more polys than needed to express that shape, and Modeler was pretty pokey in Sub-D mode. the Poly count was apprx. 2700 polys for that layer and for that Object.

I re-modeled that thing more efficiently and got the poly count down to about 377 polys, and Modeler didn't slow down one bit as compared to the 2700-poly object.

the performance for the 2700 poly object wasn't unusable, but it was a bit on the painful side.

FYI

J

Darth Mole
09-13-2005, 04:29 PM
So... pretty crap then, really.

As a quick test I made multiple objects (dual 2GHz 1.2GB RAM ATI X800 XT) and I can just about model okay at 200K polys. Any more and it stops being fun any more!

Actually, are you sure about those figures? They're terrible, really.

Johnny
09-13-2005, 04:38 PM
heh..yeah, you could say that. If your scenes are poly-heavy, the Mini isn't for you. judging from the comments posted here (PC and Mac sides) LWers are into some pretty poly-heavy stuff.

I am no 3D titan, and my stuff tends to be on the low-poly side..I guess it'll have to continue to be so as I continue to work on this little tiny box!

Haven't tried particles yet; I will, tho as my project requires them..then, I'll report back.

J

Darth Mole
09-13-2005, 04:41 PM
I guess you can always build stuff in bits and then glue it all together in Layout. Hurrah for bounding boxes...!

Johnny
09-13-2005, 04:43 PM
yeah, in fact, that idea occurred to me when I was tangling with that sloppy shape I made...I miss my G5s, but I think this machine will get work done for me..just slower.

J

Johnny
09-13-2005, 04:49 PM
So... pretty crap then, really.

As a quick test I made multiple objects (dual 2GHz 1.2GB RAM ATI X800 XT) and I can just about model okay at 200K polys. Any more and it stops being fun any more!

Actually, are you sure about those figures? They're terrible, really.


yeah..I checked as I wondered what could explain the slowdown, but keep in mind, it was after hitting the Tab key that I felt the slowdown...in non sub-d mode it was just a bit slower.

I think some method of making parts, then assembling them in larger documents is the way for me to go.

J

Johnny
09-13-2005, 07:09 PM
OK..I just made a shape similar to my "sloppy" shape of the other day..I made it even higher in polys, then cloned it five times, giving me a grand total of: 23,472 polys for that object.

In modeler, when I hit sub-d, I get about 10 seconds' worth of beachball time, and the subD'd object is slow to move, rotate. in non-subD, it's as quick as if the poly count were much lower.

In layout, those 23,472 polys slow things down a bit, but not nearly as much as in Modeler.

after duping more, to increase to 258,192 Polys made things ridiculous in Modeler, but just a little slower in Layout.

J

Puguglybonehead
09-14-2005, 12:13 AM
OK, this thread is getting me a little worried. My LW 8 hasn't arrived here yet, but I guess I'll have to up my RAM for the Mini to 1gb and hope for the best (hope the Intel Macs are good when they come out...)

Captain Obvious
09-14-2005, 02:10 AM
I'm not really that unsatisfied with Lightwave's performance on my week-old iBook. About 10-15000 polygons is okay to work with (as actual polygons, that is, not subs). It runs out of RAM faster than a blind monkey in a bee hive (whatever that means), but I've just ordered another gigabyte, so I should be fine. :D

I was doing some house modeling on it only yesterday, and it worked quite nice. It was really nice to be able to carry around the modeling tool when you meaasure, instead of having to write down all the measurements on a piece of paper and then retreat to the workstation. I'll probably do detail modeling on the PowerMac, but bah.

Anyway, Lightwave 8.5 is supposed to bring greatly improved viewport performance, isn't it? I know it's not entirely politically correct to say this, but in other applications, even 50k polygons is smooth sailing on this meagre hardware. Even Blender has better OpenGL performance than Modeler and Layout put together. If 8.5 is better, I'll be a happy happy man, since all the other applications are much worse at everything else. ;)

Johnny
09-14-2005, 05:56 AM
I'd been wondering if it were the Mini's bus speed: 167 mhz, which is downright sickly compared to that of my former Dual 2Ghz: 1Ghz per chip.

could THAT be enough to explain why 25000+ sub Ds causes the mini to slow so much?

J

Captain Obvious
09-14-2005, 06:05 AM
I'd been wondering if it were the Mini's bus speed: 167 mhz, which is downright sickly compared to that of my former Dual 2Ghz: 1Ghz per chip.

could THAT be enough to explain why 25000+ sub Ds causes the mini to slow so much?

J
It might be a contributing factor. As far as I've been able to figure it, Lightwave does most of the OpenGL on the CPU (in the Mac version, anyhow). That means there's an awful lot of data to move from the CPU to the video unit for drawing...

An easy way to test this would be a PowerMac G4. They have the same donkey-slow system bus, but beefier processors and video units. If PowerMac with better processor(s) and video performs the same as the mini, the system bus might be the culprit, and so on.

Of course, you'd need testing access to a number of PowerMac G4s in order to test this...

Johnny
09-14-2005, 06:09 AM
OK..well, correct me if I'm wrong, but my 1.42Ghz Mini's G4 chip is at the upper end of G4 speed..I don't recall if there was a higher gigaherz G4 chip made.

also, on this board, it's been said more than once that G5 performance over G4 performance in LW was merely linear: IOW a 2Ghz G5 will perform twice as fast in LW as a 1Ghz G4, with no advantage of the G5 chip itself.

therefore, I'd figure that my 1.42ghz mini is a bit slower than a single G5 2ghz in chip speed, but WAY slower in the bus. I know the mini has something like a 32MB video card; does THAT play a role in working in Modeler, or does it merely speed up the display, not the calcs?

BTW, is there some reason G4 bus speeds never increased beyond 167? Forgive my naivete, but why couldn't they just MAKE a faster bus for it?

J

Captain Obvious
09-14-2005, 09:26 AM
Well, there are G4 upgrade cards up to 1.8GHz or so, and the PowerBooks are also faster.



also, on this board, it's been said more than once that G5 performance over G4 performance in LW was merely linear: IOW a 2Ghz G5 will perform twice as fast in LW as a 1Ghz G4, with no advantage of the G5 chip itself.
Yes, but I only know that this is (more or less) true for rendering, not viewport performance and such.




BTW, is there some reason G4 bus speeds never increased beyond 167? Forgive my naivete, but why couldn't they just MAKE a faster bus for it?
It has something to do with the input/output part of the processor. By making the system bus more than incrementally faster, they'd need to redesign the processor and the system controller, add more pins, etc. Supposedly, they're working on it, but they're as slow as always.

gerry_g
09-14-2005, 12:37 PM
An easy way to test this would be a PowerMac G4. They have the same donkey-slow system bus, but beefier processors and video units

I've been rebuilding parts of an old rocket ship over the past few days on my dual 2.7 with 6Gigs of ram and a 256Mb Radion, this is a 371,500 poly mesh, I can move it but it's a struggle. Last time I opened it was about a year ago on my old 500Hz G4 with 1Gig of ram and a Radion with only half the umph, I once tried to resize the entire mesh interactively with the scale tool on this old machine and couldn't quit the tool, had to force quit LW to escape...................the answer to this problem has already been stated though, build in multiple layers, my ship comprises round about thirty.

Johnny
09-14-2005, 12:54 PM
well, what are the realities of assembling parts in Layout, as opposed to Modeler? is it easier than trying to do so all in modeler with a weak computer, or does layout bog down, too?

J

esconnell
09-14-2005, 05:15 PM
Just out of curiousity, what level do you have SubD's set to? Remember that at higher levels, even a relatively low-poly object can be enormous in poly count... just a thought.

cresshead
09-14-2005, 05:19 PM
well i have a mac mini 1.42 with 512 ram and a super drive plus a 250gig 1384/usb2 HD and find that the mac mini is okay with lightwave 8.3, just that the mac lw is crap at displaying points in shaded mode in lw 8.0...lw 7 is fine! :lwicon:

maybe you have a dud mac? :thumbsdow

i also have old 2 sgi's pc's a sony laptop and a dell....the mac is probably the best for rendering and the sgi for modeling...and mac mini is ace for final cut expressHD/imovieHD and idvd....

i like the mac, mainly for video/music editing and dvd production...but wouldn't be without a pc for 3d

O.T. not sold on the mighty mouse new mac mouse i have one on the mac mini at work and hate it!...keep swapping it out for a normal usb wheel mouse
when the boss isn;t looking!
:D

Johnny
09-14-2005, 05:22 PM
Just out of curiousity, what level do you have SubD's set to? Remember that at higher levels, even a relatively low-poly object can be enormous in poly count... just a thought.


what's that setting in modeler called? I have this:

flatness limit: 5%
Curve Divisions: Fine
Patch Divisions: 9


J

esconnell
09-14-2005, 05:49 PM
That patch Subdivision level of 9 is REALLY high for most modeling jobs (good for render though)... for 2700 poly's at level 9... your GPU is calculating over 200k polys. Try reducing that to something like 4 (which will yield about 40k polys for your graphics card) for modeling and then bump it up at render time and you should be fine.

Best!

cresshead
09-14-2005, 06:03 PM
ahh knew something you had set was somewhat strange!

i've always had a subpatch in modeler set between 2-4..usually 3
then set up layout to 'display' at 3 and render at 3-9 depending on each object....

so.... you now know your mac mini is just fine!....
nice to see too eh? :thumbsup:

...happy ending!..must be a disney film :D

Johnny
09-15-2005, 07:54 AM
so.... you now know your mac mini is just fine!....
nice to see too eh?


I don't suspect an issue with the Mini at all..I did an experiment with my 280K poly file, and lowering that value to 4 or 2 or even 1 didn't speed things up for me in Sub-D mode. I think for me, the answer is going to be breaking up high poly count models into components which are then assembled (I hope) in Layout.

J

Johnny
09-15-2005, 08:33 AM
so.... you now know your mac mini is just fine!....
nice to see too eh?


I don't suspect an issue with the Mini at all..I did an experiment with my 280K poly file, and lowering that value to 4 or 2 or even 1 didn't speed things up for me in Sub-D mode. I think for me, the answer is going to be breaking up high poly count models into components which are then assembled (I hope) in Layout.

J