View Full Version : A little nugget of joy (render speed hint)

08-03-2006, 09:26 AM

I thought I'd impart a tiny nugget of questionably useful information. But if you're rendering anything that takes longer than a minute or two, keep reading.

Due to a number of highly boring reasons, desktop items get their own chunk of video memory. This means that each item on your desktop is considered a window. Each window gets its own chunk of the OpenGL pie, thanks to OSX rendering all windows in OpenGL. At least that's the way it was explained to me.

But the POINT of this, in this specific case, is that for every icon on your MacOSX desktop, a render will take slightly longer.

Here are some examples of rendering a not-too-complex scene.

0 items on desktop: 94.9 seconds
5 items on desktop: 95.4 seconds
100 items on desktop: 98.2 seconds

Now, I'm not sure how this scales. I'm not sure if it does at all. But I thought it might be significant enough to pass along.

Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. Some bloating may occur.


08-03-2006, 09:36 AM
very interesting, so maybe an option would be to quit the finder during a LW session?


08-03-2006, 10:06 AM
very interesting, so maybe an option would be to quit the finder during a LW session?


It's possible. In the old days, you could just force quit it, or use kill from the terminal to quit it. Nowadays though, it relaunches. I'm sure there's some third party tool that kills it off, but I've got a few other things to do today. If you (or anyone) feel like trying it, I'd be very interested in the results.


08-03-2006, 10:11 AM
with tools like onyx or cocktail it's pretty easy to add a friendly 'quit' menu entry to the finder.


08-03-2006, 10:47 AM
Interesting! I have a very bad habit of allowing junk to accumulate on my desktop too!

Captain Obvious
08-03-2006, 11:50 AM
I tried it. With a few hundred items on the desktop, I got the same exact render times.

08-03-2006, 04:35 PM
OK so I have more icons in my dock than there are medals on a Soviet generals uniform, and if I remove them all, I get a speed boost of less than one percentile point, so................on a really long render, say ten hours (600 mins.) I'd save just over 5 mins............which would be nearly long enough to put al the icons back in the dock.