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Tomjhen

Dual Core versus Hyperthreading

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I am working on selecting a new PC for heavy Renderworks use (architectural walk-throughs for large facilities), and am curious for recommendations concerning processor choice. Options seem to be:

Pentium 4 single processor with dual core and/or Hyperthreading.

Single or Dual Xeon with single or dual core.

We would like to get excellent performance without purchasing hardware Renderworks may not be able to fully utilize.

I appreciate the input!

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I'm very happy with my 3ghz P4 Dual Core set up, But Dual Xeons with Dual cores gives you processing power times 4, so would theoretically be faster. I guess it comes down to budget. A single P4 Dual Core is going to be alot less the a single Xeon dual core. Not to mention that going with a Xeon may impact other decisions in regard to the rest of the computer, possibly also increasing cost.

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Is it really a good idea to do this with RenderWorks? Your walk- or flythrough tools in VW don't exactly offer the highest level of control. You might be more satisfied with an external tool like CINEMA 4D. It renders faster and offers better animation tools. Don't get me wrong, I love RenderWorks and it is beautifully integrated into VectorWorks, but it's perhaps not the best tool for this kind of job. Oh, and C4D supports both Hyperthreading and Dual core to the fullest.

[ 02-15-2006, 06:53 AM: Message edited by: BaRa ]

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So does VW 12 take advantage of dual core or hyperthread when rendering? If not will it ever?

Thanks in Advance

Jeff Miller

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Dual processing should give you significant improvments over single processing.

However, everything I've read about hyperthreading indicates that hyperthreading is not true dual processing, and can actually be slower in some cases. The fact that the industry seemed to move rather quickly into dual cores also tells me that hyperthreading wasn't so great to begin with.

Dual core processors on the other hand break up the job internally I think, and so should act like dual processors per processor. I could be wrong here.

I've got dual (single core) amd processors and they perform great. At this point the cost of having dual cores inside is too much at this stage, so in my opinion you really need to look at a a cost vs. performance analysis. It still holds true today that you'll pay significantly more for cutting edge technology today than you will for yesterdays' cutting edge technology.

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There's nothing wrong with Hypertreading if your application makes us of it. Which, if I'm correct, VectorWorks doesn't. RenderWorks, again if remember correctly, does however.

I might be wrong, but isn't it easier to achieve higher general speeds with dual core than with single core? Isn't it easier to use 2 processors of speed X instead of using 1 processor of twice speed X?

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Tomjen:

I ran across XI computer while looking at the CADalyst site. They continually beat out the competition using dual core AMD processors. When I upgrade my hardware, I'll probably buy it from them. Also it looks like you don't get all the other garbage you'll never use that Dell and others throw on the machine .

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Hello Tomjhen:

Hyperthreading is a kind of poor man's dual processing, and does not always provide benefits for rendering processes, because the data and operations for rendering are different than other processing the machine might do. Some operations can be faster with hyperthreading, but rendering tasks usually do not benefit much if at all.

RenderWorks uses multiple threads _only for raytracing_, creating as many threads as the OS says there are processors. A hyperthreaded processor tells the OS that it is two processors, so you get more raytracing threads. A dual Xeon with hyperthreading will show four scanlines when rendering, for example.

Other operations in VW and RW do not use multithreading, so there is a limited gain from spending your money on dual or quad processors, although it may be worthwhile if you are waiting a lot on Final Quality (raytraced) renderings.

The benefit with dual processors is that you can use multiple apps at the same time without the machine becoming too sluggish. Another engineer here noticed that his new single G5 seemed slower than his old dual G4 when using multiple apps at the same time.

IMHO, recommendations in order of priority would be:

1. Memory (1 GB minimum, 2GB preferred)

2. Processor, true dual processor/core preferred over single with hyperthreading

3. Recent consumer-level video card, state of the art is not required with VW

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Jnr,

got my rig from XI. Nothing but good stuff to say about their computers. They put in what I wanted, gave me advice where I needed it, top notch job. Reasonably priced too, if you do a little comparision shopping.

My hope is that VW will take advantage of the fact that dual processing machines are becoming more and more of the norm, and make more of their operations available to it.

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Thank you all for the excellent advice. After this research and a couple of quotes from machine vendors, we are planning to move forward with a machine that contains dual Opteron 270 dual-core processors, 3GB RAM and QuadroFX 4500 Video. From what I read above this should be more than adequate for Renderworks and other rendering applications now and moving forward. Thank you again very much!

Tom Henninger

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