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View Full Version : Anyone use 3DS Max on Mac?




Slippery Gimp
Jul 23, 2009, 07:08 AM
For the record, I do myself, but I wonder what everyone's experiences are like?

I ask, because I have a 20" iMac, 2.66ghz, 4gb RAM, 256 ATI graphics card and I run 3DS Max 2009 on 32-bit XP Home version through Bootcamp.

At work we have an HP xw6600 workstation, Intel Xeon quad-core 2.50ghz, 4gb RAM, a 1gb nVidia graphics card, and it runs on 32-bit XP Porfessional. It's on a large network.


And my point is that my iMac, whilst (surely?) less powerful than the work PC, actually renders a scene twice as fast. Literally: 14mins 15secs vs 29mins 36secs. I have done several scenes and an animation, and they all take twice as long on the works PC.

We have had a guy come in and check the system out for us, and bar suggesting some minor tweaks he reckons it's performing as he would expect.


Is the internal architecture of a Mac very different from a PC in order for me to see this difference?


Thanks in advance.



LeviG
Jul 23, 2009, 07:51 AM
Personally I find this somewhat unbelievable.

Unless there is something seriously wrong with the desktop or a difference in the render configurations (ie scanline instead of mental ray) there is no way that a dual core would be faster than a quad by that amount. I've seen only 1 core being used during certain scene element calculations (raytracing for example) but that was with older versions of max and even then it utilises the full core allocation from that point on.

I'd be getting the tech guy to check the systems again if the files are being rendered identically as theres something not running right if the files are being treated the same.

LERsince1991
Jul 24, 2009, 02:54 AM
Well rendering uses the processor mainly, not much of anything else.

I would say that your workstation xp pro is clogged up and you have a fresh install on the imac just for 3DS Max.

My guess is that you have way to much stuff running in the background on the PC.

Not sure how to do it in xp but You can view everything in start -> run -> msconfig

Do a selective boot and see what you don't need. You could probably then go into the registry somewhere and delete the entries that you don't need.

Luke.

design-is
Jul 24, 2009, 03:10 AM
<snip>
You could probably then go into the registry somewhere and delete the entries that you don't need.
</snip>

Not bad advice other than this bit... If someone starts messing around with a Windows registry when they aren't sure what they're doing it can lead to some serious issues.

Other than this comment, I have no ideas - don't do much (if any) 3D :o

/Doug

LERsince1991
Jul 24, 2009, 11:07 AM
Well first do a selective boot with the minimal amount of things you need, You could post a screenshot here of the processes you can choose to run at startup then get advice as what you don't need.

Well disable them temporarily and do a selective boot and then a test render on both the mac and PC and see how they perform then (with nothing else running of course). The PC should then be faster, if not we can do more tuning then it would come down to hardware or just be weird lol.

Let us know how you get on.

LeviG
Jul 24, 2009, 11:23 AM
Luke even with all the usual processes running on the quad, there is no way (after a tech inspection) that they would be taking up so much cpu that it would make it slower than a dual core.

My earlier response was made under the assumption that nothing else was utilising the cpu's other than 3ds max and a single scene. It is possible that maybe a network communication (using a nas instead of internal hard drive) is slowing it down but I very much doubt it is with that much difference.

LERsince1991
Jul 24, 2009, 11:33 AM
Well pretty much all of my friends and family are a bit rubbish on computers, every one of their computers I have seen are sooooo bogged down with crap, mostly running at start up. They just all think that they need a new computer :o Quite annoys me actually how bad people can be...

I don't even know what most of it is, they don't use much software!
But it's like when they install a program, most of the time (with the software they use) it trys to launch some background task at startup that really isn't needed, this all builds up.

It's just all crap...

just try it anyway see what difference it makes ;) :P haha

LeviG
Jul 24, 2009, 12:59 PM
I don't need to, I only install whats needed :)

Starship77
Jul 24, 2009, 04:09 PM
Well, I sometimes have the same situations were my work machine (i7 quad) is slower than my iMac (core2duo) at home. I figured it was because the scene has many large textures that were being loaded from the network. At home, everything was on the local hard drive, so it was faster even though the CPU is slower... ;)

Also, check if the renderer takes too much time preparing objects, translating the scene, caching shadow maps or something, because this processes are all single-threaded and a Quad, octo, or 16-core won't make a difference in this pre-stage...

LeviG
Jul 24, 2009, 05:39 PM
except that the i7 cpu has a 'turbo' feature where it auto-overclocks when using single cores (upto around 3.2 from 2.66ghz), meaning it would be quicker on top of the 3d boost (iirc 20% over core 2 architecture) and other improvements in the i7 architecture), then of course it has the extra cores for the rest of the render.

Unless the network is exceptionally slow (mine gets about 50% of my hard drive performance, which is older so is on a par with current mobile hard drives) then I still question the validity of the statements saying that a mac with a c2d mobile processor is going to be faster than a quad, especially an i7!

Slippery Gimp
Jul 25, 2009, 04:04 AM
Well, I sometimes have the same situations were my work machine (i7 quad) is slower than my iMac (core2duo) at home. I figured it was because the scene has many large textures that were being loaded from the network. At home, everything was on the local hard drive, so it was faster even though the CPU is slower... ;)

Also, check if the renderer takes too much time preparing objects, translating the scene, caching shadow maps or something, because this processes are all single-threaded and a Quad, octo, or 16-core won't make a difference in this pre-stage...



You see, this is what I was wondering. The guy who came into look at our setup said that the network (providing it's set up fine), shouldn't really impact on the performance, but surely it must? For example I've seen the works PC updating it's antivirus software while it's been rendering, but to be honest I know next to nothing about networks.

I wonder if my Mac (or any Mac) was set up on our system would it then start to run slower?

The thing is, we may be about to get a second machine for 3DS Max, and if a Mac's going to be a lot quicker then that's what I'll ask for. But if not, we may as well just get another PC.

LeviG
Jul 25, 2009, 09:22 AM
If you want to test out if its a network issue, cache the work files to a location on the hard drive but as I said I very much doubt that it is the issue unless you have 100's of pc's running off a single gige network (theres only so much bandwidth :)).

Starship77
Jul 27, 2009, 07:09 AM
except that the i7 cpu has a 'turbo' feature where it auto-overclocks when using single cores (upto around 3.2 from 2.66ghz), meaning it would be quicker on top of the 3d boost (iirc 20% over core 2 architecture) and other improvements in the i7 architecture), then of course it has the extra cores for the rest of the render.

yes, you're right here. To be honest, since I've got the i7 (got a core2quad before) at work, I didn't do any direct performance tests (I just have performance impressions) but, there's other thing to consider here. At work, we use Vista 64 and at home I use XP 32. Max viewport and overall performance is a lot better in XP. (thus my impression)

The thing is, we may be about to get a second machine for 3DS Max, and if a Mac's going to be a lot quicker then that's what I'll ask for. But if not, we may as well just get another PC.

well, since you have to run windows on the mac (via bootcamp witch is now officially supported by autodesk) the performance of a mac or PC would be exactly the same (considering the same specs: CPU, RAM, etc). In the other hand, the mac would be more flexible if you need to run OSX eventually for some Mac software. If it's not the case, I'd go for the PC (because it has more configuration options to save you some $$) ;)

LeviG
Jul 27, 2009, 07:20 AM
Strange when I moved up to vista x64 (ultimate) I noticed a reduction in render time of about a 1/3 over xp pro on the same system.

Don't really see any issues with viewports although there was/is a slight performance hit with geforce on vista x64 compared with xp - due to slightly different graphic architectures in each os.

Starship77
Jul 27, 2009, 09:32 AM
Strange when I moved up to vista x64 (ultimate) I noticed a reduction in render time of about a 1/3 over xp pro on the same system.

Don't really see any issues with viewports although there was/is a slight performance hit with geforce on vista x64 compared with xp - due to slightly different graphic architectures in each os.

yeah, there seems to be some problem with DirectX 9 under vista... I don't know why, but although the OpenGL performance seems the same, the DirectX performance is notably different. The guy sitting side-by-side to me has Windows XP on his machine and he can play an animation in max viewport at more than 30fps while my vista machine plays the same file at 14 to 17fps or so... His machine is a core2quad with a 9800GTX while mine is an core i7 with a GTX 295!

as for the render times, I haven't noticed any performance boost with Vista. In fact it was quite the opposite, because Vista consumes a lot more RAM and have many more background services and tasks running...

LeviG
Jul 27, 2009, 09:46 AM
as for the render times, I haven't noticed any performance boost with Vista. In fact it was quite the opposite, because Vista consumes a lot more RAM and have many more background services and tasks running...
My boost probably came from the system (and 64bit 3ds max) making use of the 64bit cores rather than still using 32bit.

Vista only looks like its consuming more ram, its actually assigned ram to your main programs before they're opened and in my experience gives it back pretty quickly if an app requires it. Now I'll admit I do most of my rendering with the mental ray renderer and usually set the ram usage to 2.5GB (I've got 4GB) as this seems to work quite nicely with the rest of the system usage.

ezekielrage_99
Jul 27, 2009, 09:21 PM
I use 3DS Max on Virtual Desktop from my HP wx8600, I was too frustrated with Bootcamp on the Mac Pro to keep using it on my Mac.

LeviG
Jul 28, 2009, 05:59 AM
I use 3DS Max on Virtual Desktop from my HP wx8600, I was too frustrated with Bootcamp on the Mac Pro to keep using it on my Mac.
supposedly the issues have been fixed with the latest version although I'm not able to check if this is actually the case