Take to the polls: Rendering

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The D3D Poll returns this week to look at your rendering needs, wants and desires (ok, maybe not desires).

We’re looking to see if size matters to you and your clients – a simple screen grab, or a monster 5,000 pixels plus?

Also, if you’re feeling perky this week, leave us a comment about what render tools you’re using, what’s lighting up your virtual worlds, or any questions you have about getting the best from your renders.

As for our last poll (admittedly a couple of weeks ago now) regarding your hardware bottlenecks, here’s what our workstation expert Greg Corke had to make of the percentages:

“Last week’s poll was all about workstation hardware and bottlenecks and identifying where your slowdowns are. Evidently we screwed up a bit by not giving an option for the ‘human bottleneck’ – better known by some as being distracted by phone calls, blogs, coffee, Facebook and, we were rather flattered to learn, DEVELOP3D.

“Back on the topic of computer hardware there was no runaway winner in our bottleneck face off. Yes, CPU came out top, but this was closely followed closely by a smorgasbord of graphics, memory, network and hard drive. This backs up what we regularly hear from readers that bottlenecks occur is all sorts of places – changing from application to application and dataset to dataset.


“Some admitted to having a bottleneck but not knowing where it was, and this is a more common problem than some may realize. For example you may suffer from poor frame rates when moving your 3D models about on screen, but because of the way some CAD software works your bottleneck may actually be down to an underpowered CPU, rather than a poorly specced graphics card.

“Interestingly there were a few comments about the memory limitations of 32-bit Windows where adding additional memory does nothing to ease the bottleneck. We’d be interested to learn what’s stopping the move to a 64-bit OS. Is it cost, lack of approval by IT, lack of support by 3D apps or simply no time to make the step?

“There were also complaints about the network and painfully slow PLM systems. Do you think IT departments do enough to keep centrally managed resources running at top speed. A little bit more thought or investment here could do wonders for productivty.

“Finally, as I write this now on my cutting edge workstation, I’m painfully aware that I actually miss bottlenecks. Back in the early nineties when I ran AutoCAD R12 on a 386 it took 15 mins to regen a 400k drawing. A cast-iron excuse for a cup of tea and a chinwag, if ever I heard one.”

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