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Thread: Don't buy that new GTX 680 just yet

  1. #1
    Junior Member pulser's Avatar
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    Question Adding additional Graphic cards

    My question is quite in general regarding the use of multiple GPUs. I have found sparse information so far and want
    to clarify things in advance of any further buying decision.

    Our current systems has the following main specs:

    Hardware: 3.1 GHz Quad core XEON (1x)
    16 GB ECC DDR3 RAM
    Mainboard with C206 chipset and 4x PCIe x16
    Geforce 560GTX with 1GB GDDRAM (1x)

    Software: Win 7 Pro, 64bit
    Shot 2011, 64bit

    The system feels quite fast, especially all the pre-rendering work. When rendering, the CPU mode also works very well.
    Most of the problems occur when we try to render in GPU mode. Sometimes the scene is just blank, shows a checker
    pattern or even crashes. The error message contains something like ".net .... reference set to (0)".
    I might look it up, if this helps. However, i think it has something to do with our GPU configuration, as in CPU mode
    everything works just fine.

    So, with all the information form the Tech Specs and the forum IŽve collected so far it seems, that we need more
    RAM on the GPU side, as the problem mostly occurs with large scenes. But, as I said, I`m not sure about that.
    I think the CPU and RAM are sufficient for a rendering machine and we might want to upgrade the graphics with a
    dual GPU setup. I would also like to favour GeForce cards compared to the Quadro solutions.

    It might help us, if there is any document availabe which contains all the information for Multi GPU setups
    or somebody could answer the questions below:

    What would be a good recommendation for our setup?
    Do the cards have to be configured in SLI mode?
    Is the GPU mode buggy itself or is it indeed depending on the GPU setup, if large scenes wonŽt render?
    Is the amount of VRAM scalable with the amount of GPU cards you put into the system?
    Any other tips, recommondations for/experiences with Multi GPU use?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Administrator david.randle's Avatar
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    Hi Pulser -

    Your hunch is exactly correct. It appears that you are exceeding what 1GB of VRAM can do...

    To answer your questions:

    What would be a good recommendation for our setup?
    In that machine, you will probably benefit most from Dual GTX 580's with 3GB VRAM. (These cards support up to 15 million polygons roughly at 5 million per/GB)
    Do the cards have to be configured in SLI mode?
    No, in fact, SLI hurts performance so if you have it on, we don't let our program run and you get a message saying to turn it off.
    Is the GPU mode buggy itself or is it indeed depending on the GPU setup, if large scenes wonŽt render?
    I wouldn't say its more buggy. GPU's just don't have as much VRAM as system RAM at the moment so you can reach their threshold a little sooner than you would on the CPU.
    Is the amount of VRAM scalable with the amount of GPU cards you put into the system?
    No, VRAM is not additive. This is because the data must be loaded into each card. GPU's can't share their memory (yet).

    Hope this helps
    Any other tips, recommondations for/experiences with Multi GPU use?
    David Randle / General Manager / Bunkspeed

  3. #3
    Junior Member pulser's Avatar
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    This helps a lot! So IŽll change our shopping list, but I think it will be worth it.
    Anyways, I think it should be mentoined, that Shot is a big leap forward compared to the previous software!
    We used Hypershot before and were impressed over the ease of use and the speed.
    Shot impressed us even more with the same simplicity, but bigger value regarding functionality and render performance.

  4. #4
    Administrator david.randle's Avatar
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    Cool, glad i could help.

    Thanks for the kind words about Shot as well! (Its only getting better :-)
    David Randle / General Manager / Bunkspeed

  5. #5
    Senior Member andy's Avatar
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    Those machines can get expensive Real quick. Jeff Patton, one of the most experienced iRay users out there, uses a machine that costs somewhere around 18,000 (16k of which are the Tesla's/Quadro's wow those are expensive)
    You can get faster with Geforce 580's, but I challenge the group to find an air cooled case that can handle 4 of those rendering at 100% and not fail in less than a year.
    Seriously, that's a real challenge. I would Love to know which case can handle that. I need that machine. lol

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnG's Avatar
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    Don't buy that new GTX 680 just yet

    It seems iRay doesn't run on Kepler GPU's just yet......


    http://blog.irayrender.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member Aselert's Avatar
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    Ok, that's klear... I'm disapointed but not surprised anyway. Thanks JohnG!

  8. #8
    Administrator david.randle's Avatar
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    We are awaiting delivery of two 680s and we will be able to see if there is any advantage over 580's for the time being. Until iray is recompiled, i don't think there is going to be a clear advantage to the new cards. :-(
    David Randle / General Manager / Bunkspeed

  9. #9
    Hi,

    Can you confirm that Dual Cards work, and it does avail of double the Cuda cores, just not in SLI configuration?

    Thanks,

    James

  10. #10
    Senior Member haknslash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesignPartners View Post
    Hi,

    Can you confirm that Dual Cards work, and it does avail of double the Cuda cores, just not in SLI configuration?

    Thanks,

    James
    I use multiple GPU's. Shot will use all the CUDA cores available.
    Kenny Wilson
    900D ASUS Maximus VI Extreme 4770k 3x GTX 780 Ti's AX1200i 32GB RAM H100i a lot of SP120 fans
    Bunkspeed Shot Pro 2014

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