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Graphics card impacts Smoke perormance

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Matt LarsonGraphics card impacts Smoke perormance
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 7:24:46 pm

I downloaded the Smoke for Mac 2012 trial software earlier this week and I'm starting to learn my way around the application. Before I installed it, I checked the system requirements and realized that although my Mac Pro tower, Kona 3, and RAID array met the requirements, my graphics card was not on the list. Smoke installed regardless and I've been using it for a couple of days.

I've liked what I've seen so far, but one thing I've noticed is that the interface is not as responsive as I would like. It's not the end of the world (fine for learning on) but a half second lag on most actions isn't as snappy as I'd hoped. I'm assuming this is because I am using an underpowered graphics card and Smoke is seriously GPU dependent.

I currently have an ATI Radeon HD 2600 graphics card with 256MB VRAM. If I were to upgrade to an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 card, I would see a significant improvement in responsiveness, correct? I currently have an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT card with 512MB VRAM in another machine that I could swap with the ATI card. How much improvement would that make?

Here are the details of the rest of my system:
Mac Pro 3,1 Dual Quad core 3 Ghz w/ 24 GB RAM
Mac OS X 10.6.8
Smoke for Mac 2012 Trial version
Kona 3, 9.0.3 driver
G-Speed XL 12 TB RAID with dual 4Gb/s fiber connection


Thanks


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Ryan HolmesRe: Graphics card impacts Smoke perormance
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 9:57:06 pm

I would hold off on buying a card until 2013 ships. It looks to be more open than 2012 (more computer support and gfx card support).

The Quadro FX 4800 is a great card but it's old and overpriced. I would lean towards the Quadro 4000 as it's half the price and faster (though not qualified with Smoke 2012 - I hope 2013 is a different story).

Autodesk has a handy page for looking up spec and cards:
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?id=18844534&siteID=123112

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Robert AdamRe: Graphics card impacts Smoke perormance
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 2:23:41 pm

Hi Matt.
Smoke should not be as slow to respond on your Mac Pro. It might be due to the graphics card. Before you go and buy a new one, I'd try swapping with the NVIDIA card you have, just to test if the card is the culprit.

You may also want to take a look at how much free space you have on your system drive. A drive that's almost full might impact performance.

Please also run the System Checker app from the "Applications / Autodesk / Smoke Common Utilities" folder and see if it reports any issues.

Regards,
Robert.

Autodesk M&E Support
http://www.facebook.com/AutodeskMECF


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Joseph OwensRe: Graphics card impacts Smoke perormance
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 3:53:42 pm

[Matt Larson] "I currently have an ATI Radeon HD 2600 graphics card with 256MB VRAM."

There's no way this poor little thing is going to be able to lift the load.
If you do use the Autodesk GPU selection widget, it asks for Fermi/Tesla nvidia Quadros.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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