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Use of quad-core much lower than it should be

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Chris ParkinsonUse of quad-core much lower than it should be
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:56:23 am

Hi everyone,

Interesting problem. I have two projects. One is motion graphic intensive, 1024 x 576 (tons of layers, effects etc). The other is far simpler (objects popping on, then disappearing, minimal effect, but is 1280 x 720. I can only average about 40% CPU usage out of the first project, however the second project maxes out all my CPU's to 100%, and keeps it there for the entire render. My comp is running XP 64, 8gb of ram, q6600 quad-core proc.

I have employed Knoll light Factory Pro and Particular in the first project, but not in the second, and can't help but think that somehow they are the culprit. Has anyone experienced this problem before??

Chris


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Dave LaRondeRe: Use of quad-core much lower than it should be
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:26:45 pm

Hey, some effects are just more render-intensive than others. For example, Remove Grain is a REAL render hog.

Just wait until you do a 3D job with multiple lights, all casting shadows.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Use of quad-core much lower than it should be
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:31:31 pm

[Chris Parkinson] " I can only average about 40% CPU usage out of the first project, however the second project maxes out all my CPU's to 100%, and keeps it there for the entire render. My comp is running XP 64, 8gb of ram, q6600 quad-core proc."

All this indicates as that your first project is not CPU-bound, but your second project is. The limiting factor on your first project is either RAM or hard disk speed, since you mention you have a lot of layers and effects. In other words, the CPUs can't get up to 100% utilization because they are waiting for the disks to catch up or RAM to free up.

Through multiprocessing, AE can use up to 4 GB per core with a 64-bit operating system. You could use up to 16 GB of RAM for AE alone, and if your renders are RAM-bound, this will help speed them up.

If your renders are disk-bound, you might also look into a RAID for your media, or using 3 separate drives for your system, footage, and renders.

Finally, I think that Knoll Light Factory Pro can use the GPU for rendering, and I think that blocks AE from using multiprocessing. Do a RAM preview and look in the Info panel for the message "Multiprocessing disabled."

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chris ParkinsonRe: Use of quad-core much lower than it should be
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:44:19 pm

Hi Walter,

Thanks for your response. I noticed that the Render dialogue estimates roughly 2 hrs to render completion. I do realise that sometimes, the estimated remaining time is not accurate, as I think it's based on the current frame, however my comp stays the same, in terms of effects, elements, throughout the whole comp. My friend has the same project, same plugins, however his machine rendered the project in 41 Min! I didn't believe him at first but he sent me a screen grab. His machine is a dual xeon 2-core 2.66Ghz with 6GB of ram.

Spec for spec, his machine shouldn't be alot faster than mine (maybe 10%?). I'm fairly certain I have GPU acceleration switched on in Knoll Light Factory, so I will turn this off and see how it goes. Of course, judging from the task manager, multiprocessing is def on, as I have 4 instances of after effects running. As a final note, I noticed that each instance was only using around 800MB, as with my other project, it was 1.5GB

Chris


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