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TOPIC: multiple R2500 boards

multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1733

Great news Thomas, I am looking forward to this !
Should be a huge game changer for all of us in archviz!

Can we use multiple R2500 boards in the same workstation to accelerate rendering even more ?

If we can, with 40 lanes of PCI bus with Sandy Bridge E, can we use only two in x16 slots,
or have a third in a x16 physical x8 lane electrical slot also ?

or would we mix 2 x 2500 with 1 x 2100 ?

many thanks !
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Re: multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1735

  • thomas.osowski
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Good question.

Having multiple Series2 acceleration cards in a single machine is not 'officially' supported, though may be supported based on developer demand. The RTU acts as an accelerator rather than completely offloading work from the CPU. This means that any computer matching the minimum hardware specifications will be 3-5 (and potentially more) times faster than running CPU only.

The R2100 is a single RTU configuration, and we released the R2500 with two RTUs so users would not be required to purchase multiple cards. In short, machines with single CPUs should use the R2100 and dual processor machines should use the R2500.

In testing of the latest workstations available with our Visualizer products, we've found that a single R2500 is matched perfectly with a dual processor machine - each RTU is basically fed by a CPU. Since the software relies on the CPU for shading, the bus bandwidth and L3 cache pressure are ultimately limiting additional benefit for more RTUs.

Another issue, as you mentioned, is that the motherboard would need to have multiple 16 lane PCIe slots available. Some motherboards will share the bandwidth between multiple slots and only give 8 lanes to each slot. If this happens, then the hardware will not provide maximum acceleration.

That said, the software does not restrict users to only using one device. You *may* install multiple devices but this is not recommended nor supported by our team.
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Re: multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1736

Thanks Thomas,

In that case maybe for future versions we will see a benefit of multiple R2500's for mutiple processor machines, of two or more CPUs.

Our goal is to get 4K renders out a decent rate (currently painfully slow), with the capability of doing 8K renders for printing out poster size prints - without having to wait for days on end!

Also for building new multi cpu workstations, should we stick with only Intel - as you use the AVX instruction set ?

Thanks
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Re: multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1740

  • thomas.osowski
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Have you had a chance to install the beta yet?

With CPU-only, you should get a benefit from interactive feedback and render speeds. From there, I'd recommend testing with a single R2500 when you have everything running. After you get a chance to try a single card, I can contact you directly to explore whether a multi- R2500 configuration makes sense for your scenes - interior scenes that are traversal-heavy may benefit.

In the latest release of the Caustic Visualizer for Maya, we added batch rendering. Another time saver is having multiple machines - each with a R2500 - rendering passes for your scene over a network. I would imagine this to be more efficient than multiple cards in a single machine. We'll explore adding final frame rendering for the Caustic Visualizer for 3ds Max over the course of the Beta.

Finally, Intel is the only platform we are currently testing on. We recommend multi-processor, sandybridge workstations (latest generation) but they will likely work on others as well. Adding links for more hardware information:
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Re: multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1777

HI Thomas,

We have not installed the beta yet - I only found out about CV late Friday.

We are currently using a different pipeline with Cebas FinalRender 3.5 as the back end on three workstations.

I am installing the first seat of 3ds Max Design 2014 this week so will order a 2500 also, the email sent for the beta mentions 2012 and 2013 only, is 2014 OK ?

Our scenes have a lot of very large mirrors and glossy reflective surfaces, so are very traversal heavy.

I will PM you to make contact and also order our first R2500.

Many thanks.
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Re: multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1781

  • thomas.osowski
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I responded to the 2014 question on your other thread : support.caustic.com/forum/29-enhancement...1-brmax-311-max-2014

Short answer is no, we currently don't support 2014. It's coming.
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Re: multiple R2500 boards 11 months, 1 week ago #1800

Many thanks Thomas
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