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Author Topic: Defining 'complexity'? (Video card recommendation please)  (Read 1495 times)


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Defining 'complexity'? (Video card recommendation please)
« on: April 16, 2015, 10:50:40 pm »
April 16, 2015, 10:50:40 pm
We have a client that is considering using Lumion for some high-end residential architectural renderings, and approached us about hardware configuration for a machine to run Lumion.

Their standard CAD workstation is already an i7 4790 with 16GB of RAM and an SSD, so I'm not too worried about those aspects, however the video card we've standardized on is a V5900 which appears to be somewhat inadequate for Lumion.

The customer initially said they would like to "eventually render very complex scenes" and linked me the minimum requirements post but I can't seem to find any metric or 'rule of thumb' for what qualifies as 'very complex.' I asked our customer them to go through the Gallery of Best Works and pick out some that represented what they envisioned as their final product, and I was presented with the following posts:

Primarily, they'd be doing still renderings, but occasionally some animation or fly/walkthroughs. Ideally this machine is also going to run AutoCAD, so we are looking at FirePro/Quattro family of cards.

To my admittedly untrained eye, these don't look like "very complex scenes," and especially considering the price point of the higher end certified cards, I want to be confident that I'm recommending the most cost effective solution. At this point I'm leaning towards something like the FirePro W7000, or maybe even W8000.

Are we headed in the right direction?

Re: Defining 'complexity'? (Video card recommendation please)
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 03:21:36 am »
April 17, 2015, 03:21:36 am
Hi nxio

Thanks for the enquiry.  It's good to see that requests and seeking advice are being made about hardware requirements, rather than jumping in and assuming things will work on any platform.  ;)

The V5900 is definitely below minimum requirements.  Also, it's architecture and support of more recent graphics features is lacking, for example only supports PCI-e V2 (not V3).

The FirePro W7000 Passmark is 4061.
The FirePro W8000 Passmark is still only 4329.

Those Passmarks fall at the low end of Moderately Complex Scenes, and definitely not at the Complex/Very Complex Scene level.

Price wise at nearly $1000 for a W8000 compared to the top of the pick GTX Titan Black/Titan X, and the GTX 980  at half the cost, it's almost a cost option to consider a separate dedicated PC.

Selecting a range of videos is a great way to clarify definitions of scene complexity  :).  It's hard to put in to words, but even harder to define in fixed terms as there are so many variables.  It's a mix of building complexity, entourage complexity/detail, interiors detail, and Effects complexity.

My assessment, based on the videos is:
 [dot] There's a range of lower Moderately Complex to Mid (and Upper) Highly Complex  :-\ So the range of Passmarks needed would be 6000 to above 8000.
 [dot] To be conservative, client should aim for 8000 plus.  The price differential in some cases makes little difference to go up, especially considering it's a business investment with a 2 to 3 year life.

Have they considered Quadro cards?

There's one other option to consider.  Add a card dedicated for Lumion. The price points are low for GTX/Radeon cards so it's a feasible alternative, or with a slightly lower priced CAD based card.  The advantage is the wealth of user base and Lumion support with GTX based cards, but more importantly, performance.  The (only?) issue I would foresee is that unless they run the workstation with two screens, one for each card, they will not be able to run both CAD and Lumion at the same time, but that may not be an issue anyway  ;)

One other consideration, many of our members find that Lumion is providing additional projects or allowing them to extend or expand their services or client base.  So, although they think they may do mainly still image renders, it's likely with the ease of producing animations, that they may move much further in to producing animations  (you can tell I have my Lumion hat on today :-D ).  From that perspective, it's a good idea to look for a solution that gives them added capacity and capability, and not to be too locked in to one hardware path.

Hope this feedback helps in your client decision and progress to using Lumion.

Disclaimer/Caveat:  these comments are provided only to assist forum members in considering their options for purchasing hardware to use with Lumion.  They should in no way be considered as recommendations or qualified advice.
IMPORTANT: Please do not send private messages and emails to members of staff - unless we specifically ask you to send us sensitive information, for example License Keys.


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Re: Defining 'complexity'? (Video card recommendation please)
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 06:50:17 pm »
April 17, 2015, 06:50:17 pm
Is there some way to tell Lumion which card to render with? I've never seen a deployment of a PC with two video cards where both were being used independently of each other. Do you have clients that have successfully deployed a PC like this that is able to run CAD and Lumion effectively?

Re: Defining 'complexity'? (Video card recommendation please)
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 01:19:40 am »
April 20, 2015, 01:19:40 am
Hi nxio

Is there some way to tell Lumion which card to render with? ..
NVIDIA Control Panel or for ATI/AMD Catalyst.

Search for "two graphics cards":
1. Running Dual GTX980s

Search for "two monitors":
1. Two monitors
2. Running Dual GTX980s
3. Upgrade Graphic card Nvidia Quadro 2000 to K2000D -> less performance?
4. Nvidia driver crashing
5. 1 Card for displaying and another for rendering

IMPORTANT: Please do not send private messages and emails to members of staff - unless we specifically ask you to send us sensitive information, for example License Keys.