POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.macintosh : What to buy? : Re: What to buy? Server Time
24 May 2024 20:01:17 EDT (-0400)
  Re: What to buy?  
From: Tom York
Date: 17 Dec 2007 13:25:01
Message: <web.4766be5a7b46cfdd7d55e4a40@news.povray.org>
"Sky Shields" <sky {u} wlym {tochka} com> wrote:
> I would very much like to be able to use a multicore processor.  There seem to
> be a number of complaints about that here.

I'm using POVRay on a Q6600 (quad core processor), after a long time using a
Pentium 4 processor of the same speed (2.4GHz). The following is based on
personal experience only - it contains no facts of significance:

Highs:
* (3.7 beta only) When you're dealing with a scene where rendering time
dominates over parsing time, POV tends to start eating scenes like popcorn. I
don't know whether the speedup is as good as 400% over a P4 of the same speed,
but it's enough that I don't really care.

Lows:
* (3.7 beta only) Because many scenes render so rapidly on multicore processors,
the morally improving aspect of raytracing is initially lost. Not much time left
to sit in a comfy chair contemplating The Great Questions while you wait for a
render to complete.

* (3.6 and variants only) The realization that when using POVRay 3.6 or variants
to render a still, rendering is leaving almost three-quarters of the available
CPU idle. While rendering on a single core of intel's quad or dual core chips
is likely faster than rendering on a P4 of equivalent clock speed, I haven't
been bothered enough to find out the precise figure.

On the upside, switching back to 3.6 (when you've got a scene using radiosity,
or you're tired of living on the edge) brings back the morally improving
aspect.

Intel seem to be releasing a new line of processors, including a few
mobile/laptop processors, in the not too distant future (first half of next
year?), I don't know how that changes things compared to the current generation
of chips.

Tom


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