Some benchmarking results

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stephen
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Some benchmarking results

Post by stephen » Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:10 pm

I got curious about the rendering speed of Moho on various platforms. My main machine is a 400mhz G4 PowerBook with 384 megs of ram running OSX 10.3.8. As I said in another thread I have a 43 second animation that takes 41 minutes to render to an uncompressed Quicktime file at 320x240 resolution.

I have a 750mhz Pentium III running XP with 256 megs of ram. I did not time it precisely, but it takes about the same amount of time as my Powerbook to render.

At work I have a 1 Ghz G4 Powerbook, with 512megs of ram running OSX 10.3.8 and it took 23 minutes to render it.

I also have access to a dual 2Ghz G5 PowerMac with 2Gigs of ram running OSX 10.3.8 and it took only 6 mins and 45 secs to render it!

I also ran it on a Dell Pentium IV 2Ghz with 512 megs of ram running Windows 2000 and it took 16 minutes to render it.


I heard that Moho is multithreaded but only has one rendering thread. Watching the CPU usage on the Dual G5 I saw that the CPU usage averaged between 150 and 160 percent. So apparently Moho does benifit from a dual processor machine when rendering.

Moho's real memory usage on the Macs ran about 45 megs, so I don't think the differences in the ammount of installed memory on the various platforms factors in here.

Well, those are my data points. I'll leave it up to everyone to make their own conclusions, but I know now what my dream machine is.

Stephen
LittleFenris
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Post by LittleFenris » Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:35 am

That really proves how important processor speed is for rendering. I mean 43 mins vs. 6 mins for rendering! Thats an insane amount of time saved over the long run.

Once I have something long enough to benchmark I'll give it a go. I have access to a Dual 1Ghz G4, Dual 2Ghz G5 (both running OS X 10.3.8 ) and my personal Pentium 4 3.0Ghz (Windows XP Pro SP2). All machines have 1-2GBs respectively. Will be an interesting test. If someone has a moho file that actually has some animation that might take a while to render I'd be more than happy to benchmark on my machines just for experiments sake.
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Post by tim worsfold » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:06 am

This sort of benchmarking is really useful.

Perhaps Lost Marble could put a downloadable Moho file with decent complexity on the website, then a number of people could render from it on their own machines, take a timing, then we could assemble the results in a table?
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Post by LittleFenris » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:27 pm

That doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. I'd be up for testing on all my machines.
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Post by jorgy » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:32 pm

This actually brings up an interesting question: does it take longer to render to AVI, or QuickTime, or even PNG frames? I'd be curious to find out about that as well.
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Post by LittleFenris » Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:03 pm

jorgy wrote:This actually brings up an interesting question: does it take longer to render to AVI, or QuickTime, or even PNG frames? I'd be curious to find out about that as well.
I'm up for testing that as well.

Although honestly the only thing I recommend to people is to render to individual frames and put them together in another program. If you render to AVI or quicktime and your render takes a while you could have a problem if 3/4 of the way through your power goes out of the computer locks up or something. Then you have to re-render the entire thing. If you rendered out individual frames you would just have to start from the last frame before it locked up or whatever happened. Much more flexible with options when you use frames instead of rendering to video files.
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Post by idragosani » Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:44 pm

LittleFenris wrote:
jorgy wrote:This actually brings up an interesting question: does it take longer to render to AVI, or QuickTime, or even PNG frames? I'd be curious to find out about that as well.
I'm up for testing that as well.

Although honestly the only thing I recommend to people is to render to individual frames and put them together in another program. If you render to AVI or quicktime and your render takes a while you could have a problem if 3/4 of the way through your power goes out of the computer locks up or something. Then you have to re-render the entire thing. If you rendered out individual frames you would just have to start from the last frame before it locked up or whatever happened. Much more flexible with options when you use frames instead of rendering to video files.
I think it might be better also to run a set of renders (via the batch render, so each frame doesn't get displayed), with different levels of complexity, so you can make comparisons.

Hmmmm... wonder if Moho will ever support multi-machine rendering (renderfarm).... :-)
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Post by LittleFenris » Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:09 pm

idragosani wrote:Hmmmm... wonder if Moho will ever support multi-machine rendering (renderfarm).... :-)
I don't think a majority of Moho users would ever have something complex or long enough to warrant needing a render farm. From all the stuff I've seen on the forums their one little P3 500Mhz running Win98SE seems to do them just fine. :wink:
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Post by stephen » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:13 pm

LittleFenris wrote:
idragosani wrote:Hmmmm... wonder if Moho will ever support multi-machine rendering (renderfarm).... :-)
I don't think a majority of Moho users would ever have something complex or long enough to warrant needing a render farm. From all the stuff I've seen on the forums their one little P3 500Mhz running Win98SE seems to do them just fine. :wink:
You are probably right that most users would not need a render farm, but that is not to say that it is not easy to get yourself into a complex/slow rendering situation. Especially if particles are involved and/or there is a lot of transparency/blurred edges.

My butterfly animation is only about 6 seconds long and though it renders fast enough for a single butterfly, rendering slows to a crawl if I try to use particles and render a flock of 10 butterflies. Sure my laptop is a few years old, so pretty slow by todays standards, so I am planning to upgrade to a much faster machine in the near future.

My 43 second animation takes 41 minutes to render on my laptop. If I were to extrapolate that to a 30 minute cartoon (what I expect to eventually develop) it would take aprox 31 hours to render, ignoring the fact that the first 43 seconds of my cartoon are visually simple compared to what the rest would be. If I were to upgrade to a dual 2gig G5, it looks like I can reduce the 31 hours down to 4.5 hours. Then taking into account that I would only be rendering a scene at a time, life will be bearable. By the way, it looks like from my benchmarks that a dual 2 gig Windows machine would also be a good option.

You said that a 500mhz P3 would be sufficient for most users, but I don't consider myself a power user and my laptop is equivalent or better than that and I'm already thinking about an upgrade.

Stephen
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Post by LittleFenris » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:20 pm

stephen wrote:You said that a 500mhz P3 would be sufficient for most users, but I don't consider myself a power user and my laptop is equivalent or better than that and I'm already thinking about an upgrade.

Stephen
I was using that P3 500Mhz as an example more than anything, not a specific that I've seen people using. It just seems a lot of the people using this software are younger kids with old PC's with outdated operating systems and not many power users with power machines on here at all.

Barry Baker seems to be the best I've seen so far with that Health cartoon he did (with the cat and pig in it). Other than that I haven't seen anything near that level of quality. I'm sure Moho is capable, just needs the right users behind it. If you have any other good examples please let me know, I love watching quality animation.
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Post by idragosani » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:32 pm

LittleFenris wrote:
idragosani wrote:Hmmmm... wonder if Moho will ever support multi-machine rendering (renderfarm).... :-)
I don't think a majority of Moho users would ever have something complex or long enough to warrant needing a render farm. From all the stuff I've seen on the forums their one little P3 500Mhz running Win98SE seems to do them just fine. :wink:
No, definitely not, for most things a renderfarm would be unnecessary. But who knows... perhaps if it had that capability it might entice some for more high-end projects (like a television series). The batch rendering, though, is definitely helpful for something like that... or even if there were a command-line tool for managing batches.
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Post by LittleFenris » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:50 pm

idragosani wrote:No, definitely not, for most things a renderfarm would be unnecessary. But who knows... perhaps if it had that capability it might entice some for more high-end projects (like a television series). The batch rendering, though, is definitely helpful for something like that... or even if there were a command-line tool for managing batches.
Yeah, I think batch rendering is a must have for any program that requires rendering a project, but render farms for Moho (at least at this point) seem like an unneccesary feature and the developers time could be much better spent on adding other more useful tools to Moho.
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Post by tim worsfold » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:09 am

Here's a thought - is it possible to have two separate copies of Moho running at once under Mac OS X?

If so, you have a dual processor machine, you could have the first copy rendering the first half of the animation, and the second copy rendering the second half.

Mac OS X's kernel would automatically assign only one copy of the program to one processor, so you should (in theory) be able to get both processors running at 100%.

Just a thought!

Unfortunately I don't have a dual processor machine so I can't try it myself.
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Post by stephen » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:35 pm

tim worsfold wrote:Here's a thought - is it possible to have two separate copies of Moho running at once under Mac OS X?

If so, you have a dual processor machine, you could have the first copy rendering the first half of the animation, and the second copy rendering the second half.

Mac OS X's kernel would automatically assign only one copy of the program to one processor, so you should (in theory) be able to get both processors running at 100%.

Just a thought!

Unfortunately I don't have a dual processor machine so I can't try it myself.
I can try this. On Mac OS X, you have to copy the application icon and rename it to something else, then you can run two copies. But I don't know if the two copies will get along with each other beyond that, suppose they try to change the same file at the same time?

However, from my benchmark it looks like Moho takes more than one processor to render, its CPU usage was 150 to 160 percent. So if I have two copies running, yes I will probably get closer to two hundred percent, but that would mean the rendering would be going less than twice as fast.
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Post by pixelwks » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:53 pm

Not trying to be confrontational but seeing no use for render farm capabilities is thinking small.

Right now Moho is a little program aimed at the amateur market but I don’t think any of us would like to see it stay that way.

If I ever use Moho in a professional environment, render farm capability would be the first feature I would want.

Btw. I use a dual PIII machine and two sessions of Moho assigned to separate processors seems to work pretty well.
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