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Question to Mark Alexander (The Great)


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Hi Mark !

Thank you for answering all our hardware\view-port questions,

I want to ask\suggest, why wouldn't sidefx \ users create simple HTML page with recommended hardware to run Houdini...

anyway you, me and others test cards \ hardware on houdini,

I wonder if its possible to create wiki page that shows for example , cost effective, minimal, optimal,value selected

video cards to work with Houdini.

Also simple benchmark, so users will able to test by them selfs and send thier results ...

this way maybe many questions about hardware can be answered in one simple internet page...

or maybe its already exist ...

Recent questions that comes up in my head recently :

AMD VS Nvidia

Ge-force 5xx VS 6xx VS Quadro VS \ With Tesla

More Cores VS Clock rate\speed and to which will contribute to what : SOP,Particles,Dynamics,Render, etc ....

SSD VS HD to read faster geometry files....

Cost effective RAM...

what do you think ?

keep the great work!


Edited by Barakooda
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First, thanks for the endorsement!

It would be nice to have a page that could serve as a good starting point for hardware decisions for Houdini. I nominate http://odforce.net/wiki to host it :). Because hardware moves so quickly, it might need to be separated into sub-pages by year or component category (GPU, CPU), otherwise you'd end up with some pretty dated information on it. I believe you need to talk to Marc to get wiki editing privledges.

There are a couple of issues with SESI hosting such a page, notably the fact that SESI's site does not have a wiki, and also the implications of product recommendations being linked to SESI. When I recommend hardware for someone, it's always with my Hardware-Hobbist hat on. When my SESI-hat is on, I point to our official hardware requirements page (http://www.sidefx.co...=415&Itemid=269), which I also have some input on.

In terms of comparing GPUs, wikipedia is an excellent, albeit somewhat technical, resource.

- AMD: http://en.wikipedia....rocessing_units

- Nvidia: http://en.wikipedia....rocessing_units

Online hardware shopping sites, such as newegg, are also good resources for comparing price with capability, and have pretty sophisticated filtering and sorting.

Currently, I my recommendation is that a good Houdini build have at least:

- A quad-core processor, 3GHz base clock

- 16GB RAM, 1600Mhz

- A mid- to high-end GPU, preferrably with at least 2GB of VRAM. This means:

- Nvidia Quadro: 2000 or higher

- AMD FirePro: W5000 or higher

- Nvidia consumer: GEForce 560 or higher (in 500 series), 650 Ti or higher (in 600 series)

- AMD consumer: AMD 7750 or higher

- An SSD as a system/applications drive (min 128GB)

- Data drive: a fast 2TB drive, or a RAID1 setup with dual 2TB drives (drives should be RAID HDs if in RAID config), depending on your backup habits

- A 700W power supply.

- A mid-tower case with 2 140mm fans.

- An IPS 24" monitor, 1920x1080 or higher.

This should get you a good system for around $1500-$2000, depending on the exact choices.

If you need to start trading off:

CPU: more cores:

- mantra, esp. when raytracing

- DOPs sims

- COPs

CPU: clock speed:

- SOPs, CHOPs, some DOPs

- viewport draw speed for complex scenes

- mantra


- more RAM is always preferrable to memory speed.

GPU: more shaders

- viewport effects

- OpenCL sims (volumes)

GPU: more VRAM

- larger OpenCL sims

- heavy viewport models (10M+ polys), heavily textured scene

- multi-monitor setups, high-res (eg, 2560x1440)

- multiple GL apps running

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what do you think ?

i like very much the idea since it is connected directly to inve$tment and job's specifics .

also i was just about to add the suggestion you posted below ..

What about creating hip file for benchmark ?

specific scenes to test each of 'categories' described by Alexander HimSelf , wd be perfect , IMHO .

if the scenes are designed by houdini's devs , those could be the best we all can have / ever suggest .


additionally , i think that we can have other scenes to test 'shader-and-render' performances for materials which usually are expensive in calculations .

example : we could have common situations of glass material usages . ( + radiosity , caustics , simulations , etcetera . )

tested by us with different combinations of mantra's parameters and uploaded so those might be a good starting point when someone needs such info . so the tests and experiences of all of us might be useful to each houdini user , when she/he mostly needs it .

a Library , something i have been mentioning since my beginings with houdini .. =)

this goes beyond the hardware benchmarking ( with which i absolutely agree ) , but is more frequently needed and useful .


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