Author Topic: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.  (Read 1036 times)

Offline Jgone

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Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« on: March 07, 2017, 08:22:14 PM »
Hello there wise ones.

It's my time to upgrade my pc. My i5-2500k is causing me too much headache with terragen 4 because of super slow renders.

So i decided to go with this bundle that includes motherboard + cpu + memory :
Asus PRIME Z270-A + Intel 7700K + G.Skill 3200MHz DDR4 16GB kit

So my question is, i still have money to spend on my set. Would there be any reason to go for 32gb of ddr 4 ? Or is that just not worth the buck ?

Also as a bonus question: When my cpu arrives, is there a reason for me to doodle with "Maximum threads" or any other option to increase performance ?
(i'm not exactly tech savvy person so i'm not entirely sure what the Maximum threads part does).

Thanks for your time !  :)

Offline KyL

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 11:19:57 PM »
I would definitely go for 32Gb. Depending on you scenes, 16Gb might be enough but having more is always going to be useful.
You could have a big ass texture opened in photoshop and check the result in Terragen right away, this kind of things.  ;)

You shouldn't have to bother with the maximum thread, unless you want to limit Terragen to use only part of you CPU and use the rest for other applications.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 11:22:36 PM by KyL »

Offline Jgone

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 07:14:10 AM »
Interesting. Would you say it has an effect  on the final renders rendering time ?
I mean i don't use photoshops and whatnots during the time i tweak my scenes. And when i render my scenes i often do it at night.  But i would be extremely intrigued if it actually did affect the final render times.

Offline bobbystahr

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 09:22:37 PM »
Interesting. Would you say it has an effect  on the final renders rendering time ?
I mean i don't use photoshops and whatnots during the time i tweak my scenes. And when i render my scenes i often do it at night.  But i would be extremely intrigued if it actually did affect the final render times.

I think cpu speed has the prime effect on render times...I could be wrong
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Offline KyL

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 11:00:30 PM »
I think the same, more memory isn't going to give you faster renders!

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 12:01:59 AM »
More memory won't give you faster render times *except* in the case of a memory-constrained situation (i.e. you run out of memory and have to use virtual memory, which is much, much slower). 32GB of RAM is a good amount to have these days as TG4 uses more memory for v3 clouds and for render optimizations that improve render time (to be clear, having more memory does *not* make the render faster, but TG4 uses more memory to render the same scene in less time vs. TG3; it will use the same amount of memory on any machine you render on though).

I would also recommend considering one of the new AMD Ryzen CPUs. You can see here that even the cheaper Ryzen 1700 (not X) basically destroys the 7700k on multithreaded Cinebench, which is the closest to Terragen rendering as you're going to see in most benchmark tests:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/11170/the-amd-zen-and-ryzen-7-review-a-deep-dive-on-1800x-1700x-and-1700/18
If you're a gamer though, and want good performance for games and other less well-threaded applications than the 7700k could be more well-balanced for your needs since its clock speed is higher, even though it has half the number of cores.

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Offline Jgone

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 06:40:16 AM »
Thx for the replies all !

More memory won't give you faster render times *except* in the case of a memory-constrained situation (i.e. you run out of memory and have to use virtual memory, which is much, much slower). 32GB of RAM is a good amount to have these days as TG4 uses more memory for v3 clouds and for render optimizations that improve render time (to be clear, having more memory does *not* make the render faster, but TG4 uses more memory to render the same scene in less time vs. TG3; it will use the same amount of memory on any machine you render on though).

I would also recommend considering one of the new AMD Ryzen CPUs. You can see here that even the cheaper Ryzen 1700 (not X) basically destroys the 7700k on multithreaded Cinebench, which is the closest to Terragen rendering as you're going to see in most benchmark tests:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/11170/the-amd-zen-and-ryzen-7-review-a-deep-dive-on-1800x-1700x-and-1700/18
If you're a gamer though, and want good performance for games and other less well-threaded applications than the 7700k could be more well-balanced for your needs since its clock speed is higher, even though it has half the number of cores.

- Oshyan



Thanks a ton for the help. I think ill wait for the parts to arrive and doodle a bit with some renders and see if i really could use 16gb more. I think i'm gonna be blown away with the upgrade even with 16gb of DDR4. My ye'olde i5-2500k didn't even have multithreading so.. the upgrade is quite enormous !

I actually gave AMDs Ryzen cpus a thought but i'm also going for the 1080ti gpu in the near future because of my gaming habits, so the i7-7700k seemed like a perfectly balanced option for me. Tho for purely rendering, i think the Ryzen will be the new favorite for terragen users for a while !

Offline dpcole72

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2017, 03:02:43 AM »
More memory won't give you faster render times *except* in the case of a memory-constrained situation (i.e. you run out of memory and have to use virtual memory, which is much, much slower). 32GB of RAM is a good amount to have these days as TG4 uses more memory for v3 clouds and for render optimizations that improve render time (to be clear, having more memory does *not* make the render faster, but TG4 uses more memory to render the same scene in less time vs. TG3; it will use the same amount of memory on any machine you render on though).

I would also recommend considering one of the new AMD Ryzen CPUs. You can see here that even the cheaper Ryzen 1700 (not X) basically destroys the 7700k on multithreaded Cinebench, which is the closest to Terragen rendering as you're going to see in most benchmark tests:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/11170/the-amd-zen-and-ryzen-7-review-a-deep-dive-on-1800x-1700x-and-1700/18
If you're a gamer though, and want good performance for games and other less well-threaded applications than the 7700k could be more well-balanced for your needs since its clock speed is higher, even though it has half the number of cores.

- Oshyan

Wowzers.  What you said is making me thiking of splurging on a fast data rate DDR4 set.  My desktop PC has 16GB DDR4 RAM and when I start a render I close every other application so Terragen has the maximum amount of RAM.  I hope this isn't hijacking but as I too upgraded to TG4, what you're saying is that it is optimized to make use of more RAM than before, for rendering clouds and clouds are my favorite thing to create. 

Would 16GB still be enough for a 4K static image with clouds with higher samples (I use 64 or 128) and maximum AA?  Would 32GB decrease rendering appreciably?  (I know a faster CPU is the most important component, but it sounds like RAM could be a factor in reducing rendering time to some margin.  )

Or would I be better off setting up my older Linux PC (which has 16GB DDR3 RAM) as a rendering node?

Thanks!

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 05:37:03 PM »
As I said, having more (or faster) RAM won't really affect render times much, unless you are running into having too little memory. IF you are running into that situation you would know it. Assuming the application doesn't crash from running out of memory, what you get is extremely, extremely slow performance because it's having to use the hard drive/mass storage space as virtual memory, and this is much, much slower than your RAM.

As for how much RAM a particular scene requires, it really depends on a number of factors. If your scene just has clouds and no (or few) objects, then rendering at 4k even with a few v3 layers should be fine in 16GB of RAM. Your comment about number of samples (clouds don't have specific sample numbers anymore, maybe you're talking about the atmosphere?) is a cause for concern because those are very high levels for Terragen 4 (which comes with Defer Atmo enabled by default, which means fewer atmo samples are required), but higher samples should not require significantly higher RAM as far as I know.

So basically, 16GB should be OK for most purposes for now, but RAM is fairly cheap so upgrade to 32GB when you can if you're serious about really complex scenes with lots of v3 cloud layers as well as complex objects/populations.

- Oshyan

Offline Jgone

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2017, 12:32:22 PM »
Didn't want to start a new thread. Apologies.

My question is, would an m.2 ssd drive improve Terragen 4 render times / usability in any meaningful way in comparison to a normal sata ssd ?

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 04:40:19 AM »
No, an m.2 SSD should not improve rendering performance. It *might* improve asset loading times by some amount, but for many of those assets it is processing time or other factors rather than raw disk speed that limits things.

- Oshyan

Offline jaf

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2017, 04:32:12 PM »
Actually, when I just got back into Terragen after a years absence and a new rig, I thought I would big a scene using a bunch of very large populations.  I forgot one "little" detail -- I didn't check "Clip to camera."  So I started the render with the task manager running ( to monitor the amount of memory TG4 was using) and it peaked out at 83GB!  To my surprise, the render completed in a couple hours. Without a M.2 SSD, I probably would have killed the render.  So in that case, the M.2 helped.

Oshyan is correct though -- a M.2 or any other type of SSD is not worth the cost for Terragen.  But booting up in 10 seconds is nice and some other apps work better with it.     
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Offline Dune

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 06:18:55 AM »
You have 'only' 64 gig, so how could it peak to 83? Would it have used virtual memory on the SSD?
And I don't actually know if clipping to cam would reduce memory use (much). I think it's negligable, correct me if I'm wrong.
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Offline masonspappy

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 07:49:20 AM »
You have 'only' 64 gig, so how could it peak to 83? Would it have used virtual memory on the SSD?
Interesting idea....if the memory requirements exceed available RAM, would a virtual file be built on the SSD?  If so, then perhaps an SSD's higher I/O capability just might decrease render time.

Offline archonforest

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Re: Importance of the amount of DDR4 in TG4.
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 08:01:34 AM »
Go with 32Gb ram for sure. If you try to render something in high res plus if you pull up the details and AA settings then TG will need more ram. This is my experience. My pc often uses up to 24Gb while rendering finals due to the resolution and details.
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