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About Digital Art / Professional Core Member Ken KawashimaMale/Brazil Groups :iconmusic-deviantart: Music-DeviantART
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Octane Rendering w/GTX 980 Ti 6GB SC+ACX2.0

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 27, 2015, 8:27 PM

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** Octane Rendering w/GTX 980 Ti 6GB SC+ACX2.0 **

       

           

I work with 3D graphics, so from time to time I have to build a new PC to keep up with the ever growing hardware demands. I usually build PCs meant to last for at least 5-7 years while remaining usable. It's important to know that this is no small feat, since most computers become obsolete in about 2 years. My current system (built in 2009) is an Intel X58, which means SATA2, USB2 and DDR3 RAM. What does that mean in practical terms?

Consider the HDD (hard disk drive) is the slowest part of any given computer. It's a mechanical disk that spins at fixed speed, with a mechanical arm with read/write head that moves around the surface to access data stored on it. If you remember the ancient gramophone, that's the same mechanics. The only things that differ is that the disc spins faster (typically at 7200 RPM) and the needle is magnetic.

Basically all current HDDs and SSDs are built for SATA3 (6GB/s), so mine is running at half speed (SATA2 = 3GB/s). That alone can slow me down to half speed, no matter how fast the rest of the system may be. The same goes for USB2, where USB3 transfer speeds are many times faster. I could add USB3 support through an expansion card, but there is no way to make a SATA2 system run at SATA3 speeds.

What about DDR3? This means my RAM has 3 direct physical pathways to communicate with the system bus, while the more common DDR2 RAM has only 2. You can imagine this as information highways, where the more lanes they have, the more traffic can go through it at any given time. This is very important when it comes to 3D graphics because a scene can move a lot of data, not only from 3D models but also from high-res texture maps.

It's worth mentioning that DDR3 systems are rare because they are expensive. The vast majority of people will have DDR2 systems. How do you know which one your computer has? It's simple - DDR2 RAM comes in even amounts, while DDR3 comes in odd numbers (multiples of 3). If your RAM comes in pairs of sticks, it's DDR2. If it comes in sets of 3, then it's DDR3, and you will notice that in higher pricing.

But when it comes to 3D rendering with GPUs, the star of the show is the video card. So far CUDA and OpenCL have dominated the market, so only nVidia cards could be used. More recently technology is coming to a point where basically any video card could be used for GPU rendering, assuming they have the necessary hardware. This is measured in number of "streaming processors", or SPs for short. I have an nVidia GTX 580 with 512 SPs, and I have incredibly fast Octane GPU rendering speeds with only these few. In comparison, the GTX 580 with only 512 SPs has the computing power 10X faster than the Intel i7 quad core processor.

This week I have replaced my old GTX580 video card with a new one - the almighty GTX 980 Ti "Super Clocked" with ACX 2.0 cooler and a full metal backplate. Let's not confuse this one with the regular GTX 980 card. Note the "Ti" after the name, which indicates a "Titan"-based GPU. Nvidia has created a supercomputer based on this processor architecture, and the GeForce Titan was the very first video card to punch that much power on a single GPU. Imagine the computing power of a supercomputer on a video card inside your PC. But the Titan price tag ($1000) was out of reach for most of us.

There were other "Ti" cards before, like the GTX 780 Ti, but none of these would get even close to the performance of a Titan. Coming from that, the GTX 980 Ti was the very first consumer video cards to actually match, and even beat the Titan in benchmarks, this time for $690 bucks, which is a little more than what I've paid for my old GTX 580 about 6 years ago. You may think this is still very expensive, but remember I am thinking on long term investment. The new PC should still be significant 5-7 years from now, and this is no small feat - each decision should count.

There are some misleading factors concerning what makes a video card feature better for 3D rendering with GPU. First of all, there doesn't seem to be a direct relation between rendering speed and the number of SPs in a given card. For example, the brand new GTX 980 Ti ships with 2816 SPs, which is 5.5 times what we had with the old GTX 580, but that doesn't mean it should render 5.5 times faster. As a matter of fact, it doesn't.

The amount of video RAM (VRAM) has doubled from the GTX 580 to the GTX 980 Ti, but that won't affect rendering speeds. What this do is to allow for better handling of larger 3D scenes, or scenes with very large textures. Octane and some other GPU renderers nowadays allow using system memory in addition, or instead of VRAM for cases where the scene is larger than would fit inside VRAM alone. This may sound great, but the catch is a direct hit on rendering speeds. Scenes that fit entirely inside the VRAM alone render much faster than using system RAM.

I have ran a benchmark to compare what I get from the GPU upgrade alone. I ran the default Octane 2.4 benchmark scene in 3 different ways: Direct Light, Path Tracing and PMC using my current X58 system. Real world performance gains can be seen on the last column on the right.


What are these 3 options?

* Direct light is the only "biased" rendering method from the bunch. It greatly simplifies the math calculations, which speeds up the render at the cost of realism. In my benchmark, the GTX 980 Ti gets me render times 2.2 times faster than the GTX 580, even with 5.5 times more SPs. I am not complaining, since this is over twice the rendering speed.
* Path Tracing: this is the default Octane rendering method, and also the one I use the most. It works great for scenes where there isn't much of reflective or refractive materials. It creates reasonable realism at reasonable speeds, but certainly slower than Direct Light because light calculations are physically correct (unbiased). 
* PMC: also known as "brute-force Monte Carlo", this method uses classic ray-tracing to calculate all light interactions in a physically correct way. In other words, it ray-traces the entire scene, pretty much like POV-Ray would do, but a little more optimized. Ray-tracing creates the most realistic results at the cost of the longest rendering times. It has very few parameters to configure, making it the easiest method to set up. Even though this is the slowest from the bunch, it can potentially outperform Path Tracing when it comes to scenes with lots of transparency and/or translucency, so choose wisely.

From the benchmark results, we can see that the new GTX 980 Ti can beat the GTX 580 with 90% speed gains in unbiased rendering, and over twice the speed in biased mode. Until now, this kind of performance could only be reached with a $1000 Titan, but now we can get it for $690. And when it comes to pricing, it is worth mentioning that my aging 6 years old GTX 580 was still being sold for the same price up to the point where it was no longer available in the market years later. Flagship video card prices don't come down for some reason, as they do for everything else in computer hardware.

One striking thing I've noticed during rendering is that the GTX 580 sounds like a jet plane is about to take off inside your computer, and temperatures can reach 70C during load. The GTX 980 Ti is absolutely silent during full load, and temperatures don't exceed 55C at normal 20C room temperature, and consider I had my computer case opened during tests. I assume this is thanks to the second generation 2 fans ACX cooler with the open box design, which allows air to be blown out in all directions instead of tunneled to the back as in the GTX 580 and the stock GTX 980.

With the GTX 580 design, air intake would push the air through the entire video card, and expelled outside the case through a narrow vent in the back. This would keep all the hot air outside the computer case. With the open ACX 2.0 design, air is blown out inside the case in all directions, which is both a good and a bad thing. It's good because the hot air doesn't get trapped inside a closed design, so the fans have less work to cool the card. This uses less energy and makes the card more silent. Conversely, it's never a good idea to warm up the inside of a computer case because it stresses everything around it. This open ACX 2.0 is only recommended for computer cases with optimal air flow, like this one I have - the Cooler Master HAF 922 with built-in cable management.

When it comes to power usage, the GTX 580 takes 3 power cables from the PSU: two 8-pins and one 6-pins. It's a power hog, no doubt about it. The GTX 980 Ti takes only 2 cables: one 8-pins and one 6-pins, and runs cooler at steady 55C when in full load, and half the temperature of the GTX 580 when idle (24C). This alone will cause less stress to the PSU, which translates into a more stable system that will last longer.

After these many years, I already got used to how noisy the GTX 580 used to be, and I always knew when it had finished a render (gets quiet). Coming from that, it's somehow disconcerting how silent the GTX 980 Ti is, for I can't tell when it's doing something based solely on noise - it doesn't make any. All this while crunching numbers at twice the speed of my older card, which I believe justifies the price. I claim this based on the fact that most next-gen flagship cards only bring an average of 20-30% speed gains, where this card goes way beyond that range (90-200%).

This concludes my personal review of the EVGA GTX 980 Ti 6GB SC+ ACX 2.0 video card for GPU render with Octane. Needless to say, the video card design itself is gorgeous, and the full metal backplate gives it a professional look with the usual top-notch finish I expect from EVGA flagship cards. The backplate is not only for protecting the electronics below it, but it's also part of the ACX 2.0 cooling system, serving as an extra radiator surface, and keeping the PBC from warping under its own weight. A well-thought design.


           

I consider this an out-of-the-ordinary release from nVidia, with a fine craftsmanship from EVGA, and the unusually high performance comparing to anything that was previously released before in this price range. Not to mention it runs cooler and silent. What else could I ask for? Highly recommended!


       





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-Metal Seduction- by ken1171 CollectionsCollections
Chances are that nearly everybody likes collecting things during their life. My mom collects dolls from different countries, my friend collects stamps, another one collects buttons and so on. I collect Anime videos and have been doing so for over a decade now.
But the funny thing is that those collections only have a meaning to us. You might have a grandparent who passed away and left their own collections of something behind, and your family doesn't have a clue on what to do with it. If it's valuable maybe it can be sold. If not, it will either be dumped somewhere or donated to whoever might want it.
My wife and I went to some antique shops the past weekend and I couldn't help noticing how many meticulously preserved collections we found there. We found things of all sorts, like Coca Cola collectables from the 1950's and classic car miniatures from the 1960's. I remembered some of those things from my childhood (I was born in the late 60's) but never imagined someon
-Inaho's Homework- by ken1171
ShadoGal Mai Chronicles IShadoGal Mai Chronicles I: Living Forever
There are many vampire stories based on the fact that life loses its meaning if you cannot die. Those stories tend to emphasize that life itself can become a burden in such cases, because after a few centuries there is nothing much of new to be seen or learned, especially because history tends to repeat itself over and over.
That's how I defined the personality of ShadoGal Mai, my wacky half-vampire (damphyr) character. One can become quite bored after living for 500 years, and many books and movies have covered aspects of it, such as "Interview with a Vampire" and "Highlander". But in those stories the characters were nearly all male, and I here I wanted to show a female side of the story.
Human nature dictates that we will value the most what we don't have, or things that are rare and thus, precious. But immortality makes life itself worthless. In a vampire perspective life has advantages, although they have to live without a good deal of the
ShadoGal Mai Chronicles II====================================
ShadoGal Mai Chronicles II: Fay and the Scroll of Dhakr
====================================

One thing to keep in mind is that Mai us a supernatural being. She inherited a vampire hypnotic gaze that can paralyze humans with ease. After a "love bite", they become addicted to her highly arousing ways and will tend to come back for more at regular periods, which is very convenient for both sides. It's like the next step in the vampire symbiotic evolution, which is described in the "Unification Prophecy".
Mai doesn't like fighting and in most cases she never has to. That's the nature of vampires. She can paralyze any human just by looking at them in the eyes, no matter their physical strength - the gaze paralyzes a human (or even animals) by freezing their souls right at the core. Besides that, Mai has the strength of 10 men, which means trying to defeat her by brute force is unlikely to work by all means. It's not physical strength, but rather a
ShadoGal Mai Chronicles IIIEpisode III: Dawn of the Ancients
Fay was sitting comfortably on a sofa in this magnificent mansion. She was used to be at different places every once in a while, because her job forces her to move from place to place every few decades. There were five men around her, looking very suspicious of the new location. The older one, Vance, was particularly uncomfortable with the place because it has too many windows. He was not concerned about his privacy or anything, but instead about his own safety, since sunlight can be quite inconvenient to most vampires – especially the older ones.
They spent the following hours painting all of the windows black, and only then Vance could finally sit and rest on the large and decorated sofa where Fay had already fell asleep. How long has it been since the five of them have been faithfully following this woman? It becomes hard to keep track of time in terms of human years, since numbers in that system can quickly grow large. Vance thinks to himsel

-ShadoGal Chronicles IV-~ShadoGal Chronicles~
Episode IV: Legend of the Primal Princess

Legend claims the queen of the extinct race of the "Ancients" had four beautiful daughters, where the youngest was Mai (500 years old) and the oldest was Sethalus (8,000 years old). None of the girls knew of each others existence or of their significance on the events to come. As far as they know, they are the only ones of their kind although deep inside they want to believe there are others. Vampires have mixed feelings about them because they are not harmed by most of the common things they fear, such as direct sunlight and holy objects. The girls have become outcasts of both human and vampire societies, often seen as abominations. To some others, they are perhaps the answer to a long forgotten vampire prophecy that foresees the return of the "Ancients", from whom legend says the first vampires descended from.
With her fixed bat wings and pointy ears, Sethalus can walk in broad daylight and even eat human food. Ev
-Fatal Delivery- by ken1171 -A bird? A plane? No, it's...-
~A bird? A plane? No, it's...~
PART I:
One of the advantages of being 500 years old is that you have probably already seen it all. ShadoGal Mai was in a trip to the Big Apple when she spotted an interesting male figure flying in cape & tights over the city - but without any wings. Well, Mai has many superhuman powers, but flying without wings is certainly not one of them. Even less at speed! Very curious, She followed the man in tights until he landed somewhere in the streets. He apparently found somebody in distress and went down to help. Mai was very impressed by him: how can he have so much strength? Dad said I can't go out with human pets, but what about him? He can't be human!
PART II:
Mai followed the guy in tights until he went back home. As she hid inside his house, she sneaked around until she found the perfect opportunity to give him a little surprise 'love' bite from behind. Mai used her inherited vampire powers to keep the guy still while taking a sip. She immediately notic


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deviantID

ken1171
Ken Kawashima
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
Brazil
Current Residence: Brazil
Print preference: Biiiig, laaaaaarge, gigaaaaantic
Favorite genre of music: Female
Favorite photographer: Ken1171
Favorite style of art: Anime, Manga, semi-realistic
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Edition
MP3 player of choice: Apple iTouch 4
Shell of choice: Lobster :D
Skin of choice: Women's
Favorite cartoon character: Yoru & Eru (Shugo Chara!)
Personal Quote: Creation is just the beginning
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mudjai:iconmudjai:
Nya, i don't lipstik but i kiss you too NYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (yes she make me mad MDRRRR)
Wed Feb 25, 2015, 8:44 PM
desouzaweb:icondesouzaweb:
Shout out to Ken1171 --> desouzaweb.deviantart.com/jour…
Sun Jun 15, 2014, 12:04 PM
Odd321:iconodd321:
hi
Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:15 AM
nanashi89:iconnanashi89:
happy boythday
Sun Oct 13, 2013, 2:18 PM
regluarshow220:iconregluarshow220:
happy new year!
Sat Jan 5, 2013, 3:37 PM
montyhack:iconmontyhack:
You do beautiful work =D
Thu Jan 3, 2013, 1:57 AM
AnotherKrystalFan:iconanotherkrystalfan:
Hey! Happy Birthday! I hope you have fun and a nice day! :airborne:
Sat Oct 13, 2012, 3:18 PM
elianeck:iconelianeck:
Feliz Aniversário!!!!!!
Sat Oct 13, 2012, 2:47 PM
ibr-remote:iconibr-remote:
Happy Birthday - Deviant Art says it is....
Sat Oct 13, 2012, 7:57 AM
UncleSickey:iconunclesickey:
Thank you for the PP2012 review; I'll be picking it up this week after waiting so long!
Wed Sep 26, 2012, 11:00 AM
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My low-tech rendering/postwork solution is working just as well in practice as it did in theory. On average, I'm getting an hours worth of work done, in mere minutes. It was a big hit with some of my fellow D|S users too. Turns out its just the thing that bunch of people were hoping for. Feels good to contribute something that people find useful.
Reply
:iconken1171:
ken1171 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Isn't it great when you find something that really helps your workflow? I have spent a whole years only experimenting with 11 different ways to create a toon effect in Poser by manipulating shaders, but in the end I have settled with lighting effects. It's good because I could reuse it later in Octane, which doesn't support Poser materials. ^^
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing how lighting, or lack thereof, makes all the difference in the world! :meow:
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:iconken1171:
ken1171 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
I think lighting is 60% of the image in most cases. ^^
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(1 Reply)
:iconlennorasilverstone:
LennoraSilverstone Featured By Owner 5 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Writer
Thank you SO much for the llama Heart
By the way, if you enjoy erotic/romantic novels, you can have a look at my gallery and if you like it enough, add me to your watch list.
I am posting parts of an erotic novel I am writting and, soon enough, will be giving the whole book out to my watchers for free :) (Smile)
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:iconpjtoon75:
PJToon75 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Your artwork is amazing! It has such detail to it.You probably sculpted the figures from some plaster or something. Anyway, nice work.
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:iconken1171:
ken1171 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hey thank you, it's very kind of you! ^____^
All of my characters are 3D models. :D
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well my tutorial seems to be going over well. A couple of people on the Daz3d forums were like "This is exactly what I was looking for!"
It might not be the most dynamic solution, but it's fast, looks good and best of all, free(as long as you have Photoshop, cause I dunno if Gimp has those options)!
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:iconken1171:
ken1171 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I think that's the normal. People tend to say the same about my tutorials. ;p
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Edited Aug 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I post my tutorials out of spite, believe it or not.
Maybe four or five years, and two daz3d forum redesigns ago, this guy would post impressive looking toon renders, touting a super easy technique, but refused to let anyone in on the secret. I think if something is super easy to pull off, and requires only what most users already have, it shouldn't be lorded over them out of reach, like it was coded it in Assembler by someone with a 230 IQ or something.
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