6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2016 2:05 PM by Brian Hillner

    SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly

    Barry Shapiro

      I installed SP1 and wanted to do a quick test since Hybrid is supposed to be a choice now with Fast render.

      So after doing 3 test renders ( the Camaro file at 3000 x 1687 ), I found these results which led me to take a look at my system.

      -----> after calculation times are as follows:

      Hybrid 1min 40 seconds

      GPU 1 min 38 seconds

      CPU 9 minutes 37 seconds. NOTE that I'm using Dual 8 core 3.1 GHz Xeons ( no slouch)


      Task manager showed only a 1% difference when rendering in Hybrid mode. Went from 3 to 4% CPU usage. My take away from this test is only use GPU and even if you have a high end CPU don't bother.

      So I looked at "system info" in Visualize under the Help menu. Got this.........

      Important note here is that I have an nVidia M4000 - 8 GB of of graphics memory.


      Question is, is this an erroneous reading in the system info or is Visualize not getting access to all of the cards memory? Is anyone else seeing this?

      Also, I think I'm finding this update slightly more responsive but still having issues as my files are often very large and the whole system locks up at times while Visualize is thinking (for a lack of a better term).

      Typical Polygon counts over 15,000,000.

        • Re: SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly
          Brian Hillner

          Hi Barry,


          I will take a look at the test settings that you've concluded and do some tests on my own. Do you have several other applications running, besides Visualize? Running multiple other apps will use your CPU power as well, since Visualize dynamically balances its use of your CPU against the other apps you have open, so it doesn't make all other open apps run slower.


          There is a bug with the code that determines how much memory is on-board a card which causes it to cap at 4Gb in the UI. This is just a UI bug and Visualize will use all available memory on the card so don't worry about what it says in the System Info window.

            • Re: SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly
              Barry Shapiro


              I though as much that the system info was not correct. I just wanted to check since I am having issues with large files.


              At seams as though in Fast Mode, I didn't try Accurate Mode, Hybrid does nothing but slow it down slightly. If you render with task manager open, you can see that there is no load on the CPU in Hybrid mode. It should not matter how many apps are open as long as they are not using CPU.


              In CPU render Mode, Visualize uses virtually 100% of all available cores. I can't test SP0 but I didn't think it did that bad in CPU only but this software is optimized for GPU.


              I know I mentioned this to you before but I can open a file like the Camaro sample file and it opens almost instantly and causes no strain on the system at all. The main difference is that the Camaro file is less than 1M polygons. Once I get over the 5M polygon count everything seems to slow down. Realistically most of my file would be well over 10-15 million Polygons and I could probably go higher since I'm still getting open faces and faceting due to a not high enough setting on tessellation.


              It would be good to hear from other users who might be working with large files to see if they are having the same issues.

            • Re: SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly
              Saurabh Nayak

              Hi Barry,


              Fast Mode will not make use of the CPU when Hybrid is selected as the render device. This has been cleared in a different post which can be found here.


              I too spent a considerable amount of time trying different tests to see how to utilize the CPU as well as the GPU in Fast Mode, but unfortunately it isn't possible. I have tried this in SP0, SP1 and Visualize 2017 Beta 1 and 2.


              Also, I'm facing quite a bit of 'lag' in the viewport when working with models over 3-4 million polygons. Any info on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated.




                • Re: SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly
                  Brian Hillner

                  Hi Barry & Saurabh,


                  We are having discussions with the Iray team to see how we can enable Hybrid mode for 'Fast' rendering. More on this in the coming weeks.


                  Regarding the performance lag when importing higher polygon models, I have 2 solutions that will definitely help:


                  1. Invest in an NVIDIA graphics card that allows for 'heavier' models to be opened in Visualize. The hardware spec you are looking for is VRAM...so in the case of the NVIDIA M4000, you will have 8GB of VRAM, which is plenty for most SOLIDWORKS users' models.
                  2. The other solution is how you import your models into Visualize. The polygon count is good to keep an eye on, but also notice the Part count in Visualize. If you have a model with 5,000+ parts on an entry level GPU, then this may cause performance lag when manipulating the Camera in the Viewport. The least number of Parts in Visualize the better, for the fastest Visualize experience. We are constantly making improvements on the number of parts Visualize can support, but it's good to be mindful of this. So, my solution is to change the Part Grouping mode you select upon import. I always suggest 'Appearance' since that will always yield in the least number of parts. Please watch this first tutorial on Importing models into Visualize to understand which import grouping mode to use when:

                  Import & CAD Live-Update | MySolidWorks Training


                  Here is a link to the entire 16-video Learning Path:

                  SOLIDWORKS Visualize | MySolidWorks Training

                    • Re: SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly
                      Barry Shapiro


                      I'm not sure I need Hybrid mode for "Fast" rendering. I just tried it because the release note seemed to indicate that it was supported in this service pack............

                      At least that's how I was reading it.


                      My biggest issue is the hanging which I know is caused by the size of the files. I know my files don't have many parts. hey are usually less than 100 or around 100 if I include all screws. So I doubt that's an issue. I also have more that enough CPU and the recommended M4000 graphics card. So there is most definitely an issue. Where it is and why I'm not sure, but I don't need a lesson in setting up my files.


                      The products we render here where I work have a lot of surfaces, ribs and fillets. Lots of grill work. This by default creates large files. It's probably mush worse that an assembly with 1,000-3,000 simple prismatic shapes. I don't have a problem when rendering these in Photoview. After some longer load times the files are responsive and working in Photoview is no issue for them. I can take the same files and set the tessellation as high as possible. The only "lag" I would see there is the rebuild while it rebuilds after the setting change (in Solidworks) and the render times get a little longer (which is expected).

                      What I'm seeing with Visualize is that applying materials etc. locks up the system. That is the screen gets completely frozen. Same with loading files, showing or hiding parts etc. Just trying to apply a decal is almost usless. Just hovering the cursor over a part while trying to place a decal locks up the system. And I see non of this if the files are less than 3 or 4M polygons. So I would say there is a problem.


                      As I mentioned before, I am evaluating the software as we are trying to plan a road map for purchasing future workstations. My choices are CPU based rendering VS GPU (which looks promising). Building a system for CPU rendering is expensive as we usually go with dual Processor Xeon with high core count. while a system for GPU rendering would only need a 4 or 6 core CPU and High end graphics card. The GPU base rendering workstation would be much less expensive even with dual M4000.


                      I suspect if I were rendering iPhones and coffee makers I would have no trouble with the software the way it is today. Unfortunately that's not the case.   I was hoping to see a response on you end to try an equivalent size file or offer to try working with on of my files to see if you are having the same issues.


                      I'm also concerned that if this is the future "included" software for rendering and Solidworks drops Photoview I'll be stuck with the wrong systems for our rendering needs.


                      I think this software has a lot of potential but needs a lot of work to be usable for everyday rendering. I also wish that they would include configurations as part of basic. I don't think you should have to go to the profession version just to save environment rotation with your cameras.

                        • Re: SP1 GPU memory issue - possibly
                          Brian Hillner

                          Hi Barry,


                          I'm happy to work with you to determine your issue. I just wanted to start from the beginning to rule out any other issue. Based off your machine hardware specs, you should not have any lag or performance issue with Visualize...even with projects of higher polygon counts.


                          In order to follow the correct process, can you please open a support ticket with you VAR (reseller) so they can alert the internal teams within SOLIDWORKS, to help get to the bottom of your issue? You can instruct them I said to take this issue directly to the Visualize R&D team.