Processor Scalability and Linux

Michael Miles mmamiga6 at
Mon Aug 9 20:37:34 UTC 2010

Kwan Lowe wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 1:52 PM, Michael Miles<mmamiga6 at>  wrote:
>> Well, 3D animation is my thing and has been since the Amiga platform.
>> The power to render many minutes of animation and still have functional
>> machine to do the rest of my daily activity.
>> I use a virtual machine running windows 7 for my animation software and
>> if I want to convert a HD movie at the same time as I do everything else
>> it shows a definite slow down.
> I run a 4-node rendering cluster ( dual quad-cores on each, or 32
> cores total and 16G RAM each node).  They're headless and just have
> minimal local disks. All nodes write via bonded 2 x 1Gb Ethernet to a
> fileserver, but network is usually not the bottleneck. When in use,
> CPUs are pegged for hours at a time.  Modeling is done on a quad-core
> Windows 7 system with some relatively high-end ATI cards, but gets
> final render in the cluster. HD conversion is a minor step since the
> renders are done at final resolution.
> My point is that it may be more effective to separate your rendering
> hardware. I.e., you can buy a low-end desktop with decent video cards
> that will run your software natively *and* a separate, headless
> compute node that does all the heavy lifting rather than try to bulk
> up a desktop. The desktop will generally have crappy disk i/o, crappy
> memory limits (8G is average), crappy network (wireless or GBit), and
> your CPU will be busy drawing a pretty desktop than actually rendering
> frames.

I have noticed a bit of a confusing issue.
Lightwave running under Win 7 as a virtual machine under Fedora 12 runs 
faster than a native Win 7 machine.
Strange but true.

It easily shaves off  2 - 3 minutes / frame as a virtual machine.

Anyway thanks for the comments.
Question is there a way to have all my cores assigned to one task?
I can easily dedicate the cores to a virtual machine but in a native 
Fedora environment I was wondering if I can get all cores to work on one 

And one other question.

What software are you using for your render cluster?

Way back in the Amiga days I was using Renderman as a rendering farm and 
the Screamernet for the Video Toaster.

I have been doing some experimentation with Blender and it looks very 
good but I'm still looking at Lightwave 9 as the best. It is only ported 
for Windows though making it a pain as I would like very much to use a 
native linux enviroment.

It also seems that Lightwave butterfly netrender for linux is here

We shall see!!!!

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