me
Oct 10

Nodes Under-performing

10 comments

I've setup Crowdrender just today and it's pretty cool! My main PC, a gaming laptop is running as loud and hot as ever, task manager agrees that it working really hard when rendering, like normal. But, both of my nodes (older gaming laptops) are running cool and quiet, task manager showing both of them with a CPU load of 20% when rendering, close to zero when not. TM also shows the Nvidia cards near zero when rendering, too. I have both set to CUDA (which seems to help speed greatly VS. CPU), but, I can tell the two nodes aren't working hard at all. They're cold and quiet. Any suggestions?

 

(Win 10, Blender 2.8, all three laptops are I7s from 3rd gen to 7th. All have Nvidia cards.)

James
Oct 10

Hi there.. :D

 

Ok, so you're running win 10? There is a known issue with our software running on win 10, we've just discovered it actually. The problem appears to be, oddly enough, that windows implemented some form of protection against the now fairly famous SPECTRE vulnerability. There has been an update for win 10 out since May 2019 which fixed a problem with this protection that caused some pretty serious performance problems. I believe the version is 1903 ( and feel free to read up on it here -> https://www.howtogeek.com/402569/everything-new-in-windows-10s-april-2019-update/)

 

This might be the cause of the problem. We noticed on our windows 10 systems that we'd get only half the cores working (so a bit more than your 20% utilisation), and our AMD GPU was pretty much at 0%. Bizarrely enough, only our software was affected, rendering in Blender natively worked just fine.

 

Then we updated to 1903 on win 10 and the problem stopped. So I'd highly recommend that you update your software on all your nodes, if you haven't already. If you have, and you still get the problem after restarting all your computers, then please write back here. We'd love to look into this, and hope you'd be alright with us doing a video conference with you to figure out what's gone wrong.

 

Thanks!

 

James

 

 

 

 

me
Oct 10

Thanks for the quick reply. Master and one node are on 1903, second node is 1803. I run updates frequently but MS has been slowly rolling out 1903 and haven't offered it up for that computer yet. I do know how to force it though, so I probably will. However, both nodes are very similarly under-performing. I'm happy to help troubleshoot.

James
Oct 10

@me Hi there, ok, so one other thing to try would be to try the following;

 

1. on your main PC/laptop, save your user prefs with your CUDA device enabled, but your CPU disabled (so no hybrid rendering).

2. Try rendering and see if the performance of your GPU increases.

3. Re-enable CPU and CUDA and save your prefs again, try rendering and see if the performance increases.

 

If this doesn't help then we can try setting up a time to chat with you online and hopefully you can share your screen via video conference so we can see what's going on. :)

me
Oct 10

@James GPU only render was 80 seconds.Task Manager showed moderate CPU usage and about 8(!) percent GPU (Nvidia 1060), but I don't particularly trust the TM for GPU usage stats, the GPU fan was blowing pretty hard.

Adding 3 out of 4 of the physical CPU cores to the mix (I've learned to leave one core for the system, it helps), so six "threads" and the GPU only shaved 20 seconds (one minute render time). CPU fan deafening. TM again showed about 8% GPU usage but I don't believe it.

This was conducted in Blender, using Cycles, not Crowdrender, Win 10 1903.

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me
Oct 11

Windows 10 ver. 1903 seems to have done it! My nodes are showing hard working CPUs now. This is NOT, unfortunately, giving a very big performance boost. I suppose the GPUs were working fine all along, and if you've read my previous findings in this thread, compared with GPUs, the CPUs are not adding a lot of muscle, relatively. But, it's good to hear the fans winding up in the node computers, they show a lot of CPU utilization now that both are fully up to date. THANK YOU!

James
Oct 11

You're welcome :D great to hear its worked for you.

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