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Cowtail

What are the actual benefits of Cuda?

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Hello,

 

I have a GTX 780, i7 3770K, 16gb DDR3 ram. I ran the DX64 and DX64C instances (v4.1.09) side-by-side on a 30mil triangle model, and performed moderately intensive voxel operations on each. I couldn't tell any difference between the two in terms of performance, even when performing the same operations on the same places.

 

What are the properties that Cuda actually assists in? Should I just take it for granted that the Cuda version is better?

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At this point it might be better to e-mail Andrew and ask him, personally (support@3d-coat.com). I had tried over and over and over and over, for years to get Andrew to recompile CUDA in 3D Coat for the latter versions of CUDA (now on 6). It hasn't been recompiled, to take advantage of many of the subsequent advances in CUDA, so as CPU's grow faster, there will be less and less of a difference....simply because Andrew refuses to spend the time to do the recompile. He thinks the time invested won't produce relative gains. I disagree because there are many things in 3D Coat he didn't think would benefit, but turns to have made a major difference. Multi-threading through most of the app is one of them.

 

He was very reluctant to multi-thread most everything, but when he eventually got around to it, it changed everything. Performance-wise, it brought 3D Coat to a level where it could compete favorably with other apps like ZBrush and Mudbox. I think he has long since shifted his focus away from CUDA and Voxel sculpting, to Surface mode and LiveClay. That's where the effort has been the past 3+ yrs. You can see it in the number of brushes and tools specific to Surface mode.

 

Nevertheless, boolean type operations are still better done with Voxels rather than in Surface mode. I asked him recently if he could at least use CUDA 6 to accelerate the use of the Pose Tool...for faster deformations. I don't like having to cache layers and then use the Pose Tool. I have had some real troubles with getting the work I did in Proxy mode, translated to the original state...like it is supposed to.

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That's a shame, was hoping for some benefit to having a nice graphics card, aside from being able to rotate the view smoothly.

 

I'll toss an email down the hatch and see what happens, thanks AbnRanger.

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using v4.1DX... the last proyect i was working -in voxel model- brought my computer to its knees...  <_<

 

switched to 4.1CUDA... performance was much better.

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i used to be a strong supporter of CUDA, but with Nvidia's recent !@#$ with the 6 and 7 series cards, maybe openCL is a better direction?

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3DC should just remove CUDA support. I feel it is a dead end anyway, and Andrew accompanied now with a small team, time literally is better spent elsewhere such as bug fixing, general performance improvements, workflow adjustments, etc. and maybe even OpenCL. I have not used the CUDA version in quite a long time because of the general bugginess of the builds for a minor voxel sculpt improvement.

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I always used the CUDA version and perhaps because my efforts are not as wide ranging, I have not suffered from a lot of bugs. CUDA is important to me for Octane and Blender Cycles as well as 3DC. Maybe the added man power will enable recompiling for the latest CUDA.

Edited by Tony Nemo

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As great as that sounds, it's not a matter of just recompiling. Doing so will invariably present even more bugs making 3DC even more unstable. With my limited experience programming, when you add feature X it could seriously impact or cause problems with feature Y even if X and Y are seemingly unrelated.

 

Luckily for us Andrew had the foresight to continue multiple avenues for 3DC, that being a CUDA and non-CUDA version, so if for any reason CUDA is no longer an option, it can be cut without issues to the program overall.

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Thanks for the insight, guys.

 

From Andrew:

Cuda version works faster on voxel operation like brushing, sphere tool, generall in voxel mode.

But advantage is really not huge, especially with 8-16 core CPU-s.
In surface mode there is no advantage.
We plan to switch to OpenCL, but seems things are moving tot too quicky
Edited by Cowtail
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Thanks for the update Cowtail! Is that from his email response?

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Hi Javis, yeah that's his email response.

 

Cuda can run OpenCL in the latest NVidia drivers, right? If OpenCL is implemented, I'll be happy 'nuf :)

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Very cool to hear, thanks for sharing it with us!

 

I do believe the latest nvidia drivers work with OpenCL. It should be interesting to see what happens on the 3DC side of things. Exciting times indeed. :)

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I'd like to ask since this thread seems to be related, would I expect to see a significant improvement in performance with 3d coat if I switched from a Nvidia 580 GTX to a 780?  Its somewhat pricey, but worth it if it'll change my sculpting experience (surface mode especially)...so if anyone has any insight on this I'd greatly appreciate it.

 

-Josh

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