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Computer for Alibre - some thoughts / questions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by OrjanB, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    My hardware is as describe below. New graphics that should satisfy KS, and yes it is enabled.

    I ALSO see all the CPUs in use at max when rendering. I will say that it renders fast enough that it is no longer a problem. Whether that is from the number of CPUS or ONLY due to the graphics car, I do not know.

    I am way back on KS version, though, still at some version of 8
  2. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    @Jimpulse , KeyShot benchmark between my laptop and desktop (a result value of 1.00 is the reference set by KeyShot) ...

    Laptop - Benchmark.jpg

    Desktop - Benchmark.jpg
  3. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Simon, It is my understanding that KeyShot will not show the GPU option (as in my case) if it doesn't recognize a capable GPU, as in NVIDIA GTX. You'd have to verify that with Luxion though. Otherwise KS will use all the CPU cores available unless throttled back to use fewer. I usually set mine to use 50% so other apps don't get penalized while setting up the scenes, etc. For the final render I will let it use all cores at 100%.

    KS CPU Usage.png

    KS CPU Usage Dropdown.png
  4. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Finally installed but it is grayed out. Do I need to activate this? It sees the card so....

  5. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Your nvidia driver needs to be upto date. There us a minimum driver version that Keyshot gpu mode supports, the button will be greyed and no option on the ribbon until that min driver version is installed, cant remember what it is, but my versions are in the benchmark results a few posts back.

    See https://luxion.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/K9M/pages/1139015787/GPU+Mode
  6. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    It is up to date.
  7. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    What version are you on?
  8. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

  9. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    That's not the latest!

    RTX support
    was introduced in 441.12 ...

  10. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    @bigseb, from the KeyShot link I posted earlier ...


    ... but that page was created back in May 2020.
  11. OrjanB

    OrjanB Member

    In my first post, starting this thread, I assumed that a good graphic-card was a benefit coming to KeyShot performance.
    I also asked if a gaming PC could be a good choice due to these PC’s focus on GPU.
    After reading the discussion I now understand that this is not necessarily the case unless you have a RTX-card and the latest KeyShot.

    I want a computer mainly for 3D-CAD (Alibre), not for gaming.
    Therefore a PC with good overall performance and no extra focus on the graphics could perhaps be a OK. I first assumed xeon as a good choice. Now I am not that sure since Alibre do not utilize xeon. Correct/not correct?
    Generally: How many cores/threads are needed for Alibre without wasting money on high-end processors with no effect?
    Or, with future development in mind it could perhaps be a good idea with some overkill at the moment?

    Quick respons is essential for obtaining a good workflow/speed. Waiting for commands to execute kills concentration - even when it is a few seconds each time.
    In my opininon here Alibre could tempt new professional users: Better adapting to hardware could make it faster.
    Since it has less features and thus is less complex (?) than Inventor and SW, it could be very fast without investing in the latest hardware and perhaps superfast when high-end hardware is at hand.

    You will perhaps assume that I do not think of Alibre as professional CAD.
    Well, having both Inventor and Alibre available for several years I consider Inventor to be professional.
    One of the perhaps most annoying negative characteristics with Alibre has for me been bad snapping when executing comands and dimensioning sketches/drawings. I now see that this is adressed in the next release - very good!

    Alibre is on a fine path with promising development and a comparison with Inventor/SW is perhaps not fare due to difference in cost and resources behind the software.
  12. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    I would say that whist a lot of the geometry editing and calculation is done in the CPU (and I believe Alibre is a single threaded application), all that geometry is fed to the graphics pipeline (either DirectX or OpenGL) for the graphics card to render. Most of the visual pan, rotation of a model is done purely in the GPU with data that has been passed to it (by just changing the viewport/camera and letting the GPU re-render), so load, save, geometry calculations and edit operations, etc are CPU, visual rendering, so pan, rotation is in the GPU, so it's a balance of where you want to see responsiveness and overall usability. More applications going forward will make use of the GPU processing as it's development and capabilities are still growing fast, where-as CPU progress is beginning to peak using todays current technologies.

    I went for my ZBook Laptop because I was looking for a CAD capable machine and it was on the top 10 list. See this article ... https://guruverdict.com/best-laptops-for-cad/ I know it's specifically for laptops, but the same guidelines and considerations are relevant to desktop workstations. The RTX GPU in my case was a bonus, and yes, it leverages the new features of KeyShot nicely. My desktop runs Alibre fine (in 2020) with the GTX 1050 Ti, but it is very slow compared to my laptop!

    Here is a good article on desktop CAD machines ... https://www.cgdirector.com/best-pc-for-cad-autocad-solidworks/ which explains some of the areas that best support CAD and shows CPU benchmarks (remember Alibre is single threaded!) and discusses pros and cons of Xeon CPU's vs i5/7/9 and which i7/9 is faster and why.

    I agree, in that Alibre may not currently be multi-threaded, but it can only go one way in the future, it's the only place to go for pure CPU performance. Any application that uses large datasets to visualise will also lean more towards the GPU going forward to unload the CPU.

    The investment is your, but if your looking at new hardware, I personally would plan for the next 5-10 years and stick with my earlier recommendations.

    I do consider Alibre to be professional, it does lack some features that other 'pro' applications have (and the size of the development team!), but the price point reflects that ... you pays your money, you takes your choice.

    ... and your right, Alibre is on a fine path and I for one are looking forward to it's future. :)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  13. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    An aside - far too early to be definitive yet on this. Win10 Feature update 2004 adds the option of 'hardware accelerated graphics scheduling' - by default this is turned OFF.

    Based on very limited user feedback so far, it seems that turning this new feature ON (if your graphics driver supports it) can noticeably improve responsiveness of Alibre. If you do try this, bear in mind that it is new and it might not work equally well for all applications. It will require latest drivers from Nvidia/AMD - I understand that Intel aim to add this to their graphics drivers in due course.
    simonb65 likes this.

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