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How much RAM for node computers?

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:03 pm
by phromm
Just wondering how much RAM is enough on a node computer? In this case, the node computer wouldn't be doing anything else but running renders. I currently have 32Gb of RAM on my node computers, which has worked fine. But can you go less? 16Gb? 8Gb? Does anyone have practical experience with this?

thanks in advance!

Re: How much RAM for node computers?

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:25 pm
by T0M0
When I was using Maxwell, my nodes had always same amount of RAM as main workstation. When job takes 20GB of memory you can't expect that it will take less on node.

Personally I think Maxwell would need a lot better memory optimization (and a lot of other improvements...)

Just example :
Simple sphere with 400 polys subdivided 8x times which makes 51 118 080 polys takes nearly 20GB of memory
and I don't mention insanely high pre-processing times
Code: Select all
[06/March/2020 19:47:55] Memory used before preprocessing: 1139 Mb 
[06/March/2020 19:47:56] [Extension SubdivisionModifier] Executing Mesh Modifier Extension :"pSphere1_1" 
[06/March/2020 19:54:36] Memory used after preprocessing: 14145 Mb 
- 6m41s just subdividing

[06/March/2020 19:54:36] Starting voxelization. 
[06/March/2020 19:57:59] Maximum Memory used during voxelization: 22120 Mb 
[06/March/2020 19:57:59] Voxelization done. 
[06/March/2020 19:57:59] Memory used after voxelization: 20271 Mb 
[06/March/2020 19:58:00] Start Rendering 
- 3m24s just for voxelization
so just 10 minutes of waiting for first pixel to appear on screen.

To put this in perspective in other engine it took only few seconds and memory usage was 2800 MB.
I know that Maxwell stores geometry in voxels and it's probably not really fair to compare it with different engine, but it's 2020, since V4 there wasn't any major improvement for CPU engine (remember the time when V4 was released and was slower than V3 ? yeah, it was fixed later...)

Re: How much RAM for node computers?

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:19 pm
by choo-chee
been using maxwell from version 1 to 4 now. my machines are usually 32-64 GB ram, workstation must have more as you use 3d apps on it and not just MR. rendering with denoiser means you need twice memory then without. so if a typical arch-viz needs 10-20 GB ram, using denoiser means you need 20-40 GB ram.

Re: How much RAM for node computers?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:08 am
by Nasok
I've got 128 GB (2666 MHz DDR4) - and things are pretty smooth here.

Ram is basically your "transfer tunnel" - so it all depends on how heavy your scene is. If the scene is simple - then don't need much. If the scene is complex (say lot's of high res, non-optimised textures, and lots of geometry) - then ya - gotta bump those values.

in terms of node rendering - I believe what would help is rather managing assets - say all those that support the rendering like HDR, textures and etc - to better manage them so that node computer will not need much ram - just pure processor power.

Re: How much RAM for node computers?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:14 pm
by Eduardo G
You should have the same amount of RAM in your workstation and in your nodes.

To render our users tasks in Fast Render Farm we use 128GB of RAM on our nodes. It's enough for 97% of the situations. The 3% where 128GB are not enough usually always come from the same users... :D