Building a new Computer

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luggw1
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Building a new Computer

Postby luggw1 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:37 am

I'm not sure which forum to post this on so I'll try this one.

I'm in the planning stages of building a new desktop Linux box to replace the one I've been using for the last 5 or 6 years now. FreeCAD is probably the most processing intensive thing I do with it. As it stands, the configuration I've come up with is in the attached PDF file. For those know what FreeCAD needs to perform well when crunching a lot of data would this configuration be adequate or are there some things I should consider changing to improve performance?

Thanks
Bill Lugg
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ComputerBuild.pdf
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Jee-Bee
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby Jee-Bee » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:59 am

I'm not really into computers hardware... but i know there is always some trouble with linux and video card drivers... I see it quite often. And since you have a modified Nvidia card i would say check that...
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NormandC
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby NormandC » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:35 pm

Bill,

You could have pasted the centre column as plain text rather than attach a PDF.

I'm not certain that you'd get more performance out of FreeCAD with such a rig. I think the 6GB VRAM video card is overkill for FreeCAD. That's relevant with games and image rendering software that uses the graphics card - I'm not sure that image rendering software with such capability exists on Linux.

Most processes in FreeCAD are single-thread, due to the OCC kernel. Booleans are multi-thread, I'm not sure any other type of operation is. But others will know more.

Jee-Bee wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:59 am
i know there is always some trouble with linux and video card drivers... I see it quite often.
I've seen plenty of graphics issues with AMD graphics, and not as many with Nvidia cards. With a recent Nvidia card, you may have to use proprietary drivers. My 6-year old PC has a Nvidia card and I stopped using proprietary drivers because I would often get a black screen after a kernel update. Since switching to nouveau I have had zero issues.
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luggw1
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby luggw1 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:33 pm

Thanks for the info. I too had the black screen issue once after a kernel update. To fix it I reverted to an earlier kernel and reinstalled the NVidia drivers; that seemed to fix the problem.

I actually chose that video card because I've got some older video games that I'm thinking about resurrecting in a Windoze dual boot partition. They would required the added performance it would provide. I wasn't sure if it would help FreeCAD as well or not.

So, then the CPU, mobo and memory choices are sufficient then?

Thanks again for the input.
Bill Lugg
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easyw-fc
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby easyw-fc » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:55 pm

Hi,
GPUs are very useful for FC when you have many objects inside your document...
Use OpenGl Vertex buffer option to enable acceleration.

There is an old thread on GPU graphic cards
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25562

And here some details on a experimental FC branch that is getting great advantages with GPUs
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 30#p238679
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 40#p239129
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 60#p239881
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Hannu
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby Hannu » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:46 pm

easyw-fc wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:55 pm
Use OpenGl Vertex buffer option to enable acceleration.
Right, need to look up that one! Didn't know about it.

For informational purposes; I have been running Ubuntu 14.04 and now 16.04 on:
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4 core, HT)
  • Motherboard; ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO, BIOS 1603 08/15/2014
  • 32GB 1600MHz RAM
  • Asus built nVidia (GK110) GeForce GTX 780 Direct CU, 3GB
  • 2x Asus 27" screens, one suitable for image editing, the other more "Desktop" and plain reading.
  • Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB (for / - less than 12GB used )
  • Seagate ST8000VN0022-2EL112 (8TB HDD, e.g. /Data)
  • WDC WD30EFRX-68EUZN0 (3TB, /home)
  • I have three more 3TB WDC's, but they're "retired" due to being "small".
and among other things FreeCAD... with close to zero problems.
luggw1 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:33 pm
To fix it I reverted to an earlier kernel and reinstalled the NVidia drivers; that seemed to fix the problem.
The proprietary nVidia 384.130 drivers as provided via "Additional drivers" in Software & Updates has been dead stable for long now.
Before I just did ... --uninstall and the an immediate --install from the recovery console... and then removed the old kernel assuming it as "nonfunctional" at that stage. Occasional X updates required the same.

Occasionally I see the 32GB of RAM as essential, especially when handling large 3D-printing models (Some STL files take ages to import and change!).
The GTX 780 runs warm when I do RAW Raster Image Processing in Darktable (some ops runs some 10x faster), but not much otherwise.
I believe the 1060 is about three or four times faster than the 780, not yet worth the upgrade ;-) IMO, mostly due to my low utilization.
(Note: no games, No Windows)
/Hannu - some knowledge in many fields ...
- computers, software, electronics, color correct photography,
- mechanics, 3D-printing, lathe, mill, weld -work,
- ISO9000, Deviations & Corrective actions, and a lot more...
lambda
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby lambda » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:42 pm

Hi!

If you are buying a new computer specifically because FreeCAD is slow for you, then maybe analysing FreeCAD's performance with 'perf stat' (apt install linux-perf) might be worthwhile. 'perf' allows to do many types of advanced profiling, but the 'stat' subcommand just collects statistics without needing debugging symbols or anything. The statistics should give a strong hint what's the bottle neck on your machine.

I would add CPU cache size to your table of characteristics worth considering. I have a hunch, that it might be the bottle neck in your case, actually.

HTH,
Harald
vejmarie
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby vejmarie » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:46 pm

If you use the Use OpenGL Vertex Buffer option from the options menu, FreeCAD is becoming dependant of GPU card memory available, as I am storing most of the 3D rendered objects within the GPU card avoiding back and forward transaction on the PCIe bus. You will see a reasonable performance boost on big models. My frame rate moved from 10fps to 60-70fps on a Mac Pro 2013. I suspect you might be seeing the same benefit in Linux. If you do not use that option, then I believe most GPU board with 2GB video will be far good enough.
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easyw-fc
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby easyw-fc » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:53 pm

vejmarie wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:46 pm
If you use the Use OpenGL Vertex Buffer option from the options menu, FreeCAD is becoming dependant of GPU card memory available, as I am storing most of the 3D rendered objects within the GPU card avoiding back and forward transaction on the PCIe bus. You will see a reasonable performance boost on big models. My frame rate moved from 10fps to 60-70fps on a Mac Pro 2013. I suspect you might be seeing the same benefit in Linux. If you do not use that option, then I believe most GPU board with 2GB video will be far good enough.
Hi @vejmarie ... welcome back and Happy XMas!
have you seen @realthunder Asm3 works on OpenGL here?
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 60#p239692
The test is done with your 1GB file:
Barreleye G2 3D STP-20170310-detailed zipped
vejmarie
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Re: Building a new Computer

Postby vejmarie » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:32 pm

easyw-fc wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:53 pm
vejmarie wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:46 pm
If you use the Use OpenGL Vertex Buffer option from the options menu, FreeCAD is becoming dependant of GPU card memory available, as I am storing most of the 3D rendered objects within the GPU card avoiding back and forward transaction on the PCIe bus. You will see a reasonable performance boost on big models. My frame rate moved from 10fps to 60-70fps on a Mac Pro 2013. I suspect you might be seeing the same benefit in Linux. If you do not use that option, then I believe most GPU board with 2GB video will be far good enough.
Hi @vejmarie ... welcome back and Happy XMas!
have you seen @realthunder Asm3 works on OpenGL here?
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 60#p239692
The test is done with your 1GB file:
Barreleye G2 3D STP-20170310-detailed zipped
Nop I was not aware about them, but it make a crazy amount of time I didn't had the opportunity to work on FreeCAD. Are you sure that this is OpenGL related optimizations and not hierarchy one's ?