Hardware advice for rendering

I work with rather large SketchUp models (our models are usually 150mb+) and I spend a lot of time hung up with the dreaded blue circle rotating on my screen.
I am currently exploring V-Ray for Sketchup (new to render engines) and wondering if the issues I am facing are due to my laptop’s capabilities. When I try to run a V-Ray render on a SketchUp modelmy laptop will struggle. After a few renders it will not update the frame buffer with what’s showing on my SketchUp screen. The laptop fan starts to whir and it seems to be at it’s limit. CPU usage goes to 99% and physical memory used by SketchUp (as shown in task manager) exceeds 4,600,000 K.

Wondering if there is there an area that could or should be invested in to improve this? I’ve looked at the system requirements and it seems that I’ve got at least the minimum requirements. Would love to know if I can tweak the machine to give it a boost.

Two machines…

Laptop has:
2.5 GHz, i7-2860 QM Processor
Nvidia Quadro 2000 GPU
16 GB Ram

Desktop has:
3.3GHz; i5-2500K Processor
Gtx 960 GPU
8 GB Ram

Passmark: GeForce GTX 960 vs Quadro 2000
Really no comparison. 960 has 4G GRAM vs 1G GRAM for the Quadro.

Passmark: i7-2860 vs i5-2500K
Both are Quad core, almost the same turbo speed, but i7 performs better. (However the i5 can be overclocked.)

My advice would be to see if you can get more system RAM and a better newer i7 CPU into the desktop, and use that as your rendering machine.

I do not think there is much hope for increasing the rendering performance of the laptop. (Most notebook computers are just not designed for this kind of heavy processing work.)

Are you using an older version of V-ray? Some old ones were notorious on their memory leaks. Your problem sounds like something like that is happening…


Hi @goldenredclay ,
Learning which version of Sketchup and V-ray you use could be useful.

I’m not an expert in these issues but even with a great hardware you might have trouble if you don’t pay attention to optimisation. So i’ll suggest some optimizations for Sketchup and V-ray rendering.

Also i simply agree with @DanRathbun 's hardware advices

Optimization - Sketchup

[quote=“goldenredclay, post:1, topic:41000”]
I work with rather large SketchUp models (our models are usually 150mb+)[/quote]
That’s quite big one. Could you please share statistics of your file (Number of faces, edges etc.)? You can check via:
Window > Model Info > Statistics

Show Screenshot

Also what kind of model you design (interior/exterior architecture, furniture etc.)?

Often time people use excessive number of faces&edges in a geometry (See below image for example). Notice how face&edge count reduced dramatically with almost no difference visually. This can play huge effect when you have lots of copies/instances of the same geometry.

Show Example Image

  • Be careful when you import an object from 3D Warehouse as they may have excessive polygon (face) & file size.

You can check this article for more information (especially geometry part): https://sites.google.com/site/sketchupsage/faster
More reading with similar info:

Optimization - Vray

Using wide range of and redundant displacements, bumps, reflactions/refractions, high-resolution textures on your materials and misuse of lighting/illumination may cause slow performance and extend render time extremely.

You can check this FAQ for more info about Excessive Memory Usage While Rendering: Documentation - Global Site

If all above mentioned optimizations doesn’t apply or fix for you, you probably need more powerful machines for your work and can dive into these topics for rendering:

GPU Rendering - https://labs.chaosgroup.com/index.php/portfolio/guide-to-gpu-rendering/
V-ray Swarm - https://labs.chaosgroup.com/index.php/rendering-rd/understanding-v-ray-swarm/

1 Like

I am trying out the new V-ray 3 they just released.

Thank you for your reply.
Good to know the desktop can be tweaked.
Bummed about the laptop but I appreciate your opinion on it’s performance capabilities.

I don’t want to let you think that your notebook cannot be upgraded, it probably can, but at some cost likely beyond being worth it.

CPU: It might be possible to be upgraded, as it also has an OLD second generation CPU. It MAY be possible to plug in a later generation CPU, but only IF Intel makes newer CPUs for the same socket (either a FCBGA1224 or a FCPGA988), AND if the the machine’s BIOS supports it. (Most notebooks require almost complete disassembly to change the CPU. It must be done by an IT technician.)

VIDEO: IF the Nvidia Quadro 2000 graphics is an expansion card, then it could be replaced by a newer GTX series card. But if it is built onto the motherboard by the computer OEM, then getting better graphics performance is unlikely.

System RAM: Also it (the CPU) can also handle up to 32GB of (DDR3 1066/1333/1600) system RAM. BUT,… upgrading that RAM is likely to be more expensive compared to new FASTER RAM in a newer later generation notebook machine.

So, the cost of newer CPU, newer graphics and more RAM (it’s most likely all the current RAM is filling all slots and you’d have to pull it all out and replace it,) … the cost of this upgrading would be a substantial % of a new notebook anyway. It just isn’t worth it in may cases.

haha Also would help if they allowed the adjustment of Ram used for Video when you have large amounts of Ram in the laptop mine only goes to 256 megs of video max of video

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