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Old 10-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
gubar
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Default graphics card for laptop?

Hi all,

just tried to combine all my objects into one scene and light it with some final gather... and it crashed (several times). My computer is clean, and I've recently reinstalled windows, so can only assume I've got some kind of hardware issue.

Anyway... I've got access to a good laptop for rendering. It has a dual core and 2 gigs but only onboard graphics, and doesn't render properly (broken lines and jagged edges).

What kind of decent (6800 ish) card can I get for it? I know nothing about laptop cards, but don't want cutting edge, just compatible. It's a inspiron 4600... if I can give any more info let me know.

thanks

gubar
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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you might need to clean up your scene. try using clean up on your objects and also the optimize scene command (under file i think).

also, what size textures are you using? you may need to lower the resolution. If that doesn't work, try going through your scene deleting objects one by one to see if the scene will render without them - it may just be one object that's messing you up.

as for graphics cards, an nvidia quadro is pretty reliable. check out autodesks site - they should have a list of recommended cards.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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Hi arran,

thanks for the response. Think I do need to reduce my textures considerably. The meshes are clean, and the scene has about 175,000 faces - I don't think that is massive (got an old comp though, amd 3200+, 1 gig ram, 6800 128 mb).

... I've been goggling possible issues.

I've got a couple of questions if I can:

1) Maya seems to crash when I get near 1 gig of memory (watching the task manager)... doesn't mental ray use virtual memory?

2) I've read that I should alter mental ray's memory limit, but don't see any hint in the help files where to do this. Could this help, and how do I do this?

3) I've read that adjusting BSP could help, and the help files lists it as being under shadows in the settings. Could this be a solution?

4) Could setting my polys to single sided help?

5) I've read that it is possible to instance textures (I use sometimes the same map for diffuse, bump etc). How is this different from duplicating with ctrl+d?

sorry for all the questions, I could look into these just now, but I've been up for hours staring at failed renders... kind of tired and needing to go to bed.

cheers

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Old 11-02-2008, 12:36 AM   #4
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I run a Gforece 7900 GTX 512 mb on my laptop, runs like a charm.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:16 AM   #5
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i dont use mental ray but with the maya renderer on my laptop with 1 gig i dont usually have problm. try optimizing your scene. it helps reduce the calculations. and a ge force card is a good option but you hav to check out if your laptop supports an x tra graphics card. because i think some dont.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:04 AM   #6
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sorry gubar - i'm afraid i don't really have much experience (actually no experience) with altering mr's memory limit, adjusting BSP or setting polys to single sided. sorry.

i might be wrong, but to be honest, it sounds like you are over thinking this a little bit. did you try optimizing your scene, deleting your history or going through the objects one by one to see if you can render without them? i would definitely do that. i was having trouble rendering my fly model and DJBLAZER suggested i do that and it really helped me find the problem.

post up a picture of what you're trying to render and maybe that will help us figure out what's going on.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:30 AM   #7
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Hi arran,

I'll try that later on... I'm done for just now, need a break. Thanks for the suggestion. I've optimized and deleted history... the only thing flagged up by mesh cleanup are a few ngons (only on faces that meet a beveled corner - I don't think they should be an issue, or should they?).

The thing is the scene renders on the laptop... but it doesn't have a graphics card so it artefacts, and is not a solution. Suggests that the scene is ok though.

A fiend has offered me two gigs decent memory... I'll have those tomorrow hopefully. He may also be going to give me a new motherboard and processor.

I'll post back once I try these out,

thanks again,

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:44 AM   #8
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Hi Gubar,

I thought that the graphics card only comes into play when using hardware rendering.

As for the crashing, I think that mental ray only uses physical memory, if it cant access the amount required it will crash.

I would see about rendering in passes for the sepperate objects, and attempting to render using the comand line to free up some resuorce that MR can use
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:46 AM   #9
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Hi gster,

yeah, but when I mentioned the trouble to my friend, he said he had spare ram, a card and a processor and offered them all to me.

Very generous of him,

cheers

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Old 12-02-2008, 01:59 PM   #10
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Hi again,

gster I see what you mean now, I misunderstood re the graphics card. I know that it should use mainly the processor, but I think some features of the card are used. I could be wrong.

Good news anyway. My mate gave me 2 gigs of good pc3200 ram (installed just now), a nvidia 7800 gt 256 mb, an opteron 175 dual core processor and also threw in an LG flatron 19 " widescreen monitor, all for free. I've ordered a new motherboard and fan and once I get those it'll be up and running. Not a cutting edge system but a HUGE upgrade from what I run just now.

I was wondering - can I easily set up maya to use 2 monitors (one via vga one via dvi)? Would be nice to have viewports in one and hypershade and attribute editor in the other if possible.

cheers,

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Old 12-02-2008, 09:31 PM   #11
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Hi Gubar, Yes you can use dual monitors, shouldent be a problem.

Ive never heard of the graphics card coming into play with a sofrware or MR render, but could be worng.
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