Old 10th May 2002, 03:08   #1
PhysicalDelusio
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2
Mahsive system required?

I'm VJing at a party this summer, among other things, I am planning to have 2 large screens running AVS presets.
However, my current machine is not up to this task. I don't believe a new 3D card would help, as AVS isn't a Direct3D or OpenGL app (right?) so is it just CPU/RAM I need to upgrade?
WHat kind of system would it take to kick out 640x480 or 800x600 fullscreen 16-bit at atleast 25fps with some of the more taxing presets? (Such as Zen-X -Aztec Temple)

Thanks!
PhysicalDelusio is offline  
Old 10th May 2002, 06:05   #2
cmountford
The Rapper
(Major Dude)
 
cmountford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 992
Send a message via AIM to cmountford
I don't know hte answers to all of your questions-but I'll do my best to say what I do know.

First off, it always helps to tell people what setup you have (OS, CPU speed, RAM, etc. Be sure to include the number of MB your video card has built-into it. If your machine is fairly old, and you've never upgraded your video card, it might help things.

For example: My OS is Windows 98. I have a 450 MHz Intel PIII processor with 256 MB RAM, and I have a GeForce2MX/MX 400 video card. My video card has 64 MB on board memory

I upgraded my video card a month or so ago from a card with 2 MB memory to one with 64 MB memory. That would make things run about 32 times faster. I'm aware that there's video cards out there better than mine (at least 128+ MB).

Video cards can do things two ways (correct me if I'm wrong): with and without acceleration.

Bryce & other 3-D fractal rendering programs use primarily 3-D acceleration. The more memory your video card has, the more it can hold and process at one time (so it works faster).

AVS doesn't use acceleration, however, but it still takes up memory in your video card (I think). AVS has to store all the variables somewhere where it can quickly access them to process the equations into the visualizations you see on the screens. It uses the memory in your video card. The newer the video card, the more it can hold; and the quicker it can process things like AVS.

Programs that use hardware acceleration will benefit significantly more than those that don't with a video card upgrade.

If you have a decent video card already, we can look into some other possibilities; but if you have a video card half as old as the one we replaced , AVS will benefit tremendously from the upgrade

Peace

--C. Mountford--

(Hope my information was accurate & wasn't confusing).
cmountford is offline  
Old 10th May 2002, 07:12   #3
Jaheckelsafar
Major Dude
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: home
Posts: 1,318
AVS is processor based. To get it faster, you need a faser processor, but I doubt if you'll get the frame rates you want at 800x600 with anything you can get today. You might be able to swing it with 640x480 with a not insanely complicated one.
Jaheckelsafar is offline  
Old 10th May 2002, 12:30   #4
goebish
Senior Member
 
goebish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: an UFO near planet earth
Posts: 164
I use AVS at party on big screens and I don't use fullscreen mode, I prefer using windowed and overlay ( with 2 graphics cards) so I have control over AVS...I use a VCD size like window (352*288) and I have 15-30 fps depending of the preset on a 500MHz PC...And look for the thread Preswitcher (héhé presets switcher), you'll find a 3rd party utility I wrote to manage your presets for live event....
goebish is offline  
Old 10th May 2002, 16:51   #5
UnConeD
Whacked Moderator
 
UnConeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,104
cmountford:
I'm not sure what you mean with 'Bryce & other 3d-fractal rendering programs', but if it's Bryce3D you're talking about, that's 100% cpu based too. Just like other 3D modeling and rendering packages, the end-result is always calculated by the CPU (raytracing can't be hardware accelerated at the moment). The only thing that is usually hardware accelerated are the wireframe and shaded previews you see to model the end-result.

Also, your description "videocards can do things with or without acceleration" is a bit weird. A video card used to only display an image. A few years back, add-on chips for specific 3D functions were added which make drawing of 3D scenes composed of polygons much, much faster (when used).
Today, the term video-card always implies 3D acceleration, but they're still two different things.
When AVS is at work, it doesn't use the 3D portion at all. So the videocard isn't doing much, not even 'un-accelerated'. Its only purpose is to display the image. The actual calculations are still done by the CPU.

So your statement "AVS stores the variables in video memory" is incorrect. AVS still stores all its variables in system memory, because the only piece of hardware that needs them is the CPU. Video memory is very fast, but it's only useful to store textures and the frame buffer for the video card. If the CPU needs to fetch something out of video memory, it's much slower.

Also, the amount of video-RAM you have is not directly related to the frame-rate you get. Video-ram is used (as I said earlier) to store the buffers which hold the actual image on screen (the frame buffer) and additional textures for 3D scenes. Usually, this can all fit in the RAM your card has. If it doesn't fit, that would mean that something would have to be sent to the video card again and again every frame, because there is no more room to hold it permanently. Because that would be waaaaaay too slow, games these days always adapt themselves to your video-card's memory.
If you have lots of it, the game will stuff it all with high-resolution, sharp textures. If you only have a small amount of video memory, the game will use lower-quality textures, but still use as much RAM as possible. It's still possible to override this usually, but you'll probably notice a large slow-down when you reach a certain "texture quality" setting.

Now back to the topic . I got myself a new PC half a year back, and AVS still runs 'slowly' on it. Of course, it's very fast compared to before, but it can't do 640x480x30fps either for complex presets. The reason is that 640x480 is 4 times larger than 320x240, so AVS has to do 4 times as much. In fact, the only reason today's video-cards can handle resolutions like 1280x960 is because they are 'dumb' machines designed exclusively for fast drawing of 3d polygons.
A hammer is much, much, much better at hitting nails than your hand, but don't expect to untie knots with that hammer.

UnConeD is offline  
Old 10th May 2002, 19:35   #6
Krylen
Junior Member
 
Krylen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2
Other ways of increasing speed

Hey, i wanted to ask while we were on this subject, since AVS is a purly math-based visualization i was wondering how much it would benifit from being on a system with an Alpa chip for instance, or perhaps on a sparc station which crunch numbers much fater than any PC based system out there today.

Now, to get AVS running on a Sparc or Alpha based system isn't hard, all you need to do is get linux running on it, and use WINE to run Winamp in X, then of course optimize the hell out of it.

At any rate, i've found this is a great way to squeeze more preformance out of AVS, and if anyone knows how the preformance would changed based on different platforms i would certinally like to know.
Krylen is offline  
Old 10th May 2002, 20:56   #7
UnConeD
Whacked Moderator
 
UnConeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,104
I doubt moving to a Sparc or Alpha would help much with AVS, because it's compiled and optimized for the x86 architecture (and uses MMX instructions). Unless the speedup is so large that it compensates for having to emulate a totally different platform (which I doubt), it wouldn't be worth it.

UnConeD is offline  
Old 11th May 2002, 02:42   #8
cmountford
The Rapper
(Major Dude)
 
cmountford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 992
Send a message via AIM to cmountford
That's really weird - in that case, what do you think caused such a huge jump in my FPS after I took the computer into the shop?

The following text is an exact description of what led me to think that the new graphics card helped AVS

I asked what would speed up Bryce 3-D rendering program. They asked what our CPU speed was, and I told them; I told them how much RAM we had, and answered all their other questions. They said we currently had the maximum RAM for our computer that our OS would recognize, so any upgrade in regular RAM that would be useless.

The people in the shop knew I preferred little upgrades, and that I never got any big upgrades like a new CPU. (They've gotten pretty good at helping me getting the most out of our computer for the least money)

They said a new graphics card would be the best thing to speed Bryce up without buying a new CPU.

After I picked up the computer & took it home, Bryce seemed to be able to handle more advanced textures & terrains while taking less render time, so it seems to me like it was a huge improvement

After I got through testing how Bryce worked, I felt like making some presets, so I started up AVS. I was somewhat startled to notice that it seemed to be running faster I started up AVS to tinker around in it. I noticed that the FPS was much higher (even at a much bigger window size-one that I hadn't even been able to before the upgrade). I thought to myself, "that's odd...I thought AVS didn't have acceleration. I wondered about it, and the conclusion I came to was that the new graphics card was 1.) faster than the old one, 2.) the video RAM was faster than the video RAM in the old graphics card. (my old video card had 2 MB of video RAM ) 3.) The additional RAM might make it so the video card can handle more processing-so it didn't have to use the (relatively) slow CPU.

From the fact that with repeated use, AVS continued to show a faster response time to loading presets, running presets. Another interesting fact is that the time a special plug-in for PowerPoint called PowerPlugs seemed to render a *whoooooole* lot faster. I just assumed it was all due to the new graphics card, and that it must have sped up even non-hardware accelerated programs one or more of the 3 possible ways I mentioned above.

Apparently, it's none of those.

So if it wasn't the graphics card, could it have been what they did to fix the stutter when I'm playing music and then either try to read from a floppy, use my scanner, connect to the internet, or other activities that cause this problem. (I didn't mention AVS to them, though-it totally slipped my mind) (BTW: I didn't the problem was with Winamp, so I didn't submit it to Winamp as a bug.

Would freeing up unneeded programs taking up system resources have an effect on AVS?


But if it wasn't the graphics card or any of the other things I mentioned, then what could have made such a big impact on the FPS?




-- Sorry for the bad information, guys --I guess I've been believing the same false conclusion all this time and then blurted it out. my bad

--C. Mountford--
cmountford is offline  
Old 11th May 2002, 04:29   #9
Jaheckelsafar
Major Dude
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: home
Posts: 1,318
Yeah, running less programs would speed AVS up. AVS is a CPU hog. It'll take whatever you give it. So any exrta cycles it gets helps.
Jaheckelsafar is offline  
Old 11th May 2002, 11:16   #10
UnConeD
Whacked Moderator
 
UnConeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,104
There are waay too many reasons why Bryce and AVS would be faster now. Maybe they installed newer drivers, or maybe they removed some CPU-hogging background processes.

In any case, professional rendering packages normally only use the 3d card for the viewports that you use to preview and model your scenes, simply because the actual high-quality rendering is too complex and usually quite different from what normal 3D cards do. On top of that, 3D cards tend to have a lower accuracy in favor of speed, and professional 3D rendering favors it the other way around.
If you're interested to learn about this, read up some guides on rendering and raytracing: it requires a good knowledge in 3D analytical geometry, but the actual concepts are not that difficult. You just need to find a guide that manages to explain it without getting lost in formulas and terminology .

And as far as the shop's advice goes, it all depends on what shop you visit. It might sound harsh and paranoid, but remember that a shop's goal is mainly to earn money. Not every shop is like that though, and the people at the one I get my pc equipment from are extremely friendly and helpful, and they're always honest: for example, they've once said "I'm sorry, but we really don't know what causes the problem. We think it's a hardware problem, so we're going to try and unplug one component at a time.". They're not amateurs, and PC's are still a tricky business today, so it's actually reassuring that they admit this, instead of possibly coming up with lame excuses.

One thing that I might've omitted is that video-cards can also accelerate 2D graphics (e.g. the Windows interface). Normally, the speed-up gained from this is very small (especially if you don't run fancy schmancy XP), but as you upgraded from a 2 MB card, it could be significant. And of course, if the new card has faster RAM, AVS can get the image faster from the CPU to the video card. I assume your old card was a PCI one, and your new one is AGP (a specialized access port for graphics cards). But again, these things probably don't have much effect, because the main bottleneck in AVS is the CPU. I'm not sure, since you didn't post your system specs.
It could also be that the drivers for the old card weren't as good and as fast as for the new one. There's a lot more competition between hardware manufacturers these days, so they spend more time trying to squeeze out every bit of performance they can get.

Oh and don't worry about the 'mis-information', you did post a little notice at the bottom of your post after all. With all the flashy commerce around video-cards these days, it's easy to get misinformed. It's like Intel claiming their Pentium III would make your Internet access go faster (well they didn't say that literally, but there were a lot of people who thought "I'll get a Pentium III" instead of upgrading their old 28k8 modem and such). I'd just advise you that, if you're not sure about what you're saying, fire up Google (the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, or maybe not) and do some websearches. You'd be surprised how much information is out there.

UnConeD is offline  
Old 8th April 2003, 13:26   #11
kfredric
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1
From my experience with winamp AVS (a fair bit in the past year) i have discoverd that AVS runs BETTER on BAD video cards! This sounds dodgy and weird - but i put two duron 850's side by side - one with a TNT2 Ultra and the other with a piece of crap SIS6326. At Identical settings, identical systems, etc etc - the sis was running at 70 fps while the TNT2 was Crawling along at 5. An upgrade from the old sis to a GF4ti4200 CAUSED a DECREASE in speed. Surely this is MAD! . Another example: It runs like rubbish on a P2.2ghz with an Intel i810 onboard graphics card. Is there any logical explanation for this?
kfredric is offline  
Old 8th April 2003, 13:33   #12
Rovastar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, England
Posts: 3,632
Send a message via AIM to Rovastar
?? I don't know about that never heard of that before. Make sure teh settings are the same. The same .ini files, etc. ANd it could well be other problems sorry but I do not beleive that 70fps to 5fps if teh machien were OK (correct drivers, known issues sorted) and teh same to being with.

"Rules are for the guidance of wisemen and the obedience of fools"

Visuals - Morphyre www.Morphyre.com
Rovastar is offline  
Old 8th April 2003, 13:35   #13
uNDefineD
Senior Member
 
uNDefineD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 297
Send a message via ICQ to uNDefineD Send a message via AIM to uNDefineD
Please don't bump up ancient topics, it's not a good habit to get into. Thank you.
uNDefineD is offline  
Old 8th April 2003, 21:17   #14
anubis2003
Forum King
 
anubis2003's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: middle of somewhere
Posts: 5,564
Send a message via AIM to anubis2003
This thread should not have been revived, but chances are that the difference in speed is because of some differences in settings as well as what the processors are doing. The video card is only used to display to the screen - a process which any video card can do in much more than 5fps - especially a tnt, so it's not the video card.
anubis2003 is offline  
Old 14th April 2003, 11:33   #15
Tuggummi
Bin King
 
Tuggummi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Finland
Posts: 2,173
Although this is a revived thread, i don't think there is a more better opportunity for me to express my idiotism

Anyway, the reason why it might seem that the framerate is better when changing the gfx card is probably, because you use Wait for Retrace. And avs tries to sync the presets to the top most speed depending on the Refresh rate of your monitor&gfx card as well as what your cpu can do. In example, when i used a refresh rate of 60hz, presets tend to stick in about 30 fps (if they can), but when i changed to 75hz the framerate dropped to 25 fps. That's why i don't use wait for retrace anymore, even though some presets display these friggin annoying lines the framerates are good & "true".

I have not yet discovered (because of my bad monitor) what refresh rate would be "optimal" to use wait for retrace, perhaps 100hz? Maybe it will try then sync the presets to every 10fps or something...

Texer Resources

Im retarded... err i mean retired!
Probably both...
Tuggummi is offline  
Old 14th April 2003, 23:09   #16
jheriko
Forum King
 
jheriko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: a twist in the fabric of space
Posts: 2,150
Send a message via ICQ to jheriko
My theory is that the different boards may have different on-board graphics controllers which have not been disabled and are hence chewing up resources and shit.

Want to get 25 fps on demanding presets at 640x480??? I laugh in your face. My computer runs most decent presets at about that, most of my pack 6,7 and 8 get about 25fps @640x480 as does most of the whacko series.

Specs:

3.06GHz P4 Northwood Hyper-Threading Enabled
768MB DDR333 RAM



ph33r me

-- Jheriko

'Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers'
jheriko is offline  
Old 15th April 2003, 02:11   #17
dirkdeftly
Forum King
 
dirkdeftly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Cydonia, Mars
Posts: 2,651
Send a message via AIM to dirkdeftly
good lookin out, rova. great moddin job there.

"guilt is the cause of more disauders
than history's most obscene marorders" --E. E. Cummings
dirkdeftly is offline  
Old 21st May 2003, 15:31   #18
Balur
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3
Hi@All,

I have just another question to this, WHY is it, that AVS wont use GPU?? the explanation was, that AVS like other raytracers runs only on CPU usage, but why is that so, your exaple with the hand and the hammer does not seem fitting to me -> for, what a raytracer realy needs is a extrem powerfull floating point engine - and thats exactly what any modern 3D-Accelerator gives, a lot more powerfull than any standart CPU at least. The only problem about that is, to get use of it, but i heard of people using it for mathematicle (uff i hope that word is allright that way - english is not my mothertongue)calculations, so there must be a way to use it for raytracing!?!?

Just wondering
Balur
Balur is offline  
Old 21st May 2003, 17:02   #19
dirkdeftly
Forum King
 
dirkdeftly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Cydonia, Mars
Posts: 2,651
Send a message via AIM to dirkdeftly
It's been answered, many, MANY times, and is certainly not worth reviving an old, dead, zombie thread for. When we say, "search the forums", we mean to take a little longer than five seconds doing so.

"guilt is the cause of more disauders
than history's most obscene marorders" --E. E. Cummings
dirkdeftly is offline  
Old 21st May 2003, 19:01   #20
Raz
Forum King
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Manchester
Posts: 6,470
There's just no winning with you is there Atero *sigh*

Raz is offline  
Old 21st May 2003, 20:16   #21
Deamon
Major Dude
 
Deamon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Posts: 927
AVS runs faster in 32-bit mode. Since it is calculated in 32 bit format, any other format will be slower cause he has to calculate everything for that other mode. I suggest you just keep it at 32-bit,

just my two cents.

.:HyperNation @ winamp:. .:DeviantArt:.
Thermal is now available for download at DeviantArt.
Deamon is offline  
Old 22nd May 2003, 01:14   #22
Rovastar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, England
Posts: 3,632
Send a message via AIM to Rovastar
Right this thrread is too old and confusing mre after I have come back from teh pub. The orginal poster was from a year ago about a party in the summer of 2002.

Although al comments about 32 bit etc are valid I'm locking this.

If one of you really wants to start a thread about teh speed, etc of AVs then make a new one no problem.

"Rules are for the guidance of wisemen and the obedience of fools"

Visuals - Morphyre www.Morphyre.com
Rovastar is offline  
Closed Thread
Go Back   Winamp & SHOUTcast Forums > Visualizations > AVS

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump