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Thread: Please Help Me! Do I need an upgrade? For VRay rendering and light gaming! -Clueless

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Isabel Saspa
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    Default Please Help Me! Do I need an upgrade? For VRay rendering and light gaming! -Clueless

    Hey there guys.

    I'm considering upgrading the stuff in my computer and I don't know where to start. I do some light gaming and some CS5 but I want to improve its rendering speeds most of all[VRay]. And I don't want SketchUp lagging heavily or worse, crashing on me anymore. I have the Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 which I bought almost 2 years ago.

    Specs:
    Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge
    CPU @ 3.40GHz (8 CPUs), ~3.40GHz
    8192MB RAM
    5179MB USED, 4992MB AVAILABLE. [Is this slowing everything down?]
    Max TDP: 95 W
    Package: Socket 1155 LGA
    Core Voltage: 0.936 W
    -------------------------------
    GPU
    GeForce GT 420
    Integrated RAMDAC
    Total memory: 4050MB
    --------------------------------
    MOTHERBOARD
    Manufacturer: Lenovo
    Model: To Be Filled by O.E.M.
    Chipset: Intel Sandy Bridge
    Southbridge: Intel P67
    LPCIO: Nuvoton NCT6776


    How much am I looking at here for a decent upgrade? Should I sell a kidney?

  2. #2
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    Joel McWilliam
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    Default Re: Please Help Me! Do I need an upgrade? For VRay rendering and light gaming! -Cluel

    Could you look at how many mhz your ram is rated? Have you monitored your ram usage during rendering?

    I think you cpu is fine for now:

    http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/4585...115-resultaten
    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/904-...licatives.html

    I'm not sure about to which gpu to best upgrade because i don't use sketch up. Maybe someone else can help.

    Could you also look at the sticker on the psu (power supply) and see how many amperes (A) is mentioned below the 12 volt line (+12V).
    Last edited by joelmcwilliam; September 16th, 2013 at 03:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member dtolios's Avatar
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    Dimitris Tolios
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    Default Re: Please Help Me! Do I need an upgrade? For VRay rendering and light gaming! -Cluel

    Doesn't worth upgrading, as the latest offerings that will be faster than the 2600/2600K/2700K, namely all of 4770K (Haswell) or 3770K & 4820K (Ivy Bridge) are a mere 7~5% faster in average.

    Sketchup comes with two major shortcomings.

    1) It is a 32bit application - meaning it cannot take advantage of more than 3.2 or so GB of RAM. Just cannot, so having more RAM than what you already do will do nothing for you other than aiding with more efficient multitasking along multiple instances of Sketchup - all running heavy models - or Sketchup and other RAM hungy apps - say Revit and/or Photoshop - simultaneously.

    2) It is single threaded - much like every mainstream 3D CAD application (3DS / Maya / C4D etc included). That means that CPUs with more than 1-2 cores will be underutilzed (i.e. in some ways your 2600 is already overkill for sketchup), and also that all those multicore CPUs will be turboboosting the single thread that Sketchup uses to its max frequency. The latter means that CPUs with higher base clocks than the 2600K (namely the the 4820K that has a notably higher base clock, 3.7GHz vs. 3.4 for the 2600K) will end up having very similar effective frequencies: 2600K will turboboost that single used core to 3.8GHz, while the 4820K/3770K/4770K to 3.9GHz.

    Long story short, there will be little to no percivable difference in perfomance.

    Complicated models using styles that replace vector lines with bitmaps (most sketchy styles) and working with shadows on are both CPU bound operations and will be slow and painful no-matter what.

    On the other hand, the GPU you are using is extremely basic and slow. GT 420...with 4GB of RAM?...please Lenovo, get real!
    The best upgrade for your PC - if what you are experiencing is slow viewport but NOT with the conditions above (i.e. sketchy style in use and shadows on) - would be a new GPU. Sketchup is OpenGL based, so nVidia GTX cards are in the most part slower than AMD Radeons.

    I don't think your PSU will be able to power a high-end card. You would have to open the case and check out how many PCIe auxilary power connectors there are available, in addition to the PSU wattage.
    Click image for larger version

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    PCIe 16x supplies cards up to 75W of power.
    Each 6pin PCIe plug supports 75W of additional power.
    Each 8pin PCIe plug supports up to 150W of additional power (2x 6pin)

    There are adaptors that allow you to pair 4pin molex connectors (what older HDDs and Optical Drives had) and create a 6pin if your PSU lacks one, but you have to be careful and know that your PSU supports the additional load.

    Most Dell/Lenovo basic systems I know of, have 375-400W PSUs that most likely will have a single 6-pin PCIe, but through an adaptor should be safe to support 2x 6pin cards (most GTX / Most HD 7xxx Radeons.

    That said, I think a 650 Ti or a 7750 should serve you well in the ~$120 price range, needing only a single 6-pin. Even better a 7850, but that might cost more but won't be that much of an improvement for most users.

    Drivers are not very well optimized for OpenGL and Sketchup, so after you reach a certain performance level, there is no noticeable performance difference. The goal is to stay above a minimum frame rate.

    Now, for gaming, the 7850 does make a difference, so will more powerful GTX cards.
    Be careful reading and letting us know what kind of PSU you have and the exact Wattage the 12V rail supports before you start wondering into options requiring more than one 6-pin.
    Last edited by dtolios; September 16th, 2013 at 09:16 AM.
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