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banias performance

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March 20, 2003 10:55:55 AM

Hi

I use 3ds max for architectural renderings and I'm planning on buying a light, yet powerful laptop for the go. I've followed with much interest the launch of banias/centrino based laptops over the past week and was wondering how well would these machines manage a rendering task against a last generation P4-M, specially within 3dsmax. Strangelly enough, none of the major hardware entusiast sites have posted any comparison with regards to that specific scenario (3DS max rendering) wich is something they usually do (???)

So the question is clear. Would someone dare to predict what behaviour would one of those chips have when rendering in front of a fast P4-M?


Any help would be much appreciated

More about : banias performance

March 20, 2003 2:31:39 PM

the centrinos should be about equal with their P4-M counterparts. centrino technology is mainly integrated wireless capabilities and power saving technologies. shouldnt affect render times much if any. personally, i'd recommend a desktop replacement with a full size P4 rather than the P4-M and definitely one with an Nvidia graphics card. I've heard of tons of problems with ATI and openGL glitches. of course for 3D, 512+ megs of RAM is always recommended.
March 20, 2003 2:42:35 PM

Hm, no, actually, the Banias has a much higher IPC than any desktop counterpart from Intel. Centrino technology is NOT only integrated wireless capabilities and power saving technologies. If you read THG´s review on it, you´ll see they perform very much better than equivalently-clocked P4s. They should also render faster, but I haven´t got a clue as to how faster.

I think noone has benchmarked rendering on a laptop because usually rendering is something done on the desktop, as it´s very resource-intensive and laptops usually lack lots of horsepower...
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March 20, 2003 2:50:15 PM

No offense intended here, but I can't help but point out the obvious...

<b>IT'S A LAPTOP!</b>

Honestly, performance will suck compared to any desktop, no matter how much money you try to throw at it, no matter what mobile CPU you put in it. The memory system and graphics system are going to ensure that no matter how good the CPU is the system as a whole won't perform nearly as well as a desktop. That's why laptops generally aren't used as workstations. So does it <i>really</i> make that much of a difference whether you get a P4-M or a P-M?

Sorry, but really how much sense does it make to test laptops with workstation software? Almost no one would care. They know that it'll suck compared to their workstation, so at that point judging just how much worse it will actually run is of minimal concern. Generally, all they really care is if it'll run at all, which short of insanity, it obviously will.

Okay, that aside, you obviously intend for it to be for work on the go. But will you be primarily running the laptop off plugged into AC power, or off of the battery's DC power?

<font color=blue><pre>If you don't give me accurate and complete system specs
then I can't give you an accurate and complete answer.</pre><p></font color=blue>
March 20, 2003 2:53:41 PM

Yes, that´s about the same thing I meant... :smile: The thing is only a laptop... Centrino is better than P4-M in a clock-per-clock basis, but clocks aren´t that high on centrino. And nothing can match the power you´ll get for your money on a desktop...
March 20, 2003 9:23:18 PM

quote ---> "no matter how good the CPU is the system as a whole won't perform nearly as well as a desktop" "laptops generally aren't used as workstations"

As an architecture student, I've worked on 3 diferent architecture firmas. All of them did use Autocad as the main drafting software (actually numbers say 75% of architecture firmas use autocad). Obviously, some years ago very few architects did use laptop computers basically because of the limitations on processing power and the lack of bigger screens. Those limitations have been overcome with the arrival of high res 15" and 16" tft screens, dedicated graphics sub-system and the PIII processors (yes, the latest autocad will run flawlessly 99% of the projects on an early mobility radeon and a PIII - 800 mhz, , allthought intel tries to make you believe otherwise). Other enhancements, like mobile cd-rw drives and bigger hard drives have also played a big role. So we've comed to a situation were MOST of the architects I know do use portable computers, all of the time, even when they are not on the road. And I would risk to state this is an OBVIOUS rising trend.
That said, the presence of 3D-oriented architectural applications is rapidly increasing, but a mobilty Radeon 7500 or Geforce 4 Go will, again, do most of the jobs; and for the truly demanding projects we've got the new breed of Ati and Nvidia mobility processors right after the corner.
So right now, the only major bottleneck left are the slow 2,5" hard drives spinning at 4200 and 5400 rpm. And even this is going to change with the arrival of the the first 7200 rpm hard drives coming from Hitachi (former IBM) in the next several months.
I do agree that the system as a hole won't be as performant as its desktop counterpart. However, those differences are often negligeable. The statement: "I have a notebook and a desktop computer with the same processor, same RAM, and it remains clear to me the notebook feels much much slower" is a usual complaint. However, many times other equally important aspects are overlooked, like the one pointed before (hard drive performance) or battery saving options that are allways on and make the processor run at a lower mhz rate than the one we paid for.
So we've come to a point were the only major drawback is the weight and dimensions of those desktop replacement notebooks. I know of at least 3 architects who would make the effort of investing a little bit more on buying a big screen laptop instead of a desktop if they were really portable, under the 3-4 kg mark. That is my case. There were a few very capable notebooks with reasonable weight and dimensions I had been considering before. But now that Banias is here, fully loaded notebooks with 15" screens and thin profiles are a reality, and so the choice to me is clear.
However, I do a lot of renderings, and that is a task where performance depends basically of raw processor power (assuming you have the right amount of Ram) That is why I wish to know how much slower would one of those chips be in front of a P4-M 2,6 ghz. If the difference was big enought, I would turn my eyes again towards the bulkier systems (there is a nice Compaq for roughly 3 kg). But if we were talking about a 15-20% gain in front of a Centrino 1,6 ghz, I would clearly go for the Centrino.

That is why I keep making my question: Has anybody tested the centrino with rendering tasks within 3dsmax?
March 20, 2003 10:04:29 PM

OK, so you might be right about that... Sorry if I offended you in any way...

Indeed, rendering requires raw processing power! It´s hard to say, but I´d guess from the numbers at THG on the Centrino that the thing probably does render considerably better than the P4-M, at least on a clock-to-clock basis, but I´m really just guessing. And it should render faster than a 2.2Ghz P4-M. Again, just a guess. Anyone already own a Centrino out there???

Centrinos look damned interesting if you ask me. :smile: I´d choose them for their features list alone... Ever though of what would happen if Prescott´s IPC was as good as Centrino´s??? <i>Oh boy, am I a daydreamer or what?</i>

Maybe if you get in touch with one of the reviewers... I doubt that´ll work, but it might just be worth it to try...
March 21, 2003 7:24:19 AM

no offense at all.

By the way, what is IPC?
March 21, 2003 8:29:57 AM

The acronym stands for Instructions Per Clock. Or instructions completed on average, per clock. It is often misused as throughput does rely on the software and the optimization. However, speaking on average of performance in modern software, one processor can be said to have a "higher IPC" than another.

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
March 22, 2003 10:17:44 PM

i will guess that P4 M will be faster as 3DST is made for P4 desktop and compiling was made by intel.

[-peep-] french
March 23, 2003 2:12:17 AM

But both M CPUs support SSE2, in fact both are optimized for "Pentium 4" multimedia optimizations. I just don't see why the P4 would then perform better. Perhaps with bandwidth, yes. However the Banias, for its excellent power saving and performance, would be much better suited than a P4M, as it has about 80% the performance of the best P4 M, but with over an hour more on full load.

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
March 23, 2003 2:20:53 AM

The P4's implementation of SSE2 should provide as much per-clock throughput on average as the implementation in the Pentium-M. The difference is, the P4 is clocked much higher on average. I wonder why Anand and the other reviewers have not put up 3D rendering benchmarks for the Pentium-M in their reviews though.....

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
March 23, 2003 8:41:46 AM

That is the same thing I was wondering. AnandTech allways shows some rendering tests with 3ds max. Why didn't they put them this time? Is it possible that they only showed the tests where the centrino did perform the best? I want to continue trusting on the hard earned independance of those hardware entusiast sites, but at the same time, I can't stop thinking intel has put a lot of money on the launch of the centrino...
March 23, 2003 8:48:44 PM

Contact the author of the Centrino benchmark articles, it's the best thing you can do at the moment, rather than just wondering and waiting!

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
March 23, 2003 9:11:52 PM

I agree. Let´s try to get in touch with the author!
March 23, 2003 9:30:38 PM

It does seem that way. Another question would be why hasn't any other review site reviewed Centrino's performance to the extent that Anand did? Although to be fair, Anand's review was up only hours after the Centrino launch, it is possible he did not have time to include 3D rendering benchmarks as those are the most time-consuming.

"We are Microsoft, resistance is futile." - Bill Gates, 2015.
March 24, 2003 7:56:47 AM

I've send mails to the author's but no reply
March 24, 2003 9:57:13 PM

in a any review form toms to aces to any others the receive hardware way before the launch to be able to write a article as a new architecture will take a lot of writing so a i guess anandtech have sign a NDA with intel and have the right to test the hardware before others site.In exchange they can clear so benchmark.


To eden

Design is about trade-off every thing make a win there a lose in a others place.VLIW offer the same perf with less silicon but code size increase the pressure on compiler increase.X-trance cache offer the ability to cut in misbranch penality but are gate hungry and power hungry (from what a i read very hungry) bandwith same hard to get as X-trace cache will offer 3 ups so about 2 instruction that was less that a Itanium 2 L1 instruction that can go up to 6 instruction.My point even if it support SSE2 does there L2 cache offer good perf on 128 bit transfert what about sheduler renaming logic.

It not support direct gain of 50% or 35% it a potential gain of X perf that can be up to 10000000% or 5%.

[-peep-] french
March 25, 2003 1:58:57 AM

I see wut you mean.

I guess it remains to be seen what the Banias architecture has, I mean, Intel has not and did not want to reveal more than Anandtech did. Which is too bad, because it sounds like a damn good hybrid updated core.

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
March 25, 2003 5:25:57 PM

Quote:
As an architecture student, I've worked on 3 diferent architecture firmas.

As an engineering student turned software engineer I've worked on Autocad myself and frequently work with hardware engineers who use Autocad. I can't imagine that the ideologies between an architecture workstation and an electrical or mechanical engineering workstation are all that different, but maybe they really are?

Quote:
Those limitations have been overcome with the arrival of high res 15" and 16" tft screens, dedicated graphics sub-system and the PIII processors

Sorry, but no. Those limitations are defined by the intricacy and complexity of the project. I ran AutoCAD release 10 for DOS on a 486 with 32MB of RAM and it ran just peachy... for very low-complexity projects.

It's purely the complexity of the project itself that defines what kind of hardware you need to work on it. As technology allows projects to become more complex, they become more complex. It's just that simple.

Laptops, being underperformers compared to PCs, will always be insufficient for the types of projects typically done on 'workstations'. However, light projects (ones that don't even begin to push the capabilities of a workstation) will <i>always</i> be able to run on lesser machines. (Such as laptops and typical PC configurations.)

So what you're really saying is that your projects run just fine on a laptop and therefore just simply aren't very demanding. Which is fine. There's nothing wrong with that. However <i>most</i> people that I know who do this kind of work need more power than a laptop could provide.

Quote:
So we've comed to a situation were MOST of the architects I know do use portable computers, all of the time, even when they are not on the road. And I would risk to state this is an OBVIOUS rising trend.

Well MOST of the engineers (actually, ALL of them) that I know wouldn't touch a laptop for everyday use because it would be a massive productivity loss. The only time they EVER use a laptop is when demoing at conferences. (And even then they usually try to get a PC transported.) I hate to say it, but your 'OBVIOUS rising trend' isn't rising or obvious from my point of view. Again, maybe it just is a difference between an architect and a mechanical engineer.

Quote:
That said, the presence of 3D-oriented architectural applications is rapidly increasing, but a mobilty Radeon 7500 or Geforce 4 Go will, again, do most of the jobs; and for the truly demanding projects we've got the new breed of Ati and Nvidia mobility processors right after the corner.

And they'll still be slower than anything that you can get on a PC <i>and</i> they don't have the professional workstation drivers. At the risk of sounding clique-esk, they're simply not something that most professionals would want to use.

Quote:
So right now, the only major bottleneck left are the slow 2,5" hard drives spinning at 4200 and 5400 rpm. And even this is going to change with the arrival of the the first 7200 rpm hard drives coming from Hitachi (former IBM) in the next several months.

Actually, there are quite a many bottlenecks between a laptop and a 'workstation':
1) The laptop is limited to just one CPU.
2) The memory bandwidth hinders the one CPU that is in there.
3) Laptops just don't have as much RAM.
4) Mobile graphics systems lack professional drivers.
5) Mobile graphics systems just don't offer nearly the same performance.
6) Even the best LCD screen has 'fuzzy' pixels compared to a CRT.
7) Laptops don't have RAID arrays for project protection through data redundancy.
8) Laptops don't have 10,000 or 15,000 RPM SCSI drives.

Quote:
So we've come to a point were the only major drawback is the weight and dimensions of those desktop replacement notebooks.

And let's not forget the performance. That's the biggest drawback of all for many people.

Quote:
I know of at least 3 architects who would make the effort of investing a little bit more on buying a big screen laptop instead of a desktop if they were really portable, under the 3-4 kg mark.

And I know of five people (myself included) who would make the effort of investing into a 'laptop' if they could run a dual-CPU system with top-notch memory performance of at <i>least</i> 2GB of RAM, and a RAID array for their hard drive. Three of them would still be using a CRT monitor at their desk though.

Quote:
But now that Banias is here, fully loaded notebooks with 15" screens and thin profiles are a reality, and so the choice to me is clear.

No offense, but if the choice to you was clear, then why post in the first place? :wink:

Quote:
That is why I wish to know how much slower would one of those chips be in front of a P4-M 2,6 ghz. If the difference was big enought, I would turn my eyes again towards the bulkier systems (there is a nice Compaq for roughly 3 kg). But if we were talking about a 15-20% gain in front of a Centrino 1,6 ghz, I would clearly go for the Centrino.

If your biggest concern is just size and weight, then go Centrino. With those systems Intel is pushing for smaller and lower-voltage parts which means longer battery life and smaller/lighter laptops.

If your biggest concern is performance, the P4-M is still the best route. The P-M has a few nice tricks to use less electricity, but the P4-M has more actual power.

Quote:
That is why I keep making my question: Has anybody tested the centrino with rendering tasks within 3dsmax?

And I'm saying that almost no one is (if not no one entirely) is going to bother running tests like 3DSM on laptops (especially Centrinos) because everyone looking for performance is going to have a workstation (or at least desktop replacement) in the first place. The only people who would even want to run AutoCAD on a laptop <i>aren't</i> going to be very concerned with performance. Why specifically benchmark for people who don't care and won't gain anything from the benchmark?

<font color=blue><pre>If you don't give me accurate and complete system specs
then I can't give you an accurate and complete answer.</pre><p></font color=blue>
March 25, 2003 11:42:18 PM

I agree whole heartily with your assessment of the new lap tops slvr_phoenix. I'm a Designing Engineer for the automotive industry. I've ran Unigraphics for over 10 years & I'll tell you there isn't enough horse power to even touch the 3D solid modeling that I do every day.

My Sun work station has over 2 gigs of RAM & I wouldn't even guess what the vid card I use is, although I know I could build 3 or 4 monster pc's for the price of just the vid card. My monitor is $4500 US. Last I heard a work station we use is around $60,000 US & there's no CPU in the machine. We do it off a main frame. We have a refresh rate on work stations of 2 years. I'll tell you in 2 years that baby is like sticking your foot in a bucket of mud. You can't even call up a design at the end of the cycle. Now I know that I'm not on the cutting edge of some of the more hi tech work stations that are in use such as in aero space. Yea I LOL at lap tops.

Not only will I definitely use a work station for all my presentations we have what's called a CAD VIS Room that you have to book time in to make you presentations. The screen is the size of a wall. You want to see solid modeling, you'd better have something to see it with, let alone design on. I show things I've done in total solids. I can bring up the entire under hood of what I'm working on & rotate it in real time. I'm talking 100 to 400 solid designs totally shaded & rotate with only a touch of the space ball. I can roll the entire power train in solids to see my clearances for my design. I don't know about you, but an entire power train is one whale of a lot of data & then roll it in real time through 23 iterations. Huh, it's some awesome stuff. That's 24 entire engines on the screen at one time in solid models. Awesome!

My bosses want to play with a lap top to make themselves look good. We do screen dumps for them & they have a hell of a time even bring them up to show off with. I usually get a call & have to log on remotely to a CAD VIS Room some where around the world to bail them out.

No way will a lap top ever take the place of the work stations I use everyday. In my business your only as good as the hardware / software that your using. Believe me when I say if the big 3 could get away with a lap top they would have them hanging off the ceiling.

Auto CAD it what we call a sketcher. It's so primitive that all it is really good for is 2D & that's it.

Prior to going to Unigraphics I ran CADAM. It was 2 1/2 D is what it was billed as. It died in the auto industry 13 years ago. I couldn't even imagine doing the kind of work I do on a lap top or CADAM.

Yea, glad that you brought up the points you did. There's a whole lot more to modern engineering than a lap top would ever give you.

That's my $.02 on it anyway.

If it ain't broke, take it apart & see why not!
!