Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

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Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:03 am

Hello everyone,

I have a question regarding 3ds Max and ways to achieve the best performance.

My first question is, does 3ds Max utilize just the GPU and HDD for animation rendering? My thought process was to add a second HDD to the PC so that 3ds Max could render to that drive instead of the system drive that holds Windows. As far as a GPU, our Animator uses an nVidia Quadro K5000 4GB card, so for the GPU I believe we are fine.

I ask this question mainly because the Animator says that the PC runs "slow" while animating. With that said I haven't had the time to look at the CPU utilization to determine if that was being taxed, but for reference the CPU is an Six-core Intel Xeon @ 3.2GHz with 12MB of cache. The PC also has 16GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 ECC RAM.

Am I in the right mindset for thinking that another HDD would resolve these issues? Or am I missing something? Also if anyone can point me to materials so I can learn more about rendering from a IT personnel's standpoint, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
CPU: Intel Core-i7 2600 GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB MoBo: ASRock z77 Pro4 RAM: (2x8) 16GB G.Skill 1600MHz Case: Thermaltake Commander PSU: 650W SeaSonic X SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 SSD HDD: 500GB Western Digital Green OS: Windows 7
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:34 pm

you will need to look at the RAM in question for sure as well as hard drive for animation... you may want to use a SSD for the work disk.

I'm not familiar with how multithreaded 3ds Max is, could it be one of those apps that can consume all resources?
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:09 pm

Why not run perfmon with cpu cores, memory and hd selections ticked? should be able to find out where the slow down is occurring.
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:00 pm

Thank you for the response guys,

I hadn't had the opportunity to see her run the animations yet so I hadn't been able to run any tools, but based on what she told me I can only think that 3ds Max would be taxing the GPU and HDD, but not necessarily the CPU.

I am waiting for her to render her animations again, which I believe should be Monday. That said I did a little more research and saw something pertaining to a "scratch disk" for temporary files. I think that might be a solution. I can only imagine that something like animation on the system drive would only slaughter performance for anything else she might be trying to run simultaneously. All my research points to the fact that her animations are being put into the RAM of the GPU and not the 16GB of on board RAM. I just wanted to try to get a head start to see if anyone in the community had a similar issue, or maybe knew a lot more about the process and hardware requirements.
CPU: Intel Core-i7 2600 GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB MoBo: ASRock z77 Pro4 RAM: (2x8) 16GB G.Skill 1600MHz Case: Thermaltake Commander PSU: 650W SeaSonic X SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 SSD HDD: 500GB Western Digital Green OS: Windows 7
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:44 pm

First thing to check are all the settings. The quadro control panel should have settings specific to 3ds max. Also, you may want to check what renderer 3ds max is using. link from quick google search:

http://www.cadforum.cz/cadforum_en/how- ... ax-tip8529

Also, are you looking to make the actual rendering faster or make it so that you can use the computer while rendering? Rendering is a lot of work, so people actually have render farms (dozens/hundreds of computers for doing the actual rendering).

Looks like you can have multiple GPUs for rendering and you might be able to set it up so that one of the GPUs isn't used (if you want to use 3ds max while background rendering).

I doubt you're HDD limited, unless you're running out of ram or your 3ds max setting are incorrect. Example:

http://jokermartini.com/2013/11/14/rend ... -increase/

(Last time I touched 3ds max was more than a decade ago, and it was just for fun/learning in college. But the links are fairly new...)
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:33 pm

What is the polycount of the caracter that is being animated? Are their any other objects in the scene? If the animation is slow during playback/scrubbing the timeline in the viewport, then I would bet it has more to do with density of the character mesh. Even with a highend workstation card, the combination of skinning, deformations, and viewport enhancements (realtime shadows, lighting, textures) will drastically reduce the playback frame rate.

I am more familiar with Maya than Max but both are very dependant on the graphics card for viewport performance. I don't think a new hard drive will give you a performance boost. I would post a link to the online documentation for Max but the forum won't let me post links, so do a search for " 3ds max help autodesk " and there is a section on network rendering and command line rendering that might be helpful.
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:10 am

Thank you for the responses guys.

Yugiyurigyu wrote:Also, are you looking to make the actual rendering faster or make it so that you can use the computer while rendering? Rendering is a lot of work, so people actually have render farms (dozens/hundreds of computers for doing the actual rendering).


I am looking to use the computer while the render is taking place. The performance during a render drops drastically (per the users experience) and that is something we need to resolve, however I am not opposed to speeding up the rendering that is in process. I will look into the links you provided.

cbraeso wrote:What is the polycount of the caracter that is being animated? Are their any other objects in the scene? If the animation is slow during playback/scrubbing the timeline in the viewport, then I would bet it has more to do with density of the character mesh. Even with a highend workstation card, the combination of skinning, deformations, and viewport enhancements (realtime shadows, lighting, textures) will drastically reduce the playback frame rate.

I am more familiar with Maya than Max but both are very dependant on the graphics card for viewport performance. I don't think a new hard drive will give you a performance boost. I would post a link to the online documentation for Max but the forum won't let me post links, so do a search for " 3ds max help autodesk " and there is a section on network rendering and command line rendering that might be helpful.


Again I am looking to boost the performance of the computer while keeping 3ds max performance the same or better. I will attempt to find out more information about what is being rendered and if their are any other objects on the screen. I will also check on network rendering and such but I don't think we are there yet.

Thanks for the help, but please keep it coming. I need to know as much as I can about this.
CPU: Intel Core-i7 2600 GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB MoBo: ASRock z77 Pro4 RAM: (2x8) 16GB G.Skill 1600MHz Case: Thermaltake Commander PSU: 650W SeaSonic X SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 SSD HDD: 500GB Western Digital Green OS: Windows 7
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:38 am

I am looking to use the computer while the render is taking place. The performance during a render drops drastically (per the users experience) and that is something we need to resolve, however I am not opposed to speeding up the rendering that is in process.


I would not recommend this. Even though the viewport is heavily dependant on the graphics card, 3d programs still use the processor while navigating the viewport. Depending on what renderer you are using, the software will use 100% of the processor cores leaving very little overhead for background applications.

If you absolutely have to render while you work, you can tell the renderer to only use a certain number of cores, which frees up some processing power at the expense of render speed.

From the Max help:
The command-line rendering tool lets you perform batch rendering jobs without having to manipulate parameters by hand in a MAX file. Simple, “one-shot” rendering jobs can be submitted from the Start Run dialog. More elaborate, batched jobs can be rendered through the use of text files; for example, MyRender.bat or MyRender.xml. The ability to edit text files is what provides the power to this tool. You can quickly make changes to your rendering parameters, or output formats, simply by opening your text editor and editing the batch settings.

Command-line rendering is provided by the 3dsmaxcmd.exe program, found in your program install folder.

You can submit command-line rendering jobs that are rendered on a single workstation, or you can take advantage of network rendering and let the Backburner utility manage the jobs across multiple systems.

The Batch Render tool is another way to quickly create BAT files that can be used with the command-line rendering. The Batch Render tool lets you create a queue of camera tasks with specific output parameters, rendering presets or automatic loading of scene states. Once your queue is complete, you can export the tasks to a BAT file that is stored in the \scenes folder.


You can read more about it here ( additional links for flags are in the help):
docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/16/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/index.html
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:41 am

grrr...I hate that I can't post links.

If you go to the Max help and do a search within the help for "command-line rendering" it can better explain how to do this.
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:04 pm

So I ended up finally meeting with my animator and having her test a few animations out. I found out a lot more about this stuff in such a short amount of time. My findings, however are disheartening at best. Essentially the settings/configuration of her 3ds max application are using the CPU and, from what I can see from Nvidia's performance monitoring tool, not using the GPU.

With that said, i thought GPUs were what did the rendering and not the CPU? I think I need this process explained to me a little better so I can actually know what these components are doing. Is there a way to test or make sure that her system is using the GPU?

Thank you guys.
CPU: Intel Core-i7 2600 GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB MoBo: ASRock z77 Pro4 RAM: (2x8) 16GB G.Skill 1600MHz Case: Thermaltake Commander PSU: 650W SeaSonic X SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 SSD HDD: 500GB Western Digital Green OS: Windows 7
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:32 pm

Look back at Yugiyurigyu's post.

There is a link for an alternative renderer that uses GPU.
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:51 pm

Arvald wrote:Look back at Yugiyurigyu's post.

There is a link for an alternative renderer that uses GPU.


I did, and when I tested and attempted to capture the GPUs performance it sat at zero. You can configure 3ds max when using Nvidia iray. I tested the same 5,000,000~ polycount model using all the same options, except for one instance I kept the GPU checked and the second time I unchecked the GPU. Both times the frames rendered at the same time, which leads me to believe the GPU is doing absolutely nothing. Combining that result with the nvidia performance monitor and the GPU acts as though it doesn't want to even work.
CPU: Intel Core-i7 2600 GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB MoBo: ASRock z77 Pro4 RAM: (2x8) 16GB G.Skill 1600MHz Case: Thermaltake Commander PSU: 650W SeaSonic X SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 SSD HDD: 500GB Western Digital Green OS: Windows 7
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Re: Configuring 3ds Max for Max performance

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:42 pm

You can try installing a 2nd card, and tell iRay to use only one of them. This might help free up the other card for the viewport, but there's no way to avoid slowdown with iRay going while it's also using the same card for Windows/Max viewport.
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