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Configuring Autocad with a Quadro K4000 graphics card

Posted on 2016-08-12
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Last Modified: 2016-08-30
Hi,

I recently built a new workstation to run Autocad 2017.  It has an Intel I7-6700K 4.0 Ghz cpu, Kingston 32 GB memory on a MSI Z170A m/b running Windows 10 Pro.

I ran a rendering base test with the example house in Revit; that took 31 minutes. I then installed a Quadro K4000 graphics card with 3gb memory on it, loaded the drivers from Nvidia's site and reran the test.  The time was the same, and the Intel CPU was maxed out during that period.

I was expecting some difference.  What am I missing?

Thanks!
--Ben
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Question by:Ben Conner
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Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 41761855
Would you BIOS have a setting? I know you built your own station but... Dell stations with Intel multi core CPUs have options to turn on multi core, and TurboBoost (for increasing GPU or graphics processor performance)
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41761860
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41761865
A good GPU only speeds up the opening or preview times or enable the display of UHD files.
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41761867
The BIOS recognizes the graphics card and uses it.  There are 2 monitors hooked to it and both come up.  The motherboard is an ASUS Z170-A mb.  

The link to the cadtutor refers to a YouTube video which suggests the graphics card can be enabled/disabled at will.  Anyone know if this is a setting in AutoDesk's Revit package?

--Ben
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41761874
It is always CPU to do the rendering job and there should be no difference unless you upgrade CPU / RAM.

"Autodesk Owned Technology
Some readers may be surprised to find out that the current rendering engine in Revit, called mental ray is owned by NVIDIA – the graphics card company. In addition to Autodesk likely having to pay to use this technology, they are not at liberty to change or enhance it. The new Autodesk Raytracer engine is owned by Autodesk and can be modified and enhanced as needed to parallel other changes in Autodesk’s offerings. This new technology is also available in AutoCAD, Navisworks and Showcase.

CPU Based, not GPU
For stability and scalability, this new engine is CPU based, rather than relying on the graphics card’s GPU and memory which has been popular for rendering engines. The contemporary high-end Intel cards have Ray Trace functions used by Autodesk Raytracer to streamline compute power and improve performance. Other CPUs are also supported. The process is scalable from laptops to large HPC clusters, with the ability to handle complex scenes and lighting. Similar to mental ray, when a rendering is being processed, all the cores of the CPU are being pegged at 100%.

The Autodesk Raytracer can use more than sixteen CPU cores, which had been the limit for rendering in Revit 2015 (as per Autodesk’s website). This makes the new Autodesk engine very fast! For example, the first image below (Figure 1) only took 3 minutes to render with the following settings: Medium, 150dpi and Interior Sun and Artificial Light. Compare the detail in this image with the next one (Figure 2), rendered using the mental ray engine which took 2.75 hours with the following settings: Medium, 300dpi and Interior Sun and Artificial Light. The two images are fairly comparable in quality despite the significant time difference."

http://www.aecbytes.com/tipsandtricks/2015/issue72-revit.html

"GPU Rendering

Revit does not use the video card to process renderings. It's entirely based on the CPU (and available system RAM). However, there are a number of third party apps that can make use of the video card when rendering. GPU rendering uses the GPU on the video card to process the rendering... and because the GPU is so specialized at what it does, it can process realistic renderings much faster than the CPU can. While it's beyond the scope of this post to thoroughly examine GPU rendering via third-party software (iray, Octane, Indigo, etc.), the basics are: many GPU renderers use a method involving "CUDA" which is currently only supported on Nvidia video cards. Also, GPU rendering needs lots of fast video memory. So, if you want to do GPU renderings, you'll want the fastest Nvidia card with largest video memory you can afford... and two video cards can be even better than one (they don't necessarily need to be identical or in an "SLI configuration").

Currently there's no super easy way to get your Revit model into third-party software in order to take advantage of GPU rendering. It requires exporting the model into other software, and a bit of extra setup before you can actually create a rendering. The vast majority of users will not bother with the extra work and software involved. If it is something you're interested in, don't hesitate to start or add to a thread on the subject. "

http://www.revitforum.org/hardware-infrastructure/72-revit-hardware-video-graphic-cards.html
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41761878
CPU rendering is the basic concept no matter the production is desktop based like yours or server based like one in production environment.

We have an assocaited company which its business is to produce 3D animation and I have assisted them to procure a server farm to render the 3D video output and the spec is on CPU and memory, not GPU at all.
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41761892
Wow.  That's very disappointing, having just spent $500 on a card that can't be used.  Dang.  Will read the full article and see what options I have.

Thanks!

--Ben
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41761900
Graphic rendering involves a super large CAD file and I will not rely on third party tool just for letting the GPU to do the job as it adds another layer of uncertainty for the render output.
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41761905
If you are rendering Autodesk 3dsMax, your Quadro K4000 graphics card might help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaCawECVHuo
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41761911
Oh!  So Autodesk has multiple applications that provide rendering??  Sorry, am pretty ignorant regarding Autodesk products...

--Ben
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Jackie Man earned 500 total points
ID: 41761912
Autodesk has multiple applications that provide rendering??  But it is a completely different product which supports GPU rendering... not a product to do rendering.

However, you can output from Revit to 3dsmax to do rendering.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/3ds-max/getting-started/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/3DSMax-Tutorial/files/GUID-5942AD60-5263-4E38-BC7F-4B66FC52D8B8-htm.html

Anyway, I am also pretty ignorant regarding Autodesk products and I have read documentation on Maya (for 3D animation) only and I am pretty new to Revit and 3dsmax.
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41761922
Thank you so much!  Nice to know I didn't squander 5 benjamins for nothing.
That link is impressive...  will give it to the gentleman who actually has a clue.

--Ben
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by:viki2000
ID: 41761951
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41762533
Hm.  Will give that a shot as well.  Thanks!

--Ben
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by:gheist
ID: 41763270
No autocad product supports Windows 10, thats like you put benjamin or two into a big dumpster.
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by:Ben Conner
ID: 41763334
Hm.  Unfortunately that is what the client already had installed.  Appears to be working at the moment.  And the workstation is air-gapped, so updates from MS aren't going to be an issue.

--Ben
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by:viki2000
ID: 41763393
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41763459
AutoCAD or AutoDesk?

Why lead the discussion to AutoCAD?

This question is on  AutoDesk Revit 2016.
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by:viki2000
ID: 41763539
"Why lead the discussion to AutoCAD?"
Who?Me?

In the question is written "I recently built a new workstation to run Autocad 2017"

My last 2 links are about AuoCAD and Win10 compatibility:
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-AutoCAD-2016.html
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-AutoCAD-2017.html

Then we can breathe easier and conclude that AutoCAD is compatible with Win10 if:
-      In case of AutoCAD 2016 you need AutoCAD 2016 SP1.
-      AutoCAD 2017 works just fine.
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by:gheist
ID: 41763779
Same applies to revit with numbers. Software raytracing is minor issue when vendor says that it should not work at all.
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41763781
Yes, this is 2017, full package.  Just downloaded it a few days ago.

--Ben
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by:gheist
ID: 41764526
Your video card is not certified for Autocad 2017, but at least exact driver number is worth trying.
https://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro-certified-drivers.html#partner_id=11&application_id=407&page=driverSelected
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41776328
Oops.  Will poke around and try various ones.  Thanks.

Have had occasional hangs in the new release.
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