Blender Foundation Releases Blender 2.79

Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2017 - 07:03 PM |
Tagged: Blender, amd

The latest version of Blender, 2.79, makes a few significant changes, especially for users with AMD GPUs. Their main rendering engine, Cycles, has now reached feature-parity on OpenCL and CUDA. While those with NVIDIA GPUs will keep using the latter compute API, users of recent AMD GPUs can now (on Windows and Linux -- macOS requires a driver update) harness their graphics cards for higher performance.

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10 samples is actually very low. I'm usually in the 100-1000 range.

For the rest of us, there are four improvements that I would consider major. First, Cycles now has a denoise filter, which reduces speckles and thus should let you get away with fewer samples. Second, Filmic Color Management is now included by default, which can represent a much wider dynamic range. This was available as a user mod for a while, but you needed to manually install it. Third is a shadow catcher object for Cycles, which lets you render off translucent shadows onto dummy objects and composite them later (in Photoshop, After Effects, or Blender’s video editor).

Fourth, and most interesting to me, is their new PBR shader. I’ve done PBR materials in Cycles before, and it’s a bit of a pain to set up. If I don’t copy/paste from an existing material, it takes about 15-20 minutes of my time to wire together diffuse nodes, glossy nodes, Fresnel nodes, and so forth such that I can attach metal, bump, and so forth to it. Now? Just drag in one node and hook up the correct textures and colors, like the ones that are generated in Substance or Quixxel.

As always, Blender is free, so have fun.


September 14, 2017 | 10:27 AM - Posted by DobsAndBobsHobnobs (not verified)

Now all I need is an abstraction layer to make my AMD Terasacale GPU micro-arch Radeon 7650M(Rebrand) GPU on my laptop think it's a GCN(later than GCN 1.0/Gen 1) based GPU because the Blender folks do anot so good job of listing just what AMD GPU micro-archs work under blender 2.79.

So what about CPU cycles rendering with all these latest Cycles rendering Tweaks in Blender 2.79 for the folks that will have to use the CPU. I'd like to see some blender 2.79 tests done with a Threadripper 16 core and that 24 core/48 thread Epyc single socket 7401P(Only costs $76 dollars more than the TR 1950X) at $1075 for the 7401P single socket Epyc Workstation part.

Scott, could you please ask AMD and a Motherboard partner to loan you an Epyc 7401P and Motherboard[GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 Extended ATX Server Motherboard Socket SP3, See specs(1)] as NewEgg has this part listed for $609 and it is the first SP3/Epyc single socket motherboard I have seen with its price listed. I'm very interested in seeing some blender 2.79 benchmarks done on the Epyc 7401P for any Blender workloads that cane make use of 24 cores/48 threads for CPU rendering workloads.

(1)

Model

Brand GIGABYTE Model MZ31-AR0

Supported CPU

CPU Socket TypeSocket SP3
CPU Type AMD EPYC 7000 series processor family Single processor, 14nm Up to 32-core, 64 threads TDP up to 180W

Chipsets
Other Chipset System on Chip

Memory
DDR4 Standard DDR4 2667 (1DPC) / 2400 / 2133 MHz Maximum Memory Supported RDIMM modules up to 32GB supported LRDIMM modules up to 64GB supported, Channel Supported 8-Channel

Expansion Slots

PCI Express 3.0 x164PCI Express x83 x PCIe x8 (Gen3 x8 bus) slotOther Slots1 x M.2 slot:
M-key

PCIe Gen3 x4, Supports NGFF-2242 / 2260 / 2280 cards

Storage Devices

SATA4 x Slim SAS for 16 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports

Onboard Video

Onboard Video ChipsetAspeed AST2500

Onboard LAN

LAN Chipset

2 x SFP+ 10Gb/s LAN ports (Broadcom BCM 57810S)
1 x 10/100/1000 management LAN

Rear Panel Ports
Video Ports1 x VGA portUSB 1.1/2.02 x USB 3.0 + 2 x USB 2.0USB 3.02 x USB 3.0

Features

Features AMD EPYC 7000 series processor family

8-Channel RDIMM / LRDIMM DDR4, 16 x DIMMs

2 x SFP+ 10Gb/s LAN ports (Broadcom BCM 57810S)

1 x Dedicated management port

4 x SlimSAS (for 16 x SATA 6Gb/s) ports

Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface

Up to 4 x PCIe Gen3 x16 slots and 3 x PCIe Gen3 x8 slots

Aspeed AST2500 remote management controller

Dimensions

Form FactorExtended ATXDimensions (W x L)12.0" x 13.0"

September 14, 2017 | 10:54 AM - Posted by DobsAndBobsHobnobs (not verified)

P.S. before anyone thinks about that 609 dollars for the SP3/Epyc Motherboard being a bit too much that SP3 part supports 128 PCIe lanes(All Epyc CPUs support 128 PCIe lanes) and 8 memory channels. And the SP3 MB part also comes with 2x 10Gb ethernet ports. So the cost per memory channel and the cost per PCIe lane is still actually less on the $609 motherboard than on a $389 dollar X399/TR motherboard(only 64 PCIe lanes, 4 Memory channels). And this SP3 motherboard gets a 3 year warrenty and is tested/certified for ECC memory usage.

September 14, 2017 | 11:42 AM - Posted by Prodeous13 (not verified)

That is an interesting board.. still unsure about the PICE slot configuration. And too bad 2 slots are 8x and are not open int he back for 16x devices.

Looking for a 7 PCIE board for a render farm node. currently dual xeon e5-2687w with asrock server board.. has 5 pcie 16x and 1 pcie 4x (open) so I can plug in 6 GPU's..

Still dual 10Gbs SPF ports.. can they use regular RJ45 cables? unsure.

Still agreed on seeing a blender run.

September 14, 2017 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Epyc1PMBsAreHere (not verified)

Newegg links to the manufacturer's website and this is the first single socket Epyc Motherboard offering with a Price listed($609). So maybe other online retailers will be listing the same and competing boards. You Just need some cat 6 cables for 10Gb ethernet so that's not a problem. Hell the cloud server folks even have PCIe(tunneled over ethernet) types of connectivity options but I'm not sure if that requires a special Ethernet controller.

But that Epyc SP3 MBoard supports 128 PCIe lanes and 8 memory channels and ECC usage is Certified for any Epyc CPU SKUs and This motherboard SKU in the parts respective warrenties, not so for TR/X399(That May be able to use ECC, But are not tested and certified for ECC on any TR/MB-X399 parts) and that's a big plus for Epyc 1P/2P SKUs.

So With that Epyc 7401P CPU(Full SOC at 24 cores/48 threads) SKU you are getting 8 more cores and 16 more threads for only $76 dollars more than the TR 1950P's(16 cores/32 threads) at $999.

So I'm trying to price out a full system and have that cpmpared to any Xeon build with the same offerings, and I do not see much in the way of a more affordable single socket solution than that Epyc 7401P with 24 core/48 threads from Intel.

The warrenties on the Epyc and this motherboard add to the feature sets with AMD also providing extended server/workstation grade support for any Epyc branded parts! And that includes a longer period of that exact product's/SKU's availabiltiy from AMD for those markets that run on 5-10 year product replacment cycles. Consmer parts usually do not get the same levels of support on product availabliity provided.

Blender testing and some standalone CPU rendering Software also and then maybe some GPU rendering workloads with at least 2 or more Vega FEs updated to the newest firmware.

I want more Information also on any Epyc CPU to Vega GPU direct attatched GPU/s via that infinity fabric ability that was mentioned by AMD during that trade show/event where AMD demoed Epyc running those seismic imaging processing workloads. AMD touted its Infinity Fabric on the Epyc CPU and Vega GPUs as an "NVLink" sort of direct CPU to GPU and GPU to GPU via the Infinity Fabric sorts of interfacing ability.

September 14, 2017 | 01:06 PM - Posted by Epyc1PMBsAreHere (not verified)

Edit: TR 1950P's
to: TR 1950X's

September 14, 2017 | 01:18 PM - Posted by Epyc1PMBsAreHere (not verified)

On that Aspeed AST2500 there is linux support under 4.11:

"The latest DRM work for Linux 4.11 is just adding AST2500 support to the ASPEED DRM driver. The ASPEED AST2500 is the company's latest server management processor powered by an 800MHz ARM11 processor, but when it comes to the Direct Rendering Manager aspect, it has an on-chip 2D VGA for local display capabilities to drive up to 1920x1200@60Hz." (1)

"ASPEED's AST2500 Display To Be Supported By Linux 4.11's DRM"

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ASPEED-AST2500-DRM-4.11

September 17, 2017 | 12:57 PM - Posted by Prodeous13 (not verified)

I'm personally tempted by dual socket setup. Just give me the pic slots. Dang it

Still back to Blender it self. GPU rendering is probably the way to go these days anyways

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