Blender Foundation Releases Blender 2.79a

Subject: General Tech | March 4, 2018 - 04:55 PM |
Tagged: Blender, Volta, nvidia

Normally the “a” patch of Blender arrives much closer to the number release – about a month or so.

Five months after 2.79, however, the Blender Foundation has released 2.79a. It seemed likely that it would happen at some point, because it looks like they are aiming for 2.80 to be the next full release, and that will take some time. I haven’t had a chance to use 2.79a yet, but the release notes are mostly bug fixes and performance improvements.

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Glancing through the release notes, one noteworthy edition is that Blender 2.79a now includes the CUDA 9 SDK in its build process, and it includes work-arounds for “performance loss” with those devices. While I haven’t heard any complaints from Titan V owners, the lack of CUDA 8 SDK was a big problem for early owners of GeForce GTX 10X0 cards, so Volta users might have been suffering in silence until now. If you were having issues with the Titan V, then you should try 2.79a.

If you’re interested, be sure to check out the latest release. As always, it’s free.

March 4, 2018 | 08:01 PM - Posted by WantingMoreAttentionToBlenderRenderingOnTheGPU (not verified)

Blender 2.79a sounds like more bug fixes and the Blender Foundation's webpage is not rendering properly in the Browser on 1366 x 768 laptop displays(Windows 7/IE11 Browser). I'm having to reduce the Zoom to 75% to view the webpage and IE11 has never been that great once the page scaling is set at any setting other than 100%.

I'm really not liking the Blender foundation's new webpage design as it appears designed more for show than for usefull information and I'm having trouble finding the link to what bug fixes and or new regressions there may be on Blender 2.79a. I'm running 2.79 and it appears to be working mostly but I'll not download any new version without reading the full release notes. The Blender foundation used to include a top level link for the latest stable version's release notes and the layout and organization of their website has degraded in quality with that design over functionality elemets and with HTML5 not being rendered properly in IE11.

Please Blender Foundation go back to providing a direct top level link to your latest stable edition's release notes with sub-links to bugs fixed and any new regressions in that latest edition. That and more Notes on features only supported on the last few generations of AMD/Nvidia graphics products. There are still loads of laptops with Pre-GCN AMD GPUs out there that lots of folks are still using.

I'm Waiting for better Raven Ridge laptop options or even Mini Desktop Options with Raven Ridge Desktop APUs inside. I'd like for the Blender Foundation to also focus more on Specific Infromation related to AMD's Mobile/Desktop APUs as that's what many folks in the US and other countries may find more affordable for graphics software usage.

Due to that lack of interest on the usual "enthusiasts" websites Blender 3d cycles rendering done on the GPU(Not the CPU Mode) is being ignored. So maybe the Blender Foundation can work up some demo benchmarks that are designed to Test Cycles on the GPU/Graphics especially targeting the new Raven Ridge Mobile/Desktop APUs. These "enthusiasts" websites appear to be only intresetd in Blender 3D CPU rendering as a CPU Benchmark with little care about Blender's Cycles Rendering done on the GPU.

So instead of all this focus on CPUs and Blender used as a CPU benchmark I'd like to see the Blender Foundation asking the websites that are using Blender 3D's provided samples to benchmark CPU to also try out some Cycles Rendering Benchmarks for AMDs and Nvidia's GPUs/Graphics IP also.

March 5, 2018 | 07:47 AM - Posted by Prodeous13 (not verified)

I'm confused about the GPU being ignored. It is actually very critical to them. CPU's are only useful for simulation, where as rendering is mainly driven by GPU.

Especially current optimizations allow CPU and GPU to render at the same time. THey also fixed the tile size render issues. now GPU's render well at 32x32 tiles. inline with CPU tile setup.

Additionally, Blender relased a nice site that allows you to compare CPU & GPU render speeds, including professional GPU's. Worth checking out.

March 5, 2018 | 09:42 AM - Posted by MillionsOfGraphicsStudentsMayBeOnlyAbleToAffordAnAPU (not verified)

Link listed not working, and it's not HTTPS. And really how is a person supposed to get a specific laptop that uses an AMD Mobile, or desktop, Raven Ridge APU tested using Blender 3D. Most of the needed Blender 3D tests are not conducted by any review websites that tend to only use Blender 3d Rendering on the CPU to stress test the CPU, and have little to no intrest in folks that do graphics work, including many independent games developers. Those mesh models and textures do not grow on trees.

There is no way any retail store is going to let someone install Blender 3d, on a store's display laptops/PCs, to do their own testing in addition to running some Cycles Rendering on the GPU. And I specifically want Cycles rendering done on AMD's Raven Ridge APU's GPU/Graphics namely Cycles rendering via the OpenCL code path on the GPU part of the APU. Cycles rendering can be done on the CPU also, in fact, if the laptop's/PC's GPU is not at least one of AMD's 2nd generation GCN GPUs, Cycles rendering will default to the CPU and not the GPU. So Raven Ridge being Zen/Vega and Vega being the latest GCN well that needs to be tasted. Nvidia uses its CUDA code path for GPU Cycles rendering in Blender 3d.

There are also editor(In Blender 3D) mode testing I want to see done on the specific laptop where a high polygon count mesh model is created and that meash model is fruther subdivided to the point where the model's polygon count gets so high it begins to slow/bog down the Blender 3d edit mode's UI because the mesh model's polygon count is a little to high for the GPU to deal with. So for Intel's graphics that usually happens with Mesh models of around 500 thousand to 750 thousand polygons whereas on most lower end discrete mobile GPU's that UI bogging down happens at around 1.25 million polygon count mesh models up to around 2.25 before the Blender 3D edit mode boggs down to the point of being unusalble.

So that sort of testing needs to be done on any laptop model that makes use of the Raven Ridge APUs. And I'm even wishing that ASUS will get a Gaming laptop that makes use of the Desktop Raven Ridge APU(Ryzen 5 2400G with Vega 11 Graphics) in a Laptop form factor in a similar manner to what ASUS has done with the Desktop Ryzen 7, 8 core desktop CPU SKU, in a Laptop Form Factor.

I'm really not thinking along the lines that any Laptop will be tops at readering but most of the time for the developing the 3D mash models in spent on Blender and in Blender's 3D edit mode creating 3D assets for games or doing other graphics design sorts of work and the completed assets can then be gathered and brought over to the main rendering computer(Cluster) and that's how may projects are done. Laptops have plenty of power for single model creation and even generating and baking the textures onto the 3D models before those assets are brough over to the main game or animation project and rendered on a more powerful system.

AMD's Raven Ridge for Graphics Students(2d or 3d) is a great deal and Blender 3D is also free and open source. So that's money saved for some graphics stundents who do not necessarly need the pro packages for their ART projects and even indipendent games developers who can not afford the professional packages. Laptops are great for asset creation for games or graphics arts projscts and Blender 3D actually has some great 2d animation plugins and other resources where animators can mix 2d with 3D backgrounds and the 3d backgrounds can be made made to look 2d(Blender freestyle edges) if that's what the creator wants.

There really is a complete lack of any specific website dedicated to testing out Blender 3d with the latest laptops/PCs that make use of the latest GPU hardware from AMD/Nvidia and others where the focus is on seeing how Blender works on a specific make/model of laptop that uses AMD's latest APUs/Or others that have SOCs with integrated graphics.

And no one out there is doing that 3D edit mode testing in Blender 3D where a simple geometric shape is loaded and that shape is subdivided(Unsing the subdivide edit mode command) and gettng the mesh model's polygon count up to the point where the APU's/SOC's and laptop's hardware can no longer deal with the polygon count before the interface/UI boggs down to the point of being unusable.

I can very easily cause my laptop's OS to begin Thrashing with excessive virtual memory page faults because of the polygon count on a test mesh getting too high and Blender 3d will easily eat 8 gigs of memory and spill out onto the virtual memory page file swap space allocated by the OS and cause my laptop/OS to become unresponsive and system to begin thrashing. But when I'm looking at a new Laptop my first question is how Much can that laptop handle in Blender 3D's 3D edit mode before things get to unresponsive to the point that I can not use my system.

I'm pretty sure that AMD's Raven Ridge Vega 11 APU graphics is a bit nmore powerful than even my Radeon Discrete Mobile 7650M(terascale rebrand/non GCN) GPU on my current laptop. But there is no one doing any testing specifically targeting the needs of any Blender 3D users, and to most websites out there Blender 3d is only a CPU benchmarking program and nothing more.

March 5, 2018 | 09:47 AM - Posted by MillionsOfGraphicsStudentsMayBeOnlyAbleToAffordAnAPU (not verified)

It looks like code displayed in text mode to me, but who Knows. It's probably just S P A M in an unfamiliar language. But it needs to be nuked from orbit mostly!

March 5, 2018 | 09:48 AM - Posted by MillionsOfGraphicsStudentsMayBeOnlyAbleToAffordAnAPU (not verified)

Remove posted in wrong place.

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