WhistlerBuilder

Computer build to speed up Chief for designing larger buildings

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I have asked about hardware specs before, specifically about graphics cards and got some good answers here. I was wondering what I could do to speed up the general working speed of chief for designing larger buildings. I know from previous conversations that chief is really not designed for apartment complex style design. Unfortunately it is the software I have access to currently and have spent a long time getting trained up in. I do not want to move into another platform just yet as I am still doing single family and duplex designs fairly often, but our company has shifted focus to building mid sized apartment complexes of 50-100 units. I am running into the issue of chief taking a long time to implement changes, move lines, and snap calculations. The software seems to pause a lot before "building" the different layers with every small change. Is this a ram issue? Processor speed? number of processor cores? Graphics card?

 

My home PC seems to run faster with better quality and more ram, along with a better quality processor. My office PC has a better graphics card though, so I am thinking this a processor issue?

 

I read a posting about a multi core system build on the forum a while ago. The build used two Xeon 8 core processors on a single board. I was thinking a build like this might be the answer?

 

Suggestions and comments welcome. Thank you all for your help in advance.

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think dual Zeon's will help you, Larry Hawes has dual Z's and he has some speed problems,but what do I know. You could try turning off things as you work on the plan. They say X9 will speed things up a bit. The new  nvidia1080 video card is the best at the moment. I would also go for the latest CPU  you can afford. I have a pretty good system and a very large plan will slow it down a bit. It's like buying a bag of grocery's, what's in it is what counts. The cost is all about what's in it. What's in the plan says it all for some speedy work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so hard to say how much computer muscle you need until you don't have enough. Dual Xeons is about as much CPU horsepower as you can get in a desktop computer but it depends greatly on which Xeons you install. As Perry mentioned my system has dual Xeons but they are on the low end of Xeon power and are quite power efficient which is one reason for choosing them. I installed them on a motherboard that allowed for over clocking which wakes them up pretty good and they still perform, as a pair, as fast as, to just a little slower than the fastest i7's available today. They are about 4 years old and it's a huge system with dual everything and an older 780 video card. I hesitate to upgrade the video card because I am running 3 monitors and 2 of them would have to replaced to run the HDMI/Display Port/DVI-D connections on modern video cards.

 

Given those specs in my signature I experience quite a few slow downs just like you are describing when my single home designs get large. I don't think it's a video card problem as my 3D views are pretty quick so any speed improvements must be CPU based.

 

Is there a computer power cure for Chief when you are designing 50 - 100 unit apartments? Can you throw enough CPU/GPU power at Chief to get it to perform with models that large? Unfortunately Chief gets slow as the models get large and complex and the only way to find out is invest in a fast, powerful, dual Xeon system and see what happens. Best case it works and you can complete those large models. Worst case you will be out $3000 - $5000 and have a screaming system for your every day single family homes and will have to begin learning otherCAD to get those 50 - 100 unit designs complete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For large multiple unit projects, this is what I've found to speed up performance without investing in new hardware:

1. Only insert 3D Symbols (furniture, fixtures, equipment, cabinets, etc.) in the units that you need to render or raytrace. Use 2D CAD Blocks and linework for all the other units.

2. Set your default interior Materials to plain colors - no texture or bump mapping. Apply Materials that use texture maps only to those units or areas you need to render or raytrace.

3. Create the model with as few Rooms as possible. Use No Room Definition walls wherever possible - lots of Rooms will seriously degrade performance.

4. Create the site and terrain in a separate Plan file. Export/import the building as a symbol (after stripping it of all non-essential info, e.g. interior walls, furniture, etc.).

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, rlackore said:

For large multiple unit projects, this is what I've found to speed up performance without investing in new hardware:

1. Only insert 3D Symbols (furniture, fixtures, equipment, cabinets, etc.) in the units that you need to render or raytrace. Use 2D CAD Blocks and linework for all the other units.

2. Set your default interior Materials to plain colors - no texture or bump mapping. Apply Materials that use texture maps only to those units or areas you need to render or raytrace.

3. Create the model with as few Rooms as possible. Use No Room Definition walls wherever possible - lots of Rooms will seriously degrade performance.

4. Create the site and terrain in a separate Plan file. Export/import the building as a symbol (after stripping it of all non-essential info, e.g. interior walls, furniture, etc.).

Good advice...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For large models in Chief the approach being taken by Robert is likely the most effective way to deal with speed related issues. I doubt that a hardware approach alone would overcome the performance issue to make things satisfactory. For example, if you have a 10 second lag and you double your system speed then the lag will now be 5 seconds, which will still be very frustrating. Also, if your system is fairly recent then it would be very challenging and expensive to double it's speed. Not saying this won't help but I would set my expectations accordingly to avoid disappointment.

 

Graham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take a look at this topic in computer speed for comparisons.  There are other benchmarks before and after my post below

I have never found my computer slow in large complex 6000 sf plus detailed with many 3d items.

If you want to get an idea what speed a new computer would be the run a complete backup of your drawing and contact me. We can even d an online meeting for you to see the speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, KenL-sdd said:

Take a look at this topic in computer speed for comparisons.  There are other benchmarks before and after my post below

I have never found my computer slow in large complex 6000 sf plus detailed with many 3d items.

If you want to get an idea what speed a new computer would be the run a complete backup of your drawing and contact me. We can even d an online meeting for you to see the speed.

Would love to see those passmark results. Seems to be missing a link?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, HumbleChief said:

Would love to see those passmark results. Seems to be missing a link?

They show up on the link when I click on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, HumbleChief said:

Found the link thanks. Did you build yourself?

I did build it. Not overly hard if you are not scared of computers. Many links on the web to help answer build questions. I do like the ASUS ROG motherboard it is a name I personally trust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, KenL-sdd said:

I did build it. Not overly hard if you are not scared of computers. Many links on the web to help answer build questions. I do like the ASUS ROG motherboard it is a name I personally trust.

Thanks Ken, have built many myself but am looking for a genuine performance gain before I drop another $2500++ on a computer. Your system looks promising.

 

Curious if you are up to speed on the latest and greatest in new CPU's? Is your 5960x still the top dog, without completely breaking the bank? Or are there newer chips that outperform it? I read recently that the newer chips were not that impressive for the cost. Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, HumbleChief said:

Thanks Ken, have built many myself but am looking for a genuine performance gain before I drop another $2500++ on a computer. Your system looks promising.

 

Curious if you are up to speed on the latest and greatest in new CPU's? Is your 5960x still the top dog, without completely breaking the bank? Or are there newer chips that outperform it? I read recently that the newer chips were not that impressive for the cost. Thanks in advance.

I would not go the extra cost of the new cpu. No real advantage / cost ratio. I had looked at swapping mine out and selling my cpu but after the investigation decide to stay where I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if we're under-valuing disk performance. My Passmark ratings (v9.0) are generally very good:

 

bench.PNG

 

But my disk bench can't come close to touching Ken's. Unlike Ken, I DO experience significant slow-down with very large models, especially when running with more than one Chief window open on multiple displays. I also operate on in a Domain with all our working files on a LAN, which may degrade performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, KenL-sdd said:

My 5960x overclocked is $1015.00 compared to the 6950x at $1649.00. My cpu mark is 20180 compared to 19,995 for the more expensive chip.

Yes, no doubt your choice was a good one and most impressive passmark score but we're talking outright performance right? Overclock the 6950x to 4.0 or 4.2 and is that performance (admittedly unknown) worth the $650? For me it would future proof Chief for a bit, but at what total cost? Dunno - yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, rlackore said:

I wonder if we're under-valuing disk performance. My Passmark ratings (v9.0) are generally very good:

 

bench.PNG

 

But my disk bench can't come close to touching Ken's. Unlike Ken, I DO experience significant slow-down with very large models, especially when running with more than one Chief window open on multiple displays. I also operate on in a Domain with all our working files on a LAN, which may degrade performance.

The PCI-e ssd is one of the major items to speed up the computer. Even moving from a ssd drive to the PCI-e made a huge difference in speed. Do not under estimate how a hard drive effects the system speed. I do work with all of my files local to improve speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stock 3.0 5960x runs at 15,970. Overclocked runs at 20,810 - about 26% faster. Could one expect the 6950x to gain the same 26% and come in at around 25,000 on the passmark equaling the fastest Xeon out there? Just sayin' it could be smokin' fast.

 

I've attached a pdf of a quick NewEgg cost for such a system - not for the faint of heart - but if you need some go power it's not that terribly expensive.

 

As I mentioned, for me, I'd have to add $500 - $600 in new monitors to equal my current set up so it's pretty much a non-starter for my budget at this time but for a larger company with a larger budget that's about as fast as your going to get in a single processor desktop these days.

 

6950x computer.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Xeons I believe have slower clock speeds and Chief does not take much advantage of all the cores.

 

Most Architectural software will bog down with larger projects having endless doors, cabinets, etc.

 

I just finished a 74 unit 3 story project in x8.  

Things got a little slow towards the end but it was worth it....

Maybe x9 will speed up somethings

 

Turn off auto rebuilt floors and setting layer sets to use during editing..

Working on the building like a jelly donut and not adding all the interior door, walls, interior stuff until the end.

Separate layers for interior, exterior, bearing walls to turn on and off.

Copy and paste in place from floor to floor.

Managing different unit types and global changes is a challenge so try to update via copy & paste.

 

The PDF of my final drawing is too large !

 

If you need to model/present the exterior and your buildings trim and or pitched roofs you will want to stick with Chief

as I am finding the other "advanced" programs are tedious to work with if you are not building glass boxes.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, architect said:

The Xeons I believe have slower clock speeds and Chief does not take much advantage of all the cores.

True. I was able to OC my Xeons otherwise they were too slow for the investment. For RayTracing more cores the better according to Chief. For every day use? Dunno.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been lots of helpful tips for working with larger files. Thank you for all your comments. This discussion has already born fruit for me. Just for reference I am going to post my pc specs.

Operating System
            Windows 10 Home 64-bit
        CPU
            Intel Core i7 6700 @ 3.40GHz    42 °C
            Skylake 14nm Technology
        RAM
            32.0GB Dual-Channel Unknown @ 1071MHz (15-15-15-35)
        Motherboard
            ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. Z170 PRO GAMING (LGA1151)    46 °C
        Graphics
            S27B350 (1920x1080@60Hz)
            S22D300 (1920x1080@60Hz)
            3071MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (EVGA)    56 °C
        Storage
            223GB INTEL SSDSC2BP240G4 (SSD)    27 °C
            232GB Samsung SSD 840 Series (SSD)    30 °C
            931GB Seagate Expansion SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA))    40 °C
            2794GB Seagate Expansion Desk SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA))    47 °C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, WhistlerBuilder said:

There have been lots of helpful tips for working with larger files. Thank you for all your comments. This discussion has already born fruit for me. Just for reference I am going to post my pc specs.

Operating System
            Windows 10 Home 64-bit
        CPU
            Intel Core i7 6700 @ 3.40GHz    42 °C
            Skylake 14nm Technology
        RAM
            32.0GB Dual-Channel Unknown @ 1071MHz (15-15-15-35)
        Motherboard
            ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. Z170 PRO GAMING (LGA1151)    46 °C
        Graphics
            S27B350 (1920x1080@60Hz)
            S22D300 (1920x1080@60Hz)
            3071MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (EVGA)    56 °C
        Storage
            223GB INTEL SSDSC2BP240G4 (SSD)    27 °C
            232GB Samsung SSD 840 Series (SSD)    30 °C
            931GB Seagate Expansion SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA))    40 °C
            2794GB Seagate Expansion Desk SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA))    47 °C

Current Specs? Future build?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, WhistlerBuilder said:

There have been lots of helpful tips for working with larger files. Thank you for all your comments. This discussion has already born fruit for me. Just for reference I am going to post my pc specs.

Operating System
            Windows 10 Home 64-bit
        CPU
            Intel Core i7 6700 @ 3.40GHz    42 °C
            Skylake 14nm Technology
        RAM
            32.0GB Dual-Channel Unknown @ 1071MHz (15-15-15-35)
        Motherboard
            ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. Z170 PRO GAMING (LGA1151)    46 °C
        Graphics
            S27B350 (1920x1080@60Hz)
            S22D300 (1920x1080@60Hz)
            3071MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (EVGA)    56 °C
        Storage
            223GB INTEL SSDSC2BP240G4 (SSD)    27 °C
            232GB Samsung SSD 840 Series (SSD)    30 °C
            931GB Seagate Expansion SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA))    40 °C
            2794GB Seagate Expansion Desk SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA))    47 °C

Here is a comparison to My computer.

cpu i7-6700 = cpu mark 11090 mine i7-5690x = cpu mark 20180

disk drive 223GB INTEL SSDSC2BP240G4 (SSD) disk mark 3957 which is fast by most test, mine pci-e ssd disk mark 13633 Super fast.

Video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 G3d Mark =5001, Mine GTX 980 11222

Hope this helps!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    29143
    Total Members
    9156
    Most Online
    jpetrick
    Newest Member
    jpetrick
    Joined
  • Similar Content

    • By MPDesign
      Hi all,
      I was wondering if any of you are using this mouse? Like it? 
      I am having problems with my hand. Currently using a 3dConnexion 3d cad mouse ( reg shape mouse) hoping this will reduce the workload on the right hand.
       
      thank you for your feedback!
    • By nikiley
      Hi All!
       
      I am wondering if there is a way to add hardware to a window like sash locks or casement cranks. I did not see any options in the window specification dialog, but I wonder if I could create something to apply in the treatment tab that would work. Has anyone here experimented with something like that? 
       

    • By McGyver
      I am new to Chief Architect. I  purchased the Home Designer program because I do some residential space plan and design for friends and family. I was previously hand drawing main plans, using Room Sketcher for #D and walk thru program and  Lowes cabinet designer program for more detail cabinet plans. the  purchase of CA was to hopefully simplify to one program and save time although I know there will be some learning curve. I am searching for a new computer and wondering if there are suggestions. I would like to have a second monitor as well and had thought about a gaming laptop that meets all the requirements on CA website and then some. Having the  laptop gives me flexibility to take work with me when I am traveling. The Laptop I found is an MSI and has two hardrives. One TB of HDD and 512 SDD. Also 6 GB video card, 17.3 screen,  16 GB ram. Any thoughts?  I am new to drawing digitally other that what i  mentioned. Excited to delve into CA and want to be sure I have the right tools.
      Thanks!
       
    • By PvdPol
      Dear all,
       
      I'm new to the forums and i've tried to find my way in the already existing topics, such as
      - https://www.chiefarchitect.com/products/sysreq.html
      - https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/topic/21934-hardware-recommendations/?tab=comments#comment-179153
       
      I could not find an answer yet, hopefully some of you can help me out.
      I am currently struggling with Chief Architect Premier, ray traces are really slow at 1080P (1 pass takes like 15-30 min)
      Also working for in PBR is making my system really really slow and it is getting frustrating.
      My model is not complex and I think I need an hardware upgrade.
       
      Current machine (Notebook - April 2014)
      X•BOOK 15CL56 NVIDIA GTX770m 3GB, Full HD (+/- 20000 3DMARK) Intel® CoreTM i7-4710MQ (6M Cache, up to 3.50 GHz) - 47Watt (Quadcore) 16GB DDR3L (1600MHz)
        New system specifications (not bought yet)
      AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Boxed MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max Crucial Ballistix Sport LT BLS2K16G4D30AESB  (32GB Ram) Intel 660p 1TB Solidstate drive Graphic card? Nvidia? Any Advice?  
      I think the 32 GB of memory is already an overkill, not sure if this is needed.
      But I'm mostly wondering regarding the choice of CPU and Graphics card
       
      Is this a good setup? What kind of performance improvements can I expect? What would be your advice?
       
      Thank you!
       
      Regards,
      Peter
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By habdou
      Hi,
      Does anyone know how to align a vertical drawer pull (Hardware) to the right or left rather than center?
      Please don't say make the drawer to a door.
      Thanks