TheKitchenAbode

My Sugglish Computer Analysis

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I spent several hours yesterday investigating the issue concerning sluggish/laggy computer performance that many users seem to experience as their plans become increasingly complex. I used the Grandview plan from CA and setup several system monitors for CPU Usage, RAM Usage, Disk Access, GPU Usage & GPU Memory Usage to see exactly what demands were being place on my system when performing certain CA functions.

My System Specs:

-       I7 6700K 4GHz, 4 Core with Hyperthreading

-       8 GB RAM

-       512 SATA Drive (not SSD)

-       Nvidia GTX745 4GB

-       CA X9, Windows 10

 

General Observations and Conclusions

System Ram & GPU Memory Usage

- Initial system Ram used with Chief before loading plan & layout – 4.1 GB
- Ram used after loading Grandview plan & layout – 4.7 GB

“the plan and layout consumed only 0.6 GB of system Ram”
 

- Initial GPU Memory used with Chief before loading plan & layout  - 380 MB
- GPU Memory used after loading Grandview plan & layout – 840 MB

“the plan and layout consumed only 460MB of GPU Memory”
 

- With three 3D views and 2 Elevations open system Ram used – 5.6 GB

“each view consumed an average of 0.2 GB of system Ram”
 

- With three 3D views and 2 Elevations open GPU Memory used – 2403 MB

“each view consumed an average of 313 MB of GPU Memory”

“CA is not very demanding on System RAM or GPU Memory”

 

Some CA Operations/Functions

When opening a new camera view

Seems to be primarily CPU based as CA builds the model & it’s surfaces before sending to the GPU.

Undo/Redo

Primarily CPU based, minor Disk Access as CA re-builds the model & it’s surfaces.

Stretching a Roof Plane

Seems to be primarily CPU based as CA builds the model & it’s surfaces.

Rotating A Camera View

GPU only – does not affect GPU Memory used.

Accessing the Library

Disk & CPU – disk access only happens the first time the library section is first clicked on. It appears that library items are not preloaded into memory when CA is initially started. Once used they remain in RAM for future access.

Ray Tracing

CPU only

 

The most interesting observation I made relates to when working in a 3D view. Any change to the model requires CA to rebuild the model, this includes undo/redo. When working with a complex model such as Grandview this rebuild process can take 5 or more seconds depending upon your system.

What I also observed was that even if auto rebuild is turned off this does not apply to the undo/redo.

Also, the total number of elements that CA uses in the rebuild is determined by the Active Display Options within the Active Display Layer Set.

 

“The greatest contributor to lag is due to the rebuilding of the model”

“Active Display Layer Sets determine what needs to be rebuilt”

 

Final Thoughts

Upon some contemplation, it became obvious that the 3D models seen on our screen are generated solely for the purpose of presenting the data in a form that is easier for us to understand and manipulate. This data conversion process is likely the most time consuming of all CA processes. There are only two solutions to making this process faster.

1.)  A faster Computer.

2.)  Process less data.

The first is ok but that costs money, continual upgrading and the reality is that no matter the hardware you would always eventually be able to build a model that would overwhelm it.

Processing less data is really the only viable solution. The Active Display Options within the Active Layer Set provide the ability to control how much data CA must convert. As the model is for visual purposes, it really serves no purpose to have CA process data that is neither seen nor is needed when performing a task.

For example, when working with Roof Planes what visual information do you really need? Most likely just the Roof Planes and Walls. If everything else is turned off then CA only processes those two elements of the model. With any reasonable computer this amount of processing should be easily handled regardless of the total complexity of the model.

 

 

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I'm sure this took a lot of your time.  Thank you for the input.  They are all really good points.  I have not tested this but I believe that having pictures placed on the plan as jpeg or pdf can also slow everything down.  I know it really changes the size of the plan file.

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very nice analysis Graham, interesting for sure. Funny thing, I am not seeing the lag but I always have my

11 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Active Layer Sets

very nice analysis Graham, funny thing is I always have my Active layer display options on all the time and don't notice any lag as bad as you guys are.  

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1 minute ago, javatom said:

I have not tested this but I believe that having pictures placed on the plan as jpeg or pdf can also slow everything down.  I know it really changes the size of the plan file.

 

I did not test placing pdf's or pics directly in the plan but I did test turning off textures on all of the materials and this did not seem to have any noticeable effect.

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1 minute ago, DRAWZILLA said:

very nice analysis Graham, interesting for sure. Funny thing, I am not seeing the lag but I always have my

very nice analysis Graham, funny thing is I always have my Active layer display options on all the time and don't notice any lag as bad as you guys are.  

 

Thanks Perry - I think for you your system really helps. One way to artificially emphasize the lag is to go into Preferences, General and uncheck Optimize for Multi-Core CPUs. Take the Grandview plan open a 3D camera and change a roof plane. Dialog boxes will pop up that shows the rebuilding process steps. On faster systems you don't see this.

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Just a clarification - When I talk about The Active Display Sets I should have  said that it is the Active Display Options within the Active Display Set that determines what CA processes.

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31 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 As the model is for visual purposes, it really serves no purpose to have CA process data that is neither seen nor is needed when performing a task.

For example, when working with Roof Planes what visual information do you really need? Most likely just the Roof Planes and Walls. If everything else is turned off then CA only processes those two elements of the model.

 

Can we be sure about this? For instance, let's pretend you have everything turned off except exterior walls. In order for CA to properly generate the exterior walls,it must determine how those walls interact with the rest of the building model, eg roof planes, window and door openings, etc. I'm working on a very complex model at the moment, and I spend a lot of time waiting for CA to regenerate views and autosave. Undo operations can take up to one minute or more. As an exercise I opened a 3D ortho view, and then selected the "All Off" layerset. It took CA 26.87 seconds to perform the necessary calculations to show me a blank screen. IOW, I think there's more going on than you assume.

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May I offer an observation too?

When I have my 7 story condo open with Ortho Camera & other camera views I can select a door in plan view on the 6th floor & see pop up boxes

telling me that Chief is rebuilding stuff on the lower floors one by one. The delay varies as to what cameras I have open. I have made no attempt to analyze the cameras that cause this. I reported it to Support & they said they could not reproduce the problem, but that was before I realized that the Cameras were playing a role in the problem.

IMO there is no need to rebuild anything when opening an interior door DBX.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, rlackore said:

 

Can we be sure about this? For instance, let's pretend you have everything turned off except exterior walls. In order for CA to properly generate the exterior walls,it must determine how those walls interact with the rest of the building model, eg roof planes, window and door openings, etc. I'm working on a very complex model at the moment, and I spend a lot of time waiting for CA to regenerate views and autosave. Undo operations can take up to one minute or more. As an exercise I opened a 3D ortho view, and then selected the "All Off" layerset. It took CA 26.87 seconds to perform the necessary calculations to show me a blank screen. IOW, I think there's more going on than you assume.

 

I can't say specifically for your situation as there is no way for me to know whether or not something else is going on in you plan. My observations and conclusions are based on the Grandview plan and I'm fairly confident in my results based upon what I could observe. I also only explored a few of CA functions, listed in my posting. There could be many other functions that could produce differing results.

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2 minutes ago, ACADuser said:

May I offer an observation too?

When I have my 7 story condo open with Ortho Camera & other camera views I can select a door in plan view on the 6th floor & see pop up boxes

telling me that Chief is rebuilding stuff on the lower floors one by one.

 

 

Yes, I get this too.

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8 minutes ago, ACADuser said:

May I offer an observation too?

When I have my 7 story condo open with Ortho Camera & other camera views I can select a door in plan view on the 6th floor & see pop up boxes

telling me that Chief is rebuilding stuff on the lower floors one by one. The delay varies as to what cameras I have open. I have made no attempt to analyze the cameras that cause this. I reported it to Support & they said they could not reproduce the problem, but that was before I realized that the Cameras were playing a role in the problem.

IMO there is no need to rebuild anything when opening an interior door DBX.

 

 

 

I did observe this happening if you change a materials properties. If a material changes then the model needs to be rebuilt. From what I observed, any change you make will force a rebuild. The fact that it seems to vary according to a particular camera could be related to the display layer options for that particular camera. From what I observed this determines what will be rebuilt.

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Funny that just opening the DBX rebuilds when nothing has changed.

It should rebuild only if changed were made.

If the cameras are not open every thing is quick as expected.

 

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Just now, ACADuser said:

Funny that just opening the DBX rebuilds when nothing has changed.

It should rebuild only if changed were made.

If the cameras are not open every thing is quick as expected.

 

 

Agree - There does appear to be times when a rebuild is executed for no understandable reason. I would need to check but I think this can happen with the Rainbow DBX.

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It also happens when canceling out of a dbx, even though no changes were made. It's very frustrating.

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1 minute ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

Agree - There does appear to be times when a rebuild is executed for no understandable reason. I would need to check but I think this can happen with the Rainbow DBX.

 

Just checked into this, Yes it happens with the Rainbow tool. I clicked on a surface, the DBX opened and then I closed it without making any changes and it did a rebuild. The rebuild must be triggered based on closing the DBX and not on whether a change was actually made. 

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So far closing any DBX related to Material properties or Terrain elements seems to trigger an automatic rebuild or something depending upon closing.

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Nice stuff Graham. One thing I did last night was to take Larry's problem plan- I turned on "record timing log" prefs, general tab. Opened a new blank plan, copied the entire plan over. Then set both in 3D views so only the roof showed, and turned off auto rebuild, turned off all of the lights.

Tried a few roof edits, then dug out the log.txt Save as and deleted. Then tried the other plan.

I was surprised in both at the number of lines listed for rebuild. It was overall too damn complicated to add up the times though.

The other thing I noticed was that the copied plan reduced from 17 mb to about 12 and was a small bit (though noticeable) faster.

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Mark, I wonder if Larry was using an old profile plan, I create new template plans with every new version from the new profile plan.

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Mark - It looks to me that the rebuild is definitely an area of concern, especially when it is triggered by only opening & closing the DBX without any change having been made. These rebuilds are time consuming and get progressively worse as a models complexity increases. 

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4 minutes ago, DRAWZILLA said:

Mark, I wonder if Larry was using an old profile plan, I create new template plans with every new version from the new profile plan.

Yes it was, got a warning when importing the defaults into the new plan. I also create new templates. Size could be a factor of save as too, have seen plans grow as I do a lot of that so always at least start fresh. Had a few messy plans that I had to copy to new to clear up issues.

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I remember Chief telling me it was ok to just bring your templates forward a few years back, but now they say always start a new template with the new profile plan.

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29 minutes ago, DRAWZILLA said:

Any one try this cpu tool to limit what's going on in the background.

Looks like it could help some.

 

https://bitsum.com/portfolio/cpubalance/?fb=1

 

 

 I had looked at stuff like that many years ago. They really don't do a lot and can cause unexpected problems. In most cases if you check your CPU usage with Task Manager you can see that in most cases only 1 or 2% of the CPU is being used on the normal Windows background processes. This would not make any noticeable difference in performance. On my system even with Ray Trace eating 100% of all Cores there is no noticeable slowdown in my other programs. Today's processors are much better at responding to interrupts and managing multiple processing tasks than systems 5 or more years of age.

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1 hour ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Mark - It looks to me that the rebuild is definitely an area of concern, especially when it is triggered by only opening & closing the DBX without any change having been made. These rebuilds are time consuming and get progressively worse as a models complexity increases. 

Exactly

I have furniture on 5 of the 7 floors and the delay is quite a nuisance.

 

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6 minutes ago, ACADuser said:

Exactly

I have furniture on 5 of the 7 floors and the delay is quite a nuisance.

 

 If you are triggering the rebuild by just opening and closing the DBX then make sure to select "Cancel" or the "X" to close the DBX. If you select "OK" then it will trigger the rebuild.

 

If you are not making changes related to the furniture then turn those display layers off for the camera layer set. This should prevent them from being included in the rebuild.

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