I have been re-rendering a bunch of fractals for print at 300 dpi on A0 and A2 sized paper. Even on the new computer, in order to get them done in time to have the high res images ready for printing for the exhibition I have had to cut the quality down compared to what I usually do them at. I’m looking at 15 hours on average for a fractal that is roughly half the quality of my normal renders, though once printed this won’t be so noticeable. This also results in around 3gb of RAM being used at any one time for the render. This is for A0. A2 I am averaging around 5 hours at half the quality with around 1gb of RAM being used at any one time.
I’m not game to try and A0 on the old computer at all. I have had an A2 size one rendering though, it has an estimated render time of 40 hours at the same quality level as on the new computer, just so you have a comparison. I have also had to limit the RAM usage on the old computer since it only has 1gb of RAM. This means that instead of rendering the entire fractal, it will render it in 5 blocks which is slower, but it’s the only way I can do it on the old one.
Rendering A0 fractals on the new computer does render it virtually useless. While they on average use 3gb of the available RAM, they push the overall RAM usage up to an average of 98%, even when I close down the majority of things. Thus it is pretty pointless to even try to do anything else on it. Since I have limited the RAM usage on the old computer, it is still usable, but since I’m not rendering anything on the laptop, it doesn’t matter and I may as well let Apophysis have as much of the CPU time as possible.
While my laptop should do a reasonable job of rendering the fractals, since it is roughly half as powerful as Quadzilla (my Macbook Pro is a Core 2 Duo with 2gb of RAM, Quadzilla is a Core 2 Quad with 4gb of RAM), but I need the laptop to be usable all the time for uni and so on.
I would love to render all my fractals at these resolutions, but also at the quality I normally do them at. I’m thinking I’ll pick up another 4gb of RAM soon, though probably not for another fortnight or so since I have rent next weekend and the prints of these fractals are going to cost $56 each. If I get the extra RAM, that should make the computer usable whilst rendering, which means that it will be a lot easier for me to do them like this. Until then though, I could just limit the RAM usage to half and it should also be fine. I’ll just have to have a play around with it once these ones for the exhibition are done.
For those who have only seen my first fractal animation, the one I will be showing on Wednesday is a newer one that I did around September 2007. I also did the audio track for this one.