Primary hardware bottleneck for map compiles?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Pianodan, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Pianodan

    Pianodan L3: Member

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    Out of curiosity, what is the primary hardware bottleneck for map compilation, processor speed or memory amount? Is any of the work offloaded to the video card?

    My present specs are:
    3.0 GHz Pentium D
    2 GB RAM
    8800 GTS (640MB)

    Obviously the oldest of the bunch is the processor. Is that going to be the main source of compile slowdown, or could I get more oomph with more RAM?
     
  2. BagOfChips

    BagOfChips L5: Dapper Member

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    probably processor.
     
  3. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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  4. TheNeverman

    TheNeverman L1: Registered

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    If your taking 38 hours to compile a map, you need to rethink how you map...
    Learn to optimize and build Source-Friendly geometry.



     
  5. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    It was a test map and I was using a Dell from 2001.
     
  6. Pink_Panther

    Pink_Panther L3: Member

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    when compiling, the amount of ram doesnt make much difference when your over 1 gig. The speed of the ram will as the processor pulls from ram and pushes back. This is all part of the Front Side Bus issue on processors (whatever intel's i7 chips call it, its still the same thing). The maps we are running are fairly small considering a huge map is around 50 meg.

    Compiling doesnt use the graphics card (unless they changed something I dont know about, even then it would be limited to ).

    Processor speed and number is going to be your biggest bonus out of your hardware. I still compile on a AMD 2500+ running win2k and will compile any well constructed map i have come up with in under 4 hours for a ldr/hdr final compile. I have determined if VVIS is taking longer than 15 min I did something really wrong (and i dont bother with portals or other visual entities to optimize vvis processing).

    if it just running like well...ass...for no reason, start looking at other processes that are running thats using all your processing power. Playing music, watching movies, screensavers, internet downloads, anything else..., will slow your compile dramatically. Set it to compile and walk away.

    So, look at your compile times per section (vvis, vrad) and figure out which is taking too long. If its the lights, you cant do much but get a faster processor. If its the vvis, take a look at your map and read up on what VVIS does and how to make it work less.
     
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  7. Pianodan

    Pianodan L3: Member

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    Thanks! Can you direct me to a good article or thread on the subject?
     
  8. l3eeron

    l3eeron L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    If you don't pay attention to your vvis while laying out your map, it will take overnight to run a final hdr compile (if your lucky). Along with the other optimizing steps like nodraw, areaportals, hint brushes, and lighting/shadow and fade distance and fog...

    Your map can be an utter disaster in no time. If one element goes unchecked, it ruins it all. It's only as strong as it's weakest link....you get the point....


    This all plays into compile time. When it's done right, a final HDR compile takes maybe 40-45 minutes, and a fast/non-hdr compile about 10 minutes.


    As far as I know, the compile process is largely dependent on the processor. I'm using an Intel Q6600 quad core 2.4 ghz to acheive the above compile times, assuming all optimizing steps are covered.
     
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  9. Spike

    Spike L10: Glamorous Member

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    Bottleneck for compiling is processor and memory. If you can get a 1066 MHz memory that would be great for compiling and playing. The processor speed you have is good, but Pentium D is old. Why not a dual core?


    A well mapped map shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to compile
     
  10. Pianodan

    Pianodan L3: Member

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    Pentium D IS dual core. But to answer the question you meant, why not a Core 2 Duo? Because I can't justify buying a new computer just for screwing around with Hammer. :)
     
  11. StoneFrog

    StoneFrog L6: Sharp Member

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    Primarily the processor, I'd say. Of course I think the compilers themselves may have some processing caps themselves. Goldsrc maps take a while to compile, with a final compile sometimes taking an hour or more. Even on today's computers. I wouldn't be surprised if there is something as simple as "maxRate = 512" or something in the tools that could be edited to, say, 2048 and spark a revolution in compiling maps. :p
     
  12. Spike

    Spike L10: Glamorous Member

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    Well, I thought Pentium D was a newer version of P4. Anyway, when buying a new PC you want to build it with new parts, Pentium D sounds old to me.
     
  13. Earl

    Earl L6: Sharp Member

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    The CPU will remain the bottleneck for a long time. Radiosity (vrad) is serious business. Multiple cores do help a lot, because the calculations can be done almost entirely in parallel. (In fact, I think Valve uses in-house distributed computing for map complies.)

    One thing you can do to speed things up is increase the lightmap scale on brush faces. Lower the scale where you need sharp shadows, leave it high where lighting will be mostly uniform.
     
  14. Pianodan

    Pianodan L3: Member

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    Oh it is... it is.

    Now get off my lawn, ya durn kids!