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amile duan

Running 3ds Max in a 24-core workstation

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This is a story about how technical staffs overcome the bottlenecks when running 3ds Max in the new 24-core machines. And hopes this story can give you some inspirations if you are using dual-Xeon 56 series too.
About couple of months ago, when we first tried to install 3ds Max in some of our new Intel Xeon E5645, strange issues came out when the install completed. Most versions of 3ds Max except the newest 2012 could not run. Yep, even double click there was no response. Then our engineer started to suspect if the older versions of 3ds Max could not support such an advanced machine which has more than 16-thread since they all ran well in the 16-thread workstations before. E5645 is a 6-core 12-thread CPU and we had dual CPU in one workstation so in total there is 24-thread. To test and verify, we turn off hyper thread and restart the machine, as expect, everything is ok this time.
However, we must solve this problem as the performance could be increased by 10% or more when we turn on the hyper thread mode in Xeon E5645.

Firstly, our engineer checked whether there were similar cases on Google to collect some information. After hours’ research, they found two solutions which seemed effective:

1. Delete mentalray.dlz and mentalray_plugins.dlo
These two files were both under the /stdplugs folder in the Max directory
And this means Mentalray could not work anymore.

2. Delete 3dsmaxhair.dll?Mentalray\shaders_standard\shaders?and hair.dlo?\stdplugs?
And in other words, default hair could not be used now.

After two trials of the recommendations above, 3ds Max could sure enough ran in 24-thread mode. There is another saying that the previous version of hair did not support the machine with more than 16 cores (or threads)

Well, in fact those two methods were not practical enough since Mentalray and hair were essential.

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