Min system specs? (not models)

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    I thought first posted this last week but I can’t find the message. Apologies if you’ve already seen (and replied!)


    I hope to build an AR Sandbox from whatever I can scavenge from friends, work, thrift stores etc. The motherboard I have on hand is Asus M2NPV-VM with a dual core AMD x64 2200MHz cpu. Will this do? I’m presuming the integrated GeForce 6150 is under powered, though it runs the ShowEarthModel and other demos in Vrui/bin happily enough on LCD display (don’t have a kinect and projector yet).

    It would be helpful to have the specifications behind the current video card model recommendations in the Complete Install thread. For example the current recommended card is GeForce GTX 970, while the AR Sandbox overview page is/was happy with a GTX 580. I’ve also seen mention of some successful ATI cards. There’s a quite a variety of the mentioned cards available, with variable price range and availability to match. What are the deciding factors? Number of GPU cores? Memory size/type/speed? Supported OpenGL version? etc.



    I’m running my sandbox on the following:

    AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor
    12 GB RAM
    GeForce GT 430
    Kinect for XBOX 360, Model 1414

    Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela (Linux version 3.16.0-38-generic)
    NVIDIA binary driver – version 340.76

    The water simulation is a bit choppy, but apart from that, it works just fine. So I assume you should be good to go with the mainboard and processor you have, and a new graphics card, depending on how well you want the water simulation to run…


    depending on how well you want the water simulation to run…

    Aye, there’s the rub. I guess what I’m after is bell curve graph with animated examples of “card type X will yield Y rendering”. When I find a magic wand… if wishes were horses… etc.

    Guess I’ll just make my best effort with what’s available near me and we’ll see what happens.


    I acquired a GTX 750ti on a trial basis. There’s a definite improvement over the GeForce Quadro 1700 I acquired last month. Water is animation is swift and smooth, though there is a momentary pause about 2 seconds after rainfall starts.

    I’ve been watching performance with top for memory and CPU and nvidia-settings -q GPUUtilization for GPU and video memory. With SARndbox running and someone making it rain and modifying terrain max GPU% is 60%, with median in high 30s. Video memory sits around 15-20% (of 2GB total). CPU% on the other hand is not so pretty, it’s in the %175-195% for SARndbox process alone (over 100% because split across two CPU cores I presume).

    From this I conclude that for this particular machine the limit factor is the main board and CPU and not the video card so much. (Though it would be good to try a “real” card to see for sure.)

    All in all though I’m happy. Oliver noted in another thread this CPU is 7x slower than the minimum recommended Intel i7. So if I’ve managed to build something that works well enough to provide some enjoyment on this old thing for a $200 video card investment. Something to be satisfied about. 🙂

    Oliver Kreylos

    “CPU% on the other hand is not so pretty, it’s in the %175-195% for SARndbox process alone (over 100% because split across two CPU cores I presume).”

    In your case CPU appears to be the bottleneck. I used to run exclusively on AMD in the past, and nothing could touch the Athlon in its day, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Intel’s newer Core CPUs. Your CPU simply can’t feed the graphics card fast enough to push the latter to 100% utilization (and yes, it’s more than 100% CPU as the AR Sandbox code is multi-threaded). The moment your CPU jumps over the minimum spec hurdle, the bottleneck is going to be, and then stay, the GPU.

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