[visit-users] Local rendering, and how do I know it's using the graphics card? (and other silly questions)

Brugger, Eric brugger1 at llnl.gov
Wed Jul 9 11:18:44 EDT 2014

Hi Fred,

If you are running completely locally you should be using the graphics card. You can change the rendering options with the "Rendering" window, which can be brought up by going to "Options->Rendering". You would need to go to the "Advanced" tab and change "Use scalable rendering" to "Always" to force it to always render in software. If you changed it to "Never" then it would always use the graphics card. You could also change the "Use display lists" on the "Basic" tab and see if that makes a difference. It might be useful to run VisIt with "-debug 5" and look at the viewer.5.vlog file and see what it says about the graphics system.



-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Morris [mailto:m3047 at m3047.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 9:13 PM
To: VisIt software users community
Subject: [visit-users] Local rendering, and how do I know it's using the graphics card? (and other silly questions)

I'm running a locally-built frankenbuild 2.7.3 (to get label support for python sims) on OpenSuSE 12.3.

I know my graphics drivers are good, because my sim is definitely accelerated, and Firefox tells me that Mozilla is using hardware acceleration (about:support). (And glxgears, once I found it in the tarpits and built it, runs a solid 60 frames/sec with negligible CPU load and about 10% consistently on the GPU, full HD screen. And there are simply amazing demos from NVidia!)

For purposes of this example, I'm visualizing a 5,000 node mesh (with the pseudocolor plot, in 3d). With the sim stopped, the UI struggles to draw 3-5 frames/second while zooming/panning. Ignoring for the moment the fact that maybe I'm insanely greedy (I've been in this racket for a long long time, I personally find that amazingly good performance) how do I know whether the VisIt UI is using hardware accelleration:

* How can I turn it off, to compare?

Are there perftools so that perhaps I could profile it, or are there tricks I should use to optimize?

Finally, looking back through both the visit-developers@ and visit-users@ 
lists for clues, I'm struck by all of the build_visit as well as runtime 
flags and how do people find these? How do I get a listing? I don't see a lot 
of them listed when I look at source... or maybe I should say I don't see a 
listing of them: what happens if somebody supplies a flag that isn't 
supported? I suppose I could try it and see... I confess I've been using the 
character-cell form-driven interface. Although there's that CMake file 
written, there's no equivalent "here's the build_visit command, in case you 
need to run it again" as far as I can see.



Fred Morris

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