How fast is 3ds Max 2012? Just ask Grant.

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 6 April 2011 8:00 pm

After being pointed to a video of a very frustrated Grant on Youtube, I sought him out and encouraged him to take a spin with the latest incarnation of 3ds Max. Luckily, the story has a very happy ending as Grant proceeded to get very excited about the release and then offerred to share his enthusiasm with other users. Over the last month, Grant has been putting the new release through its paces and this video is the result.

Note: Autodesk did not direct or compensate Grant for making this video. This was his idea, not ours. We just asked him to avoid some of his more colorful language, this is a family blog after all.

Grant's HW specs:

  • Nvidia GTX 285
  • I7 quad core, 2.67Ghz
  • 12Gb DDR 800 RAM

Who is Grant?

He's currently the lead 3D artist at Lightfarm Studios in Auckland, New Zealand. He's a lighting and CGI artist who has previously worked as a hard surface modeler for 8 years. You can check out a story we did on Grant awhile ago on the AREA. 


 Download Grant's scene - this scene has been provided by Grant Warwick under the terms of the 3ds Max EULA



Posted 6 April 2011 5:25 am

This is great. But I have to wonder if it is just to late. I was at the Vray event in Toronto tonight and have to say I did not hear good things about 3ds max from the users there. Can Autodesk turn things around for 3rd max in the long run?


Posted 6 April 2011 6:52 am

@mahi how many of them tried 2012? what kinds of things were they saying? the max dev team wants to know what people think, they have been trying really hard the last couple of years to interact and get more feedback from the users.

i think this release clearly shows that the max dev team is turning things around and there is still more to come in future releases.


Posted 6 April 2011 8:15 am

the new viewport is really a huge step forward !!


Posted 6 April 2011 10:02 am

Impressive video, bravo!
Impressive hardware config, to
Can you said viewport performances of 2012 represents a big percentage of the objectives of XBR?
How many, 40%, 60%?


Posted 6 April 2011 11:35 am

thanks for this big overview. One important question: Can you use 3dsmax 2011 plugins ?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 6 April 2011 12:41 pm

re: plug-ins
Unfortunately, a recompile is required because we moved to the most recent compiler. There are no SDK issues, so it should be just a recompile.

re: Nitrous
If you saw our XBR webinar, then you know that we identified XBR: Graphics (aka Nitrous) as a key goal. We're not done with Nitrous either.

re: ship
April 8th is "download" day. Check your subscription account for access. DVDs will also begin shipping to those that choose that option.


Posted 6 April 2011 4:46 pm

2GB a sad limit in XP? The sad limit is really 4GB on 32bit win. Look up "3Gig switch" to help you utilize that. But I suggest you upgrade your OS and RAM before getting newer software. I won't be surprised when Autodesk just plain stops developing for 32bit. Adobe already started to in CS5, and also doesn't even support Windows XP even if it is x64. (although nearly everything still runs, they just don't support it).

I have a fairly light model open in Max2011 right now and shaded it takes 800MB of memory. In 32bit once you're past 1.5Gigs you're starting to cache things to your hard drive. That's going to be the majority of your performance hit right there. If Max2011 will run at all with 2gigs of memory I would doubt it would give you much benefit in speed for files taking less than 2Gigs of memory. Most of mine that I have troubles with are over 3Gigs of memory which requires 64bit.


Posted 6 April 2011 6:31 pm

Excellent review, thanks.


Posted 6 April 2011 9:16 pm

Ken, off-topic question, but with max 2012, are we going to be able to see .max thumbnails on a 64bit system, finally?

Ken Pimentel

Posted 6 April 2011 9:19 pm

re: thumbnails
No idea, maybe someone else on this thread will know


Posted 6 April 2011 10:07 pm



Posted 7 April 2011 9:57 am

Hi, All sounds good. but is there any inprovement in PFlow? this is a feature I've had to use lately which came to a standstill and became impossible to use (for me) pretty quickly...

Ken Pimentel

Posted 9 April 2011 2:18 am

You can now download Grant's scene. I've edited my post to include the download link.

bill n

Posted 11 April 2011 10:33 am

Cudos to Autodesk for not trying to hide the fact that Grant's original comparison of 2011 to 2012 described 2011 in the same terms as we've all been saying (track down the video on YouTube if you want a good laugh, and yes it's not very polite about 2011). I think it's fair to say that subscription customers (ourselves included) will be making a very hasty switch from 2011 to 2012, and not waiting for a service pack as we usually do.

Whilst it's great that Max is finally becoming usable again it's just a shame that Autodesk didn't get here much much faster (like about 4 years ago). For me performance > everything. I don't need any new features if I have to wade through treacle to get to them.

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