Massive model ray tracing using an SSD
SSDs are simply amazing. They can make a huge difference in certain cases. One of these is massive model rendering.
VoxLOD, my out-of-core ray tracer, streams data from an SSD more than 8x faster than from two 7200 RPM HDDs in RAID! It runs pretty well with the HDDs too, but you can easily see some streaming artifacts if you move too fast (see the original video for the paper). With the SSD the streaming is almost completely seamless.
Here’s a video which was recorded real-time at 720p on a freshly booted (so nothing was precached) Intel Core i7-3770 system with an SSD. The model is the Boeing 777, which contains more than 300 million triangles and occupies about 30 GB of space on the SSD. You only need about 4-6 GB RAM. This is an updated version of the renderer which now uses the AVX instruction set.