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Case Study - Zelmar

"[Our Puget Systems workstation] has really cut our processing time tremendously. Historically images like this would take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to render on the old computers. Now it’s taking 15 to 30 minutes."

- Aleks at Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More

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Case Study - Johnson Health Tech.

Johnson primarily works with SOLIDWORKS for 3D Production alongside software packages Maya and V-Ray to bring life to their marketing campaigns.

"So far [our Puget Systems workstation] has been a workhorse for rendering and simulation."

- Clayton Krause at Johnson Health Tech

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Looking for more? View all our rendering case studies.

Arnold Workstation FAQ

Q: Where should I prioritize my budget to get the best rendering performance?

A: Arnold is a CPU-based rendering engine that benefits greatly from having a high number of CPU cores. In fact, it scales so well that a high core count CPU - and even configurations with multiple physical CPUs - are excellent for Arnold. So while there are some essentials you should not sacrifice on (such as having enough RAM and storage) you should prioritize getting the most powerful CPU to get the best rendering performance.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dual CPU workstation?

A: The main advantage of a dual CPU workstation for Arnold is that it allows you to have an extremely high number of CPU cores - our dual CPU system allows for 28 to 44 cores. This can give you anywhere from two to three times the render performance compared to our single CPU workstation. The downside is that it is physically larger and not ideal for general 3D modeling tasks. These tasks tend to be what is called "single threaded" which means that they cannot utilize more than one or sometimes two CPU cores. Since the individual cores in the dual Xeon CPUs run at relatively modest speeds this means that you will have much lower performance for these tasks compared to a single CPU workstation that is half (or even less) the cost.

Q: Do I need to use a Quadro card or is GeForce OK?

A: Arnold technically does not care what video card you have in your system, so either a Quadro or a GeForce card should work just fine. However, there are certain times where you may want to use a Quadro card. First, they are slightly more reliable long-term since they are designed to operate under heavy load for extended periods of time and tend to have more stable drivers. In addition, companies like AutoDesk (3ds Max/Maya) tend to heavily favor the use of Quadro cards. So if you plan on using one of those applications on this system then using a Quadro card is likely a good idea.

Q: How much system RAM do I need?

A: The amount of RAM you need is going to depend on the complexity of your renders. In general, however, rendering in Arnold does not need a huge amount of RAM - most users will find that 32GB of RAM should be more than adequate. For those who do need more, our single and dual CPU configurations allow for 64GB and 512GB of RAM respectively.

Q: Should I use an SSD?

A: Yes! SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and in many cases can give a noticeable decrease in the time it takes to open and save files - not to mention simply starting Windows and launching programs much faster.

Q: Do I need a Xeon CPU?

A: In the past, Xeon CPUs were more robust than their Core series counterparts. Today, however, there is very little functional difference between the two Intel product families for workstations. In fact, the largest difference is simply the fact that the Xeon E5 family allows for the use of dual CPU configurations. Because of this, we use the "High-End" Core i7 and i9 CPUs in our single CPU workstation and the Xeon E5 V4 CPUs in our dual CPU workstation.

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