Like most applications, the makers of FurryBall RT post system requirements on their official website. The information there is pretty good, including supported software, video cards, and basic recommendations for the rest of the components in a system. They also link to a more detailed hardware FAQ and their GPU benchmark page, which contains a lot of comparative performance information. Rather than just trust the data others have recorded, though, we have taken the time here at Puget Systems to perform our own testing to determine what hardware runs OctaneRender the best. Based on this testing, we have come up with our own list of recommendations.
When it comes to CPUs there are two main specifications that define the capability of a CPU:
- The frequency directly affects how many operations a single CPU core can complete in a second (how fast it is).
- The number of cores is how many physical cores there are within a CPU (how many operations it can run simultaneously).
Whether a high frequency or high core count CPU is better depends on how well a program is designed to take advantage of multiple CPU cores (often referred to as multi-threading).
In the case of FurryBall RT, as well as most other GPU-based engines, the CPU does not play a role in the process of rendering scenes. However, in our experience it is a good idea to have a high clock speed (3GHz+) processor with a couple cores per GPU.
If you run other applications besides FurryBall, make sure to select a CPU that will give good performance in those programs as well.
Video Card (GPU)
The video card selection is the driving factor for performance in FurryBall RT. The faster the card the better, and you can also use multiple GPUs to further increase speed. GPU scaling in FurryBall is very good: a system with four GTX 1080 Ti cards is 2.6 to 3.1 times faster than a system with one.
Because of how well FurryBall scales, it is important to consider whether your budget allows for up to four or just two cards. There are situations where four lower-cost cards will actually be faster than two more expensive cards, but the trade off with more GPUs is a physically larger chassis. Other factors can come into play as well, like the cost of a bigger case, motherboard, and power supply. We have a variety of system sizes and form factors to choose from, so that you can match both your budget and location requirements.
While the exact amount of RAM you need is going to depend on your particular projects, for FurryBall RT (and GPU rendering in general) we generally recommend 32GB. That should be plenty for rendering even very complex scenes, but our systems do support more for those who need it. If you run other software alongside FurryBall, keep that in mind when selecting how much memory you get.
Storage (Hard Drives)
With the falling costs associated with SSDs, we almost always recommend using an SSD for the primary drive that will host your OS and the installation of FurryBall and other software. The high speed of SSDs allows your system to boot, launch applications, and load files many times faster than any traditional hard drive. If your budget allows, it is also a very good idea to have a second SSD that can be used to store your active projects to further decrease load and save times.
Since SSDs are still more expensive than traditional drives per GB, for long term storage we recommend using a traditional hard drive (or two if you need even more storage!). Using a SSD can be useful in some situations, but most of the time the high performance of an SSD is simply not required for a storage drive.