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
Looking for more? View all our rendering case studies.
KeyShot Workstation FAQ
Q: Where should I prioritize my budget to get the best rendering performance?
A: KeyShot is a CPU-based rendering engine that benefits greatly from having a high number of CPU cores. In fact, in our KeyShot Multi Core Performance article we found that it scales almost perfectly with more cores which makes a high core count CPU - and even configurations with multiple physical CPUs - excellent for KeyShot. 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 KeyShot is that it allows you to have an extremely high number of CPU cores - our dual CPU system allows for 20 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 CAD or 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: KeyShot 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 (Revit/3ds Max/Maya) and Dassault Systemes (SOLIDWORKS) tend to heavily favor the use of Quadro cards. So if you plan on running 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 KeyShot 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 256GB 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 KeyShot itself.
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 Core i7 & i9 CPUs in our single CPU workstation and the Xeon E5 V4 CPUs in our dual CPU workstation.
Q: What about AMD's Threadripper? Is that any good for KeyShot?
A: AMD does offer solid, multi-threaded CPU performance with their Threadripper processors. We have found that Intel's Core X processors do outpace them, though, so for our recommendations we are sticking with Intel. One advantage Threadripper does have is support for more GPUs, which does not matter for KeyShot but could be a factor if you also use GPU-based rendering engines. If you'd like to get an AMD system, we do offer workstations based on their chips in other places on our website.
Q: How does Network Rendering work? Do I need special licenses?
A: Network Rendering allows you to use the power of other workstations or servers on your network to make your renders complete faster than you could ever achieve on a single system. KeyShot's Network Rendering operates under a client/master/slave system that allows multiple end-users to use the slave rendering nodes. A special network license is required that is based on the total number of cores across all your slave render nodes. Note that even though the network license is available in increments of 32 cores, our dual Xeon server node has both 20 and 28 core options in addition to a high-end 32 core option. This is due to the fact that the 14 core CPUs we list are actually faster for KeyShot than the similarly priced 16 core options that are currently available.
For more information on network rendering, we recommend visiting KeyShot's Network Rendering information page. For installation and configuration instructions, view the KeyShot Network Rendering Manual.
Q: Can I mix Mac and PC for network rendering?
A: Yes! KeyShot supports mixed networks using both PC and Mac. Note that Linux is not fully supported by KeyShot at this time.
Why Choose Puget Systems?
We do not add a part to our product line unless we feel we can stand behind it. You can feel confident that any selection you make on our website is a quality product.
By keeping inventory of our most popular parts, and maintaining a short supply line to parts we need, we are able to offer an industry leading ship time of 7-10 business days on nearly all our system orders.
We make sure our representatives are as accessible as possible, by phone and email. At Puget Systems, you can actually talk to a real person!
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