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, 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 other essentials like enough RAM and storage, you should prioritize getting the most powerful CPU you can.
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 extrememly high number of CPU cores - our dual CPU system allows for anywhere from 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 idea 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 CPUs used in these dual CPU configurations run at relatively modest frequencies this means that you will have much lower performance 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 fine. However, we tend to recommend using a Quadro card if possible simply because they are slightly more reliable, the drivers are a bit more stable. In addition, companies like AutoDesk (3ds Max/Maya) and Dassault Systemes (SOLIDWORKS) tend to heavy favor the use of Quadro cards. So if you plan on also running those applications using a Quadro card is 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 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 i5/i7 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 CPUs in our single CPU workstation and the Xeon E5 V4 CPUs in our dual CPU workstation.
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