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Case Study - Corridor Digital
"Puget Systems was able to build me a machine specifically tailored to my working needs. They made the process easy and streamlined so that I could remain focused on the creating side instead of stressing about the tools I needed to do the job."
- Wren at Corridor Digital
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.
OctaneRender Workstation FAQ
Q: Is OctaneRender a CPU or GPU based rendering engine?
A: OctaneRender is a fully GPU-based rendering engine. This means that the video cards (or GPUs) in your system are what impacts how long it takes renders to complete rather than the CPU.
Q: Does Octane support multiple GPUs? Do they need to be in SLI?
A: Unlike most applications that utilize the GPU, OctaneRender actually scales almost perfectly with multiple cards. In other words, if you use two cards your renders will complete twice as fast as they would with just a single GPU. If you use four cards you will finish renders four times faster! However, since Octane is using the cards for compute purposes they do not need to be in SLI mode. In fact, SLI can sometimes cause problems so we recommend leaving it disabled if possible.
For more information on how Octane scales, we recommend reading our OctaneRender GPU Performance Comparison article.
Q: Is it better to spend money on a higher number of total GPUs, or more powerful GPUs?
A: From a pure cost/performance perspective, it is almost always better to use a higher number of more affordable GPUs rather than using one or two expensive GPUs. However, the downside to this approach is that your workstation will be physically larger, louder, hotter, and use more power than a system with fewer but more powerful cards. In addition, if your renders require a higher amount of VRAM (video card memory) you may be forced into using more expensive cards.
Q: Can I mix and match different models of video cards?
A: As long as each card is supported, OctaneRender does allow you to mix and match different models of video cards. We do this for some customers who need a primary Quadro video card due to a different software's hardware requirements, but want to utilize GeForce cards to improve rendering performance in Octane. However, the more different the cards (different architectures, different versions of CUDA, etc.) the larger the chance of errors or other problems occurring. Also note that if the cards have different amounts of VRAM you will be limited to the smallest amount.
Q: Does OctaneRender support all NVIDIA graphics cards?
A: According to OTOY, OctaneRender requires extra work to make it compatible with each new generation of GPUs. For example, NVIDIA released its Volta GPU architecture to consumers in December 2017 with the release of the Titan V - but it did not work with the OctaneRender 3.07, which was the current version at the time. With the release of OctaneRender 3.08, however, Volta support has been added... so the Titan V and Quadro GV100 graphics cards can now be used, as long as you are running 3.08 or later.
Q: Do I have to use NVIDIA cards or can I use AMD?
A: OctaneRender currently utilizes CUDA which is proprietary to NVIDIA video cards. At the moment, Octane does not support AMD GPUs or Intel integrated graphics.
Q: Will a more powerful CPU help at all?
A: A faster CPU will sometimes let you open files faster and can make a small difference in multi-frame renders, but it will make no impact on how long it takes each individual render to complete. We recommend sticking with a mid-range CPU and focusing your budget on more powerful GPU(s).
Q: You only list GeForce cards, what about NVIDIA Quadro?
A: NVIDIA Quadro cards can work just fine for OctaneRender but for the majority of the users they are not worth the much higher price. From a performance perspective GeForce cards are just as fast while being many times cheaper. Due to the large difference in cost, with the same budget you can often get 4-5x faster rendering performance by sticking with GeForce cards.
However, there are certain times where you may want to use Quadro cards. If you need more VRAM than what is available on the GeForce cards, Quadro cards have up to twice the VRAM which allows for much higher resolution and detailed scenes to be rendered without running out of video memory. They are also slightly more reliable long-term since they are designed to operate under heavy load for extended periods of time. While these two factors are not worth the higher cost for most users, if they are a consideration for you we can certainly install Quadro cards by request. Simply speak to one of our consultants and we will get a custom quote for you!
Q: How much system RAM do I need?
A: Since OctaneRender uses the video card's memory (called VRAM), you do not actually need much system RAM. However, we generally recommend a minimum of 32GB for our rendering workstations. If you tend to have a large number of different applications open and running at the same time (OctaneRender, Cinema 4D, After Effects, etc.), however, you may consider upgrading to 64GB or more.
Q: How does Network Rendering work? Do I need special licenses?
A: Network Rendering allows you to use the power of GPUs that are in other workstations or servers on your network to make your renders complete faster than you could ever achieve on a single system. All you need is a standalone license for each slave machine that is the same version as what you are using on your local master workstation. For more information on Network Rendering we recommend reading OTOY's excellent documentation of the subject in their Manual under the "Network Rendering" section. Glass Hand Studios also has an excellent Youtube video showing how to install and configure Network Rendering if you want to see the process in action.
Note that Network Render is currently limited to a total of 20 GPUs and requires at least one compatible GPU in your local machine.
Q: Can I use Linux on a Network Render node even if I use Windows on my main workstation?
A: From the OctaneRender manual: "The operating systems of the slaves can also be different since the communication between the machines is cross platform." In other words: yes, you should be able to mix Windows and Linux without any problems.
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