In It for the Long Haul

How a 3-year-old BOXX workstation is faster than your brand new Dell or HP.

 “Kaby Lake” is the latest processor from Intel, introduced in early 2017, and features a top clock speed of 4.2GHz. That sounds impressive, until you realize that BOXX offered safely overclocked 4.3GHz workstations as far back as late 2013. While Dell and HP brag about their new 4.2GHz machines, BOXX offers expertly-engineered solutions – with speeds up to 4.9GHz currently – to boost 3D design & modeling performance.

Taking this concept a step further, BOXX has also introduced overclocked multi-core systems that bridge the gap between single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks. Thanks to Intel’s new line of Extreme-series processors, safe overclocking of multi-core CPUs is now possible. Imagine how much faster you can compile a 3D scene using the speed of a single, high-speed overclocked core, and then render your scene in record time with additional overclocked CPU cores. Now your creativity doesn’t have to wait on your hardware!

BOXX workstations are built to last, and they will likely be the most relevant piece of hardware your organization uses for years to come. While cheap, throw-away PCs are just now catching up, BOXX is introducing systems that will outpace those other systems for another 3 or 4 years, and maybe longer. Some BOXXers have even reported using their BOXX workstation for up to 12 years before needing to upgrade. Talk about return on your investment!

APEXX 8R – 8 GPUs, Blazing Fast Rendering

BOXX got its start building high-end workstations and render nodes for the visual effects industry. It’s in our blood. It’s what we do and we do it well. As many of you know, the available options for quality rendering engines continues to grow. New features and optimizations can help mitigate the demands of today’s demanding pipelines, but how do you cope with the ever increasing shot complexity that leads to unacceptably long render times?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the BOXX APEXX 8R and how GPU-accelerated rendering can drastically accelerate look development, increase refinement iterations and help you build more compelling visuals. Additionally, we’ll look at different use cases for the system and discuss performance benchmarks. Continue reading

Miroslav Dimitrov of Bentley Motors Reviews BOXX renderPRO

 

Many people make the wrong assumptions that all designers and creative people work on Mac computers – Totally Wrong! Despite their “Pro” name, MacBookPros and MacPros are just good looking consumer grade computers ideal for photographers, graphic designers and home enthusiasts. When it comes to demanding professional work however, we are talking about BOXX, Lenovo ThinkStation, HP Z series and DELL Precision series. Workstations like these are designed to be fast, very reliable and run under heavy loads for many hours, even days! BOXX needs little introduction to the creative professionals. They are computer specialist making some of the finest and fastest workstations for creative professionals.

What is renderPRO then? RenderPRO is a product made from BOXX computers designed to help the creative professionals doing a lot of 3D rendering while simultaneously working on their main workstation, in other words it’s a personal render farm/slave. If you’re familiar with certain BOXX products already you will find that the unit is cleverly designed to sits on top of your Apexx 4 or 5 workstation. It comes in the same black grained exterior colour to match your workstation too. It’s really good to look at and it feels solid! Unlike the mainstream computer vendors, all BOXX products feel solid and made with high quality and durable materials so no surprise here.

One thing to consider, this little beast is not meant to be used as a main workstation or stand alone computer, although it can be. The main purpose of this little but powerful unit is to sit on top of your workstation and render large 3D scenes while you’re working on your computer.

 

READ THE FULL REVIEW FROM MIROSLAV DIMITROV OF BENTLEY MOTORS

While Apple Commits to U.S. Manufacturing, BOXX has been Made in the U.S.A. for over 20 years!

According to the Austin Business Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook, when speaking to the shareholders at the company’s annual meeting, said that the tech giant remains committed to U.S. manufacturing, reminding those assembled that two-thirds of Apple employees work in the United States. Of course, that also means that a third of Apple’s workforce is located overseas. Although that sounds much less positive, the good news for our local economy is that 6000 residents of Austin, Texas, earn a paycheck from Apple.

BOXX employs but a fraction of that labor force, but then again, the core of our business is building professional grade computer workstations, not smart phones. Nevertheless, since Apple was once committed to the media &entertainment market we serve, it must be said that our state-of-the-art hardware solutions (including the custom chassis), are designed, built, tested, sold, and supported in the USA. For VFX artists, animators, and motion media pros, as well as engineers, product designers, architects, and others, that’s the value-add in choosing BOXX.

Without fail, U.S. political or economic news these days includes politicians and corporations talking about bringing American manufacturing back home. Talk is cheap. Apple manufactures in China. HP does too (along with Mexico). Dell is in Mexico as well, in addition to Asia, South America. . .you get the idea. I wish all these multi-national commodity computer manufacturers would bring those jobs and dollars back to our shores, but I would also ask that when you see these stories, keep in mind that BOXX never left.

For 21 years, industry publications, benchmark tests, and (of course) the recommendations of customers worldwide—from high profile corporations, firms, and studios, to small businesses and independent operators, have heralded the power and performance of BOXX workstations and rendering systems. But if you delve deeper, you’ll also discover what “Made in the USA” means to our customers. To them, it’s more than a slogan. The same goes for us.

The expert BOXX performance specialist who listens to your workflow issues and provides you with the specific solution, the engineers at BOXXlabs who design and thoroughly test your BOXX solution, the skilled production techs who build it, and the professionals of legendary BOXX Technical Support who can solve any problem you may encounter, can be found at BOXX headquarters in Austin, Texas. And the revenue? It stays here too.

No other U.S.-based computer company can make that claim.

Can a Virtual Workstation truly provide an experience comparable to a traditional deskside machine?

Giving Boxx’s Pro VDI a test drive

Business executives and IT administrators alike have long been enamored with platform virtualization technology, and rightfully so. the advantages of hosting virtual desktops remotely in the data center are well-known and precisely the reason VDI — Virtual Deskstop Infrastructure (VDI), one but not the only example of hosted virtual desktops — has grown from nothing to a near $6 billion dollar business.

With the relatively recent advent of GPU-accelerated server-hosted virtual machines, businesses that rely on traditional workstations (deskside towers and mobile laptops) can finally join the virtual hosting opportunity. Many are in the process now of evaluating virtual workstation solutions to determine if they might replace or complement a business’s existing traditional workstation infrastructure.

But users don’t have the same interests and computing environments that executives and administrators do. Whereas the latter are concerned with security, cost, management and other business issues, the former’s concerns are only about doing their jobs effectively and efficently. And that means running their critical applications and workflow as effectively on a remotely hosted virtual machine as they’ve done it with traditional physical machines at their desk. If they can do that, great. But if they can’t, then all those promised benefits of virtualization are moot.

And that’s why we were intrigued to test a new product from Boxx Technologies, a server optimized to host virtual workstations to serve professional-caliber, graphics-intensive applications. Could it deliver a workstation experience comparable to traditional deskside machines?

 

 

Boxx aggressively exploring virtual workstation technology with multiple hardware options

A respected long-time vendor of high-performance workstations for CAD and Media/Entertainment applications, Boxx  has flourished in the face of Tier 1 workstation competition (i.e. HP, Dell and Lenovo) by pushing the envelope on technologies  and new computing approaches. On the latter front, the company is leaving no stone unturned in its attempt to be a  leader in the emerging arena of virtual workstations.

The company has introduced not one but two Boxx-branded server lines equipped with GPU accelerators and optimized  for virtual workstation hosting: Pro VDI and GRID. The GRID brand product delivers an official Nvidia GRID vGPU solution  running on Tesla GPU-based boards, while Pro VDI products a built on Quadro professional graphics boards. Why  both a GRID compliant and non-GRID product line? Well, the answer is two-fold. Some feel that dedicating a physical GPU  to a virtual machine (VM; i.e. vDGA) performs better than a VM with GRID vGPU running a dedicated (single-user) profile.

The second answer is likely the more important one: Nvidia GRID licensing. Running an official GRID solution on top  of Tesla M-series GPUs (and future GPUs, presumably) requires one of three GRID license options. The appropriate license  for professional applications is the Virtual Workstation license, and that’s substantially more expensive — expensive enough  for many to pass on GRID and stick with the existing vDGA solutions running on Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro boards.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM JON PEDDIE RESEARCH