BOXX is pleased to announce the availability of APEXX workstations equipped with Quadro® P5000 and P6000 GPUs powered by NVIDIA’s Pascal™ GPU technology. Whether you’re developing revolutionary products, telling spectacularly vivid visual stories, designing groundbreaking architecture, or creating the most lifelike, immersive virtual experiences, BOXX workstations powered by NVIDIA Quadro gives you the performance to do it brilliantly. Continue reading
Ray trace rendering is arguably the most computationally intensive process in any product development workflow. It is highly multi-threaded so it absolutely hammers all of a workstation’s CPU cores. It is also extremely scalable, so doubling the number of cores can, in many cases, halve the render time.
CAD software is very different in that it is a single threaded process, so the majority of tasks are performed on one CPU core. This means it thrives on a high frequency (GHz) CPU. Performance will not increase if you add more CPU cores.
This presents a big challenge when choosing a workstation for both CAD and rendering. The highest frequency CPUs have the least number of cores, while the ones with the most cores tend to have the lowest frequencies. As a result, designers and engineers must accept that there will always be a trade off. Or must they?
Custom workstation manufacturer BOXX offers an alternative solution by dedicating separate machines to each process. CAD work is done on the BOXX APEXX 2, a high frequency Intel Core i7 desktop workstation, while the rendering is handled by the BOXX renderPRO 2, a networked, dual Intel Xeon rendering machine with lots of cores.
As both machines work completely independently of each other, it also means that the BOXX APEXX 2 workstation will be able to dedicate almost all of its resources to CAD modelling when the BOXX renderPRO 2 is rendering.
In contrast, when a traditional desktop workstation is set to render flat out, it will often become sluggish, making it almost impossible to do any meaningful CAD work.
To get round this, users have to reduce the number of cores assigned to the rendering task, either by changing processor affinity in Windows Task manager (so specific applications use specific CPU cores) or by applying more granular control of CPU core usage inside the rendering application. And that means renders come back slower.
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Since a lot of you are asking about GPU rendering (and the NVIDIA GeForce cards have become so popular for rendering) we decided to compare the current high-end GeForce cards using a more realistic benchmark than the exterior car scenes which have become so commonplace.
When it comes to GPU rendering, it doesn’t get more real than Kevin Margo’s short film CONSTRUCT which was rendered on a BOXX GPU-dense workstation using V-Ray RT. Thanks to our friends at Chaos Group, we were able to get our hands on one of Kevin’s 3ds Max CONSTRUCT scene files for some testing. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using high-end GeForce GTX cards for final frame production rendering.
As GPU render engines become more popular and feature rich, you may be thinking (for the purposes of final frame rendering) that it’s time to jump in and integrate GPUs into your workflow. The driving force behind a migration to GPU rendering has always been speed. In fact, BOXX customers frequently ask, “How much faster is GPU rendering as compared to CPU rendering?” This is a tricky question to answer because of the many variables involved.
The goal of this article is to provide a better understanding of image quality with respect to the render times of different rendering engines using different compute devices. We’ll also propose a method to accurately compare CPU rendering to GPU rendering.