I work for a structural engineering company,we complete almost all of our project in 3D using the Autodesk program Revit structure. When the project is over we render the entire site, my computer takes FOREVER to render. I'm currently using a processor E5520 @ 2.27GHz 2.26 GHz, 12.0GB 64 bit Dell operating system. This machine is not fast enough to render our models in a resonable time. Can someone please give a starting point on how to go about "shopping around" for a render farm and wjat specs I should look for?
Do the renders need to be very very very accurate? If they have to, you'll need a special GPU to do so and they cost a great bit of money. if not, The rendering is done mainly by the GPU and CPU. Those are 2 of the most important aspects you must look for. You'll also want a QUAD-CORE for this.
No, I do not game here at work, I wish i could :-)
We are only using our systems to build the architects design on the 3D software and then at the end of the project we render the site plan and buidling (trees, roads, light poles, etc.) with all of these materials , sun settings that cast shadows, etc, the rendering is a long process and we are looking to speed it.
Yes, the renders do need to be pretty accurate. The program (revit structure) assigns materials to oblject, for example a cmu building will render with the mortar and texture of the blocks, sun path will cast shadows, trees and bushed will have a lot a detail......any ideas?
Not sure, I'm the "production guy" and our IT department should be looking into this but they are very unexperienced and/or unhelpful :-)
Our company needs this though and we are thinking about outsourcing our rendering which in the long term might be more expensive than buying our own render farm.......what do you think it would cost for something like what I'm describing?
To accelerate the process, you need good gear. You can go dual CPU with a board that supports 2 processors to work together. I would suggest i7 2600 or 2600k (unlocked) for the CPU.
For the GPU, you need something with a FireGL chip (ATI) or Quadro FX (NVIDIA). These cost a lot of money, but they are made for precision and accuracy, in the professional world you can't get better.
The RAM can be anything, you'll need at least 8-12 gb of ddr3 with a latency of at least 1600 mhz.
The power supply must be silver 80 plus since you'll want to protect your fragile GPU from power surges.... since it costs quite a lot.
I don't know exactly how much precision you need on your renders. Are they gonna be used to actually build the structure and serve as a blueprint or will they be used for architecture and design? If its the first one, you absolutely need the Acurate GPUs, if its the other choice, you can use a gtx 570 or hd 6950, you'll see drastic improvements.
You want a single workstation, a render farm is multiple computers networked together whose purpose is to render.
With that budget, it may be smart to wait for the new amd or intel cpus to come out that support multi cpu configurations. Should be out oct-nov.
Prebuilts are pretty easy to pick parts since they have a limited selection. Knowing if it has the newest hardware(mainly just cpu) is really the only thing you need to know. Then all you have to do is pick highest cores/ghz/ram/best gpu you can afford on their list. Dell, hp, and mac workstations is mostly what I see for businesses. For individuals, I would suggest building themselves as they can save quite a bit of money.
What renderer are you using? Depending on the answer it may be cpu dependent and not have gpu acceleration.
Correcting some misinformation: (though this might not be helpful since you aren't building) Current SB does not support multi cpus. Only Xeons and opterons support multi cpus (but not all of them). Quad core isn't necessarily what you need, the more cores the better, BUT the cpu architecture also makes a difference. I doubt you will be overclocking so an unlocked cpu and 1600mhz ram is irrelevant with current cpus. Final renders look the same with firepro or quadro vs radeon or geforce but workstation cards are optimized for these programs and you have the budget to get them. The biggest benefit is better viewport handling which helps a lot when working on projects. But consumer gpus tend to be less expensive for more cores so would actually be faster in gpu rendering per dollar. 8-12gb ram for your budget is too low imo, again the more the better. 80 plus silver doesn't mean it has good surge protection.