Best Workstation For V-Ray Next
V-Ray Next is an industry-leading rendering package that helps professionals create stunning photorealistic imagery of their virtual 3D Models. With the advanced capabilities of V-Ray Next, it is no surprise that visual effects artists, product designers and architects alike are using V-Ray Next to bring their visions to life.
All these advanced features put a massive strain on computing hardware, and with the need for fast render times to meet critical deadlines this is a challenge for designers. With the right equipment renders that once took hours or days can be achieved in minutes. If you are looking to start utilising V-Ray Next or wish to upgrade your current infrastructure this guide can help you choose the right setup for you.
V-Ray Next has an extensive range of capabilities from CPU or GPU based rendering and local or networked setups. Each has their advantages/disadvantages and requires slightly different hardware to get the most from the solution. Below we discuss each setup and the best way to get the most from Chaos Groups exceptional V-Ray Next platform.
1) V-Ray Next Local CPU Rendering
Probably the most common setup and where most people begin. The advantageous of performing renders directly on your systems is the relatively small setup costs, easy configuration and consistent performance. Rendering locally on your CPU is an excellent option for freelancers and small offices.
With this approach, the most crucial computer hardware to consider is your CPU. To achieve fast renders, having a CPU with as many cores and threads as possible is critical. Rendering is known as a highly multi-threaded task, which means that it can use all avaialble cores and threads simultaneously.
If you have selected to render locally, then it is highly likely you will also produce the 3D designs on the same machine. 3D modelling is a highly single-threaded task, and as a result, will only require a single high-speed core. Balancing core counts and clockspeed is critically important in this scenario. We recommend a high core count Intel Core i9 X-Series processors or AMD Threadripper based systems to achieve the right balance of rendering and modelling performance.
2) V-Ray Next Networked Distributed CPU Rendering
Traditionally larger production houses with multiple users have taken advantage of Networked CPU based render farms. By having a central pool of systems dedicated to rendering, this offers the benefits of being very scalable, robust redundancy, centralised administration, fast render times and you able to tailor your modelling/rendering systems more specifically to their intended use.
With modelling no longer, a concern for your CPU rendering based systems we recommend a solution with higher cores and threads. Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC based solutions are ideal for this purpose. Enterprise-class Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC processors are designed specifically for 24/7 rigours use and designed specifically for the datacentre workloads. These types of solutions are perfect for server/rackmount environments.
We advise our customers to install fast networking of Gigabit or better speeds to reduce the impact of time spent sending render jobs over the network. We also recommended that customers should configure their render nodes system RAM to match that of your modelling machines. By matching the memory capacities, this ensures there is plenty of available RAM to open scenes correctly and that no memory bottlenecks will occur.
3) V-Ray Next Local GPU Rendering
In recent years the popularity of GPU rendering has snowballed. With the ability to put the power of a network CPU render farm directly in your system and at a fraction of the cost, it is not hard to see why. Tower workstations are capable of utilising up to 4x high-performance graphics cards which is the equivalent of dozens of CPU based render nodes.
To take advantage of 4x GPU’s, you will require a solution that is capable of supporting this amount of add-in cards. AMD Threadripper or certain Intel Core i9 X-Series based workstations are perfect for this.
NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards are our recommended graphics cards for GPU rendering in V-Ray Next because they work very reliably with the software and offer exceptional bang for your buck.
Make sure that each graphics card has enough onboard Memory to match your scene. Otherwise, GPU rendering will not be possible. If NVIDIA GeForce does not offer you enough memory for your scenes, then you should consider the professional NVIDIA Quadro range. You may not get as much bang for your buck in terms of raw performance, but they do generally offer higher capacity onboard graphical memory.
If you are working on substantial projects that even NVIDIA Quadro cards may not support then V-Ray Next has you covered with its support for NVLINK. This allows you to link two NVIDIA NVLINK capable graphics cards together. Once combined, this enables them to pool their memory and effectively double the amount of memory available to GPU render a scene.
Additionally, you should configure your system with the latest NVIDIA RTX graphics cards. The RTX range has dedicated Ray Tracing cores which are specifically designed to dramatically accelerate Ray Tracing rendering. Chaos Group has confirmed that a future update to V-Ray Next will include support for RTX. So if you are excited by the prospect of fast GPU rendering now, it will only get better in the future on NVIDIA RTX based systems.
4) V-Ray Next Networked Distributed GPU Rendering
A networked GPU render farm gives you all the benefits that a networked CPU farm offers but with the acceleration GPU’s provide. This type of solution is currently the fastest way to render large scenes. Servers can contain up to 10x GPUs and are fully scalable, which means that as many servers as you like can work in conjunction to complete a job.
For large scale infrastructure deployment, a network GPU render farm is the most cost-effective solution. Due to the high density and high performance a single GPU server can provide, fewer systems overall are required. Installing multiple CPU based systems to match the power on a single GPU render node can create massive and potentially unnecessary expenditure as well as taking up far more valuable physical rack space.
V-Ray Next is an excellent tool capable of creating incredible imagery for all sorts of purposes. The flexible rendering options the tool provides can make it very complicated to decide how to configure your set up. If you would like further advice on which solutions fits best for your needs, contact our consultancy team today. We specialise in working with clients to find and deliver the perfect hardware solution for your needs.