Best Workstation For Octane Render
Otoy OctaneRender is one of the worlds most popular and fastest unbiased render engines in the world. With the performance capabilities OctaneRender provides, and the extensive list of applications it plugs into, it is easy to see why it is so popular amongst professionals.
Rendering any scene is a demanding task for Workstation hardware. With the high resolutions often required in OctaneRender projects and the unbiased nature of the render engine, it is especially true for this software package. Unbiased render engines do not use any tricks or cut any corners to speed up renders. OctaneRender fully calculates each ray of light, delivering highly accurate depictions of your scene.
The demands of an unbiased render engine mean you need the right Workstation solution to get quick results and work efficiently. Slow render times leads to missed deadlines, reduction in your production capacity and ultimately can cost you time and money. We have worked extensively with Otoy OctaneRender users to provide tailored, purpose-built Workstation solutions for this exceptional render engine. Below we share all our findings to help you configure your next Otoy OctaneRender Workstation.
Best Graphics Configuration for Otoy OctaneRender?
Let’s jump straight in with the most important aspect when building a system for Otoy OctaneRender, the GPU. OctaneRender is a GPU render engine, meaning that all the computing takes place on a GPU or graphics cards rather than a CPU. Otoy has made a solid choice here because rendering is a highly multi-threaded task meaning it performs better with more cores. GPU’s contain hundreds or thousands of cores whereas a CPU is limited to a few dozen at best.
OctaneRender is also exceptional at using up every bit of GPU performance available. Therefore, high-end cards perform better and scale perfectly to the performance improvement each card up the range provides. It also scales near perfectly when adding additional cards, so we highly recommended multi-GPU options for OctaneRender. Keep in mind that multiple mid-range cards often outperform a single high-end graphics card. When configuring your system, tailor as much graphical performance as possible around your budget.
We also recommend blower-style NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards such as those found on the the Workstation Specialists website for multi-GPU configurations instead of top-down cooling options. These cards happily stack together in multi-GPU configurations and cool very effectively because the heat is directly exhausted out of the back of the chasis. Top-down cooling cards do not exhaust their heat directly out the case and therefore work well on their own, but do not cool adequately in multi-GPU configurations.
NVIDIA GeForce vs NVIDIA Quadro Vs AMD Radeon Graphics for Otoy OctaneRender?
Otoy OctaneRender has traditionally run on NVIDIA CUDA, and as a result, unfortunately, AMD graphics options are not compatible. Upcoming releases of OctaneRender however, will introduce support for Vulkan API which may, in turn, bring support for AMD Radeon Graphics cards.
We recommend NVIDIA GeForce for OctaneRender because they offer the most compute performance for your money. The highly popular class of graphics cards give fantastic results when rendering and has been a go-to choice for GPU render workstations for many years.
With that said if you use any other applications that require NVIDIA Quadro, these cards work very well for OctaneRender as well. If you require more graphical VRAM than NVIDIA GeForce cards can provide then NVIDIA Quadro is also a great option.
When selecting your GPU’s you should also purchase an NVIDIA RTX variant. These graphics cards have dedicated technology built into them called RT cores or Ray Tracing cores. They are specifically designed to accelerate ray tracing tasks such as those performed in OctaneRender. RT cores are due to be supported in upcoming versions of OctaneRender, and early indications show they can improve render times by up to three times.
Which CPU should I use for Otoy OctaneRender?
Your CPU is not as crucial as your GPU in OctaneRender, but it is still important. The render engine does not make use of a processor while rendering. However, a processor with a fast clockspeed does help speed up loading times at the beginning of the rendering process.
The most important aspect of a processor for OctaneRender is the number of supported PCIe lanes, which directly affects the amount of graphics cards you can install. A graphics card does run on 8x PCIe lanes, but performance is impacted, and a full 16x lanes are required to run at full speeds.
With PCIe lanes in mind, we suggest an Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen based system for an entry-level option containing a single graphics card. For a high-end multi-GPU option, we suggest an Intel Core X-Series or AMD Ryzen Threadripper that are capable of supporting 3 or even 4 graphics cards at full 16x speeds.
We do not recommend Dual Intel Xeon for OctaneRender users. Other options are far cheaper, feature much higher clockspeeds and are still capable of running 4 GPU’s. Intel Xeon may become an option if you wish to configure an 8x GPU rackmount server solution.
How Much Memory Is Needed for Otoy OctaneRender?
The amount of memory your system needs depends upon your particular scenes, but 32GB should be sufficient for even the most complex scenes. If any other software you use requires more than 32GB, rest assured all our workstations are capable of being configured with much more.
Which Storage Configuration is Best For Otoy OctaneRender?
There are currently three types of mainstream storage available for Workstations NVMe SSD, SATA SSD and HDD. NVMe storage is the highest performing option and also the most expensive. If your budget allows, we recommended this option for your Operating System and application files. If your budget can’t stretch to NVMe we recommended a SATA based SSD which aren’t as quick, but still significantly faster than a traditional HDD. Finally, we recommend adding a secondary HDD for the long term storage of your project files. HDD is very slow compared to SSD, but they offer large capacities at very low prices.