Hi!

I'm looking for reasonably priced but quality rendering solution and this looks promissing so far. I do mainly interior modeling with Rhino (sometimes rather large models) and I was wondering what would be a good hardware setup for fluent working.

What I mean by this is

- decent test rendering times say max. 15 mins for complex model/lighting 800x600px image with relatively good quality

- final images up to A3/300 dpi in less than 6 h

- fluent on-screen performance

I'm quite aware that more/faster hardware makes things smoother, but I'm looking for optimal setup between performance vs. investment.  I don't need specific models or anything but rather the general quidelines how much RAM, GPU recommendation+memory, processor and how many etc.

Feedback highly appriciated.

Br,

Timo

Tags: Brazil, Rhino, hardware, performance, rendering

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Timo,

My recommendation would be to build your own system, rather than purchase a ‘hi-end’ system from one of the large PC companies, as you’ll ultimately have a faster system at considerably less cost. Building, or more accurately, assembling, your own PC is a straight forward and relatively simple task. If you do go this route, buy the best quality motherboard & memory you can get. I’d stick to either Kingston or PNY memory rather than one of the lesser brands (I used to work in the PC/server industry and have direct experience of this…) From a processor perspective, specific to rendering, I don’t think it really matters if you select AMD or Intel. What is critically important to rendering is the qty of available cores, note Intel Hyper-threading does NOT provide additional cores. My personal setup is:

AMD, 3.2GHz, quad-core

Windows 7 64 bit Professional

8Gb DDR2

2TB drives

Mid-range graphics card

Even with some relatively large assembly models, I’ve never came close to being out of memory at 8GB. Depending on how large your models are, 8GB may or may not be enough, though I’d start with 8GB and add if needed. DDR3 would be better than DDR2, especially with large files. The larger/more detailed the model, the more you will need a higher-end graphics card, as moving/shading will get noticeably slower on a cheap graphics card (like mine).

 

My ideal setup would be:

AMD 6-core Phenom processor 3.2/3.3GHz   (haven’t seen their new 8 core operating yet so can’t comment on how good/fast it would be compared to the 6 core in rendering with Brazil)

8GB DDR3 (going to 16GB if needed)

Windows 7 professional, 64 bit

1TB SATA primary hard drive (WD drives have never failed on me…). As many other drives as you can afford…

One additional and important point, especially if you do assembly your own machine, buy an aftermarket processor cooler. Since all cores will run at 100% capacity, the processor heats up very quickly and it’s vital that this temperature be kept as low as possible. I recently swapped out my AMD standard cooler and reduced the peak temperatures by a full 20 degrees.

Hope this helps…

Alan

Hi Timo,

I got some advice on buying hardware a long time ago: wait as long as you can, spend as much as you can, and don't look back.

Brazil 2 doesn't use the GPU, so max out your CPU budget(unlike Alan I can't recommend AMD these days, they're just not competitive even if they have more cores for the money)before going for the top-shelf graphics card. Brazil 3 WILL use it, but who knows if you'll have already upgraded again by the time we see it!

Mind you, the main determining factor in how fast you can render interiors in Brazil is your mastery of all the settings.

Thanks for replies.

I've been doing modeling for past 10 years with various software so I do have fairly good idea how these things work and question is mainly posted to get feedback from Brazil users since each software tends to have their own tricks and quirks. Why Brazil now interests me is the fact that I can affect the degree of realism e.g. by render cache to speed up rendering and the Brazil has nice atmospheric feel to the rendered image as my customers favor right mood/tone of the image over hardcore physical realism.

 

I agree with Jim on the AMD note and in my understanding currently Intel beats AMD processors in every respect performance wise, unless Brazil algorhitm somehow favors AMD architecture. One CPU list here http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html.

My initial idea for the hardware setup was something like:

- double CPU motherboard (currently very limited selection available)

- 2 x Intel Core i7-3930K (12 cores combined, no idea if Brazil even supports this)

- 16-24 GB RAM DDR3

- PNY Nvidia Quadro 4000 (I need fluent workflow with large models)

- 2 TB sata drives

- WIN7 64bit

 

I'd love to see some standardized benchmarking on Brazil. My latest model I did was a restaurant and final model with all the furniture ands decorations etc. was around 1200000 faces with sunlight and about 25-40 artificial lightsources. Model was economicly build and furnishings optimized according to distance to camera. One thing affecting to face count is the fact that Rhino does not produce the most economic surface to mesh conversion, if compared to actual mesh modelers.

Alan: Can you please describe the type of models you do with your current setup (number of faces/lights/image size etc.) and some typical rendering times you achieved?

Br, Timo

Things can vary so wildly a 'benchmark' would be of limited use, the CPU-based rendering benchmarks already used by the hardware review sites are a good-enough stand-in.

Brazil will take all the cores you can throw at it, the 2.2 Beta will(or is supposed to?) anyway. The original V2 has a limit of 16 or so.

1.2 million polygons isn't really that many these days. I've not seen much benefit on a 64-bit machine from spending much time trying to optimize mesh settings. Lots of lights, glass, glossy reflections, they're the time-killers.

Did some fact checking. Apparently the dual 7i motherboards do not even exist. Only option would be to use Xeon processors and price would hike up way too high...Something like this here with Evga SR-2 with 2xIntel Xeon 5680s.

http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Building-The-Ultimate-Performance-PC...

Timo,

I haven't done any architectural type renderings, mostly what I've been doing is technical/product renderings in a studio environement, and I never use meshes if I can help it. So, my use of Brazil wouldn't provide you a useful comparison, I think.

 

My 'preference' for AMD is based primarily on the cost advantage vs. Intel. Agreed with Jim's comment that Intel outperforms AMD essentially across the board, but is the extra cost worth it? And what advantage in render time, if any, would be achieved in equivalent render set up with same/similar spec AMD and Intel machines? (especially a 6 core AMD vs. a quad-core Intel)?   That would be an interesting comparison to see, I agree 100% that a side-by-side Brazil specific benchmark would be good. Perhaps some of the McNeel team have some input here?

Ok. Thanks for your feedback.

Just downloaded trial and I'll have a go with it to see how it performs with my current machine.

Br,

Timo

Great info guys. For my two cents, the Intel i7 950 is the fastest CPU I've used with Brazil for Rhino. I'm not even sure if you can get that one anymore. The i7 920 was really close in specs and a cheaper alternative. I'm pretty sure they make hex cores now and with multi threading on Windows 7 that would be 12 sample buckets at a time. 

Brian,

 

A six-core is available, Intel I7 990X, at $1000 a piece...

Brian James said:

Great info guys. For my two cents, the Intel i7 950 is the fastest CPU I've used with Brazil for Rhino. I'm not even sure if you can get that one anymore. The i7 920 was really close in specs and a cheaper alternative. I'm pretty sure they make hex cores now and with multi threading on Windows 7 that would be 12 sample buckets at a time. 

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