The rise of GPU rendering has created a huge leap in terms of render power for artists & studios.
Our approach to GPU rendering is to build high-end PC workstations with up to four GPU’s.
Networking GPU’s, creating a powerful render farm.
These are the key considerations we use to build render machines.
We are currently using the Fractal Meshify S2 for our builds - slightly lower but a little wider than most full towers, the extra width creating good space for cable management. Essentially you need to make sure is that the case has enough space to house the number of GPU’s.
We run both AMD & Intel builds. As the AMD builds have more PCIe-Lanes they should theoretically enable the GPUS to run at full speed - rendering faster, but we have found the difference to be negligible.
Again we are looking for the correct number of PCIe lines, the more lanes of x16 the better - but this has a direct correlation with the price and we have found the difference in render speed to be minimal when cards run on lanes of x8.
1500 watt PSU’s are used in all machines to power up to four GPU’s, this is the most we can draw from a standard socket. We use the highest watt PSU even if the machine has less than four cards to help future proof and allow additional cards to be added.
As a rule, 16GB of ram is installed for each card, a four GPU machine having at least 64GB.
GPU'S… always Hybrid
We always use hybrid GPU’s with a built-in water cooling loop - 1080 & 2080 Ti’s. They run far cooler than blower cards, the self-contained loop negates the complications assisted with full external water loops. As the fans are mounted on the external case it makes it easy to stack the cards without blowing hot air from one card into another causing overheating.
Machines are then networked using Thinkbox Deadline, creating a powerful multi GPU render farm. Using deadline enables the splitting of GPU’s into separate slaves, witch allows for further control of cards. For example, three cards in a machine can be rendering jobs on the farm, while the other remains in use for the artist using the machine.
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