I’m in urgent need of direction on building a machine to run software for work. Having almost no background in building PCs, as well as IT not being knowledgeable on the subject, I’m looking for a suggestion on what we should be purchasing for the work we do.
A little background: We work in (Windows) Rhino 6 and render with VRay 3.6. We work with an automotive client, and have file sizes ranging anywhere from 1-2gb in size. We don’t have complex geometry, but we do have lots of vehicle models in our space (which we facilitate the workflow by creating proxies, reducing meshes when possible, etc.) We also use a lot of high-res graphic images (graphics on walls, columns etc.). Occasionally we work in large interior spaces, which also range from 1-3gb in file size. A good example that comes to mind is an office redesign, where we built the entire floor from scratch and added ceiling elements, seating, wall treatments, etc.
The other key thing about our workflow is we have incredibly quick turnaround times on updates to our work - meaning at the blink of an eye, I may need to jump into a model and revise things and punch out a render within the same work day.
Here’s what we’re currently set up with. And if I missed additional details that may help, let me know.
We’re set up on Thinkpad P1 Mobile Workstation Lenovo 20MD laptops.
Processor: Intel Xeon E-2176M CPU @ 2.70GHz
Display Adapters: Intel UHD Graphics P630 and NVIDIA Quadro P2000 with Max-Q Design
We were also set up with an in Xtron AKiTio Node with a NVIDIA Quadro P5000 for GPU rendering.
The GPU Renderer is our saving grace, because the machine will bog down and take 40-60min to generate one render of our model, while the Xtron will punch one out in 10-12min.
Currently, this set up has been nothing but problematic. Our models are incredibly slow to navigate. Using Named Views often crashes the file because Rhino runs out of memory and creates an “EMERGENCY SAVE.3dm” file. This means every time I need to render a view in a 1gb file, I have to hide the rest of the objects in the scene not visible. More recently, I had to break up a large .3dm file into two pieces because I was unable to navigate the file without a memory allocation problem that caused Rhino to close. The other fun issue with memory allocation is rendering: if I don’t hide these objects from the scene, the GPU Renderer will not be able to render; the VRay window indicates that there was not enough memory to generate the render, and gives me a black screen with “Finished.”
CPU Rendering will always work, but as I mentioned earlier, at 3-4x slower than utilizing the GPU Renderer. (This also happens with just using the CPU and NVIDIA P2000 built into the machine: it kicks me out with a memory error, and I can ONLY render using CPU)
Basic functions, like moving an object with the Gumball tool or moving the cursor around to draw a line, are also slow to respond, lagging - it feels like I’m working in slow motion.
The reason I mentioned the hi-res graphics earlier is because for whatever reason, rendering with GPU limits the max resolution of my image files, and renders the scene with pixelated graphics - as soon as I switch over from GPU to CPU rendering, the graphics are rendered true to size (albeit much slower results from CPU Rendering). I know that in certain software like VRay for 3DS Max, there’s the ability to control the min/max resolution of the graphics in the model, but I don’t see a similar function when I’m working in Vray GPU Rendering.
Our work IT does not understand what we need for our workflow, and the department has turned to me for a suggestion on a build - the problem is that I have no idea what to look for. At my last job, we were set up with desktops (and laptops to remote into), with the following specs:
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00 GHz
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro M4000
They also had a dedicated render farm, which we’re looking into getting. This setup never gave me any issues, and I’m considering just handing them these specs to purchase for the future.
What I need is a list of specs to hand to IT, and I’m wondering if someone can direct me on what exactly we need, or if there’s a specific thing about our setup that we need to address.
Thank you so much for your time, please let me know if there’s anything else I can supply to help with this topic!