News and Info 2007

Upgrades...

Posted November 25, 2007

Well, the big sorta secret upgrade is done. I spent the holiday days off upgrading the farm to all brand new computers, using brand new G0 Core2Quad processors which overclock nicely to 3Ghz each, high end CPU coolers, 4GB dual channel DDR2-800 ram etc... brand new everything... these new render computers are beautiful, I picked the top of the line components and built these like a show car... I am very impressed with the Intel Core2 architecture as each Quad is getting around 10,000 Cinebench score for 260,000+ total Cinebench, 312 ghz processing power on the farm.

EDIT: I just ran Cinebench R10 on the previous AMD X2 render client platform and the speeds were around 3520+/- CB, so this upgrade is not only twice as fast (which would have made the the estimated 200% about 7040CB), but about 300% faster then just few days ago.

As always, all RenderKing render computers are built to exactly the same specs for exact processing of your jobs - no mish, mash of processor types causing variations in results, no old hand me down or outdated computers left to die, no secretary workstations doing double duty overnight - who wants an old 1Ghz P4 lumped into their render farm just to make the render clients numbers higher? not really helping overall... if you are getting billed by the hour and you are rendering on old or inconsistent hardware it is costing you more then just time.

Some tier and pricing changes on the subscriptions page, all the details are listed on the FAQ, and if you have any questions, please just send an email.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

10.506, VRAY, MacPro Server...

Posted October 14, 2007

Cinema 4D 10.506 has been released and is on the farm and VRAY 1.05 has been installed on the 50CPU level of version 10.506. A MacPro Quad with 9GB of ram has been installed as the new main server, this will greatly increase the speed of the auto unzip and zipping folders as well as handle large format, film resolution and multi-layer renders much easier. NET 9.6 may be removed from the farm in the near future, Unfortunately NET Server 9.6 with 50CPU is very unstable under OSX 10.4.X so is not a subscription option at the moment and 9.6 is not subscribed very often anymore to justify the ongoing support. Currently the 9.6 24CPU option is running and seems ok but with extremely fast render times on projects will become unstable. Fortunately, R10 seems to render every 9.6 scene i've tested with no visible difference so there shouldn't be any issues for users of this older version to render under version R10.

As noted above, VRAY 1.05 is available on the farm, but only in the 10.506 50CPU install - this is available for use in both the standard 50CPU and the 50CPU Architecture subscriptions. 9.6 and 10.111 users who need to use VRAY should choose a 10.506 subscription - as testing goes further I may install VRAY in the earlier R10.111 version, but that was not the most stable C4D NET versions so that will be determined at a future time. Currently there is no 24CPU VRAY option.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Lots of Stuff...

Posted July 4, 2007 (edited for clarity July 16, 2007)

Cinema 4D 10.111 has been released and is on the farm and Maxwell 1.5 is on the farm. Also lots of 500GB hard drives all around the studio to help with the increased HD and long format renders, and a top tier ISP upgrade to the fastest data rates i can get.

A few changes in the services offered as Cebas has not kept up the promises of FR2 so it has been removed from the options. VRAY will be added as soon as it is released and just integrated into the C4D NET rendering options. Since i've not been keeping my Maya up to date since the aquisition by Autodesk and it's increasingly dependent nature on the very expensive Mental Ray, i've taken Maya off the options as well.

Also a change for architects - unfortunately due to the increasing number of large projects beginning to occupy time on the farm i've had to make some changes to the account options.

Originally, the render farm was predominantly a broadcast and film interest for motion graphics and special effects usage - being this was more with my previous background and comprehension when developing RK. As more architect users from this complex area of 3d visualization discovered RK and the farm experienced their much longer render and time usage patterns, it was becoming increasingly unbalanced for the other users on the farm since a team may work months on a large architectural project, potentially laying out dozens of multi-thousand frame fly through renders, and then queuing them all up at one time during one subscription period. While this was not against the existing allowed usage, it recently has started to become more of a balance issue due to the greatly reduced available free time for other users to have reasonable access. So to help offset the higher incurred time and usage costs of these large projects there is a new architect render option that should be subscribed with any architectural render projects.

The main concern for RK was architectural users aren't typically steady repeat monthly users, but often utilize a high level of available render time and then may not have a need to resubscribe until their next project that may be months away from needing a render farm. RK having been designed on the low cost, but steady user basis - the much heavier usage patterns could act as a deterent to other users from re-subscribing or allowing reasonable access to render time for the completion of their projects.

While it may seem more expensive compared to the previous subscription costs - i've run some average render time numbers of many recent large projects that have been rendered on RK over the past few months - the resulting average cost to render similar project loads on other time based render farms was in the average of $10,000 to $25,000 dollar range - with some usage approaching $50,000. Render King is still an extremely competitive option at the new price structures, and i hope i am being clear in the reasoning behind these new structure changes and please feel free to email me with any additional questions.

A few new updates in plugins on R10.111 is WFCam4D, Distance Falloff, and Zblur 1.61.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Ten Dot One...

Posted March 30, 2007

I'm glad to say that 10.1 had been released and it should provide some better stability with NET among other areas. I just finished installing it on the farm so now the version of C4D R10 is the official public release 10.102.

I also got to add a couple new or updated plugins - namely, updated CD_Morph to 1.127, SteadyCam to 3.03 and added a new plugin called RefShader 1.02.

If any users have feedback on 10.102 please let me know.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Someone's Calling...

Posted February 11, 2007

Twice in the past week or so I received a phone message asking about a RenderKing account. And I am incredibly sorry to the two different callers that I just am terrible at comprehension of language without the physical gestures and facial clues that go with it. I just couldn't make out the phone numbers and information from the digital voice mail enough to know who to call back. Phone numbers especially are hard when spoken quickly.

Many long time users of RK know I am not much of a "phone person", but I do return messages when left for me. I have a difficult time understanding voice messages without having the visual of speaking to go with it. When you factor in the increasingly digital phone call compression and dropouts from cell phones and i'm just getting so I can't hardly make phone calls anymore. Even my wife calls me and during the course of a normal short call I have to ask a handful of times to repeat what she said. Email gives me the ability to re-read and make sure I answer all the details to your questions completely.

So, I'm really sorry again that I was unable to return these two messages. I get email anywhere I am and i'm nearly always online. Please feel free to email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

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