Sunday, October 18, 2015

Upgrades and Updates

Windows 10 ongoing

So Windows 10 remains a success for me. In fact, I added a a dual Xeon E5-2660 to the network and upgraded that to Win 10 too, and no problems yet on any of the four machines.

MSI 980 Ti Gaming

Will be updating the graphics card on the main work machine. The current set up chokes on real-time previews in 3DS Max with some scenes I am working on, and I also want to explore the possibilities offered by the GPU based renderers in Max, Quicksilver and iray.

Tests so far have not lead me to trying GPU based renderers for production work, but I do suspect that is just my current GTX 6800 and the limited memory but have no way to know for sure.

Contemplated a Titan X, The 12 Gb of memory was tempting, as real-time engines have to load the whole scene into the graphics card memory all at once, but in the end couldn't justify the price tag as I am not sure the current disappointments in real-time rendering stem from limited memory.

Instead went for the MSI 980 Ti Gaming, seen here. Not an inexpensive option either but one that current workloads can justify. Will report back on whether that opens up real-time engines as valid options!

Network Expansion

The network may expand yet again shortly - so much work and a lot of it featuring photo-real style renders. Some stuff will be on a client's QVC segment, for instance,

Once I've tested what real-time rendering can offer, I'll see about adding more to the network. If I do expand, it will be with one or two more dual Xeon X5650s as best price performance ratio - the E5 2660 machine was twice the price, but not twice the speed.

All the Xeons have been refurbished ones from The Server Store. Every time I research prices and options, it keeps bringing me back to them! The latest Dell T5600 was a nice addition, did almost double the speed of the network in terms of number crunching renders!

Did look into the option of adding a blade server, but I don't know enough about configuring and running one and in the end elected against that route as too many unknowns,

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