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ninjad

Render Farm Comparison

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I recently did a survey of render farms and wanted to share the info I collected. All costs and times were estimates offered on their websites except for Pixel Plow which I ran a full job.

 

 

My computer stats:

i7-3770

3.4 GHz

4 core

8 threads

635 cb (Cinebench R15)

 

4.75 min/frame

791 frames

62h 37m (estimated render time on my computer)

 

 

renderrocket.com           $130.52    (Economy Mode)                 1h 30m
foxrenderfarm.com         $42.48    (Ordinary - 100 nodes)              15m
turborender.com             $39.87    (300 nodes)                                  6m
rebusfarm.net                  $36.92    (200 nodes)                                48m

ranchcomputing.com     $32.25    (Emerald)                                      8m
dropandrender.com        $31.73                                                          45m

garagefarm.net               $16.00    (Low Priority - 10 nodes)    3hr 35m
rendercore.com              $14.00    (Lowest)                                        15m
pixelplow.net                    $7.23    ($8 target)                              6h 22m

 

 

I plugged in the same values for all the estimates, the render times are probably the least accurate because there were many options for price tiers that I assume give you faster render times for higher cost, but the prices listed here are all the lowest prices offered.

 

Pixel Plow by far gave the lowest cost, so if there is no deadline it would make the most sense.

 

RenderRocket I actually ran a free test render, they rendered 5 frames and they gave me a really high estimate, I don't know if it was a glitch or if they really are that expensive.

 

I know this is far from comprehensive and probably not totally accurate to real world use, but I found actual comparative information sorely lacking online other than people just offering the names of websites they use, so I figured this might help someone who is looking for a quick comparison.

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6 hours ago, ninjad said:

I know this is far from comprehensive and probably not totally accurate to real world use, but I found actual comparative information sorely lacking online other than people just offering the names of websites they use, so I figured this might help someone who is looking for a quick comparison.

Not at all, thanks for this - it's very helpful :)

 

CBR

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Really helpful, thanks.

If anyone wants to chime in with ease of use/reliability reviews too, it would be wonderful!

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I would add that if you are spending any time at all on a farm that the website interface/software  is very important. 

Addinh to this the customer support quality/speed is very very important. 

And something that I came accross last year in a blind panic - the geolocation can be essential. I'm in the uk and had 100GB of animated frames rendered in the USA by Renderstorm (who have excellent tech support and a nice software interface) except that a day before the film was to be screened publicly the frames were still in the USA as the intercontinental bandwith can be unpredictable and very slow. In the end the amazing techs set up a crushtunnel between my computer and their server - apparently avoiding the internet and just communicating via the web (it was a lesson in computer wizardry which still amazes me) and I got the frames with hours to spare.

 

most recently I have worked with ranchcomputing in France and I would say they provide the best balance of price, service, cpu speed and data transfer speed.

 

and the final issue I have had with farms, which probably can't be avoided, is that occasionally a user will put some massive projects on, circumnavigating the fair play rules of node allocation (probably by having more than one account with the farm simultaneously) and in these occasions I have seen the entire render queue backup for a day or so, which can cause havoc with people (like me) who are expecting a same day turnaround.

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When it comes to prices I think GarageFarm.NET is one of the cheapest if not the cheapest online render farm. They also give a volume discount for prepayments, so if you have a big project to render it will get even cheaper.

 

It's good to check the online calculators, but they usually give very rough estimates, so it is the best to run a test of the farm, as ninjad did. Some farms have an automatic system of calculating estimated price of a shot based on rendering the whole range with a step, like every 20th frame. I think it is the best way of getting a close estimate of final cost. 

 

For the reasons above, and good customer support too, I would go for GarageFarm.NET. They have 24/7 online support chat,  in case of any problems you have the whole team helping you instantly, so you don't have to wait like 2 days for email ticket response. 

 

spiralsair - In case of rendering queue, most farms have a rule "first come, first served" according to the priority/plan you chose. So if you are rendering on top priority and some jobs suddenly appear before you, that's not good. But if you choose a lower plan, then it can happen.

 

 

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i'm a happy pixelplow customer for about 1,5 years now, i render about 1-2 jobs a month there. pricing is insanely cheap if you bring a little bit of time. customer support is good, the render client software is easy to use and straight forward, wide range of plugins supported. when you up the power slider it gets much faster, but also more expensive. that slider can also be changed at any time, even while rendering. i usually leave it somewhere in the lowest quarter, and a few hours later i have all the frames back in my folder that would have taken days to render on my local machines, and all that for 10 bucks or so.

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The question on my mind about the meltdown patch is whether the render farm companies will be forced to reduce their rates to compensate for the slower clock speed of cpus (about 5%). Damn you intel

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Pixelplow and Garagefarm are my favourites, Pixelplow because it's cheap, Garagfarm because of great 24/7 support.

 

I've just started using Zync, it certainly has enough PCs, It's free to start with, so that's a bonus. I'm not sure about cost or support though.

 

We could do with a constant permanent recourse for farm comparisons. Thank you ninjad!!!

 

 

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