Watercooled 4x 980ti Octane Render Workstation - BLACK

TLDR - It's the fastest 4x980ti build ~570 according to OctaneBench. 

In 2014 i came across Octane render, few months later i understood that i need some GPU power in order the hit some deadlines on time, So i contacted Sebastian Michalski (AKA smicha for Octane users) and he build this wonderful 2x TitanX machine for me. This machine served me very well till the End of 2015. 

In Jan 2016 i decided to take it up the next level - I sold my 2x Titan X build, and start planning my next build with Sebastian - We had a lot of thoughts about this build; should we go with 7x 980Ti under water on a single board and get ~1000 in terms of OctaneBench? Wait for Pascal? Or just go with a solid 4x 980Ti build and hopefully score ~600 in terms of OctaneBench?

Eventually after a lot of thoughts i decided to go with 4x single slot 980Tis combined with the best parts possible. In this post i will share with you some of the great work Sebastian did on this crazy beautiful black build.

For the Case - We choose again the Phanteks Enthoo Primo, Phanteks is a great value/WC performance and costs around 200EUR. this time we took a black one, And in order to put all the hardware inside properly, Sebastian needed to plan it all very well and modify the Case a bit

For the storage we got Icy dock and HDDs in the front (6TB+2TB), for system and working files there are 2 SSDs - 500GB + 1TB. To be more specific - I'm using system on the 500GB SSD, Projects on the 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD is for assets, and 6TB is for backups and other personal shit. Above it you can see the Aqua computer Aquaero 6 PRO for all the watercooling stuff

And for the most important stuff - Performance, temps and OctaneBench Score: Temps 4x 980ti 24C at idle, 40C at OC 1500Mhz @ 1000RPMs of PL2; 2xD5 at 2200RPMs; 5930k @ 4Ghz @ 1.2V, 25-45C; power draw 800W Octane score 515 stock, 570 OC

Final Specs:

  • Phanteks Enthoo Primo BLACK
  • Asus X99 E WS 3.1 BLACK
  • 5930k + EK WB BLACK
  • 4x 980ti EVGA + EK WB + backplates BLACK + quad bridge BLACK
  • 64GB DDR4 2133, corsair 4x16GB BLACK
  • 1600W EVGA T2 BLACK
  • 2xD5 EK + dual top BLACK
  • BP res 150 BLACK
  • Aquaero 6 PRO ... oooops stainless steel :)
  • 21 NB PL2 120mm fans with Phobya splitters BLACK
  • SSD 500GB system + SSD 1TB working files + 6TB HDD storage WD BLACK
  • Icy dock hot swap 3 HDDS BLACK
  • EK rads 480 + 360 +240 BLACK
  • Koolance fittings BLACK + EK ZMT BLACK 16/10 tubing + PB valve BLACK

Some About the Overclocking and BIOS settings by Sebastian Michalski:

And overclocking for a stable and a rock solid machine, MENU AiTweaker:
Ai Overclock Tuner: XMP
CPU strap: 100Mhz
PLL selection: LC PLL
BCLK freq.: 100
Asus multicore enhancement :disabled
Cpu core ration: sync all cores
1-core ratio limit 40 (for some mild OC)
Min and max cpu cache ratio: auto
Internal PLL overvoltage: Disabled
EPU power saving mode: Disabled

Submenu: external digi + power control:
CPU power phase control: extreme
CPU power duty control: extreme
CPU current capability: 130%

Submenu: internal CPU power man.:
enhanced intel speedstep techn.: Disabled
turbo mode: enabled

Back to Ai tweaker: CPU core volt. - reads at above settings is 1.2V (stable), so one can input 1.2V or leave on auto - cpuz shows 1.2V constantly - some users report that for 4.5GHz 1.275V may be enough but this is dependent of how lucky you are on cpu quality.
CPU spread spectrum: disabled

MENU: advanced/cpu power manag. config. 
enhanced intel...: disabled
turbo: enabled
c states : disabled

That's it, i will go back to render some  stuff ;)

Thanks for reading.

PLAYGROUND // ID15 Process

Few days ago i released my new playground to the world, The reception was great, i received on many lovely comments, invited to the visual art festival in downtown Mexico City, Featured at Octane Render Italy Homepage, and more flattering stuff. Even though i did it all alone, this is one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on - since it was fully free of limitations and actually just playing around with Cinema 4D & Octane render.

Beside that, many asked me questions about the process & some technical stuff regards render times, setup, etc.. Basically this is the reason i'm doing this blog post - to share some of the creative process, technical aspects and demonstrate some of the Cinema 4D & Octane render capabilities. I've been using Octane for 6 month's now and this project was my first baptism of fire with Octane.

It started from something very different from the end result, After doing many colorful stuff over the past years, i thought about doing something more dark & dramatic. So i've decided to start playing with my main environment for the scene.

As you can see by now, it got nothing to do with the end result :) All those tests was a great learning curve for me and after a month doing those 'dark' shit i felt like i had to go back to my colorful world. In the end it just driven me to create something even more abstract and funky. So i've opened a new C4D project, and start messing with some random ideas and concepts that only i understand. Those are some initial R&D from my playground. As you can see it's much closer to the final result :)

So let's talk a bit about the way it's all animated. I'll start with the fact I LOVE XPRESSO (c4d system for node based scripting) i'd decided to try animate all the all scene with only expressions driven by time. I won't get to much intro details, but here is some screenshot for my giant scene setup (it's actually not complicated at all, everyone that knows a some Xpresso will understand what's going on here). It's super powerful and procedural way to animate stuff. I made some costume sliders for the frequency & speed of every element in the scene, that way i could only change the parameters for each shot and achieve easily the desired animation

Music is always a major player in my projects, and when i started searching for music inspiration, I run into a great piece by LTGL. i've contact them and asked for permission to use their music. As you can see i edited the piece following the music. I started export some rough animatics and stitch them together.

Rendering process - For lighting the scene i've used a great HDRI by Maxim Rose. Render kernel was Pathtracing with 1250 samples. during this process i've moved completely to work with the awesome Octane node based shader system, Really powerful stuff! Rendering took approximately 7-8 minutes per frame on my machine (Using 2 GPUs - EVGA Titan X). The fact that there are multiple light sources in the scene beside the HDRI (i'm talking about the emission balls) made the render much longer (without the emission balls render is noise free in 2-3 minutes). But 7 minutes per frame was fine after working with Vray for a long time ;) i'm using Thinkbox Deadline to manage my renders.

Well, That's it i think. Thank you for reading. This is the final piece: