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Increase of allowed render time

  • June 27th, 2021

The goal of SheepIt is to mix a lot of hardware to create a big renderfarm. To do that we need to have a single reference point to compare performance. That’s why we have a “reference machine” which is a “100% powerful computer” and we based the render time on that machine.

The current reference machine is an Intel i5-2500 which is now 12 years old, it’s time to upgrade it.
To change the reference machine we have 3 choices:

  1. Change the reference machine to something more modern but do not change the scale.

    It’s a bit strange to have a “reference machine” that is not 100% but 300%

  2. Keep increasing the render time allowed based on the current reference machine.It started at 20min, now 30min, with the current change it will be 60min.

    Users might have difficulty to understand in real word what a 60min render time means on a 12 years old hardware.

  3. Change the reference machine to something more modern and reset the scale

We are doing the solution #3. With the reference machine being an Intel I5-9600.
But it’s not a matter of a simple swap, because now the reference machine is 3 times more powerful so we also need to adjust the points earned. We want users to keep earning exactly the same amount per time spent before and after the change.
Points gained per frame: 37.5 * minutes.
Points spent per frame: 9.6 * minutes.

Note that even though the numbers change, the same frame will still cost the same.
Example: With a frame that takes 15 minutes on the old reference machine (so 5 minutes on the new one):
Old: 15 * 3.2 = 48 points
New: 5 * 9.6 = 48 points

We could have simply changed the reference machine and do nothing more but it’s also time for increasing the render time allowed by frame/tile.

You can have up to 20 minutes per frame or tile! Since the new reference machine is now 3x more powerful than the old one, we have actually 2x the render time allowed. (100% * 30min vs 300% * 20 min).

Happy rendering !

tl;dr: render time allowed has double

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