Best render farm service in 2023

In this article, we will review and rank 5 render farms (Fox Renderfarm, GarageFarm, iRender, Ranch Computing, RebusFarm) which is the best render farm service in terms of software support, pricing, management, data storage and general support. VFXRendering is considered based on our experience and the information provided on their websites.

Best render farm service for software-supported

Best software-supported render farm

We know that render farms usually have their list of software supported. If you use popular software, it’s lucky for you because many render farms will support it. But if you use unique software, it’s very likely that you will have to dive deeper in order to find one farm. 

Is there any render farm which will support all software? Of course yes, it’s a farm which is an IaaS platform. Let’s go back to our article about IaaS vs SaaS render farms to know what it is and how it works. You will see that the IaaS platform will enable you to control their infrastructure remotely, which means you can install your software and render. It doesn’t depend on the supported software list anymore. You can basically use an IaaS platform render farm like your personal computer.

In this article today, 5 render farms we focus on are Fox Render Farm, iRender Farm, Rebus Farm, Garage Farm and Ranch computing. Therefore, if you want to work with your unique software, or you want to have control over your rendering process, you can consider it.

Cheapest render farm

Cheapest render farm

This is a very hard-to-determined criteria, because each render farm has their own GPU and CPU, their own way to calculate price rates, and most importantly, it depends on your project. 

There are some farms who will publish their hardware, but some don’t. Of course, you cannot expect the new model and stronger GPU to be at the same price rates like the old one. 

Normally, SaaS farms will have price rates based on Octanebench per hour (Obh) for GPU rendering and GHz per hour (GHzh) for CPU rendering. So if we take that to rank the cheapest render farm, Rebus is the cheapest in CPU rendering with $0.0126 GHzh and Garage is the cheapest in GPU rendering with $0.0025 Obh.

IaaS farms on the other hand will not calculate price based on Octanebench per hour or GHz per hour. They will calculate the time you connect to their instances. They usually have price rates like $ xx per node per hour or $ xx per day/week/month.

Your project complexity also affects the price. A simple project with low frame times and low volume will definitely cost less than a complex one.

Best render farm management

Best render farm management

We need to go back to our article which compares the difference between IaaS and SaaS render farms (IaaS vs SaaS: which is better for rendering your projects). You can consider Farm manager as one program helping you distribute your work and get it done. SaaS will have one Farm manager and get the job done for you, while IaaS can have unlimited Farm managers and you will be the person who controls how the job is done.

So to simplify, the best render farm management depends on your choice. If your workflow is simple and you need to render and work on your PC at the same time, SaaS models will fit you (Fox, Garage, Ranch and Rebus). If your workflow is complex and you will need complete control on how your project is rendered, the IaaS model is a better choice (iRender).

Best data storage render farm 

Best data storage render farm

Render farms usually help you render your projects. So what about your next project? For example, if you finish this one, and come back maybe months later with a new project and sometimes it is related to the old one, will you need to upload all of them again? Or you just need to upload the new one and the old one is stored there already? It depends on the render farms. A normal render farm will store your files on their farm for about more or less than 1 month (except Ranch Computing which has a Ranch Sync software to download your results to your computer automatically and will erase your data right after you finish your project). After that, they will delete your data and you will need to upload them again. They are often a SaaS model. It’s understandable, because you will often get your project rendered, and immediately download them to your PC to store and finish. There’s no need to store your files or results on render farms’ data centers.

However, there are some farms which will allow you to store your data in a very long time. They are often an IaaS model, where you will need to transfer your data (software, plugin, assets, material, etc.) to their data centers to be able to work. Therefore, it will be inconvenient if you need to transfer them each time you connect to their instances. They will have your data stored there, and be ready for you to use next time. 

Although the models are different and the storage time varies, we still recommend you select farms that store your data for a long period of time. Who knows if you will need to use render farms in the near or far future, right? In this criteria, Fox will be the best, in which you can store data in 20 days. iRender is not a bad choice with 1 month and will notify you and let you select to keep your data or remove them.

One important thing is all of them have no cost to upload and download your data, or to store your data. 

Best render farm service with general support

Best render farm with general support

In this part we will talk about the general support from 5 render farms, such as: customer support, documentation

Overall, 5 render farms we discuss are having great customer support. They are willing to help you with the workflow and everything till you can start your render. However, there are some farms which have 24/7 support and some don’t. Fox, Garage and iRender are 24/7 live support for troubleshooting. Ranch Computing and Rebus are not 24/7 live support. This is important because even if you can start your render, you may encounter some issues preventing you from finishing it. In the worst scenario, you will not want to contact their customer support in vain.

We also want to mention documentation. Usually when you are using a farm, you have customer support who will help you on how to use it. But to really utilize all their features for your work, you will need to use the service for a rather long time. Or you can dive into their documentation, and it’s much faster. We cannot tell which render farm has more detailed information, but we will attach links of all 5 render farms’ documentation there for you (because for new users, it could be difficult to find those documents).

Fox Renderfarm documentation

GarageFarm documentation

iRender documentation

Ranch Computing documentation

RebusFarm documentation

Wrap up

To find the best render farm service is a hard job when you will need to consider many criteria. We are working our best to give out five criteria and based on them to select the best render farm service. In general, it depends mostly on your needs and how you want to render your files. All above are our suggestions and recommendations, which will help you find out your personal best render farm service in 2022.

See more: Top 5 Best Render Farms For GPU & CPU

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