Render engine comparison: Arnold GPU vs Redshift Render

Arnold GPU and Redshift Render are the best popular render engines used in the visual effects, animation, and 3D industries. Both of these rendering engines are based on GPU and provide high-quality rendering results. However, with their own advantage and disadvantages, they will give users a different experience during use and are suitable for certain projects.

So what is the difference between Arnold GPU vs Redshift Render? And what is the best choice for you? Let’s explore this article today!

Arnold GPU vs Redshift Render - Comparison

Overview of Arnold GPU and Redshift Renderer

Arnold GPU

Arnold is a Mote Carlo Ray tracing rendering engine built for the demands of feature-length animation and visual effects. Arnold provides a powerful toolset with a professional-grade rendering engine with full artistic control.

Arnold GPU is a version of the Arnold renderer that is designed to work with Nvidia GPUs, providing artists with a faster, more efficient way to render high-quality images and animations.

Arnold GPU utilizes Nvidia’s CUDA technology, allowing it to take full advantage of the parallel processing power of Nvidia GPUs. This means that Arnold GPU can render scenes much faster than the CPU-based version of Arnold, making it an ideal choice for artists and studios that need to produce high-quality content on a tight deadline.

best multi gpu rendering engines 2023 Arnold Renderer

Redshift Renderer

Redshift is a GPU-accelerated render engine developed by Maxon, the company behind Cinema 4D, a popular 3D modeling and animation software. It uses a biased rendering approach that combines brute-force ray tracing with heuristics to speed up rendering times. It supports both Nvidia and AMD GPUs and can use multiple GPUs in a single system, allowing for even faster rendering times.

Redshift provides a wide range of features including support for subsurface scattering, volumetric rendering, and global illumination. It can be integrated with almost 3D software like Cinema 4D, 3Ds Max, Maya, Houdini, Katana, etc.

best multi gpu rendering engines 2023 Redshift

Arnold GPU vs Redshift Renderer comparison

Let’s move to the most important in the articles today, we will compare two rendering engines in some of the following criteria below:

  • Rendering Methodology
  • GPU Usage
  • Workflow
  • Features
  • Render speed
  • Cost

Rendering Methodology

Arnold uses a Mote Carlo Ray tracing algorithm, designed to simulate light’s physical behavior as it bounces around a scene. In contrast, Redshift uses a biased rendering approach that combines brute-force ray tracing with heuristics to speed up rendering times.

GPU Usage

Arnold GPU uses Nvidia’s CUDA technology and is optimized for Nvidia graphics cards. This render engine can also use the CPU for certain tasks. In some necessary cases, you can switch to using Arnold CPU easily.

On the other hand, Redshift uses both CUDA and OpenCL technologies and supports a wide range of GPUs from Nvidia and AMD. This is understandable, simply because Redshift is a software development based on GPU while Arnold from the beginning developed based on CPU.

Features of Arnold GPU vs Redshift Render

Arnold GPU vs Redshift Render offers a wide range of features, including support for subsurface scattering, volumetric rendering, and global illumination. However, Arnold has a reputation for producing more realistic lighting and materials, while Redshift is known for ít speed and efficiency.

If you are tight on deadline and need to shorten your render time but still get good quality results, then Redshift is the option you should consider. If you are looking for a render engine with perfect rendering realism, then Arnold GPU is a worthy choice.

Workflow of Arnold and Redshift Render

Arnold is known for its ease of use and flexibility, making it a popular choice for artists and studios. Redshift has a simpler interface and is designed to be faster and more efficient, making it popular for large-scale projects with tight deadlines.
Nowadays, Arnold is taught at many 3D and VFX training centers. As a result, this render engine tends to be associated with many artists’ 3D processes. However, the game is always changing, and not all render engines are permanent. Therefore, depending on your needs, you should choose for yourself a suitable render engine.

Cost of Arnold GPU vs Redshift Render

It is an important thing when you choose a render engine. In this row, we can affirm that Arnold is a more expensive option than Redshift, with licensing fees and maintenance costs that can add up over time. Redshift is generally more affordable, with flexible licensing options that make it accessible to a wider range of users.

Arnold GPU:

  • Paid every 3 years: $1,085/3 year
  • Paid annually: $380/year
  • Paid monthly: $50

Redshift renderer:

Redshift has a variety of packages with different price points to suitable your budget. Here is the pricelist of Redshift.

  • Forger (Professional Mobile 3D Sculpting): $1.37/month (annual); $2.12/month (monthly).
  • Zbrush (3D Digital Sculpting and Painting): $34.75/month (annual); $45.77/month (monthly).
  • Universe (Video Transition and Effects Plugins): $20.16/month (annual); $34.31/month (monthly).
  • Redshift (GPU-Accelerated, Biased Rendering): $24.29/month (annual); $49.67/month (monthly).
  • Red Giant (Everything from Red Giant): $61.02/month (annual); $95,46/month (monthly).
  • Cinema 4D (3D Animation Software): $65.27/month (annual); 109.84/month (monthly).
  • Maxon One (All Our Products in One Bundle): $119.75 (annual); $181.77/month (monthly).

Read the detail of the pricelist here!

Rendering speed of Arnold GPU and Redshift

When you are working on both of them, you will exactly know and easily compare the speed of Arnold and Redshift Render. Although the speed of Arnold has improved significantly since the introduction of Arnold GPU, the speed of this software is still slowly than Redshift. Especially, when you are working on a scene in Redshift and adding lights and materials, you will really feel it more clearly.


Throughout the articles, VFXRendering hopes you can exactly understand some of the highlighted differences between Arnold GPU vs Redshift renderer. According to our experience, Redshift is faster than Arnold GPU and was chosen more for the output of the short film, TVCs, or Ads. Arnold GPU offers more realistic rendering results, so it is chosen for use in movies that need high realism.

See more:

  1. Top best Redshift render farm
  2. Best render farm for Arnold GPU
  3. Top 5 Redshift render farms comparison

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