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SheepIt in 2023

  • January 13th, 2023

Happy new year!

Let's hope you are still holding up your new year's resolution ;)
We are holding ours, in giving you the best time on SheepIt!

Speaking of which, the Christmas event went very well thanks to all of you. We had more people participating in the event than expected and managed to peak at over 700 claims per day!

Once you are done clapping, let us take a look back at 2022 and the many changes SheepIt had that might not be known by everyone to keep everything operating smoothly, like the 134 GitLab commits for the client and a little of 532 commits for the servers!

In case you are wondering why the server section had so many commits and changes then let me tell you that it's not only for optimizations and performance but also because we moved our main server from Germany to the USA with a much more performant server since our old one could barely crunch through 3000 frames per hour and the new one can handle 8000 frames per hour without any sweat and we don't even know the upper limit of it yet and that's allthanks to the help of Shareandmakeaware a non-profit that helped us out with not only their servers but in many ways too, including a lot of their time to make it possible for SheepIt to handle the massive growth of users, projects, and frames where last year we peaked at 90 simultaneous projects in December and 280,000 frames per day in July with an average of 160,000 fpd, so make sure to check them out and support them with some donations which are even tax deductible in the USA!

And if you happen to have a server in the Pacific/Asia area for us then please let us know!

We also had many other changes and newly added features that you might have already used like the support for EXR and the advent calendar. For Mac’s we have developed a special DMG client but we are currently not able to give support for the Apple M1 because we do not have a device to test, debug and run code on, if you could support or donate us a M1 device to work with then please contact us.

Up until January SheepIt was still using CUDA as a backend, even though Optix had already been introduced back in 2019. Optix is an extension of CUDA that allows for the effective use of modern hardware like for hardware-accelerated raytracing.
We have been monitoring the composition of devices on the farm and feel confident by now that enough machines can use Optix. So in January of this year, we flicked the switch. This brought a significant boost in render power to many Nvidia GPUs:

Looking at the future in 2023 and we already got some changes lined up like dropping the support for Blender 2.8 and AMD GPU’s, one is getting retired and the other is not worth our time since we only have 10 or fewer AMD GPU’s connected at a time and therefore not worth the time for code maintenance.

And finally, some official Sheepit merch is planned and many other things to improve your experience, if you would like to help us with that then please take some time to fill out the survey: https://forms.gle/gdbxenVDLSDR3DcX9

Thanks for all your support so far and we wish you a great 2023!

Update January 23rd: AMD HIP gpu card has been dropped.

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