Mental ray VS V-ray

Mental ray VS V-ray

Nowadays it is extremely difficult for artists to decide what render engine they are going to use. This has come because of the exponential improvements undergone by older render engines. Added to this is the stiff competition between GPU-based and CPU-based render engines.

In our previous articles, we have compared the different high-end render engines we use on Render Boost render farm. Today, we will be looking at two other popular render engines V-ray and Mental ray.

First, let us get a short introduction of these two render engines.



Mental ray is packed with many functional features, and it is a biased render engine too. Users (industrial professionals) have been using it for about 28years now. It was originally developed by Mental images in the year 1989. It became a lime light render engine for photo realistic rendering throughout the movie industry and have been used in the production of famous movies like Hulk, and some other highly rated sci-fic movies such as The Matrix Reloaded & Revolution. Others include Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, as well as The Day After Tomorrow and Poseidon.

In the year 2003, the company – Mental Images, was presented with the Academy Award for their participation and improvement in making the Mental ray render software a good choice for producing motion pictures.

Things took a new curve and Mental Images was sold to NVIDIA in the year 2007. This move, saw a change and the addition of new features and abilities to the to the old Mental ray, and by the year 2015 a new GI NEXT was added.

The new GI Model gave Mental Ray the ability to utilize the CUDA computing power to analyze indirect/global light illumination on a GPU system. Aside from that, a chunk of the render software industry still functions using the CPU style, but we hope to see things changes towards GPU rendering soon.



V-Ray is one of those rendering software that have made their reach extend beyond borders.  It was built in the year 1997 by a company called Chaos Group, based in Sofia, Bulgaria.  V-ray has found itself being used in almost every industry. It is not limited to media, entertainment, and design industries, it has also extended its application on movies, as well as industrial and product design plus video games and rendering architectural projects.

V-ray is versatile in the sense that it can use either a traditional biased Ray tracing (global illumination, photon mapping) or the amazing Brute Force unbiased programming.  There is also a wide range of 3d software that V-ray can be integrated into without any difficulty – all thanks to its well-developed plugins. Aside that, there is also a GPU rendering engine dedicated to V-ray called V-Ray RT – it is mostly used for IPR renders.


Frame Buffer Update Distributed Rendering Ray-Tracing Unbiased Biased Hybrid Rendering Render Engine
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes V-Ray
No Dis Yes Yes No Yes No Mental Ray


Both mental ray and V-ray are two powerful render software and there is no one ultimate software. That is why, 3D artist finds it convenient to have two or more rendering software incorporated into their system.

Irrespective of the render, both mental ray and V-ray will offer you realistic quality and a bunch of tools to perfect your rendering. Prominent among the 3D software that have seen a greater usage of mental ray are Maya and 3D Max. But this usage might end abruptly since Nvidia has said it will not be releasing any new versions for both Mental-ray and Arnold (an alternative render engine to mental ray).

In a previous post on the Render Boost render farm blog, we compared Mental-ray and Arnold. You can read that here.

If we want to decide which of these two-powerful render engines comes out at the top, then we will be going with V-Ray. V-ray is considered the champion in rendering by most users in the CG industry because it seems to have the highest number of features any rendering software has even incorporated, and the fact that it is being regularly updated. It also has a large resourceful base for learning – this includes video tutorials. V-ray has also been used by big companies during material production and incorporate a high number of ready-made models.

Aside that, it also gives user the possibility of rendering with either CPUs, or GPUs, and a wide range of settings to tweak and manipulate rendering to come out with the highest quality render in a faster time. With all these features, V-ray has become a fierce competitor among all render engines on the market.


In conclusion, this comparison was carried out after a series of collaboration between the Render Boost render farm technical team and the editorial team. At Render Boost, we support a large range of render engines and modeling software. And we are ready to render all your projects with our CPU or GPU rendering services.

The reason for comparing two different render engines is to aid our users in choosing the perfect rendering engine for their needs.


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