You have many different renderers available straight out of the box in 3DS Max. Most of the renderers in 3DS Max use the CPU but recently GPU rendering has been included in some renderers as this can be very quick and efficient.
The following renderers are included out the box:
This is the default renderer when you open any new 3DS Max model. It is a scanline render which renders from top to bottom. This renderer runs on your CPU.
This stands for Autodesk RayTracer. This renderer runs on the CPU. This is a great renderer for getting out quick images for the Architectural, Product and Industrial industries. As this renderer is physically based, the materials that you create will be pre-configured making it easier to get up and running with your renderings.
This renderer uses both the CPU and the GPU. It’s the greatest strength the speed at which it renders. This is made possible because of the GPU (Graphics Card) rendering. Please be aware that there are some limitations to this render. You can consult the Help files for exactly what.
The Arnold for 3DS Max renderer now comes as a standard install with the software. This renderer took over from the Mental Ray renderer. ( NVIDIA discontinued development of this renderer.)
If you do have old scenes that use lights and materials from Mental Ray, there is a converter within Max that will make it compatible with the current renderers.
MAXtoA is licensed from Solid Angle. If you render from within Max there are no watermarks but as soon as you try to create a network session of rendering you will need to purchase additional render nodes otherwise a watermark appears on the images.
Special Mention – V-Ray for Max Render
This renderer from Chaos Group can be purchased as a plug-in to Max. It is a very popular renderer for not only Max but Revit and Maya and many more products.
This renderer can use both the GPU and CPU for it’s rendering.