Devil & Demon Debuts “Supercomputers For Everyone”

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Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:38 -- Nick Dager

Devil & Demon debuts “supercomputers for everyone.”The Devil & Demon Strategy announced what it says is the availability of super-computers for everyone. The new product line includes custom-tuned Devil supercomputers and fast Demon workstations that offer flexible and cost-competitive purchasing options. The company made its debut at last week’s National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas.

Devils and Demons run popular entertainment software, such as The Foundry’s Nuke, Autodesk Maya, 3D Studio Max and Revit, at what it claims are unrivalled speed, compared to competing manufacturers. Yet they are priced to ensure users in post-production, VFX, CGI, web and interactive media content creation stay at the competitive cutting-edge. First customers include YouTube, which is using a Demon to process the daily show YouTube Nation, shot in 4K with Red cameras, while Mocap vendor Motion Analysis has done extensive testing with the Demon DSPa.

“The Devil & Demon Strategy is a brand new way of thinking about computing at a time when content creation needs to manage and leverage big data files, such as 4K,” said Ted Schilowitz, president of The Devil & Demon Strategy. “The idea is to simplify what was hard and democratize the technology – to make super-fast computing available to everyone. Devils and Demons are better solutions for lots of small-to-medium-sized companies tackling a lot of large jobs. Our strategy enables them to spend money in the right place, on the most appropriate platform for their needs.”

Devils & Demons are a family of pre-configured systems, powered with Micron components and AMD processing.  

“We realize, from our experience as artists and producers in the industry, that it’s often a waste of money to buy the same dual proc, multi-core system for every artist,” said John Parenteau, managing director of The Devil & Demon Strategy. “We build a single-processor, high-GHz model, not to be less expensive, but to offer a machine that works best with certain software, while also offering a high-core-count, dual-proc model when you really need it for other tasks.”

To ensure the computer’s data systems can keep pace with this processing capability, Devil and Demon systems harness high-performance Micron DRAM and solid-state drives (SSDs). The systems use Micron’s popular M500 and P420m SSDs to deliver fast data throughput that keeps pace with the needs of advanced rendering applications.

Demon boxes are standalone, desk-side workstations. For even higher performance, Demon artist stations can be connected to a Devil, and its multi-layer supercomputer design, in an ultra-fast Infiniband network. For artist work that is too complex even for a Demon, The Devil’s Advocate offers a single-layer, four-processor system with 64 cores, designed to supercharge time-consuming workstation tasks, such as simulations or lighting/shading.

The Demon DSPa, with a single-processor 4.7GHz AMD chip and eight cores, is designed for software that doesn’t rely on a high core count, but loves a fast processor. Compositors, roto/paint artists and matte painters, using programs such as Nuke, Photoshop, and Silhouette, will find the DSPa is a higher performance system for their workflow.

The Demon DMPa, running dual 3.2 GHz AMD processors, and 16 cores, is better suited to software that needs a high core count, such as After Effects, Maya, and 3D Studio Max. For FX simulators and lighter/shaders, who find slow rendering or simulations a hindrance to their workflow, the Devil’s Advocate, with its 64-core, four-processor, 128GB RAM, is designed to give the artist interactivity previously unavailable.

Beyond this, the Devil delivers flexibility by providing fast-turnaround processing, multi-workstation emulation, a distributed processing render machine for huge renders, or a super fast ultra-blade system that out-performs standard blade render set-ups, turning rendering hours into minutes.

As an incentive for early adopters, Devil & Demon systems are being offered with a special introductory discount. A DSPa, single-processor AMD solution, normally priced at $5,600, will be available for $4,760. The DMPa, dual-proc AMD, is discounted from $7,800 to $6,630. A Devil’s Advocate, retailing for $31,500, is on sale for $26,775.

Devil & Demon Strategy