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  04 April 2003
I can tell you this:
the raydiffuse plug-in for mental ray is a lot faster then the maya version. I did some test renders and got times a least twice as fast + i think the diffuse quality was better not as noisey with less sampling. And its way faster then final gather
rehab is for quiters
  04 April 2003
Although raytracing is intrinsically slower when compared to scanline rendering, mental ray is much faster than most, if not all, raytracers. It uses many of the same algorithms that Pixar uses in Renderman in order to speed up calculations. The reason mental images could do this is because Pixar only holds the patents for that technology in the US, while mental images holds it in Europe (maybe most other countires too).

Once reason that many find mental ray too slow to use in production is the quality of the integration between whatever software is being used to send the data to mental ray, and mental ray itself. Mental Ray for Maya is pretty darn good. However, when compared to the integration of mental ray with Softimage|XSI, it appears very slow. Rendering in Softimage|XSI, especially the recently released 3.0, is very fast and quite capable of use in a production environment.
  01 January 2006
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