Lux is verrrrry slow, Octane needs nvidia gpu so i don't use any of them. Faster is yafaray - just google it. Thearender is cool and fast for 100 dolars (you may try demo - but it includes watermark in your render).
Reason I'm asking is because its 50% off at the moment, and I want to buy it, but since i dont have a cuda-card at the moment, I'm not able to try out the demoversion before i buy.
Any thoughts on the issue?
I'm an Octane user, and I love it. If you are planning on buying a new Nvidia card soon, then I would totally go for it. I just bought a second license just because it was half off. (I won't tell you why.... yet. *wink wink wink*)
Luxrender is cool, but cumbersome compared to Octane. and OpenCL is coming to to Octane as well. If it being free is the question here. Then I suggest downloading Octanes free version.
Having used both LuxRender and octane, I completely agree with Wikkid and Stromberg. LuxRender it is a bit cumbersome to use and glacially slow compared to Octane. And who doesn't like being able to completely adjust all lighting and material parameters in real time?
Octane is Unbiased. But ya, SSS would rule! I know the Octane Crew have mentioned that in their upcoming stuff. but when I don't know.
Radiance has indicated that subsurface scattering will be probably available with version 2.0, which will be quite a ways away. However, knowing the way he develops, it may end up showing up sooner than that.