I know that man-hours are used as a unit to measure time in things like modelling and other work actually done by people, but I also hear man-hours used to refer to graphics rendering time. How is that measured? If a video takes 200 man-hours to render, for example, what is that measured against? Obviously a person could not be expected to perform the mathematics necessary for rendering an image, but all definitions of 'man-hours' that I've been able to find refer to expected output of a human worker in an hour. How is that measured for things like video rendering which simply can't be done by a human?

1 Answer 1


I've never heard that term used for rendering before, but it is most likely referring to the number of hours of computation needed for a single CPU or GPU to process it. In most video and 3d applications, it is possible to parallelize the rendering of the video itself (though not necessarily the encoding.

Thus, a job that would take 200 "man hours" (more often called CPU hours when I've heard it used) would only take 20 hours if you had 10 CPUs working on it.

  • 1
    CPU hours is metric. Man hours is imperial. ;) Sep 19, 2014 at 14:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.