Dreamworks Success Story


How DreamWorks Animation is bringing bigger, bolder ideas to life with Lenovo Neptune™ & high-performance computing solutions.

The Story

DreamWorks Animation is the force behind animated masterpieces like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls, The Croods, and The Boss Baby. Every film they create is an evolution of those that came before it — pushing the boundaries of what’s visually possible by pushing the technology that brings it to life.

Every single element in a CG animated film is computer-generated and artist-created – geometrically modeled, animated, surfaced, textured, and simulated according to the properties of real-life physics.

The making of a CG animated film requires an incredible amount of data and the best-available high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities.

Explore HPC Solutions
Po Zhen from Kung Fu Panda 4

See How DreamWorks Engineers & Animators Push the Boundaries of What’s Possible With Their HPC Infrastructure.

The Partnership

DreamWorks’ data center was already running at capacity — both from a real estate perspective, and when it came to power and cooling. To meet a demand for content creation while continuing to raise the bar of on-screen visual fidelity, the animation studio sought advances in new technology, greater efficiency, and increased density to support their growing business and creative ambitions. They needed powerful innovation today, with the ability to scale and continue advancing tomorrow.

DreamWorks chose to partner with Lenovo because of our customer support, expertise in navigating IT complexity, future-proof technology, and control over our supply chain. Together, we built an on-premises HPC infrastructure that has seen advances in scalability and efficiency. And we did it during a global pandemic.

The Result

Together, by bringing powerful HPC solutions with Neptune liquid-based cooling technology into their data center, DreamWorks’ technology can keep pace with their creative innovation.

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Increased computing
capabilities by 20%

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Future-proofed high-performance computing systems

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Reduced cooling costs by using water returned from existing sources


Liquid Cooling

With Lenovo Neptune direct-to-node liquid-based cooling technology, DreamWorks can truly unleash the superpowers of their award-winning MoonRay renderer and Arras cloud computation systems, enabling robust interactive rendering for near-real-time artist feedback.

Neptune™ uses warm water, direct-through customs, and overheat sinks on the motherboards to efficiently extract heat from the computer systems and circulate it through the building’s cooling system. This direct-to-node cooling technology always enables peak processing performance, ensuring there is no trade-off between performance, energy efficiency, and cost savings.


How It Works

Direct-to-Node (DTN) Warm Water Cooling

Thermal Transfer Module (TTM)

By using water piped directly into the system unit to cool components, instead of using system fans and chilled air, Lenovo’s ThinkSystem SD650 can remove heat (up to 50⁰C) from the CPUs, memory, IO, local storage, and voltage regulators.

  • Allows critical server components to operate at lower temperatures compared to standard air‑cooled systems
  • Enables DreamWorks to run Xeon® Scalable processors up to 240W+ versus the traditional air-cooled systems limit to 165W
  • Delivers greater performance with lower data power consumption

Our air-cooled ThinkSystem SD650 includes a hermetically sealed, liquid-filled heat pipe inside a traditional heat sink to allow higher-wattage CPUs.

  • Transfers heat away from the CPU into an area with more space to disperse heat
  • Allows for higher-wattage CPUs with more cores and computational power (205W)
  • Keeps fan speeds modest for lower acoustic modes

DreamWorks Didn’t Just Upgrade Their Data Center; They Future-Proofed It.

With the aid of increased processing speeds, and number of cores in their existing data center footprint, creative and production teams at DreamWorks are iterating more frequently, adding more complexity and richness to every aspect of every film, and making decisions faster. And the engineers can work with the artists and provide them with the tools they need to create their vision.

So, they can continue to improve their bottom line and realize their imaginations in ways they’ve never done before.


What Can You Make PossibleWith Lenovo Analytics & AI?

Go from data center to data-centered with Lenovo Analytics and AI solutions. We take a customer-centric approach to providing proven, ready-to-deploy solutions to realize your AI transformation and unleash the power of your data.

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