I've been talking about it for weeks and as of the first of the month, the open beta for the new Vray for C4D was released.  I sent in my beta request, and after a little miscommunication I finally got my hands on the open beta today.  While many of the big features have yet to be released, my initial reaction to the beta was a positive one. 

The first thing I noticed going through the settings is of course the new option for Vray-RT.  Vray-RT gives you the highly anticipated ability to use GPU to render your images.  Unfortunately, while the settings are there, the GPU rendering ability has yet to be released. 

Since I couldn't test the speed difference with GPU rendering, I decided to render out an image with the standard CPU renderer.  I rendered the same image on both 2.55 and 3.25 and noticed a significant speed difference.  I was able to render a frame that normally took me 4 minutes and 14 seconds, in just 3 minutes and 12 seconds.  That's 25% faster.  A significant difference in my opinion.   These are the two images I rendered out.

Both settings are set exactly the same. I just opened it up and let it render.  The first thing you'll notice of course is the shifting of the materials.  I'm not sure if that's just a bug or just a result of the updated software.  Another thing I noticed, which i was pleasantly surprised to see was that the shadows were much smoother.  Check out these two pictures:

This first image is from Vray 1.9 (2.55). It rendered out at 4 minutes and 2 seconds.

This first image is from Vray 3.25. It rendered out at 3 minutes and 7 seconds.

Notice the shadows behind the books, how they are clean and smooth on the 3.25 version.

I'm really excited about this version of Vray and although the open beta is missing quite a few features, the updated standard render settings already give quite a bit to get excited about.