Hey Animaticoide! Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate it
Well, I plan on purchasing it myself however that is because I am a big fan of the software myself and it seems to suit my specific needs quite well.
However I will try to shine some light on the subject.
Octane is an un-biased physically based GPU renderer.
You basically import your scene into octane and play around with materials, lighting and use other features that are nice like switching from direct lighting to pathtracing that gives really accurate render results. However to use octane you will need a fairly recent GeForce, mine is about 2 years old an 8800GTS. You will need an Nvidia GeForce card because octane uses Nvidia CUDA technology and your GPU does the rendering as opposed to the CPU, so to answer your question about render time yes it is blazing fast. If you happen to have an even better GeForce card I would assume you could get up to 10x faster rendering with octane, and with nice shading shadows and reflections.
The point is you basically render IN the viewport, you see glass objects with IOR in the viewport in realtime(or close to realtime depending on your system), you have realtime glossy reflections and well, you can browse around and look at the scene with a very polished quality, seeing the lighting interact with the object and it’s reflective properties in realtime gave my workflow and development a whole new concept.
You can acheive Godly results with any render engine as long as you master it, I see people who pwn everyday with Blender Internal and I myself love BI, but I do plan on using octane render because it gave me whole different feel as to the production of the scene, the viewport is very interactive and that helps me visualize camera angles, material properties and lighting. Not to mention it is blazing fast for insane render qualities.
If you do plan on purchasing it make sure your system and drivers are up for the task and also, depending on how you judge it’s performance you might want to consider waiting for the software to develop a bit more. I didn’t have any single bugs or crashes but depending on what you may need it for, it might not suit you, if you can however, give it a try, download the demo version of octane for free and see what it’s really about.
What I did was use blenders python script to export my scene as a Wavefront .OBJ file, once you have your selected objects exported as a .OBJ you just import the scene to octane and the magic starts.
Sorry for the giant text lol…
I hope this helps