I was experimenting with the smoke density and accidentally ran a render with the node wrangler viewer node and it came out very nice with about an 18 minute render.
When I hooked it back up through the "traditional" method of volume absorption and scatter nodes, it was much more noisy and took 40 minutes.
The first version looked better. I tried to hook the color ramp directly to the material output volume socket and got nothing.
Question: what does this viewer node actually do and am I, somehow, ruining my render by using it?
Gory details: blender 2.79b on 5k iMac Radeon Pro Vega 48 8 GB graphics Rendered a slice of the overall scene at 1500 samples, no denoissing.