Now in header-less panel at the top, and slightly bigger than default
Even though this was intentionally removed (rB1cf17b257dd50), IMHO it's still reasonable to have it there.
If this is added at all, it should go in the Output Properties. The Render Properties are for setting up the look and feel of your scene, all of which applies to viewport rendering. Output Properties are for resolution and export paths etc, everything to do with hitting F12 and outputting your work.
Also, I think we should put these in the bottom, as an area that's always visible and doesn't scroll away. Otherwise you have to scroll up and down constantly to re-render after tweaking settings.
I would propose putting the render buttons on top to the right of scene and view layer buttons. It has the following advantages:
Here is a quick mockup of the proposal: Render button group from left to right: Choose render engine, Choose to render preset, Render animation and render frame.
I'd remove the presets button. Even the Render Animation there is not ideal, Rendering Animation is not something you do repeteadly all the time, since it's a time-consuming process that it's often done command line for speed and so on. About the Engine, the issue with showing it there is that it's not always relevant, for example when Video Editing, but it is kind of a corner case.
Test just with the Render and Render Animation, no engine:
In an actual blend file:
I think that is too much clutter in the top bar, where we already have a Render menu in the same bar. Even having it as a permanent region in the render settings is too much in my opinion, just put it at the top of the render and output properties.
Many users don't need to render often, and those that do will learn the F12 shortcut, use the menu, or the potential properties buttons.
Well, in 2.7x, it’s very clumsy to use these buttons, because they will always scroll out of view. Think of a typical export dialog box - you’ll have a bunch of scrollable settings, and then an export button (following the workflow from top to bottom) at the bottom that is always accessible. So if we add this back, we should make it nicer than before. Until then, we have the Render menu and F12.