Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
AromaKat

Homemade Render Farm

Recommended Posts

I stumbled across this site where a guy explains his homemade linux cluster a bit, and started thinking about doing the same type of setup for small C4D farm I can set in the corner of the office. I pieced together a few parts on newegg, and it looks like it would run $1400 for every 20 cores (5 x quad core) with 8 gigs of ram per board.

5 20-231-422-02.jpgG.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT

Item #: N82E16820231422

Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $249.95 5 17-338-045-02.jpgAthena Power AP-MFATX22 220W Mini ITX / Micro FLEX ATX / ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply for many HP Slimline System Upgrades/Replacement

Item #: N82E16817338045

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$10.00 Instant $234.95

$184.95 5 22-152-093-01.jpgSAMSUNG Spinpoint M Series HM160HI 160GB 5400 RPM 2.5" SATA 1.5Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Item #: N82E16822152093

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$15.00 Instant $249.95

$174.95 5 13-176-005-02.jpgGiada MI-R880G-01 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

Item #: N82E16813176005

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$25.00 Instant $524.95

$399.95 5 19-103-932-02.jpgAMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX630WFK42GM

Item #: N82E16819103932

Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy $399.95

 

 

Another thought is going 6 core on all of these, but I don't think you can put a 6 core in a micro ITX board.

 

The case that the guy used is from Ikea for only $35...

 

Needless to say, I am extremely tempted......

 

Has anyone else done something like this? See anything wrong with the setup? Know of a better method? I know I would need a network switch, cables, etc...

 

The main goal here is to have a single unit (preferably portable), low power consumption, low noise, and a clean setup. I don't want a bunch of machines stacked up on top of eachother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I set up a small render farm a few years ago. Just 3 machines. One problem I ran into was heat. The machines will be running at 100% for hours so you'll need to keep em cool.

 

Make sure the cases you get can take the larger fans. Big fans can move air at lower revs which means much less noise. Go for fluid bearings. They are more quiet and more reliable long-term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, excellent read and really good idea, I was considering the same with an old dell tower but as it is quite old its just a compatibilty nightmare so a render farm is on the back burner for a while now.

 

Would be great to see your progress if you make it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a small render farm of 2-4 machines. I purpose built two of them but the other two and hand-me-downs from earlier workstations. When fired up it does generate tremendous heat (and noise), so consider that carefully in your planning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just cinebench the cpu's and you'll get all the answers. price points are a pretty good comparison. i5 2400s is about the same as a 1055t both performance and price, but only has 4 cores. so meh...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought, I bought AMD (X6) because the price/performance was a little better for AMD. Note that this only held true for 3d rendering though, which is highly threaded and scales nicely. Other less threaded applications or even things like Photoshop were better on i7 by a margin worth considering.

 

Also, if you want the most power possible, Intel wins again, 'cause they are just moar fastar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks monovich. I'm finding that piecing together lot deals on ebay will get me 2x the equipment for the same price. Just ordered 20 sticks of 4GB ram for $600, and am looking at getting a lot of 10 nvidea motherboards for a little over $400. Now I just need to find a good deal on a lot of 10 processors. Looks like there aren't any lot deals on 6 cores...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats pretty clean. Is there a write up on how they built that? (tried to reference the link but right clicking an image to get the url its coming from only brings up the preview window now with the recent site update)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a mere 10 will do just fine for lil' ol' me. :P

 

Those "blades" are just servers. I was looking into that route as well, but the microatx is far more cost efficient. The only reason to go the server route is to have dual xenon, plus the power consumption of those are high.

Edited by AromaKat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

your power bill will get interesting when you power them up. Once a few years ago I had the farm screaming for a couple of months straight. The resulting electricity bill was pretty sobering. It all rolled into the cost of the project, but it drove home the point that rendering is indeed a cost!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted the pixar render farm mainly cause it's such eye-candy to look at. Def not cost efficient for a small studio set up.

 

In winter just point the back of the cabinet in your direction...that's your heating bill taken care of :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily the office space I rent has power included :D

 

Each of the micros will only require 220 watts each. Far less than the 1200 watts my main workstation is using. Works out to be the same power consumption as an additional 2 machines.

 

The heat is my main concern. I'm definitely going to be rigging some sort of exhaust to the window, but am pretty sure that part of the construction will be when it gets interesting.

Edited by AromaKat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok whats happening with this Im super curious. actually now Im pricing stuff. DAMN. must stop. Im assuming you are going to use net render on this? What OS are will you be using? Im actually contending on seeing if you can Hackintosh these to use OSX? does net render work on linux? and Im also assuming one could use this render farm with AE net render option right? BTW.. yeah just looking at ebay shows tremendous promise..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been ordering bulk orders for good deals off ebay when I see them. Looks like i can get 10 6 cores for under 2k going that route. I'm basically doubling up what I originally planned to make since it seems I will be able to for only $500 more, and with 6 core CPUs in each.

 

So far I have purchased 10 motherboards for $400 and 18 cpu fans for $42. The cabinets are on their way, which were around $85. I can't seem to find any deals on 'lots' of 6 core amd CPUs on ebay, which is what I am mainly holding out for. If nothing shows up soon, I will just buy them new. But those will be the most expensive items.

 

 

I wouldn't hackintosh. It would be a complete bitch for no good reason. I'll be looking into what my linux options are (net render isn't one of them). Using a linux-based render software, which is essentially just distributed computing. I remember playing with smedge and Qube back in the pre-multi-core days. Maybe its a viable option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What mother boards did you go with? 400 bucks for 10 is pretty awesome. I'm only building 4 to begin with, i don't need it more then that for now. But am looking for a good deal. I'm thinking of going with the

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Quad-Cor

 

For now, just for the cost.

 

Also, has anyone used this program??

 

http://www.renderpal.com/about.php (i can get three licenses for free)

 

Or are there any Render farm softwares that people suggest for windows, not linux?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, has anyone used this program??

 

http://www.renderpal.com/about.php (i can get three licenses for free)

 

Or are there any Render farm softwares that people suggest for windows, not linux?

 

Qube and Deadline seem to be the popular choices. We're using Qube right now and have been reasonably happy -- though in terms of price, I admit that DrQueue is looking awfully tempting (it's free, which would probably make it my personal preference if I was building my own farm. As I am broke).

 

While we're liking Qube, do not be swayed by the beautiful pictures on the website. The program does not look like that. The Qube and Deadline front-ends and submission dialogs are pretty much identical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I admit that DrQueue is looking awfully tempting (it's free, which would probably make it my personal preference if I was building my own farm. As I am broke).

 

 

Thanks man! this is what i was looking for. Seems to be a cross platform too, ill have to give it a try

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...