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AromaKat

Homemade Render Farm

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Processors and boards are in now. Here are some updated photos.

 

Unfortunately, I ran into some speed bumps. The power supplies I bought in bulk off ebay were too old and didn't have the right connections. Ended up having to go to Frys again and get new ones. Luckily the small 300w guys only cost $25 / piece new. The photos below are with the old power supplies, so this could possibly be disasterous if the fans don't line up with the hole I cut previously for PSU ventillation.

 

The plexiglass didn't work out either. Those motherboards are REALLY snug in there and I get worried when force-sliding them into position as-is. I drilled the holes in the plexiglass and cut them to size, but it doesn't line up with the board so I can't get more than one securing screw in there. I could just lay the board atop the plexiglass, which I may still do, but you can see in the photo how I just put nuts & bolts along the edges to catch the drawer lip and keep the underside electronics from touching the metal.

 

I have to place those in today, and splice all of the power switces to one master switch.

 

Oh, and install those giant fans. Those are going to be challenging to cut out.

 

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Hey, how's this going along Aroma?

I've been thinking about bulding something like this

It's been a few months and we haven't seen the progress and the final assembly of the farm.

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Its done, and saves a ton of time. Its nice not having my main workstation taxed at all by C4D.

 

I have it going to a FTP-enabled NAS, and have the net render manager web-accessible so I can use the farm at my office from any of my client's or rent it out.

 

Its been about a month since I last used it, but there is a project that should be ready for rendering soon and will keep that thing churning for 3-5 days.

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I didn't answer your question about how much it ended up costing, which was somewhere between 5k - 7k after considering the power supplies I blew, the replacement power supplies that weren't compatible with the board, the dremel parts I burned through, the parts that ended up not being used, the plexiglass that got thrown away, the networking guy who came out 4 times to fix my issues, the multiple switches, hubs, and routers needed, and the keyboard / mouse / monitor that I haven't used since installing the OS.

 

If I were to do it again, I would guess it would land around 4k-5k and I definitely WOULD NOT deal with another helmer case, and invest in a real small rack system or something.

 

It should also be noted that I spent about 50 hours setting it up, drilling holes in it, and trying to understand windows command line networking. Another 20 trying to get deadline to work before giving up. I super-glued it to my living room floor when putting in the fans, cut myself on metal, got bits of metal under my skin from demeling, and caught a few things on fire. Not a pleasant experience.

Edited by AromaKat

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