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Homemade Render Farm

Has anyone made one before?

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#21 getSOME

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:14 PM

Any progress on the farm? Im thinking of building on here shortly for my home. and the 'Helmer' seems to be the most portable.

<_<


#22 AromaKat

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 04:26 AM

Still deal shopping for the parts on Ebay.

Edited by AromaKat, 23 September 2011 - 04:27 AM.

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#23 getSOME

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 02:52 PM

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?

<_<


#24 Aaron Scott

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

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.

#25 getSOME

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:40 PM


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

<_<


#26 AromaKat

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:54 PM

I went with the Biostar N68S3+ motherboard. I will probably go with quad cores for now, but figured it would be nice to have the option six core processors.

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#27 getSOME

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 03:54 PM

What are you using as your server? I was thinking of using a mac mini or a laptop for when i want to bring it somewhere else. But still undecided.

<_<


#28 AromaKat

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:36 AM

Like a net render server? I've just been thinking my main workstation.

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#29 getSOME

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 06:57 PM

Ya, your net render computer.... while i'm going to use my workstation, sometimes i will need to render at home or need to use my computer for other things. So i was thinking of getting a separate render server to send files to. Although, I think i'm going to hold off for a bit.

<_<


#30 AromaKat

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:30 AM

I'll probably get flak for such a simple question, but can't a render node also be the server? Its been a while since I've used Net Render.

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#31 destro

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:45 AM

I'll probably get flak for such a simple question, but can't a render node also be the server? Its been a while since I've used Net Render.


Yup, you can run both on one machine. Another option is to use a cheap low-end machine as the server. As long as it's got a decent network card and a big harddrive it should be fine.

#32 Srek

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:45 AM

I'll probably get flak for such a simple question, but can't a render node also be the server? Its been a while since I've used Net Render.

Technically it's no problem, but if the client runs into virtual memory the whole server comes to a screeching halt.
I would prefer to keep the server seperate.
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#33 elpatron

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:59 PM

Just ordered 2 machines with these specs:


Intel 1U rackserver, 2x E5645 Xeon 6 core 2.4 GHz 12 mb cache, 24 GB
DDR3 ECCram 1333MHz, 500 GB SATA, USB, DVD-RW, 2x Intel 10/100/1000 netcard.

This I calculated and compared to be the best price for a lot of muscle per "pizzabox". In all I´ll get the power of a Mac Pro for half the money. They all come rackmounted and ready to render. √
God damn! I need that pipeline!

#34 AromaKat

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:49 AM

Just ordered 2 machines with these specs:


Intel 1U rackserver, 2x E5645 Xeon 6 core 2.4 GHz 12 mb cache, 24 GB
DDR3 ECCram 1333MHz, 500 GB SATA, USB, DVD-RW, 2x Intel 10/100/1000 netcard.

This I calculated and compared to be the best price for a lot of muscle per "pizzabox". In all I´ll get the power of a Mac Pro for half the money. They all come rackmounted and ready to render. √

God damn! I need that pipeline!


Sweet man. Sounds like you got that pipeline.

If you have the rack and only two blades, you should have plenty of room to expand as time goes on.

Edited by AromaKat, 29 September 2011 - 12:50 AM.

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#35 elpatron

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:24 PM


Sweet man. Sounds like you got that pipeline.

If you have the rack and only two blades, you should have plenty of room to expand as time goes on.



So far I have 5 regular macPro´s running on a NET render. So I´ll add "pizzaboxes" 2 at a time. Hopefully it will add sufficient power, but once you go down that road you can never get enough power. My friend have 422 cpu´s in his farm and he is still short.... I have a long way to go i guess.
God damn! I need that pipeline!

#36 seth_eckert

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 02:00 PM

Aroma - when you get this done could you post the specs of the machine you build your scenes in including OS, specs, then also that of the render farm and pictures? I researched this about a year ago and am currently about to be in the process of computer shopping and I would like to build myself a little render farm just like this. Currently I run a mac pro which obviously would have issues matching with a project like this.

I was really considering looking into purchasing something that Boxx makes (http://www.boxxtech....asp?prodid=pro4) but the prices are too high when I could just make it on my own.

What are your guys' thoughts on building something like this compatible with Mac OSX? I know it can be done but money doesn't grow on trees. Is it better to just switch over? :/

#37 AromaKat

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:05 AM

Parts are starting to flow in. I bought the case and put it together, and found a bundle of 5 120w power supplies on ebay for $45. Also found a batch of 5 80gb laptop hard drives for $145 on ebay. The helmer case was more expensive than anticipated (listed at $35) because of the shipping fees (wasn't available in the store). The case ended up running $65. NOW the AMD 8 core 3.6Ghz chips are out. I think I will go with those, but it looks like they are around $270 a piece and I will have to buy them from multiple retailers since nobody is selling more than one or two per person. I am still waiting on a good deal for 5 am3+ mini/micro atx motherboards.


What I am looking for now, is the distributed rendering solution. I was looking at the free Dr Queue, but it sounds like its dying and only supports Mental Ray in regard to C4D. Today I re-discovered Smedge, which I used years ago briefly and not really first-hand. Looks like Smedge supports C4D but not mental ray for C4D nor Vray for C4d, although it mentions Vray and Mental ray for Maya.

Does anyone have recommendations for a distributed network rendering software?




@seth_eckert,

Absolutely, I will post photos, specs, all the goods once I have everything done. I'll start from when the dremel to cut holes in the casing comes out.

You wouldn't have to worry about cross-platform compatibility, either.

Edited by AromaKat, 10 February 2012 - 02:12 AM.

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#38 AromaKat

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:22 PM

Everything is ordered. Parts are in the mail :D . Everything totaled out to be $3,260 but I still need a monitor. It will have 5 machines, each with an 8 core 4.2ghz (overclocked) processor and 16gb of ram. The core cost was more like $2000 for the motherboards, processors, hard drives and ram, but the cost of the kvm, supplies from home depot, wires, etc drove the total investment up.

I spent the weekend preparing the helmer case. I cut the vents for the power supplies, made a door, and cut the plexiglass shelving. I still need to cut holes for the fans, but am waiting on the fans to come in the mail so I can best determine where / how they are placed.

Here is where it stands now. I'm pretty excited, and will post more as parts come in.

Posted Image
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#39 destro

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:57 PM

Just a word of caution.
I'd not over-clock the CPUs until you have everything running stable and cool at the standard clock speeds.

A good case is designed to make air flow around the components. With a home-made case you will almost definitely have to go through a few test/tweak cycles before you get the moving air to all the places it need to go.

#40 AromaKat

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:14 AM

For sure.

I was going to get water cooling for the CPUs, but in hopes of saving some money I am going to see if I can get away with good ol' air cooling. Since heat in my tiny office is already an issue, that may as well be a factor.

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