Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 16 of 61

Thread: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

  1. #1
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    My brother runs a company that produces a lot of 3D Studio Max video, etc, and this stuff all needs rendering, and rendering requires lots of CPU time*.

    So... he wants a relatively cheap render farm, and I foolishly said I'd help him out. My initial plan when he proposed it a while back was to roughly follow what this guy did:

    http://helmer.sfe.se/

    which is basically six Q6600 systems networked together. Thing is, I know that Core i7 is a LOT better at doing render processing than Core2 is ([[http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...x?i=3448&p=17][evidence]]), so now I'm wondering what would be the better value for money... lots of Q6600 systems, or fewer Core i7 systems?

    Currently, I'm thinking the answer is fewer i7 systems (3 maybe), which would make my life easier on the software setup side of things.

    So.... I need some advice on building Corei7 systems. I've not done it before.

    1) Roughly speaking, how much is a suitable Mobo, 6 gigs of RAM, and i7 920? £500 quid?

    2) Is overclocking an i7-920 up to 3GHz pretty trivial?

    3) Anything I need to be particularly aware of in building an i7 system in comparison to a Core2 system?

    Any advice/help would be most awesome



    * So can someone please explain why rendering doesn't make use of GPUs?!

  2. #2
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    For a Core i7 the bits will cost roughly around £250 for a Core i7 920, around £180 to 200 for a motherboard and between £150 to £200 for 6gb of DDR3 RAM. The Core i7 is probably the best bet for your work.

    If you were considering a Q6600 the AMD Phenom II 920 costs around £150 to £160 and is faster for rendering:

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-ph...review-test/14

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16147/9

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpu...-920-review/12

    The motherboards too are not that expensive either as for around £60 to £100 you can many decent ones. 8gb of DDR2 would cost around £80 to £100.

    So for a Core i7 920 the CPU,RAM and motherboard will cost around £550 to £600 and for the Phenom II 920 it would cost around £350 and with a Phenom II 940 around £380.

  3. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  4. #3
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    The land of Brum
    Posts
    9,945
    Thanks
    572
    Thanked
    1,196 times in 1,099 posts
    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus M5A99X EVO
      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560ti CuII
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet E9 680w
      • Case:
      • HAF 912+
      • Operating System:
      • W7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Actually I think a big questing here is what are the AMD Phenom II like vs core2quad vs i7 ?
    Ok just check that artical, slow, still intresting to consider for cost.

    values rounded up
    c2q
    q9300 £165
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel...che-75x-Retail
    Foxconn G45M-S £93
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Foxco...X-On-board-VGA
    4gb corsair pc2-6400 £44
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...d-CAS-5-5-5-18


    AMD Phenom 2
    x4 920 £161
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-P...Hz-125W-Retail
    J&W JW-RS780UVD 780g £52
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/JandW...RAID-uATX-HDCP
    4gb corsair pc2-6400 £44
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...d-CAS-5-5-5-18

    i7
    920 £246
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel...che-8MB-Retail
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R £175
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...-SATA-RAID-ATX
    3gb corsair pc3-10666 £76
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/3GB-(...d-CAS-9-9-9-24
    + cheap graphics card £25

    So i7 is a good deal more pricey, also if you consider the motherboards I've seleted, basically the cheapest of each chipset scan sell.
    Both the G45 and 780G are mATX so will need less space and have onboard graphics.
    The x58 is full ATX and will need a graphics card.

  5. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  6. #4
    I'm ITX
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,415
    Thanks
    82
    Thanked
    159 times in 148 posts

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    1. Yes, maybe a bit more, or go with a cheap motherboard

    2. From what i hear, very easy

    3. No

    It's 4.98*

  7. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  8. #5
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Considering that the Phenom II 920 and 940 are as fast or even faster than equivalently priced Intel processors in those benchmarks they do seem good value for money. Basically it seems that the 920 is better than the Q9300 and the Q6600 and the whole shebang will cost less overall.

    I would also look carefully at what PSUs you should buy. If the workstations are going to be on 24/7 you will need to get something that is not only reliable but also has a decent efficiency!!

  9. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  10. #6
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Awesome help - thanks a lot for that CAT-THE-FIFTH.

    The AMD build is an interesting option from the looks of those benchmark plots. And maybe bang for buck might actually be the best option. It's a close call. I'm still thinking that I'd rather build fewer i7-920 systems though. It seems to me that roughtly speaking, to get the same performance to 3 core i7 systems, you'd need 4 or 5 Phenom-2 systems.

    edit: so many more replies! Wow thanks guys!

  11. #7
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    The x58 is full ATX and will need a graphics card.
    Yes! That is a VERY good point! And could well mean the i7 system is not the way forward!

    So... can someone tell me, is the GPU at all important for rendering? If so, then cheap integrated graphics is teh way forward.
    Last edited by Fraz; 07-02-2009 at 02:32 PM.

  12. #8
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would also look carefully at what PSUs you should buy. If the workstations are going to be on 24/7 you will need to get something that is not only reliable but also has a decent efficiency!!
    Yes a valid point.

    I was probably going to go with the corsair vx450, or maybe whatever the lowest wattage modu82 PSU is.

  13. #9
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    I think I'm going to have to do some spreadsheeting.

    Interesting points you guys have raised are:

    1) AMD build could be best bang for buck

    2) Unused/unnecessary graphics cards are an expensive waste on an i7 X58 system. Integrated graphics the way to go for now?

    3) Fewer systems means less ancillary stuff, such as PSUs/cases. Need to factor this into the cost.

  14. #10
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    The 780G on the AMD motherboards has a HD3450 graphics core so it is not that bad.

    The 790GX has a higher clocked version of the 780G graphics core with dedicated 128mb of GDDR3 RAM.

    There is only one mATX 790GX motherboard I know of:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/DFI-J...A-II-Micro-ATX

    One of the Enermax PSUs may do the trick:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=enermax

  15. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  16. #11
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    The land of Brum
    Posts
    9,945
    Thanks
    572
    Thanked
    1,196 times in 1,099 posts
    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus M5A99X EVO
      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560ti CuII
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet E9 680w
      • Case:
      • HAF 912+
      • Operating System:
      • W7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Considering that the Phenom II 920 and 940 are as fast or even faster than equivalently priced Intel processors in those benchmarks they do seem good value for money. Basically it seems that the 920 is better than the Q9300 and the Q6600 and the whole shebang will cost less overall.
    Umm of thoes links you posted there's only one that compairs the q9300 vs phenom II 920 in a 3DS Max render, which will be the only important benchmark for a 3ds max render farm.

    q9300 is slightly faster, however they are very close and the £40 cheaper motherboard (the only cost difference) for a AMD does make it worth it IMO


    EDIT: I think your best bet is to come up with a total budget and build to it.
    while I've not tried this myself I'd guess the hardest part will setting up the software to make it all work.
    Last edited by Pob255; 07-02-2009 at 02:45 PM.

  17. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  18. #12
    NOT Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    5,905
    Thanks
    412
    Thanked
    278 times in 253 posts

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraz View Post
    So... can someone tell me, is the GPU at all important for rendering? If so, then cheap integrated graphics is teh way forward.
    Not really. The CPU does all the rendering as it has higher precision.

  19. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  20. #13
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    EDIT: I think your best bet is to come up with a total budget and build to it.
    while I've not tried this myself I'd guess the hardest part will setting up the software to make it all work.

    Yes - this is the biggest unknown and biggest worry for me.

  21. #14
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11,497
    Thanks
    197
    Thanked
    794 times in 741 posts
    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
      • evga 680i
      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    mATX and AMD does seem to be a very good way to go. If you were to house each system in something like a silverstone TJ08, that will fit any current graphics card and due to the 120mm fans being so close together you can get massive airflow through them even with reasonably quiet fans, they also fit any HSF know to man

    If you don't need a graphics card as such and can just use 780G's onboard the airflow is even better

    just to show you what I mean.

  22. Received thanks from:

    Fraz (07-02-2009)

  23. #15
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by moogle View Post
    Not really. The CPU does all the rendering as it has higher precision.
    Ok - so that basically rules out an i7 X58 system, although I supposed some el-cheapo graphics cards could be bought, but it all adds to the cost for no real purpose.

    A 780G system or 790GX system does look interesting.

    And graphics cards can always be added later if 3DSmax starts making use of the GPU.

  24. #16
    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,919
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked
    397 times in 231 posts
    • Fraz's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A-UD5
      • CPU:
      • Watercooled i7-980X @ 4.2 GHz
      • Memory:
      • 24GB Crucial DDR3-1333
      • Storage:
      • 240 GB Vertex2E + 2 TB of Disk
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Water-cooled Sapphire 7970 @ 1175/1625
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Modu87+
      • Case:
      • Corsair 700D
      • Operating System:
      • Linux Mint 12 / Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 30" 3008WFP and two Dell 24" 2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 60 Mbps

    Re: Project: Building a Render Farm *ADVICE NEEDED*

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    mATX and AMD does seem to be a very good way to go. If you were to house each system in something like a silverstone TJ08, that will fit any current graphics card and due to the 120mm fans being so close together you can get massive airflow through them even with reasonably quiet fans, they also fit any HSF know to man

    If you don't need a graphics card as such and can just use 780G's onboard the airflow is even better
    Yes, I think I'm beginning to see this as a 780G system as well now. Those silverstone chassis are nice, but maybe somewhat of an extravagance at ~£60 each as far as a render farm is concerned!

    What's actually in that box CPU-wise staffsMike? And how much was the build in total?

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Building A Gaming Rig - A Living Document. (A HEXUS Project)
    By Stewart in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 188
    Last Post: 06-09-2008, 04:19 PM
  2. Project Desk Building
    By Gordy in forum Chassis and Mods
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 28-04-2008, 09:23 AM
  3. cod4 Thread
    By j.o.s.h.1408 in forum Gaming
    Replies: 78
    Last Post: 14-12-2007, 05:08 PM
  4. help needed building a c++ project
    By kasavien in forum Software
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-11-2006, 10:18 AM
  5. Building Project - New & Updated
    By Xaneden in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 24-07-2006, 09:34 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •