View Full Version : Your thoughts on using Intel atom

05-18-2010, 06:56 PM
processors as a render farm. How about these little bad boys




05-18-2010, 07:27 PM
i have an intel atom netbook...a samsung nc10 with 1.6ghz atom chip [single core] it has 3dsmax and lightwave on it...tried rendering..it's VERY slow!

i'll do a comparison render

05-19-2010, 01:19 AM
Those are meant for CarPC's, dummy media stations and kiosks. I installed a similar thing in my car, not gonna cut it for rendering.

05-19-2010, 01:24 AM
Nope, not really.The performance / watt is way to low.


05-19-2010, 02:31 AM
I installed a 330 dual core in the car-pc of my nephew. It was barely able to show the old flatout racing game in lowest settings (at arounf 15 fps). All other stuff was slow too.

Captain Obvious
05-19-2010, 04:32 AM
In order to achieve the best performance per cost (both buying cost and operating cost), you should buy fewer, higher-performance nodes. Not top-of-the-line, perhaps, but close to it. I've crunched the numbers on this. A single eight-core (or more) blade or even workstation will have significantly higher performance per dollar spent than cheap low-performance computers. A lot of people were excited about using the Mac mini as a render farm, but they actually use more power, cost more and take up more space than the equivalent performance in big eight-core workstation towers.

The reason for the purchasing price advantage is largely memory and other components. Each node needs a certain amount of memory. Fewer nodes means less total memory required. This is a big deal. As for energy requirements, keep in mind that the CPU does not represent the *entire* power draw, and it also tends to be very efficient at idling. If you have CPUs with the same performance per watt, having fewer, higher-performance computers will lead to lower power consumption, because you don't need as many hard drives, mainboards, etc.

edit: of course, if you can build your own custom supercomputer cluster, you'd be better off with higher-density lower-wattage CPUs. Like IBM's monsters. But good luck running LWSN on them!

05-19-2010, 11:40 AM
Yeah i figured the atom as a small render farm wouldn't work. I just go the idea when i read an old story on the ps3 and airforce.


05-19-2010, 11:46 AM
my intel atom netbook is fine with zbrush upto around 2 million polys for sculpting, it is slow for rendering with lightwave or 3dsmax but i have pressed it into service as a renderer on occassion when i have a load of frames to do and every available pc is fried up in the house!