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Jack D
10-19-2011, 05:38 PM
I am working on a project that involves a lot of CG elements. Enough, that it would take a very long time if they were done by just one computer. So I set out to build a “Renderfarm.” After some research I decided to use the program “Squidnet” as the render manager. It works with most 3d packages and AfterEffects. Also the license for up to 8 cores is free. You can check it all out here
http://www.squidnetsoftware.com/
First of all it’s important that you know I am a total “NEWB” and really have no idea what I’m doing, but I have learned a lot… Things like..
1) I hate trying to network PC computers… at one point I was thinking of walking away and becoming Amish… but if you have to, XP and windows 7 are the way to go. “CURSE YOU, Vista!!!”
2) Sending a call out to everyone you know, scrounging up their old computers,.. it works. I ended up with 14, BUT… there is a reason why they put those computers in the garage. Let’s just say they have issues, and like any relationship you have to decide… “Am I willing to work though all these issues and make this relationship the very best it can be, or… just throw it in the dumpster.” Right now, 4 went to the dumpster and more may be on the way.

However, even with all the issues
3) Ralph Avarez of Squidnet is THE MAN!
4) Squidnet ROCKS!
Ralph has been a huge help and Squidnet has become a great tool in checking and refining the network.
Right now I have 9 computers on line, that equals 19 cores and 42.6 GHz.
The test render that I have been using is 60 frames and originally took 20 minutes with just my computer doing the work. Now it’s complete in 2 minutes…. I like that.
I have some more computer to add so, it continues to grow.
My wife asked me “How much power do you need?”
I said….. “How much power is there?”

GraphXs
10-19-2011, 06:12 PM
Nice, Thanks for sharing.

UnCommonGrafx
10-19-2011, 06:20 PM
I would throw no more away.
I would re-furb all boxes with as small a motherboard as I could get in them with as powerful a chip as I was will to afford.
I've seen the ability to build i7 or i5s as low as $75.00. Sales at Frys.
So, any old box is good for such an effort. Or so I would suggest.

I'm teaching a computer repair class whereby all computers will be in a render state/farm at some juncture. I love 'junk' boxes. And Linux.

c5m7b4
10-19-2011, 06:25 PM
I took a similar approach. I too am a total noob, but I soon realized that with this 335 frame project, 8 antialiasing, and since with a pretty hefty machine, I am only getting two or three frames a day. Mostly because of all the reflections, and hypervoxels and glass. I am a software developer as my trade so I decided (after setting up Screamernet), to write my own render manager. This way I can get much better detail than screamernet. So far its going pretty good. I have 5 computers(all dual core) renders in harmony right now with my own custom Render Management software. I still have a lot of fluff to add to it but basically it keeps track of all my Lightwave projects. I can create a new project through it and it will create the directory and all my sub-directories that I like to have like assets, renderlogs, renders, etc... watching the magic happen is pretty cool though. Now I just need to become a better 3D artist.

UnCommonGrafx
10-19-2011, 06:43 PM
haha,
Sharing that render manager would make you awfully popular.
:D
:bowdown:

JonW
10-20-2011, 05:20 AM
Just for fun... I only have 1 node per box in the first image, there is only about 78% CPU usage. 2 nodes per box give just about 100% CPU usage. Frame Rate with 6 nodes 10.3 per/min, 14 nodes 13.2 per/min. Power consumption went up from 2220 watts to 2310 watts (I put 4 nodes on the W5580 as there were still gaps in the CPU usage).

The only bit that's not funny is the 77% power load on the UPS pumping 2310 watts into the room!

I rendered this last week, 900 frames on the W5580 (I wasn't in a hurry), 168 minutes, 5.3 frames per/min. On all the boxes 68 minutes, 13.2 frames per/min.

The old Xeon E5335 2.0 Ghz (2 CPUs) 8 cores total. Per Ghz of processing it can only render 61% of a frame compared to a GHz on a i7-940 (actually the E5335 performed very well in this particular render). So if you want nice efficient computers a few new CPUs will make a huge difference.

The W5580 (2 CPUs) rendering by itself only requires 26% of the total power consumption, but it's spitting out 40% of the frames.

calilifestyle
10-20-2011, 11:20 AM
what version did you pick up.

Never mind, i see there seems to be only 1 version. I think i was getting this program mixed up with a different one.