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View Full Version : Low budget , recycled parts render nodes



jeric_synergy
08-04-2016, 11:15 AM
Nebulous question warning!:

Let's talk CPU CYCLES/$$$ : obviously you can toss money at a MB/CPU/RAM solution and get a kickass render node. But in the recycle market, around here at least (M$ land), you can pick up near free hardware.

My nebulous question is: what kind of oldish CPU should one be looking for at the junk shop, at what kinda price, for the best cycle/dollar in a render -only station?

BTW, here's my local: they have a computer museum and an Amiga 1000! <3
http://www.repc.com/

cosbovfx
08-05-2016, 09:26 AM
My Render farm has progressed through out the years doing this exact thing. My current farm was pieced together at various surplus auctions. Penn State University has an tech surplus auction twice a year, that I have been going to since it's inception. Back then I was a mac guy, and my first farm was made up of about 12 old colored Imacs, they went really cheap because macs were very uncool back then.

Right now my minimum spec for a render node I would purchase is a I7 9xx with 8gb , I was able to pick up a i7 920 with 8gb No HD for $10 at a PSU auction last year. I later upgraded it to a i7 980 for $150.

I also purchased 3 HP z600 first gen, for $175 each, they were dual xeon e5520 with 8gb ram no HD's I thought they would accept the X5600 series chips but found out the first gens max out with a x5570 I bought 3 pairs for about $40 per pair.

On ebay I was able to find a T5500 dual xeon e5520 9gb no HD for $150, the AD said that it did not run. When I received it I found that it was just the PCIe power cable was unplugged from the video card. I bought 2 x5670 for $155 and an additional 12gb ram, It is nice they have 9 ram slots.

You have to be cautious when buying the T5500's they use a riser card for the 2nd cpu, so if it does not have it included, the riser card and heat sink could run you another $150

I have retired my old dual xeon 54xx systems, and q6600 systems, but they were all systems that I purchased through the years at various auctions some came from Imagi when that studio went out of business.

My current Workstation is a Dell T7910 dual 12core e5 2680v3 32GB I was able to piece this system together for $1600.

My total farm consists of

1 dual 6 core x5680 48gb This also has 4 gtx770 4gb for GPU rendering. This is my secondary workstation.

2 Dell T5500 Dual six core x5670's one with 18gb, one with 24gb

3 HP z600 dual quad core x5570's 12gb

1 i7 980 8gb

I have 3 systems at my desk connected to a KVM, the rest I have out in my Garage.


I looked at the PC recycler you linked their prices are too high.

So going the PC recycle route, I believe can work very well as long as you are patient and do your research.

vonpietro
08-05-2016, 09:40 PM
the z800 can't be beat for price and performance and a staggering amount of ram

jeric_synergy
08-06-2016, 12:17 AM
So going the PC recycle route, I believe can work very well as long as you are patient and do your research.
Thank you cosbovfx, some very good info there. Appreciated.


the z800 can't be beat for price and performance and a staggering amount of ram
Intriguing indeed: some incredibly low price on those refurbed. :thumbsup: