View Full Version : Dual Xeon or small render farm?

05-09-2004, 03:49 AM
Pls could you give any thoughts on this:

For the price of a Dual Xeon ..... ??? .... computer you could possibly buy 4 cheaper PCs but still with a fairly high spec in terms of processor.

I'm not talking about the modelling and scene setups, but purely for rendering, what would you rather have :

a) One Dual Xeon computer
b) 4 cheaper, say single 2.8/3.0GHz 512MB RAM machines as a small render farm.

Thank yoo


05-09-2004, 05:43 AM
if you won't be using it as a main workstation the cheaper nodes will be better.

If you plan to work on those machines, then a high spec workstation with dual proc is the way to fly.

05-09-2004, 07:32 AM
Our video/network pro is building five dual Xeons as extra help in the render side. If you can build these puppies yourself you can save thousands. And his systems spec right below (in terms of benchmarked render times) 3D Boxxes.

As a matter of fact we save 700-900 per render box.

Point is if you have the know-how don't go on the cheap- build yourself a couple of Dual-Xeon boxes and save some money. One of the best boards for Dual Xeons is the Asus PC-DL and the board will shock you with its affordability.

For one render box you might have about $1,500.00 in components with the Asus PC-DL board. Our network guy has the exact specs and pricing so I might be off a tad but this sounds about right on as I priced a few of the components myself. The Xeons have the 500 Mhz FSB and are 2-2.8's. There is no justification to buy 3.0's right now as the price per extra Mhz doesn't really benefit yet costs a lot.

As a matter of fact the system I build on right now our net guy built in-house and this system would have cost probably 2000 bucks more if it were a 3D Boxx or comparable.

It doesn't really pay to build typical consumer grade machines but it does if you have to build specialized computers because you end up paying for the specialized service that goes along with buying a 3D box or render node from a provider- Dell or 3D Boxx or sim.

05-09-2004, 03:47 PM
just a tip : look very carefully what type of memory your board likes. I'm happy I didn't build it myself. My reseller made a mistake and had to bite the bullet because he had ordered the wrong kind of ram - the cost of the right kind of ram was double of what he had counted on in his offer.

05-09-2004, 09:37 PM
Most motherboards will spec your memory for you so the next logical step is to buy the memory sticks from a reputable memory dealer like crucial.

05-10-2004, 09:59 AM
This is the way I would go, and get a GIGA-bit either net router!

Make it an even four and you have yourself a render a top notch render farm that if you like with the add of a better graphics card for each would make top notch work stations or gamers.

These prices are from newegg.

My build time on these ran about a half hour for parts and an hour and an hour for software updates.

Shuttle XPC Black Barebone System for Socket 478 at 533/800MHz FSB Intel CPU, Model SB75G2 V2
Item# N82E16856101431
SONY Black 52x32x52 IDE Internal CD-RW Drive, Model CRX230E-B2, OEM
Item# N82E16827106816
Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series,(Twin Pack) 184 Pin 2GB(1GB x 2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
Intel Pentium 4/ 2.8C GHz 800MHz FSB, 512K Cache, Hyper Threading Technology - OEM
Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack SP1a - OEM
Item# N82E16837102143
SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 7000(RADEON VE) Video Card, 32MB DDR, 64-bit, TV-Out, 4X AGP -OEM
Item# N82E16814102199

Product total: $1,338.00

oops need to add a hard drive -

Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB 10,000RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD360GD, OEM Drive Only
Item# N82E16822144200