View Full Version : Render Farm Hardware Recommendations

03-29-2005, 09:16 AM
I am looking for some critique or opinions on plans I have to build a dedicated render farm. After slugging through the frist big rendering project (13,000+frames) using borrowed time on 70+ pc's, my boss has agreed to let me assemble our own dedicated farm.

Right now, I am getting quotes of a big 'ole Dell dual processor server/workstation to manage the farm, perform last minute updates to scene files, and do the final assemnby in Premiere Pro. Something in the dual Xeon 3.6 Ghz catagory.

Now, I have the choice of going with a smaller number of dual processor workstations, or a larger number of "cheap" pc's. The Ghz/hrs per $ is much higher with option 2. Right now, I can get 50+ Dell Optiplex GX280 small form factor pc's for less that $900 per. I am getting them quoted with 3.4 Ghz processors, 1 GB ram and GB Nic's.

Is there any reason to go the other way; buying say 10 dual processor workstations?

I have been very successfully using Amleto 2.0 as my rendering driver. It is GREAT software for the cheap/easy spectrum. We are expanding to Maya, too, and Pixar is giving us Renderman for that.

Any recommendations would great!

Scott Darpel
Cleveland State University