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gfrederickk
12-12-2006, 01:18 PM
Suggestions anyone? I'm looking to set up a render farm for use with Lightwave. We're using OSX, and it's likely all the machines on the farm will be Mac G4 machines (may want freedom to go cross platform at some point).

Does anyone have any good or bad experience with Qube, Muster, ScreamerNet or any other software we might consider?

Thanks.

Thomas
12-12-2006, 02:08 PM
Well, I haven't tried that many but the one I wholeheartedly would recommend is Bruce Rayne's RenderFarm Commander.

It gives you automatic node setup (although not on PC-clones) and works like a charm!

Check it out at: http://www.brucerayne.com/renderfarm.html

There is even a free (and limited) version you could try out.


Regards
Thomas

dsol
12-12-2006, 02:51 PM
Renderfarm Commander is really good. I bought the "hobby" version for $45, which supports up to 8 nodes and it works like a charm. It's a very worthwhile investment - it makes Screamernet usable. Believe me, trying to get it up and running by yourself (with just the tools supplied in the LW box) is next to impossible.

pixelinfected
12-12-2006, 03:14 PM
uhm to be honest,
in the last facility where i work we had two dual g5 2.5, and some dual xeon 3 ghz...

we do a renderfarm, but after some test of speed xeon and p4 against g5, we see that the g5 is too slow and too expansive...
we used g5 for editing and producing scene but not for render.

since 4 minutes on dual xeon for a single frame at high res, 23 minutes on dual g5.

i use mac but i'm honest and a renderfarm build with mac computer is too expansive for power producted.

Sarford
12-12-2006, 03:29 PM
I have also Renderfarm Commander and it makes using LWSN a breeze. You can also use it with pc-nodes though that takes a bit more work. I didn't make a real speadtest but I thought I noticed a noticable speed decrease by using Renderfarm Commander against native Layout on the same machine...
A cool, cheap and very handy little program.

dsol
12-12-2006, 06:31 PM
uhm to be honest,
in the last facility where i work we had two dual g5 2.5, and some dual xeon 3 ghz...

we do a renderfarm, but after some test of speed xeon and p4 against g5, we see that the g5 is too slow and too expansive...
we used g5 for editing and producing scene but not for render.

since 4 minutes on dual xeon for a single frame at high res, 23 minutes on dual g5.

i use mac but i'm honest and a renderfarm build with mac computer is too expansive for power producted.

I'm no Mac apologist, but those figures sound rather strange. I've got a mixed setup of Athlon64s and G5s and the G5 is pretty much equivalent, clock for clock, core for core. The G5 seems to be noticably faster on certain things - such as scenes with high poly counts and hypervoxels - and slower on others (GI and radiosity was way slower on some scenes I tested)

Which flavour of Xeon are you comparing it with? the Netburst (Pentium4) version or the new Core version (used by Apple in their MacPros)? The Core version is probably faster than the G5 clock-for-clock.

You're not just a Windows fan trolling in a Mac forum are you? Because that's just... unproductive. :devil: With the Intel switch, it'll all be history soon anyway - at least, once we get our hands on a UB version of lightwave!

dsol
12-12-2006, 06:33 PM
I didn't make a real speadtest but I thought I noticed a noticable speed decrease by using Renderfarm Commander against native Layout on the same machine...

If you're using a machine with more than one CPU, check the number of threads that RFC is using to render on its nodes - you might be rendering using 8 threads on layout and only 1 in screamernet. Hence obvious speed difference.

Sarford
12-13-2006, 06:06 AM
Nope, its a single thread machine, a G5 1.8 mHz single core.
It seemed to me that the render times of a relativly simple scene almost doubled (form 1,16 [email protected] to 2,40 [email protected]).

Ill do some testscenes this week and post the times here.
Anyhow, I'm happy I can batchrender now.

Scazzino
12-13-2006, 07:29 AM
I use Bruce Rayne's excellent RenderFarm Commander (http://www.brucerayne.com/renderfarm.html) and Jon Baker's excellent ScreamerNet Controller for Mac OS X (http://www.catalystproductions.cc/screamernet/), depending on what I need at the time. Each has strengths.

:thumbsup:

Chilton
12-13-2006, 09:12 AM
Hi Sarford,


Nope, its a single thread machine, a G5 1.8 mHz single core.
It seemed to me that the render times of a relativly simple scene almost doubled (form 1,16 [email protected] to 2,40 [email protected]).

Ill do some testscenes this week and post the times here.
Anyhow, I'm happy I can batchrender now.

I suspect this is an issue with the way OSX handles background tasks. If you open Activity Monitor, LWSN should be taking almost 100% of the CPU time (assuming nothing else is going on). Is that the case?

-Chilton

eblu
12-13-2006, 09:38 PM
chilton, in some cases I found even single proc machines, using 2 threads increases render speed. I'd say Sarford needs to check his thread settings in LW. if the thread settings are set higher than 1, it CAN affect render times... regardless of how many processors the machine has.

gfrederickk
12-14-2006, 10:58 AM
I appreciate the help. I'm pleasantly surprised by the strong push for a RFC/ScreamerNet setup. I thought you'd all be pushing me toward Muster or Qube. I'll look into the possibility of a RFC setup.

___mats___
12-14-2006, 07:24 PM
I vote for Bruce Rayne's Renderfarm Commander, hands down the best, easiest solution for managing Mac AND PC nodes from a Mac.

Also Bruce has ALWAYS been there for me whenever I had a question or suggestion when beta testing new versions, he is awesome !

I have no commercial interest with RFC, just an honest review of a product I use daily.

best,

Sarford
12-16-2006, 05:04 PM
Hi Chilton,

Here are my speed comparisons. Sorry they are a bit late but I had some things to do (like work) ;)
The same scene was used with the same settings on the same machine. I let them both render three frames in 1024*477 resolution and PLD-9 AA. Only raytraced shadow and MB, no reflection, refraction or transparency. Exporting PSD 32 frames, both to the same directory.
Frame time was consistent with all rendered frames in both cases. Processor useage was almost the same in both cases (layout 90%, LWSN 89,8%).

As you can see, the rendertimes almost double with Renderfarm commander.

regards, Simon

s4man3
12-18-2006, 09:04 AM
RenderFarm Commander is great for the Mac