View Full Version : computers for render nodes

04-24-2007, 03:28 PM
I am looking to build a farm and have been looking at buying used vs new pcs. The problem with the used PCs, in most cases they don't come with Windows code tag on them and then that means shell out more for a copy of windows.

Buy new about the same price or cheaper than used PCs after you shell out for the OS. But the cheap PCs only come with Vista basic home on them.

How dose screamernet work with vista?
If so what version of vista?
these are only for nodes the controller pc will have XP pro on it. Or do all the render nodes need xp on them also.

04-24-2007, 04:31 PM
You also might look at running Linux and WINE. When I worked at Warner Bros they had a renderfarm that ran on that and it worked fine including Sas and other plugins.

04-24-2007, 08:09 PM
Do you know if Butterfly net will directly run with Lunux and not have to install wine on the Linux node?

04-24-2007, 08:54 PM
I'm about to build out a farm too and am scouring through the options. I would love to hear from those who have been through the fire on this and have settled on a reliable workflow.


04-25-2007, 07:37 AM

especially the tantalizing bit about a linux farm. any info from experience shed on this would be fantastically helpful!

04-25-2007, 08:39 AM
I have used Linux as a server and to see what all the hipe was about. It's not that much different. But I am wondering what flavor/maker of Linux to mess with. Also I have a email in to liquiddreamsolutions.com because they list Linux as a working system for butterflynet.

04-25-2007, 12:47 PM
Hi here are my questions about setting up a render farm.
The farm must be some what cheap and easy to manage with 13 nodes and one controller so a total of 14 machines.

Here are the problems I am looking for advice on.

The controller PC would have XP pro on it running Screamernet or other control program if needed.

I was going with a NAS Dlink File server for the shared drive and
where the rendered files are stored. This should let me get past the only 10 PCs can link to problem. Why a NAS and not a server? The Dlink is $190 and I have lots of HD drives I can use. Linux server is still $500.00 so this looked better to me.
Will A NAS work with screamer net?

I can get cheap used p4 PCs with no OS on them. so I was looking to make the nodes/clients linux based using xandros linux. This version of Linux has wine built in to it so it can run Windows programs.
What client software would I use? Windows under wine or Linux?
Is there a better Linux to be using? I know nothing about Linux so I
am looking for something easy.

Is this a good idea for a farm? Or is there an easer cheaper way?

04-26-2007, 02:15 PM
I was thinking of running the NAS as a mapped drive that all the computer see. I would also be running LW from the NAS mapped drive I got the Idea from a post on spinquad.

04-26-2007, 02:26 PM
Because it's not keyed to particular computers and haven't seen anything that specifically forbids me from doing it, I use win 2000 on render-farm.
Tho it may be because it's an upgrade ver that I use over WinNT4.0 which is defiantly not keyed to particular comps.

04-26-2007, 02:30 PM
And what are you doing with my avitar ?? :D

04-27-2007, 12:11 AM
Yes I have contacted Pal about if his farm was still up and running but I haven't got a response yet.

Prospector I liked the Idea of your avatar but i think I got the still from spinquad and yours in neater it moves mine is just the bloody mess.

right now I am trying to get linux in some old computers to see the network. These are realy old ones I use for testing. the network card works in XP but not linux. so I am guessing linux dose not have drivers for old nic cards.

04-29-2007, 06:46 AM
First of all, boycot Vista. Questions? Ask Dave Jerrard. Secondly, I read somewhere around here that a dude bought like, 5 or 6 Dells for $500.00 a piece and started his farm for under 4000 bucks. I don't know what your budget is, but that's almost what we spent on our quad core alone.

05-04-2007, 09:21 AM
I can get dells for $300.00 but with vista on then. So to reload them with Xp is about the same price as the hardware. So that is why I was looking in to linux it's free. Butterflynet says it works with linux but it sounds very unstable.

So the big problem now is reloading XP just the cost of the os.

So what I have done with the handful of PCs I have now. Is to update to Fprime 3 and try to use it with screamer net and see how fast I can go this way.

05-08-2007, 12:33 AM
Is there no linux render node for LW?

I just told someone there was...... guess I need to get some more updated info. I have not been around since 7.5.


05-09-2007, 11:17 AM
what about windows2000 should be able to pick up some liecences cheap thesedays