View Full Version : setting up Screamernet network - PLZ help

06-17-2007, 09:43 AM
My current PC doesn't render fast. I am looking to upgrade and would like to also network 3 other pc's together to use with screamernet. As i am quite new to this I am shure you can understand... I NEED HELP.

Firstly components-
What affects the speed of rendering firstly on the HOST pc. (also the speed of running the programme). Obviosly CPU but will the amount of RAM and Graphics card have a large impact once i move past 7900gt and 2GB?

What hardware will affect the speed of rendering on the NODE pc's. Will the graphics cards affetc speeds in them or is it just the CPU's that are used? Ditto for RAM.

Secondly Operating system-
Is it possible to use XP/vista on the host pc but then run linux on the node pc's and screamerrnet will still run well?

Finally- does it matter if -the hardware on each node pc- or -the hardware on the Host pc and node pc's- is different? how will this affect performance?

Thank you for your time, i look forward to your replies.:)

06-17-2007, 09:52 AM
- if there is anything I seem to have missed point it out.
One thing i have just picked up on is that i thought screamernet what a renderfarm ap included with lightwave that you configured with your networked pc's and away you go. However looking at some other threads i can see people talking about other render farm software? have I got the wrong end of the stick or are what they are talking about just alternatives to screamernet?


06-17-2007, 10:33 AM
what affects rendering doesn't matter if it is the 'host' or the 'node' pc

1) memory : make sure you have enough of it and that it is fast
2) processor speed : don't go for the expensive top of the line, but choose the 'sweet spot' processor

if you're rendering large scenes with lots of textures, the network speed is also important

06-17-2007, 10:56 AM
Screamernet is a capable and fairly sturdy network renderer - once you manage to get it set up soundly.

There are other solutions you can buy to do the same job: ButterflyNetRender and Mule (from Epicsoft?) seem to be the most popular.

I'd recommend sticking with screamernet for the short to mid term - it costs you nothing, and you can increase your farm to a silly number of nodes with no need to purchase extra licenses.

Have a look at the stickys in this forum section for tutorials on how to set up screamernet - it can be a bit confusing for some folk without a bit of guidance (myself included!!).

Good luck,


06-17-2007, 11:14 AM
thank you for the replies, i'l look at that section now.

so does the graphics card not affects the spped of rendering?

06-17-2007, 11:21 AM
Also what about having a windows 'host' and a linux 'node'? :)

06-17-2007, 11:30 AM
The power of a top end graphics card will only come into play during the rendering process if using certain third party render engines - like nvidia's Gelato.

Your graphics card is usually only utilised for polygon pushing and texture handling to my knowledge. So the more powerful your graphics card, the more complex a scene you can handle, along with more / higher res textures in scene - it also helps to have as much RAM as you can afford, and your OS can make use of.

On the note of Windows based host and Linux based nodes....... I'm not sure off the top of my head. I'd be surprised if other forum members don't know the answer - failing that, I can ask some questions elsewhere.

hope that helps,


06-17-2007, 11:35 AM
thanks flakester

06-17-2007, 07:56 PM
Coincidentally I'm looking at installing Linux on one or more nodes to see the result .. But I'm more interested in using the linux machine as a render controller, since it has no network connection limit (XP pro has a limit of 10 and I need 13).
A simpler setup for boberto would be a linux-based host and windows based nodes - but then you need multiple installs of windows so it may be easier and cheaper to use linux. I've no idea how stable LW running on Linux is, so you'd have to look into that if you're going to use your workstation as a host.

Speaking of which, I was reading up on using linux on nodes, and a few years ago there was a LWSN (7.5) written to run native on Linux, but then seemingly dropped out of existence? Seems like a lot of people were eager to have that come about, but it was only being supported by one person. And then by none.

06-18-2007, 02:43 AM
Don't forget that all the third-party controllers are just front-ends for screamernet - it's still lwsn.exe that does the work on the nodes.

So it's still a good plan to have a solid if somewhat basic screamernet system setup before even thinking about adding butterfly or whatever.

As to the nodes, don't worry about graphics cards - use whatever is built in to the motherboard or included as standard.

Also don't assume that the machine running screamernet should necessarily be the machine you do your modelling and animation on - your fastest machine should probably be used as a render node when you're not actually working on it - the controller machine could be somewhat less than cutting edge.

For other sage advice, check out my thoughts on the best setup for LW: http://www.simon-coombs.com/setup/

Good luck!