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View Full Version : put my ps3 on a render farm!



sadkkf
02-23-2008, 08:56 AM
This is a question for all those people smarter than me. How about finding a way to add my Playstation 3 to a render farm?

It can be used for [email protected], why not [email protected]? :)

Anyway, just a thought.

Phil
02-23-2008, 09:58 AM
Nope. You'll need to have a linux install, and run an x86 emulator. Then you need X.org and Wine before you can run LWSN.

Basically, it's likely to be futile.

UnCommonGrafx
02-23-2008, 10:17 AM
hehe,
Me thinks you should be playing that thing while waiting on a render.

cresshead
02-23-2008, 01:00 PM
or better still spend the money on a laptop rather than a ps3...you can play games on that AND render when needed!

ibm will no doubt release a general public pc with the ps3 cpu's seeing as they invented it...won;t be a cheap as a ps3 though!

doimus
02-23-2008, 01:45 PM
Or maybe get two cheap dualcore PCs for the price of single PS3?

And finally admitting you bought PS3 just to play games and waste time with it.:hey:

sadkkf
02-23-2008, 01:54 PM
Well, that idea was pretty well shot down. :)

I was pretty sure it wouldn't work, but thought I'd throw it out there to see.


Or maybe get two cheap dualcore PCs for the price of single PS3?

are they really that cheap now?

cresshead
02-23-2008, 05:42 PM
you can get a dualcore acer laptop for 419 which is only 19 more than a 60gig ps3 but the laptop comes with 2gig ram core2duo 2ghz and vista plus dolby sound and wot not...
ps3?...not yet...when they're 150 i'll think about one.

sadkkf
02-23-2008, 05:51 PM
I actually bought the 40gb PS3 (not caring about PS2 compatibility). I'll have to look into the dual cores again, though. Hopefully I can build one cheap enough to work with my VT and LW. :)

doimus
02-24-2008, 01:59 AM
Low end Core2Duo's are dirt cheap... even quads are inexpensive compared how much you had to shell out for multicore machines just a while ago.

Also, there are many inexpensive micro-ATX motherboards wit integrated graphics. Add one small hard drive and cheap mATX case, and you got a foundation for a render-farm there. On home budget.

sadkkf
02-24-2008, 07:44 AM
Hey, this could be my year to upgrade! It's frustrating after dropping $5000 on a system about 5 years ago that's miserably out of date. :(

UnCommonGrafx
02-24-2008, 08:43 AM
Sadkkf,
If you are using a VT you would be remiss not to go out and upgrade to your local frys equivalent of a duocore offering.

I have a VT and as an experiment got one. It BLEW my old dual xeon out the water. Single chip, no less. $225 or less beat the dung outta my $3500 dual xeon box.

A mac 8-core for vista sounds great about now.

sadkkf
02-24-2008, 08:52 AM
If you are using a VT you would be remiss not to go out and upgrade to your local frys equivalent of a duocore offering.

:agree:

I know. I really would love to upgrade, but I feel like I haven't gotten my money's worth from the box I have now. But at the same time how can I not upgrade for the speed improvements?

Ztreem
02-24-2008, 10:14 AM
It would be so cool if we could use the cpu power of the PS3 with LW. I've read that mentalimages is working on support for the cell processor for mentalray.
This link is also interesting: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2007/10/ps3_supercomputer

sadkkf
02-24-2008, 10:20 AM
It would be so cool if we could use the cpu power of the PS3 with LW. I've read that mentalimages is working on support for the cell processor for mentalray.
This link is also interesting: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2007/10/ps3_supercomputer

Exactly! Take advantage of the computing power to render. Is it even possible?

Ivan D. Young
02-24-2008, 11:17 AM
Yeah, I have heard that Mental Ray is going to release a rendering client for PS3. LW would need to be more of a bucket renderer for the PS3 to be viable I think, maybe not. But, before everyone wants to discount this they should really think of the raw rendering power there. Dont' be so quick to dismiss this technology. Sounds like the same crap as games will never over take movies, and won't be as popular as movies and blah, blah, blah. We live in a time of very quickly evolving technology. IF a PS3 could be used as a renderer, let have it.

Lightwolf
02-24-2008, 11:41 AM
Yeah, I have heard that Mental Ray is going to release a rendering client for PS3.
They never did. Cell yes, PS3 not.
http://www.mentalimages.com/1_1_news/news_texte/070808.html
And whatever the Cell Computing Board is, if it is anywhere close to the IBM Cell based blades then you can get a lot of quad cores for the same price.

I won't go into the technical difficulties here, those have been covered ad nauseam.

Cheers,
Mike

Ztreem
02-24-2008, 12:18 PM
The Cell Computing Board is based on the same things that sit in the PS3. The Cell processor from Sony and the RSX graphicprocessor from Nvidia.So if MentalRay can be used on a Cell computing board in a Linux environment, shouldn't it be possible to use it on a PS3 as well?

Lightwolf
02-24-2008, 12:46 PM
The Cell Computing Board is based on the same things that sit in the PS3. The Cell processor from Sony and the RSX graphicprocessor from Nvidia.So if MentalRay can be used on a Cell computing board in a Linux environment, shouldn't it be possible to use it on a PS3 as well?
I suppose RAM is the issue there. 512MB really isn't that much... and do you expect to swap mesh data in and out via ethernet while rendering? The PS3 has barely enough RAM to run a Linux desktop...

Then again, mental ray can cope with low memory situations a lot better than most other renderers, and has probably been ported to more different architectures than any other renderer as well - that might make things easier for them.
I still see it as a huge challenge to get a production renderer to effectively run on something like the Cell.

Cheers,
Mike

Kryos
02-25-2008, 12:46 AM
Just buy the PS3 linux distro and install virtualization software on it. *wink wink*

doimus
02-25-2008, 05:27 AM
Doesn't PS3 Linux use only one Cell "core"?

Lightwolf
02-25-2008, 05:29 AM
Doesn't PS3 Linux use only one Cell "core"?
Well, it runs on the PPC core. To use the SPEs you need custom code - and those are the parts that make it fast (the PPC core is quite slow compared to current CPUs).
You can think of the SPEs as being extremely specialized CPUs - which makes it hard to port generic code to them (if it makes sense at all).

Cheers,
Mike

doimus
02-25-2008, 05:59 AM
But Linux apps can't utilize those ueber-cool supersmart extra cores, can't they? I mean if OS itself isn't multi-core, how can apps be? Or am I wrong?

Hey, if it would run only on single PPC core, then it's more fashionable to build a render farm with stacks of e-bayed G4 Mac Minis!:D


But the basic argument agains ps3 rendering is: what are you going to do during render-times? I thought game consoles were invented for filling up those idle hours when PCs are unresponsive.
This way, with ps3 occupied, one would have to go out for a walk or God-forbid, post on Newtek message board!

Lightwolf
02-25-2008, 06:04 AM
But Linux apps can't utilize those ueber-cool supersmart extra cores, can't they? I mean if OS itself isn't multi-core, how can apps be? Or am I wrong?
Using a small library that exposes them. Which is o.k., since you can't run normal code on them anyhow.
The OS doesn't see them as cores... but as devices hooked up to the system. (btw, Linux is multi-core aware).
In a way that is fine, the SPEs aren't cores in the classical sense, but more like co-processors.
Which is why it is so tough to port to them. The paradigm is different.

But the basic argument agains ps3 rendering is: what are you going to do during render-times?
Get a Wii... cheaper, more fun and it keeps you in shape :)

Cheers,
Mike

Elmar Moelzer
02-25-2008, 06:14 AM
Personally I am wondering whether this whole Cell architecture is not highly overrated anyway...
CU
Elmar

Lightwolf
02-25-2008, 06:27 AM
Personally I am wondering whether this whole Cell architecture is not highly overrated anyway...

Well, it is just hyped up leading to unrealistic expectations. There's no such thing as free lunch, and while the Cell excells (excudes the pun) in some, defined areas of processing... it sucks badly in others.

Something like the RapidMind (http://rapidmind.com/) tools probably helps a lot, the question is if any mainstream developer wants to risk porting to a toolkit that is completely proprietary.

Cheers,
Mike