View Full Version : Low cost network rendering

07-16-2003, 08:22 PM
Just as a thought, would it be possible to do network rendering on several low cost machines as opposed to spending a lot of money on high end machines? Example :

8 Intel 400 mhz CPU w / 256 RAM ea.
cost - $800 - $1200

THe reason why I am asking is I want to spend less time rendering on my workstation class system and more time creating.

Unfortanatly I do not have the money right now to invest in such a project, BUT I am asking because eventually I do plan on doing a massive buy on several low cost machines to either sell or use for 3D work. Would it be worth my time?

Or on the other hand just spend more time creating and less rendering? (hehehehe)

07-16-2003, 11:03 PM
Low end machines take more time to calculate complex scenes than higher end machines do... So don't go too low-end ;) And if they have less memory, same thing... it has to be rendered in more segments, etc.

07-17-2003, 06:30 PM
Well as I was at work I thought about the differences and realized that with the types of systems I listed I would be better off just bying another machine with my current specs. I have a 1.3 ghz Intel CPU with 768 meg RAM and a 128 GF3 vid card.

Now if I just bought another one of these in theory it would be almost as fast as 8 400 mhz systems, if not faster because of modern DDR RAM.

But yes it was just a thought, and for kicks I just might do it. Who knows, buy several computers off Ebay for like 50 bucks and network them - save a few hundred dollors. Most likely I won't though, have more important things to spend my money on.

Thanks for the enlightenment.

07-17-2003, 09:00 PM
I just keep all my old PCs up and running for all sorts of tasks, but network rendering is one of them... So far (here's some history) my P2 300 mhz - 384 MB, a P3-733 with 256 MB and my workstation P4-2.53 ghz and 1 GB. I am planning on getting another late August which will either be slightly better than the current workstation or slightly worse.

I though about just getting a small box with a nice CPU, plenty of RAM (2 GB), decent hard drive and average video (it never has to show anything, except via terminal services, the pictures are viewed on the workstation). I hope and expect LWSN doesn't care about the installed videocard...

07-18-2003, 06:44 AM
I have not done it, but based on what I've read several places, it's not hard to convert an xbox to a linux box... at roughly $200.00 a piece, imagine how many of those suckers you could get hooked up as net render nodes.

07-18-2003, 07:59 AM


While on this topic... I have a weird question - does anyone know of any open source projects that are stable that allow you to use your playstation 2 as a linux box without damaging the ps2, and that allow you to do the linux stuff from cd - not on a hd... I've read about some versions of linux that boot from cd - and am wondering if something like that would work on ps2 - I doubt that it would do the ps2 not allowing burned cds to be read, but it makes me curious... i.e. perhaps if you used burned dvds?!?!

07-18-2003, 06:55 PM
The only problem I could see using a console system is setting up a working network, I am not sure if the XBox or the PS2 have a common network interface or if there are any drivers for them so you can use linux to talk to your REAL computer. I am sure there is SOMEWHERE on the net, but I have yet to see them.

I think because of hardware restrictions you can't use burned CD's or DVD's on a PS2. I am also unsure if there is a mod for the PS2 to bypass this like there were for the Playstation, I am not much a console gamer so my knowlege of this info is limited at best. I prefer to use my computer to play games - the graphics can kill any console any day.

I think if I were to do network rendering I would rather buy a few mid range systems like a few PIII's instead of many low powered CPUs. You have to factor in FSB, RAM speed and so on.

Anyway it was just a thought, as it is I only make enough money to eat and pay rent.