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View Full Version : Building a render farm????



andym323
05-19-2008, 10:31 AM
Guys, we are toying with the idea of setting up our own render farm, possibly using rack mounted servers or similar.

Just wondered what everyones thoughts were and if anyones done similar, what were/are you experiences??????

Cheers

Steamthrower
05-19-2008, 11:10 AM
...and if anyones done similar, what were/are you experiences??????

Do NOT set up individual workstations in the server room and have your employees remote desktop into them to set up renders.

That's the extent of my experience. What not to do when rendering 10,000,000 polygon scenes which take about ten minutes to even load into your program, the final result of which your bosses need yesterday. :bangwall:

BloodQuest
05-19-2008, 11:11 AM
I think a lot depends on the scale of the project. If you're looking to start with dozens of nodes, by all means go rack-mount, although you might want to consider leasing.

If you're looking at a smaller scale farm, I think there's a lot to be said for buying off the shelf machines that you could resell a year down the line while they still have some value.

Simon

andym323
05-20-2008, 02:35 AM
Ok, I guess we'll be starting fairly small :D

I looked at some rack mount servers yesterday that were priced at around 1000 for a decent Quad core with about 80Gb of hard drive and 2Gb of RAM, I think I need to look at some of the shelf machines then ::thumbsup:

Steamthrower, thats pretty much why we're thinking of 'farming', I'm just finishing up a project where we were rendering scenes with up to 4.5 milllion polys and that, is pushing 32bit LW pretty far :hammer:

Dennik
05-21-2008, 08:24 AM
Ok, I guess we'll be starting fairly small :D

I looked at some rack mount servers yesterday that were priced at around 1000 for a decent Quad core with about 80Gb of hard drive and 2Gb of RAM, I think I need to look at some of the shelf machines then ::thumbsup:

Steamthrower, thats pretty much why we're thinking of 'farming', I'm just finishing up a project where we were rendering scenes with up to 4.5 milllion polys and that, is pushing 32bit LW pretty far :hammer:

Check www.newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com) for good deals on all hardware.
I got my current workstation from there and it was a pretty sweet deal. Same processor as you mention, 4 gigs Ram, GA-P35-DS3L motherboard, EVGA 8800gt graphics card, and a 640gb WD HD. all that for less than $1,000

I think its cheaper to custom build the system yourself, and I would definitely recommend 4 gigs of ram instead of 2. And no windows vista!

TheDynamo
05-21-2008, 09:38 AM
You might not want to upgrade Vista over an XP install however, you would be inviting all kinds of hurt that way. I just did a clean install of Vista Home 32 bit and the system is running like a top. Here's the stats off the top of my head.

Gigabyte P35 Motherboard
4 GB DRAM
Intel 6400 core 2 duo CPU
Evga 8600 GTS video card

It runs along swimmingly so far 1 week and counting.

-Dyn

Dennik
05-21-2008, 09:42 AM
I wasn't able to connect Vista with XP so far. I did it at first by pure luck and then for whatever reason the connection was lost. If you aren't a networking guru make sure all your machines are running the same exact OS.

Steamthrower
05-21-2008, 01:35 PM
I wasn't able to connect Vista with XP so far. I did it at first by pure luck and then for whatever reason the connection was lost. If you aren't a networking guru make sure all your machines are running the same exact OS.

Running XP Pro with Vista Ultimate/Business should be a breeze...running XP Home with Vista Home should be a breeze as well...it's crossing that home/pro gap which seems to bring the problems, at least in this office.