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YJL
Active Member
YJL
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-26-2008

Building a Rendering Farm

21 Views, 3 Replies
03-25-2008 10:09 PM
My office uses 3D Max 2008 and I've been tasked with looking into building or purchasing a rendering farm. The idea of a dedicated farm instead of running it across the network on various pc platforms seems the best way to go. We typically render animations that are 15,000 - 20,000 frames. Rendering is something I have never dealt with in the past so figuring out the best specs for pc's is difficult. Is there a minimum spec that would be recommended for a rendering pc? What would be ideal? Thanks for any help.
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Valued Contributor
pluhn
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎06-02-2011

Re: Building a Rendering Farm

03-26-2008 01:24 PM in reply to: YJL
For starters, check out BOXX. They make machines dedicated to rendering called the renderBOXX. Then from there, if you wanted to go the build-your-own route, you could base your specs on the BOXX and scale up or down depending on your budget. Definitely don't go cheap on the CPU's, though. For instance, you could probably buy lots of single-core Pentium 4's clocked at 2.8 ghz, but four of those won't render nearly as fast as a proper Q6600 clocked at 2.4 ghz.
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New Member
carleycorp
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-10-2006

Re: Building a Rendering Farm

03-26-2008 01:34 PM in reply to: YJL
check out Lantech www.lantechpc.com we had BOXX and Lantech on the horn and Lantech offered up the better deal. We purhcased 6 render nodes (dual Quad core Xeon 4gb Ram). One of our other artists didn't have a great experience with BOXX (crashing before even sending a render to the node), but also we had a DOA on one of the nodes but easily replaced.

Also Lantech sent us a Demo Unit to test out. Very helpful.

Personally i feel BOXX is the "dell" of the render world...hit or miss but you are definately paying for the name. Good Luck!
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Active Contributor
jhostick
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎08-22-2006

Re: Building a Rendering Farm

03-26-2008 03:32 PM in reply to: YJL
I can say from experience that if you are setting up a render farm, go with a rack system. You will be able to add more systems in less space. A 7 foot high rack can easily hold 10-12 render boxes plus KVM switches and supporting rack mounted UPS's. Mount your monitor on an arm with a wireless keyboard and mouse and you have a lot of render power using about 3 square feet of floor space. I worked at a viz firm where we were setting up a render farm. I specified a rack system, but the president wanted a bunch of desktops because he thought they would impress the clients. It was a total PITA as 16 desktops take up a huge amount of space and produce an idiotic tangle of wires and cables to organize.

Go with a rack system, and if you are in a professional production situation, all of your workstations and render boxes should be running a 64 bit OS with lots of RAM.

JH
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