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Author Topic: Renderfarm  (Read 5716 times)
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floatingrunner
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« on: April 13, 2009, 09:39:07 PM »

Hiya,

I am trying to set up a renderfarm for the place I work for but don't know how to begin.

Something that might help is that we are looking for the somewhat equivalent to the "build your own" mac-tower site with everything at its best/expensive.

thx!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 07:20:08 AM by floatingrunner » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 05:09:19 PM »

The answer to your question really depends on how DIY you want to go on it...

I enjoy doing my own custom builds so I can maximize my bang for the buck but that's not for everyone.

Yes, older computers can be used but sometimes they're not worth the hassle when six old machines can be simply replaced by a single new one.  You have to consider the maintenance factor as you scale up your renderfarm.

I found having my farm made up of identical hardware made trouble shooting a lot easier.  When one system is being flakey you can switch out bits from other systems until you find the weak point.  Also you can assemble just one software build and clone that across the other systems.

I went with cheap custom built Micro ATX systems packed into a rack tower.  Check out the attached image to get a better idea.    If you buy within the sweet spot (mid range, not the latest and greatest...) you should be able to assemble some fairly powerful nodes for about $500 each.

You don't need as much RAM in a node since you won't be doing a lot of multitasking with them.  (No Maya and Photoshop up at the same time as a render.)  Small harddrives, find motherboards with onboard LAN and Video, Quad core CPU's to maximize your density, no DVDROMS, keep them stripped down to the bare essentials!  I've even heard of setups that network boot from a server so they don't even need drives but then you need a lot more RAM and a bigger nerd to manage it.

I always buy a single unit, get it running smooth, test the hell out of it and then replicate the build.

Or if your pockets are deep go with a fancy schmancy blade populated rack mount solution.  But I'd only do that if I was planning on HUNDREDS of nodes.

Cheers,

M


* MyRenderNodes.jpg (58.55 KB, 453x604 - viewed 400 times.)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 07:46:47 PM by Mark Benard » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 07:46:23 PM »

Here's a link to a prebuilt system by Boxx.

RenderBOXX 10300

80 Cores in a 7" x 19" (4U) rack space.

Only $25K USD (and if you buy before April 30th you save $1000.)

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Lost Boys Learning | School of Visual Effects

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www.lostboys-learning.com
 

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Studio Phone: 250-871-8103
Mailing: Suite 104 – 2456 Rosewall Crescent, Courtenay, BC Canada, V9N 8R9 (Vancouver Island)

Lost Boys Learning is North America's only dedicated visual effects school with world-class training in photo-realistic 3D for VFX and compositing for film and television. Boasting a 94% placement rate Lost Boys Learning offers a specialized 1 year Visual Effects Diploma.  Our students work with the award winning VFX Supervisor and experienced mentor, Mark Bénard, in a project-based learning environment, covering VFX pre-production and shooting, 3D for VFX and compositing.
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 07:19:11 AM »

wow.. 25K  really?
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 02:31:21 PM »

$24K if you buy before the end of April!

Was that a good wow or a bad wow?..

In my opinion that is a pretty good price for that sort of thing.  I believe you can always work your way up and start with a single node chassis that holds 16 cores...  (Five nodes per rack shelf.)

Although, as I mentioned, I would prefer to build my own and get a little more bang for my buck.  Just don't forget the amount of labour involved in building and maintaining your own farm. 

Oh yeah, technically you also have to consider software costs but I'll leave that up to you.  Wink

M
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Mark Bénard | Managing Director
Lost Boys Learning | School of Visual Effects

"Divine Creators in the Making"
 

www.lostboys-learning.com
 

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Studio Phone: 250-871-8103
Mailing: Suite 104 – 2456 Rosewall Crescent, Courtenay, BC Canada, V9N 8R9 (Vancouver Island)

Lost Boys Learning is North America's only dedicated visual effects school with world-class training in photo-realistic 3D for VFX and compositing for film and television. Boasting a 94% placement rate Lost Boys Learning offers a specialized 1 year Visual Effects Diploma.  Our students work with the award winning VFX Supervisor and experienced mentor, Mark Bénard, in a project-based learning environment, covering VFX pre-production and shooting, 3D for VFX and compositing.
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 02:06:50 AM »

Hmmm... This may help, NCIX.com has a PC Builder section that allows you to fairly easily configure a nice little budget rendernode.

In about 5 minutes I came up with this config...

Check this link out: 

http://pc.ncix.com/pcbuilder/index.php?action=getprice&id=3015977&platformid=1000

You'd have to assemble and install all the software yourself.  But for $470 plus tax you'd have a speedy little renderslave.

It wouldn't be nearly as dense of a solution as Boxx provides but the bang for you buck value blows it out of the water!

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark Bénard | Managing Director
Lost Boys Learning | School of Visual Effects

"Divine Creators in the Making"
 

www.lostboys-learning.com
 

FacebookLinkedInVFX CommunityYouTubeVimeo

Studio Phone: 250-871-8103
Mailing: Suite 104 – 2456 Rosewall Crescent, Courtenay, BC Canada, V9N 8R9 (Vancouver Island)

Lost Boys Learning is North America's only dedicated visual effects school with world-class training in photo-realistic 3D for VFX and compositing for film and television. Boasting a 94% placement rate Lost Boys Learning offers a specialized 1 year Visual Effects Diploma.  Our students work with the award winning VFX Supervisor and experienced mentor, Mark Bénard, in a project-based learning environment, covering VFX pre-production and shooting, 3D for VFX and compositing.
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