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danb
12-02-2003, 02:20 AM
i'm expecting a hefty christmas bonus of 2600$ i would like to start a very small but powerful renderfarm for cinema 4d users, as you may or may not have seen this on the cinema 4d forum.

the only preference is that the farm be pc's and have at least 1gb of ram.

so i am open to any and all suggestions. you know like...

amd or intel
server, slimtop, workstations, desktops, etc...
multiprocessors or single
etc...
etc...
etc...

and where to get them:thumbsup:

JDex
12-02-2003, 02:46 AM
Hyperthreading on the super cheap...

Cases:
100938 - No PS - Enermax CS-10182-B-1 Tower
Motherboards:
110746 - Intel - DFI PS85-BL 865G ACP 8X/Video/Sound/LAN/DDR 800FSB
Processor:
120443 - Intel P4 478 2.8 GHz 800 FSB (HT)
Memory:
140865 - DDR (333) 2700 - 1 GB (2 pcs 512) TwinX10
Hard Drive:
150405 - Maxtor 40 GB ATA 133 IDE 7200
CD/DVD-ROM:
160450 - Mitsumi 54X CD-ROM
Operating System:
800008 - None - Barebone System
Power Supply:
100916 - SPI Sparkle FSP350-60BN 350 Watt PS
Warranty:
800007 - 1 Year - Parts & Labor - Barebone
Thermal Grease:
800018 - Shin-Etsu G675 Thermal Grease


Total: $816.00

http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=M&Product_Code=800001
customize at your whim.

gmask
12-02-2003, 02:52 AM
Well $2600 isn't a whopping amount to spend on a renderfarm.. bacailly you could eithe rget one really kickass system or a several not so kickass systems that you have to tend over.

As far as getting the most bang for the buck AMD is still probably where it is at.

I reccomend dual procs because you can almost double the rendering power in the same space without having to manage two systems.

minitowers are probably the cheapest possible enclosure.. personally I prefer rackmounts which can be gotten off ebay for about $80 total with shipping

cheakout pricewatch.com for the best prices.. however be sure to check out the vendor closely.. find out what their return polcies are.. if they don't have one or charge a restockign fee think again.. it might be worth spending a few more dollars to get it form a company who is more client friendly. I prefer companies that you can actually call and talk to..if for no other reason than to verify that they are paying attention.

You do not need fancy display cards but if you will need a KVM switch so that you can control these puppies from one set of keyboard video and mouse.

If you do not allready have one you will need a 100 base T switch for networking.

You will need at a minimum 4 gb drives for these systems. I got a bunch of 4gb scsi drives off ebay for nothing and scsi cards for my render nodes. You can also get cheap IDE drives there as well. You may want to get one large drive for one of the systems and make it the frame/project server.

JDex
12-02-2003, 03:19 AM
I agree on almost all accounts... in this case though, I think that Intels w/ HT will serve you better than single AMDs and will not be much of a premium. But if you can find a way to actually get more than two Dual Proc System with that budget, you are doing exceptionally well. Getting cheap scsi parts off of ebay is a mighty fine idea... saves $50 per system off the above spec'd system.

Don't forget you actually have to buy licences for you render app for each node as well.

gmask
12-02-2003, 03:26 AM
Originally posted by JDex

Don't forget you actually have to buy licences for you render app for each node as well.

Really for some reason I thought that C4d had free render clients? Of course there's the cost of the operating system but oyu can get cheap legal cuts of XP pro etc from ebay as well. Again just check out the seller and use your common sense.

JDex
12-02-2003, 03:33 AM
Originally posted by gmask
Really for some reason I thought that C4d had free render clients?

It may (never used it beyond quick tests)... but it should at least factor into consideration when building a rf... never know when a app change may be required.

Originally posted by gmask
Of course there's the cost of the operating system but oyu can get cheap legal cuts of XP pro etc from ebay as well. Again just check out the seller and use your common sense.

True, but only buy from Power Sellers w/ good ratings... lots of bootlegs floating aqround out there. Can C4d run on linux? guess i could look into it, but nah.

danb
12-02-2003, 03:57 AM
thanks peeps for all the replies. keep them coming.

btw cinema has unlimited render nodes when purchased that way (optional).

i think i am leaning more toward intel stations. just because i am more familiar with them. and there seems to be more support for upgrading them.

also i think i like the idea of having more systems than one kick ass system.

gmask--"You will need at a minimum 4 gb drives for these systems. I got a bunch of 4gb scsi drives off ebay for nothing and scsi cards for my render nodes. You can also get cheap IDE drives there as well. You may want to get one large drive for one of the systems and make it the frame/project server."

i didn't relize i could get away with such small hard drives. this is going to free up a lot of money

gmask
12-02-2003, 04:15 AM
>>>i didn't relize i could get away with such small hard drives. this is going to free up a lot of money

Yea. well the OS is less than 1GB and then you'll want an equal amount of of space for swap for your ram and then some amount of space for the software which I imagine does not take up too much space.

elvis
12-02-2003, 05:03 AM
on the CPU side of things:

cinema 4d has proven time and time again to be heavilty SSE2 optimised, and a great performer sith SMP and HT setups. as such, P4 CPUs are a great choice for C4D users. Lightwave is much the same.

I'd suggest the AMD option for 3DSMax and Maya users due to their slight preference for better FPU, and not being SSE2 optimised as the other packages mentioned.

Anyways, just thought i'd chuck that in there quickly...

s0real
12-02-2003, 02:18 PM
quick slightly off topic question...

when you send a scene to the renderfarm, do each of the individual nodes have to have any custom texture maps that might be used saved on their hard drives or do they access the hard drive of the control PC?

thanks...

allawy
12-02-2003, 03:41 PM
ASUS PC DL Deluxe + Dual 2.8 Xeon FSB 533 = 1300 USD

this leaves 1300 USD, 1G DDR333 is about 250 USD, 120GB SATA Drive is about 150 USD, 350 USD for a VGA Card, 100 USD Case, 150 USD DVD and Floppy :) = 1000 USD

Good 19" monitor will cost about 300 USD.

Thalaxis
12-02-2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by danb

btw cinema has unlimited render nodes when purchased that way (optional).


You get 3 nodes with the XL bundle, and upgrading to unlimited
isn't expensive.


i think i am leaning more toward intel stations. just because i am more familiar with them. and there seems to be more support for upgrading them.


For Cinema rendering, it's the best way to go, due to Cinema's
affinity for the architecture + HT.


also i think i like the idea of having more systems than one kick ass system.


You could do this with inexpensive SFF boxes, which I will give you
more info on if you want it. It's just another option.

Also, if you buy your XP licenses with hardware from a vendor like
NewEgg, you qualify for OEM pricing on it... which brings XP Home
down to around $50-$60.

Thalaxis
12-02-2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by s0real

when you send a scene to the renderfarm, do each of the individual nodes have to have any custom texture maps that might be used saved on their hard drives or do they access the hard drive of the control PC?


They can get it via a shared drive I think, but IIRC Cinema's
render manager allows you to upload all of the scene data to
each node.

danb
12-02-2003, 05:21 PM
this thread is shaping up better than i hoped. everyone's advice is excellent.

thalaxis-->"You could do this with inexpensive SFF boxes, which I will give you
more info on if you want it. It's just another option."

what is a SFF box? this sounds interesting.

also which would be cheaper, buying xp os with the hardware installed or seperately?

does anyone know if there is a vendor which gives discounts to people who buy pc's in bulk like 10 or more?

JDex
12-02-2003, 06:19 PM
Well it really doesn't sound like 10 machines will fit into that budget... Monarch has been known to offer discounts for bulk purchases ( as few as 3 rigs in the past) but I think it is directly tied to what components are being purchased (and if they can get a discount themselves from the wholesalers).

monarch will provide XP pro installed for about $150 per rig or home for about $100. If you can use linux and chose to, that be free or really cheap depending on the "version".

gmask
12-02-2003, 06:30 PM
>>>what is a SFF box? this sounds interesting.

Small form factor.. I don't think they are any cheaper than the options you are looking at but they are small.

Thalaxis
12-02-2003, 08:30 PM
There are three advantages to SFF boxes:
size
convenience (if you're building these yourself)
noise (the good ones are pretty quiet)

I got one of the nicer ones, a Soltek QBic 3401, for $260 +
shipping. Add memory, CPU, and a hard disk, and you're good to
go, pretty much. Well, a CD-ROM is nice for installing the OS also,
but that's about it. The convenience is from having the whole
thing built already, so it's easy to get up and running, especially
for a renderfarm, since you don't need high-end graphics and
such.

If you buy XP off the shelf, it's something like $200 for Home, and
at NewEgg, $91 for the OEM version. You'd probably pay
something in between if you get a package deal from a vendor
that includes XP pre-installed.

Most system vendors will probably work with you on volume
deals, though whether or not 10 machines is enough to get a
discount will vary... and fitting it into your budget doesn't seem
likely anyway.

JDex: Linux isn't an option presently... Cinema hasn't been ported
yet. (I'm optmiistic.)

rich novak
12-02-2003, 11:57 PM
so this brings up a question: which is more important or desirable, 64 bit tech or hyperthreading? considering that both intel and amd have great products and both work pretty well, i don't really have a preference.

if it was already mentioned, i'm sorry. i've read the posts but it seems like a lot of disagreement going on. what if amd had hyperthreading? what if there was a p4 64? what would the differences be?

thanks,

ren

danb
12-03-2003, 12:07 AM
rich novak that question really is not involved in my decision. i believe that 64bit computing for 3d programs and renderfarms for that matter will take a long time to develop for the average small buisness person. most software isn't even 64bit capable, um i think.

also intel does have 64bit processors, the itaniums. also hyperthreading just makes the p4's utilize render threads more effeiciently i think. i get pretty confused with hyperthreading though.

if you asked this question about 64bit in a few years then i think it would make me go hmmm???? but for now i need to stick to the older more ready software and hardware.

Joel Hooks
12-03-2003, 01:31 AM
word is there is some significant performance increases even with non-optimized software, but I am with you - bleeding edge isn't what you are looking for.

Have you looked at the little shuttles? Nice compact little boxes available in either flavour.

JDex
12-03-2003, 01:37 AM
Originally posted by rich novak
i've read the posts but it seems like a lot of disagreement going on.

There's always a great deal of disagreement going on (much like Mac vs. Windows, Softimage vs. Maya, C4D vs. Lightwave) but I don't think on this particular topic there is much disagreement... the variables of OS, App, and budget are all quite defined so the question on processors becomes more definable.

C4D has proven bench statistics that illustrate improved performance w/ intels. If dual processor AMDs could be purchased for a lesser cost than single Intels w/HT then dual AMD's would be a no brainer, as the intel optimization advantage would be nullified by the prospect of two physical processors, however that is not a reality.

The cheapest Dual MP system I could spec w/ the required ram and basic accessories (see my intitial system spec at beginning of this post for details) would run nearly 40% higher than the Intel system i specd due to more expensive case (larger mobo footprint) more robust power supply, adding an integrated vidcard (no onboard on non-server mobos I found for MP), extra cooling and more trivial things like a second portion of thermal grease.

That forty percent would actually reduce farm power

3 X 2.8 w/ HT = "approx" 16Ghz processing power

VS

2 X Dual 2.4 MPs = "approx" 10Ghz processing power

(disclaimer the above was just for illustrative comparison, please do not begin with the "that's not perfectly accurate" trolling that commonly enters into diologue)

danb
12-03-2003, 01:50 AM
jdex-- i agree with you. from what i have found on pricewatch.com (thanks to those who suggested that site) intels seem to have higher speeds for the same price.

as i have said in the previous post, i am very confused sometimes about HT in the p4's. for example you say that 3 X 2.8 w/ HT = "approx" 16Ghz processing power. i do not understand, because if three computers ran at 3ghz then those three computers would seem to be running combined at approximately 9ghz. am i to assume that HT runs as a dual processor? hence your equation. i had no idea. i thought HT were just heavily optimized or something.

also are HT processors only capable of to threads or are they capable of more?

gmask
12-03-2003, 01:59 AM
>>> for example you say that 3 X 2.8 w/ HT = "approx" 16Ghz processing power.

HT does not double you CPU power.. for certain application it will get a boost but certainly not by 200%

JDex
12-03-2003, 01:59 AM
Well for the more detailed and perfectly true to fact answer, I am sure someone will point out all my innaccuracies, but here goes.

Intel invented a way for a chip to be seen and utilized by some applications as two separate processors... this is mighty powerful, but you are not exactly getting 2X the rated clock speed. I have seen varying bench comparisons that show the chips to be somewhere between 1.35X and 1.85X rated clock speed. I think much of this variance is due to the optimization that has been mentioned here. If C4D truly works outstandingly w/ HT (and I have seen multiple benchtests to support the claim) then you should be recieving about a 1.75+ modifier to your computing power. This is truly considerable when comparing the cost difference... but if your budget were double, I would strongly emphasize the true dual processor road... tis powerful indeed.

Thalaxis
12-03-2003, 02:03 AM
HyperThreading is Intel's name for simultaneous multithreading.
All that means is that the processor pulls instructions from more
than one thread at a time (in HT, 2) in order to fill its execution
units.

In other words, it's only there to enable better usage of the
processor's resources.

In Cinema4D, HT yields a consistent 20% improvement in render
times.

An HT-enabled processor reports itself to the OS as 2 logical
processors. It's not as good as having 2 processors, but it's
faster than the same processor without HT... unless you are only
using one thread.

I hope that helps!

Anyway, while I think 64-bit is not as far off as Intel wants us to
believe, it's not here yet. 64-bit itself does not yield any real
improvement in performance, but there are extra features in the
K8 that COULD help -- if they're used, and they are only available
to 64-bit software. Itanium's story is similar; its only 32-bit
capability is x86, which it does not run well at all, but it performs
very well with native Itanium code.

Thalaxis
12-03-2003, 02:11 AM
Originally posted by JDex
Well for the more detailed and perfectly true to fact answer, I am sure someone will point out all my innaccuracies, but here goes.


Good timing, posting while I was typing ;)

Joel Hooks
12-03-2003, 04:26 PM
The clock speed of AMDs reports slower when they compute on the same or higher speeds as their intel counterparts. So a 2.2ghz AMD is not the same as a 2.2ghz Intel in terms of processing speeds.

Thalaxis
12-03-2003, 04:38 PM
Quite right. You should only really use clock speeds to compare
between processors of the same architecture, and you should
definitely take into account what software you plan to run on it.

johnj_1978
12-04-2003, 01:45 AM
I am thinking about building a renderfarm myself.

Quick question regarding video cards on renderfarm machines.

You don't need an expensive card running on these machines, right? could you use the onboard video that some of these dual platform boards have?

I thought that all you would need is

A rackmount case (w/power supply)
A slim CD rom (not a burner and not a dvd)
1 gig of ram
30 or 40 gb hard drive
and a dual processor board (preferable but not neccessary)
and of course a network card if your board doesn't include it)

Also a kvm switch for sharing the monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Am I missing anything?

JDex
12-04-2003, 01:48 AM
that pretty much sums it up johnj_1978...

Novakog
12-04-2003, 03:09 AM
Ya, I was just looking, and you could build a minitower PC (obviously, including case... rackmount cases are about $200 more) with an 8 GB HD, 1 GB RAM, 1 2.8 GHz P4 w/ HT, a basic CDROM drive (56x), and obviously a mobo for $477 not including shipping and tax w/ newegg.com and eBay for the HD. Then if you wanted to make it for LAN parties (if you're a gamer), you could add an ATI 9600 XT for $165 (and it doesn't matter that it's a Radeon and they have bad OGL drivers, cause the only graphics you'd do on it are rendering). Anything I missed on that system (assuming you're using it just as a render node). If I didn't (and the mobo has 100 mbps ethernet), that's a pretty good deal. Of course, you'd have to build them.

And that obviously doesn't include keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc. but the mobo I put in that spec does include 100 Mbps ethernet (and there is one PCI slot you could use for GBit) and a (obviously crappy) onboard video card.

You could have 5 of those for those $2600 (and a little overhead room, which would prob pay for shipping/tax), which is 14 GHz NOT including HT advantage (which would make it like what, 20 Ghz?). Mmmm, I can almost taste the power. :drool:

Thalaxis
12-04-2003, 04:24 PM
That's killer renderfarm deal, any way you look at it.

BTW, ATI's drivers have improved immensely of late; there are still
some things about them that annoy me (like the lack of dual-
plane support in the Radeons, even though it is supported in the
FireGL line using the Radeon processors), but their stability and
performance is at last getting within spitting distance of nVidia's.

danb
12-04-2003, 04:38 PM
Novakog--that is an awesome deal. i will be checking out newegg.com

one question has come to mind lately. would it be cheaper to buy all the parts seperately and then build. or would it be cheaper to but the pc's already built.

i am off to do some sluething.

Thalaxis
12-04-2003, 04:57 PM
It used to be cheaper to build it yourself, but nowadays that's
not always the case. The only advantage in building it yourself
now is being able to spec out exactly what you want.

Some people have different needs, for example some GFFX cards
use nVidia's stock cooler, which does not fit inside most SFF
boxes, but some card makers have their own custom cooling
solutions that do.

Also, not very many companies resell SFF boxes, so if you elect to
go that route, you don't really have much of a choice.

The point is that you'll have to shop around to find out... and the
answer might not be the same next week. :)

Novakog
12-05-2003, 01:01 AM
I've found generally that it's cheaper to build it yourself, unless it's a special deal.

For instance, the computer I want to build myself will cost me $1800 (well, I'll be taking stuff out of my current comp, so it WOULD be about $2100 on its own), and a similarly spec'd computer from Alienware (it's an AMD 64, so most big companies don't use them) would be $3100.

But, I've never actually built a computer before, so I'm not the expert on it (although I'm learning a lot with the research put in to it).

Oh, btw, I did forget a couple of things on my original spec. I forgot the power supply and the OS (of all things to forget!), still though, it would be around the price of 5 of them for $2600 (maybe a little bit over).

danb
02-19-2004, 10:59 PM
Well i thought i would revive this thread as i am getting closer to purchasing the farm.

I do have another question though.

Is a standard 10mb Lan ethernet which is included on most cheaper computers motherboards large and fast enough to handle the work load of renderfarms?

And i also wanted to know if onboard video is enough to handle renderfarm renderings. That would save a heap of money on graphics cards. It would seem that onboard would be sufficient because 3d rendering is mainly just the processor's responsibility.

Oh yeah...Does the renderfarm need to be connected to the internet or can i just connect all the computers to a network hub, which is not directly connected to an internet connection. Just thought this would be more stable and secure.

gmask
02-19-2004, 11:06 PM
>>>Is a standard 10mb Lan ethernet which is included on most cheaper computers motherboards large and fast enough to handle the work load of renderfarms?

10BaseT is not very good.. and most motherbaords seem to have 100 Base T these days.. what kind of super cheap motherbaords are you looking at?


>>>And i also wanted to know if onboard video is enough to handle renderfarm renderings.

Yes.. basically any 4mb video card capable of displaying 24 bit color will do. You can do with less but again it's nice to have 24bit colro so that if you need to you can size the desktop to larger than 800x600 and view images in 24 bit color. Most onboard cards are capable of this these days.

>>Oh yeah...Does the renderfarm need to be connected to the internet or can i just connect all the computers to a network hub, which is not directly connected to an internet connection. Just thought this would be more stable and secure.

Use a switch not a hub and in any case to connect a network to the internet you would use a router and have a firewall.

Personally I like to have my renderng computers capable of accessing the internet so that it is easier to update them.


My final note is consider what a faster more expensive machine versus more and slower machines wil cost you in the end. More computers mean more systems to maintain, more software licenses, more heat and more space etc.

Thalaxis
02-19-2004, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by danb

Is a standard 10mb Lan ethernet which is included on most cheaper computers motherboards large and fast enough to handle the work load of renderfarms?


Maybe... but most motherboards now include fast ethernet, and
higher end ones include gigabit. Most chipsets integrate fast
ethernet now, so you're pretty much stuck with it. :)


And i also wanted to know if onboard video is enough to handle renderfarm renderings. That would save a heap of money on graphics cards. It would seem that onboard would be sufficient because 3d rendering is mainly just the processor's responsibility.


If it's enough for you to browse the internet, it's enough for the
render client. This is particularly true with Cinema.


Oh yeah...Does the renderfarm need to be connected to the internet or can i just connect all the computers to a network hub, which is not directly connected to an internet connection. Just thought this would be more stable and secure.

No, you don't need internet connectivity. You want a router or a
switch, not a hub -- a hub is just a repeater. For a network with
two machines it's not a big deal, but beyond that a router will give
you better performance, and as you add nodes, the difference
will grow.

As for how to connect the whole thing to the 'net, I'm afraid I
can't help you; I don't have broadband or a static IP, so I can't
experiment with that part.

gmask
02-19-2004, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by Thalaxis

As for how to connect the whole thing to the 'net, I'm afraid I
can't help you; I don't have broadband or a static IP, so I can't
experiment with that part.

It pretty easy and can be down variosu ways with anythinh from a modem to T-1.


Basically what you do is you connect the switch to the router which is either combined or connected in series to the dsl/cable/56k modem.

You plug in the ISP adccount information into the router usually using a webpage interface. Then you can either use DHCP or static IP's addresses for the local area computers. The LAN computers use the IP address of the Router as their gateway and the DNS addresses supplied by the ISP to parse domain names.

You can also use a seperate computer as the gateway/router/firewall that is connected to the modem... unless you know what you are doing I would not reccomend doing this with a windows machine as... well.... the security sucks.

For home users it is much simplier to buy a router.. I have a linksys and they are inexpensive and come with a decent firewall and are comparitably easy to setup.

danb
02-20-2004, 04:29 AM
Thank you again everyone for the suggestions. I will definately be purchasing the faster ethernet boards. I didn't realize they were so cheap or included. I also will go the router route...hehe...

Shifting gears here. Does anyone have experience running an automated renderfarm similar to RENDERKING.com.

With that setup the subscriber can access the farm 24/7 and start and finish there own projects with very little help from me. I would like a similar setup if possible. Although if its to difficult and unstable or unsecure i wouldn't mind doing the work myself. I'll just manage my time accordingly.

On a side note... Finances are looking up and i think i can afford close to 20 p4 3.06ghz systems. Woohoo.:bounce: Would that be a formidable farm?

gmask
02-20-2004, 04:48 AM
Originally posted by danb
On a side note... Finances are looking up and i think i can afford close to 20 p4 3.06ghz systems. Woohoo.:bounce: Would that be a formidable farm?

I would suggest getting 10 Dual 3.06 Ghz systems instead..

danb
02-20-2004, 06:07 AM
Maybe i am looking in the wrong place but 20 single 3.ghz p4's are almost half as much as 10 dual xeon 3.0ghz. Maybe i am missing something here. Oh well the research continues.:rolleyes:

JDex
02-20-2004, 06:25 AM
With where the price points are currently... i would go for the 20 P4's... i was shopping around a bit today for a 5 node farm myself... and the Xeons (not to mention the Mobos) prices have hardly fluctuated in any noticeable manner over the last 4 months... while P4's continue to decend in price... you should be able to get a nice rackmount P4 system, w/ plenty of drivespace, ram, and all the other goodies (GbNIC/CDROM/IntegratedVideo) for 1/2-3/5 the price of a Xeon system in a Tower and get essentially the same bang for your buck...

Let us know what you decide...

PS: What renderer will you be running again? (Been a while since I browsed this thread, and don't have the patience to read it all again :D )

gmask
02-20-2004, 06:31 AM
Originally posted by danb
Maybe i am looking in the wrong place but 20 single 3.ghz p4's are almost half as much as 10 dual xeon 3.0ghz. Maybe i am missing something here. Oh well the research continues.:rolleyes:

Exactly what specs are you looking at?

Considering that 20 systems means 20x RAM, 20x Hardrives, 20X Enclosures, 20x PSU and etc.

I'm also taking into account licensing the operating systems and other softwares for each machine.

Larger ethernet switches to support that many machines will cost more or ones with fast uplink ports will cost more.

Also don't forget to get UPS power backups for these systems.

gmask
02-20-2004, 06:59 AM
Originally posted by JDex
you should be able to get a nice rackmount P4 system, w/ plenty of drivespace, ram, and all the other goodies (GbNIC/CDROM/IntegratedVideo) for 1/2-3/5 the price of a Xeon system in a Tower and get essentially the same bang for your buck...


Well I guess if the amount of space, noise, power bill and the amount of time required to maintain twice as many systems isn't a consideration then perhaps it's the same bang for the buck. :thumbsup:

danb
02-20-2004, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by JDex
With where the price points are currently... i would go for the 20 P4's... i was shopping around a bit today for a 5 node farm myself... and the Xeons (not to mention the Mobos) prices have hardly fluctuated in any noticeable manner over the last 4 months... while P4's continue to decend in price... you should be able to get a nice rackmount P4 system, w/ plenty of drivespace, ram, and all the other goodies (GbNIC/CDROM/IntegratedVideo) for 1/2-3/5 the price of a Xeon system in a Tower and get essentially the same bang for your buck...

Let us know what you decide...

PS: What renderer will you be running again? (Been a while since I browsed this thread, and don't have the patience to read it all again :D )

While keeping an eye on p4 and xeon prices i have noticed the same price fluctuations. Xeons prices don't seem to hardly move at all. Maybe that will change once the athlon 64 bits gain more momentum.

Its too bad too. I would really like to go with the lesser computers as you have suggested Gmask. But i did a quick comparison and 10 dual xeon 3.0ghz were around 12,000$ and 20 p4 3.0ghz were around 7/8,000$. Thats a pretty big difference. Although i continue to research prices. I'm not quite ready to buy.

Jdex, as for your question of renderers i am going to be using Cinema4d at first. Then if money is good i will add one of the following: Lightwave 8, Maya or 3dmax w/mental ray.

I am going with Cinema4d first because i use the program regularly. Plus Cinema4d does not require purchase of individual liscenses. Unlimited seats are around 500$ as an additonal module. I like Cinema4d also because i see alot of people migrating to it just for its renderer. Its Faaasstt and Stable, and as mentioned HEAVILY optimized for P4 w/ HT.

Again, thanks peeps for your suggestions. They are greatly appreciated.

Thalaxis
02-20-2004, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by danb
While keeping an eye on p4 and xeon prices i have noticed the same price fluctuations. Xeons prices don't seem to hardly move at all. Maybe that will change once the athlon 64 bits gain more momentum.


It's hard to say, what with P4's going 64-bit in a few months and
all. However, it also means that it's now a guarantee that there
will be boatloads of 64-bit software for x86 by the end of the
year, which is a good thing.


Its too bad too. I would really like to go with the lesser computers as you have suggested Gmask. But i did a quick comparison and 10 dual xeon 3.0ghz were around 12,000$ and 20 p4 3.0ghz were around 7/8,000$. Thats a pretty big difference. Although i continue to research prices. I'm not quite ready to buy.


That's pretty significant... yes, I'd lean toward the 20 P4's too,
even though the downside is more machines to network and care
for, and more wires to trip over and lose cats in :)

Fortunately, with XP + a router, the network administration is
very easy, and with Cinema's Net Render, setting up the render
farm is a cakewalk.


Jdex, as for your question of renderers i am going to be using Cinema4d at first. Then if money is good i will add one of the following: Lightwave 8, Maya or 3dmax w/mental ray.


Mental Ray is the only one of them that might favor the AMD
platform over Intel's.


I am going with Cinema4d first because i use the program regularly. Plus Cinema4d does not require purchase of individual liscenses. Unlimited seats are around 500$ as an additonal module. I like Cinema4d also because i see alot of people migrating to it just for its renderer. Its Faaasstt and Stable, and as mentioned HEAVILY optimized for P4 w/ HT.


LightWave's costs are about the same as Cinema's, and it's also
quite P4/HT optimized as well. Cinema's is faster.

Gmask -- thanks, that was quite informative.

danb
02-20-2004, 04:48 PM
I just thought i would post a couple of things. Maybe it would inspire some other penny pinching ideas.

To save on additional money i plan on having one external usb cd-rom drive. That should save a few hundred on cd-roms for all the puters. The KVM switch that others suggested is also a must have.

Can anyone think of anymore of these little work arounds. A penny saved is a penny earned for me and the consumer.:thumbsup:

Oh yeah...I probably asked this before in the thread but i don't think i got an answer.

What type of payment method does anyone here who is experienced with renderfarms find the best. I mean having the customer pay by processor hourly use or like i referred to before with RENDERKING, a flat monthly subscription plan or any other methods.

gmask
02-20-2004, 05:04 PM
>>>Its too bad too. I would really like to go with the lesser computers as you have suggested Gmask. But i did a quick comparison and 10 dual xeon 3.0ghz were around 12,000$ and 20 p4 3.0ghz were around 7/8,000$. Thats a pretty big difference. Although i continue to research prices. I'm not quite ready to buy.

Just out of curiosity where are you getting your prices and on exactly which components?

danb
02-20-2004, 07:04 PM
Originally posted by gmask
>>>Its too bad too. I would really like to go with the lesser computers as you have suggested Gmask. But i did a quick comparison and 10 dual xeon 3.0ghz were around 12,000$ and 20 p4 3.0ghz were around 7/8,000$. Thats a pretty big difference. Although i continue to research prices. I'm not quite ready to buy.

Just out of curiosity where are you getting your prices and on exactly which components?

I did a quick search on pricewatch.com. These were prices of the power supply, case, motherboard, cpus's. This didn't include things like memory, OS or hard drives, because i just wanted to get a quick idea at the more important component prices. As the other parts are likely to be the same price regardless of processor specs. Like i said i just did a quick search.

Thalaxis
02-20-2004, 07:20 PM
Also worth a look:
www.slickdeals.net

gmask
02-20-2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by danb
I did a quick search on pricewatch.com. These were prices of the power supply, case, motherboard, cpus's. This didn't include things like memory, OS or hard drives, because i just wanted to get a quick idea at the more important component prices. As the other parts are likely to be the same price regardless of processor specs. Like i said i just did a quick search.

Okay but be sure that you are buying quality parts and from reliable vendors when you get the lowest price off of pricewatch.

danb
02-24-2004, 06:59 PM
Well i've got another question as i slowly inch towards building this farm.

Is it possible to put all the computers renderings on one external usb or firewire hard drive? Would this be cost productive or would it be better to just get seperate hard drives for each computer. Also what is the least amount of space and recommended amount of space for each computers hard drive.

The reason i ask these questions is that i was just wondering if it would be good to have maybe 2gb hard drives for each computer and then attach all computers to an external firewire hard drive of maybe 20+gb.

Thanks again for helping me everyone. I really admire this cgtalk community.

Oh yeah. Just still wondering what peoples takes are on payment options.

gmask
02-24-2004, 07:07 PM
>>>Is it possible to put all the computers renderings on one external usb or firewire hard drive?

It is possible to have the comouters all boot from a network harddrive but never havign done it I cannot say if this is really a good idea or not.


>>>Would this be cost productive or would it be better to just get seperate hard drives for each computer.

The major problem with doing this is if the computers will need swap space while rnedering which they probably will at some point and you will experience major slowness swapping over ethernet.


>>> Also what is the least amount of space and recommended amount of space for each computers hard drive.

Several of my rendering computers have only 4GB harddrives whioch is enough for windows and swap space. The rendering software is stored on a shared volume so thatis not only a sapce saving but makes updating easy.

>>>The reason i ask these questions is that i was just wondering if it would be good to have maybe 2gb hard drives for each computer and then attach all computers to an external firewire hard drive of maybe 20+gb.

For the reasons I mention above your C drive should be large enough for the OS and to swap the amount of ram you ahve installed so 2GB would probably be cutting it close. It will also probably be hard to find 2GB hardrives although it's possible on ebay.

I have never tried using firewire to network computers and even though it's fast I have my doubts about it's effiency when several computers all goign at the same time.. woudl liek to hear about anyone's experience with this.

danb
02-24-2004, 07:54 PM
Wow excellent. I feel like i am talking to customer service on this forum. HEHEHE.:bounce:

Thanks a million gmask your answers are exactly what i needed.

I have found alot of hard drives on ebay. I have about 5/3gb drives already and saw plenty more on ebay for about 10$USD. So most likely i am going to take your recommendations (again:thumbsup: ) and go with the dedicated internal drives. Makes sense how they would be more stable. Although i would be interested to see if anyone has had success with a shared firewire drive on a network.

I was wondering if you could elaborate on the shared volume. I don't understand how this works. Do all the computers use the same volume of one drive? Hmm?:hmm:

gmask
02-24-2004, 08:31 PM
>>>Wow excellent. I feel like i am talking to customer service on this forum. HEHEHE.

I think this is better than the typical customer service forum ;-)


>>>I was wondering if you could elaborate on the shared volume. I don't understand how this works. Do all the computers use the same volume of one drive? Hmm?:hmm:

I think for pretty much any distributed rendering you want to map the drive that the projects are stored onto the same drive letter on all the systems. Although I think c4d's renderer will copy the files to each remote computer for you(not sure about that) on large projects that could have it's downsides.

At any rate you can do the same with software usually.. which is handy if you can do this with the plugins as well because you only need to put the plugins in one place and then they are there for all systems.. however licensing is almost allways a per system deal.


Most of the places i have worked at have a server where all the project files are stored and centrally backed up. Each PC has those drive sonthe server mapped ot the same letter on each workstation.

Myself since I do not have gig ethernet at home usually have my projects stored on a local drive and I either have the project drive mapped to the remote computers or I copy the projects files when they are ready to be rendered to a shared drive on one of the other systems.

Since i may need to restart my main workstation I can't have the shared project files on it as that would mess up the renders of the other systems.

danb
02-25-2004, 04:03 PM
Great thanks again gmask. I can't convey how much i appreciate your help with all your answers. I am still a little confused on the whole procedure but am sure that once i start doing the installation i will understand your advice.

From what i understand of your advice it seems like your setup is the same or similar to what i am going to do with my renderfarm.

Because i am just running a small renderfarm i am not going to connect it directly to the internet. I will be moving files from my dedicated ftp to the farm via zip or ftp.

Well thanks again for the help.

Just curious Gmask, you mentioned that you have worked at places with renderfarms. Do you currently use a renderfarm now and what kind of software are you using?

If this is to personnal or you are unable to reply i understand and apologize. Just trying to get a feel for this type of work.

:thumbsup:

gmask
02-25-2004, 06:07 PM
>>>Just curious Gmask, you mentioned that you have worked at places with renderfarms. Do you currently use a renderfarm now and what kind of software are you using?


Personally I use Smedge on my personal farm and other places I have worked use Smedge or Muster. I know others that use Rush.

danb
04-23-2004, 05:32 PM
Alright peeps. Its getting close to GO time (after some unexpected delays). I will be getting the finances for the renderfarm within the next two months.

Word from the finance department ( hehe, just me) says the available budget is around 6 to 8,000. So things are looking good.

I am starting to get butterfly's about doing this. Does anyone have any words of wisdom, encouragement, and success stories?

Any suggestions as how to start, advertise, promote, etc... Much appreciated.

gmask
04-23-2004, 07:52 PM
So what are you looking at getting at this point?

danb
04-23-2004, 09:31 PM
Hi Gmask. I am pretty much set on getting 15+/- 3.2ghz p4 HT, 1GB RAM, 6GB HD barebones. I do mean BARE, i will only be getting the essentials no cdroms, floppy drives vid cards sound cards.

I posted over on the cinema4d forum about this but so far 45 views and not one reply. Getting a little nervous here.

Have you got any words of encouragement?

Does anyone have any ideas as to promotion. I have some myself but would like to get potential users opinion.

Thanks.:thumbsup:

gmask
04-23-2004, 11:41 PM
Sounds good to me.. I prefer dual systems but alot of places use single systems

Mwai Kasamale
04-24-2004, 04:44 AM
Also take into concideration your electric bill. ILM wrote a case study in a computing magazine about how they rendered alot of the effects of EP1 on 1,500 PIII 733's. This and the Athalon XP1900 are the most power friendly processors for reasons they did not elaborate on, but with that budget I'd buld a 4 maybe 5 iniPC P3 renderfarm easy. The power savings on your bill are quite significant.

People who can afford a Dual everything renderfarm usually aren't thinking about their electric bill. Which Processor you choose matter and saves alot on your monthly bill. A CPU crunching number at 100% 24/7 is expensive. If you are concidering running a bunch of PC's that will be on 24/7 so long as there is a job to be done. You'll really want to watch your bill. Unless offcourse your raking it in enough not to worry too much about it.

Processor speed matters to a digree but the notion outdoes the specifics in my case. I wish I could have 25 3800/64fx chips but in the end I don't really need them. Only knowing that the average job say 1080i frame with 140 lights and 860,000 poly's renders in 10 minutes. knowing what your farm can do is more important than thinking 10 Xeons are better than 20 PIII 733's. Your network's bandwidth is also important.

One niffty note, 3 PIII 733's on 240W power supplies use less power than a Dual Xeon system with 450W power supply over a month of 24/7 rendering. something to think about.

If you want more info I can get the network admin to offer advice.

mi 2 cents

danb
04-24-2004, 04:59 AM
Mwai Kasamale, wow that was excellent real world advice. Thanks for the tips from that magazine you read. I am positive i am going to go with the P4 HT single cpus now.

"If you want more info I can get the network admin to offer advice."

That would be so great. Please when you get the time ask if he/she can ad some advice. I would love any advice on this venture.

Thanks a million everyone.

elvis
04-24-2004, 11:08 AM
On the subject of expenses outside the render farm, remember that these things need to be cooled. I'm not talking CPU fan or anything, but ambient air temperature (eg: air conditioning).

A room full of CPUs gets damn hot. A renderfarm needs a well ventilated and cooled place to live. Air conditioning can cost you a packet if you don't set up your room and enclosures correctly.

Best bet is to get a professional air conditioning installer in, and explain to them the wattage per CPU (on average you're talking 80W at load per CPU, times however many CPUs). This number is important to them, as they need to know how much heat will be generated in a certain space, and how to combat that.

danb
04-24-2004, 11:28 AM
Another excellent point.:thumbsup:

elvis
04-24-2004, 01:58 PM
I've built a few of these things in my time, and it's important to map out a complete budget. Include everything from the render nodes themselves to cooling, installation costs, networking gear, even power points (you may need a qualified electrician to give your render-room a once over to make sure it can handle the power load).

At the end of the day, the machines in a render farm will only be half to three quarters the entire cost.

danb
04-24-2004, 02:07 PM
Thanks again elvis. I knew you weren't dead, yet i am suprised to see you at CGTalk.com. :p HE HE HE:p . Sorry couldn't resist.

Can you explain what power points are please? And how they effect my budget?


...and... "At the end of the day, the machines in a render farm will only be half to three quarters the entire cost." I am not sure what you mean by this.

elvis
04-24-2004, 02:38 PM
Power points - as in where you plug the power cord into.

Lines within buildings are only rated for so much current. Put too many devices on a line, and you risk blowing a fuse (or worse - having the building burn down).

You need a qualified electrician to make sure the load you put on your lines are within the specifications for your building.

As for the second comment, when you start adding electricity, cooling, infrastructure, networking, etc, etc to a render farm quote, the cost of the actual machines in the farm is no longer 100% of your cost.

Of course, you'll be buying 5-10 nodes by the sounds of your budget, so it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. Build something around the 50-100 node mark, and you'll start to see some costs building up. :thumbsup:

Novakog
04-25-2004, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by Mwai Kasamale
One niffty note, 3 PIII 733's on 240W power supplies use less power than a Dual Xeon system with 450W power supply over a month of 24/7 rendering. something to think about.


Yeah, but 3 P3 733s aren't even remotely close to as powerful as a recent dual xeon system. In terms of power, are 6 P3 733s (which is roughly equivalent to two 2.1 GHz Xeons, just speaking Mhz wise, I know the MHz aren't exactly the same - also remember Xeons have HT) less power consuming than the dual Xeons? What about 8 P3s in comparison to two 3.0 Ghz Xeons?

BTW, I know that's not what you meant - just throwing that out there.

holosynthetic
05-01-2004, 02:46 PM
are there any good places to purchase pre-built render nodes for a decent price?

gmask
05-01-2004, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by Novakog
Yeah, but 3 P3 733s aren't even remotely close to as powerful as a recent dual xeon system. In terms of power, are 6 P3 733s (which is roughly equivalent to two 2.1 GHz Xeons, just speaking Mhz wise, I know the MHz aren't exactly the same - also remember Xeons have HT) less power consuming than the dual Xeons? What about 8 P3s in comparison to two 3.0 Ghz Xeons?


What about single p4 systems? Couldn't you get the same amount of power for less if you don't mind more systems to maintain?

Novakog
05-01-2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by holosynthetic
are there any good places to purchase pre-built render nodes for a decent price?

I don't know if you can find anywhere that's as cheap as it would be to build your own nodes.

elvis
05-02-2004, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by gmask
What about single p4 systems? Couldn't you get the same amount of power for less if you don't mind more systems to maintain?

It depends on what you're rendering. I would agree with you if you were a one-man-show, or small firm doing simple stuff. If you're rendering that dreaded scene from hell (hair + water + effects + high poly + crazy lights + etc) on a deadline, you want a dual setup with tonnes of RAM per node.

If you're just rendering flythroughs for buildings (architectural stuff) and the scenes are relatively light, then single processor systems can represent a better value for your money in your farm.

As always, it's horses for courses. You don't use a ferrari to move bags of cement, and you don't use a pickup truck to race the Indy 500.

There's no one answer to this question. I've built dozens of render farms for clients, and no two were the same. I spend a lot of time sitting with my clients figuring out exactly what it is they do, and what they want from their farms before even beginning to spec hardware or get quotes.

6 P's. Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. :)

gmask
05-02-2004, 05:03 AM
Originally posted by elvis
It depends on what you're rendering. I would agree with you if you were a one-man-show, or small firm doing simple stuff. If you're rendering that dreaded scene from hell (hair + water + effects + high poly + crazy lights + etc) on a deadline, you want a dual setup with tonnes of RAM per node.


Things is I guess not all software is actually dual proc aware.. although I guess as long as you have enough ram you can run two renders at the same time each assigned to a seperate proc.

It just seems like you pay a hefty premium for dual Intels in comparison to siongle p4's or even AMD's unless you are talking about Opteron$.

Srek
05-02-2004, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by danb
Hi Gmask. I am pretty much set on getting 15+/- 3.2ghz p4 HT, 1GB RAM, 6GB HD barebones. I do mean BARE, i will only be getting the essentials no cdroms, floppy drives vid cards sound cards.

I posted over on the cinema4d forum about this but so far 45 views and not one reply. Getting a little nervous here.

Have you got any words of encouragement?

Does anyone have any ideas as to promotion. I have some myself but would like to get potential users opinion.

Thanks.:thumbsup:
Hi,
get the Northwood not the Prescott CPUs. They will use less power and run cooler. Maybe you should rethink the non CD-ROM idea, you will need one to reinstall such a machine quickly from a CD image. Other then that barebones are the way to go.
Did you have a look at the specs of those 6 Gig drives? Drives in that size are usualy very slow. This will show when working with large textures.
Personaly i would take a step back on this project and give it a good looking over. You know Dann Stubbs. He's running maybe the best CINEMA renderfarm with a lot of know how and he's not realy earning money with it. You are taking a financial risk that should be well thought through.

Cheers
Srek

elvis
05-02-2004, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by gmask
Things is I guess not all software is actually dual proc aware.. although I guess as long as you have enough ram you can run two renders at the same time each assigned to a seperate proc.

It just seems like you pay a hefty premium for dual Intels in comparison to siongle p4's or even AMD's unless you are talking about Opteron$.

ALL rendering software is "dual proc aware" as you so put it. Multithreading is a standard feature in any renderer on the market, even Max's crappy scanline renderer.

Some of course are far better optimised for it, using intelligent buckets (vray, mental ray, etc).

Again, it depends what you are doing. Professional animation houses wouldn't be caught dead with single processor machines. But not everyone is a professional animation house, nor is everyone financially capable of dual processor nodes.

Novakog
05-02-2004, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by Srek
Did you have a look at the specs of those 6 Gig drives? Drives in that size are usualy very slow. This will show when working with large textures.


Well, that would only matter if he ran out of RAM - and 2 GB is quite a bit. But yes, still something to consider.

danb
05-02-2004, 10:21 PM
Good to see people from the Cinema forum here. Srek i have looked at the hard drives and i am making sure that i am getting the 7200rpm drives. As for the Cd-rom i am going to go with 1 usb external and one ide, (besides the ones in the main server) so that when i need to i can swap the usb drive. other than that i am will just swap in the cd-rom ide drive if i need to reboot for something major.

Also i was on the cinema forum talking to Dann Stubbs and he said that if i was successfull with this farm he would think about upgrading his farm. So basically that is pretty discouraging to me because i don't want to take away business from someone. I just want a way to make a few extra bucks. So i am definately going to have to take a step back and rethink my options. So i guess time will tell.

gmask
05-03-2004, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by elvis
ALL rendering software is "dual proc aware" as you so put it. Multithreading is a standard feature in any renderer on the market, even Max's crappy scanline renderer.


Shave and a Haircut for example is not dual aware but it is a plugin not a renderer so I suppose your renderer will do everything multithreaded then go single for shave etc.

I'm pretty certain that BMRT is not multi-threaded but then again it is not a popular renderer by far.

elvis
05-03-2004, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by gmask
Shave and a Haircut for example is not dual aware but it is a plugin not a renderer so I suppose your renderer will do everything multithreaded then go single for shave etc.

I'm pretty certain that BMRT is not multi-threaded but then again it is not a popular renderer by far.

1) As you mentioned Shave/Haircut are plugins, not renderers. Plugins have little effect on final rendering performance. Shave/Haircut merely specifies data which something else (Mental Ray, Scanline renderers, PRMan, etc) then have to render. Not using dual processing because one of your plugins is not SMP aware is pretty narrow minded.

2) BMRT was/is most certainly multithreaded. BMRT conforms to the renderman spec which is SMP aware by specification.

For those who haven't quite put 1 and 1 together yet, what was once BMRT is now essentially Gelato. Think about the buy-outs over the last 2-3 years, and it will make sense. :)

Novakog
05-03-2004, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by gmask
Shave and a Haircut for example is not dual aware but it is a plugin not a renderer so I suppose your renderer will do everything multithreaded then go single for shave etc.


Yeah, that's not really saying much. There's really nothing instead of renderers that's multithreaded in CG programs.

gmask
05-03-2004, 09:00 AM
>>1) As you mentioned Shave/Haircut are plugins, not renderers.

Yes but in order to use it in the render you need the plugin while rendering. This would certainly be the case with the default maya renderer and I would assume C4d's as well. I beleive that it generates hair primatives for renderman and and mental ray so in that case it may not be an issue.


>>>2) BMRT was/is most certainly multithreaded. BMRT conforms to the renderman spec which is SMP aware by specification.

Perhaps that was a limitation for the "non commercial" version? I recall some restriction there.

elvis
05-03-2004, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by gmask
I beleive that it generates hair primatives for renderman and and mental ray so in that case it may not be an issue.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. It's the same argument as people who tell me openGL is not multithreaded, therefor dual processor workstations are a waste of time. When designing workstations, renderfarms, and other technilogical architectures of a studio, you need to look at the big picture for each scenario, and figure out on an individual basis what your best price to performance ratio is for the particular result you desire.

parallax
05-03-2004, 10:17 AM
Don't forget maybe the most important piece of software in your stable: Norton Ghost.
If things get rough, you can setup your system(s) in 10-15 minutes.

elvis
05-03-2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by parallax
Don't forget maybe the most important piece of software in your stable: Norton Ghost.
If things get rough, you can setup your system(s) in 10-15 minutes.

Diskless boot via PXE is a much better way of doing things. :)

parallax
05-03-2004, 11:37 AM
What is this PXE you talk of?

parallax
05-03-2004, 11:40 AM
It defenitely isn't this:http://www.pxe.org/ :surprised

elvis
05-04-2004, 12:35 AM
Microsoft concept guide for PXE boot (http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/ads/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/ADS/en-us/nbs_boot_policy_overview.asp)

Trevor Hunsaker
05-04-2004, 02:01 AM
I've been lurking here, and picked up a TON of great advise. Thanks to all you folks for sharing the wealth.

I'll be running Maya on a Windows XP Pro system at home, and I've been thinking about setting up my render nodes (when I actually get aroung to buying them) to run on Linux/Unix. Can anyone advise me as to the feasibility of this? I've set up a simple network using Windows, but have never touched Linux before and don't know wether or not it's feasible or practical for me to network like that.

Also, if anyone could point me to a place where I might learn how to render using command lines, that'd be fantastic.

Thalaxis
05-04-2004, 03:00 AM
Originally posted by elvis

Not using dual processing because one of your plugins is not SMP aware is pretty narrow minded.


That's a bit of an understatement :)


2) BMRT was/is most certainly multithreaded. BMRT conforms to the renderman spec which is SMP aware by specification.


The RenderMan spec doesn't even tell you which algorithm to use,
let alone have anything to do with whether or not the renderer is
multithreaded. BMRT used IIRC radiosity for GI; I'm not sure that
anyone ever found a way to make that multithreaded.

Of course, since it was a hybrid renderer and Larry Gritz obviously
knows what he's doing (and did then, also), it's highly likely that
he did multithread the ray server.


For those who haven't quite put 1 and 1 together yet, what was once BMRT is now essentially Gelato. Think about the buy-outs over the last 2-3 years, and it will make sense. :)

It's more likely a next-generation implementation of Entropy...
PRMan v11 got the BMRT ray server. So PRMan is evolving into
Entropy while Gritz and company are forging their way beyond
that ;)

parallax
05-04-2004, 09:18 AM
That was a mighty interesting read:thumbsup:

elvis
05-04-2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by Thalaxis
It's more likely a next-generation implementation of Entropy...
PRMan v11 got the BMRT ray server. So PRMan is evolving into
Entropy while Gritz and company are forging their way beyond
that ;)

Precisely. Although it's interesting that nvidia state quite clearly in their FAQ that Gelato is not RIB compatible, yet there are plugins to make it so. :)

Oh, and more PXE stuff here:

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/PXE.html

Someone was nice enough to forawrd that link onto me today, which was great timing! :)

elvis
05-04-2004, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by t_man13
Also, if anyone could point me to a place where I might learn how to render using command lines, that'd be fantastic.

http://avl.etsu.edu/intranet/resources/CharacterAnimSite/CommandLine.htm

http://www.jawa9000.com/technical/batch/batch-rendering.htm

Thalaxis
05-04-2004, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by elvis
Precisely. Although it's interesting that nvidia state quite clearly in their FAQ that Gelato is not RIB compatible, yet there are plugins to make it so. :)


Interesting decision on their part... though it does explain their
use of plugins for integration.

Hopefully, if Gelato does well, it will motivate other companies
(e.g. Maxon, NewTek, pmG, Worley) to start finding ways to use
the graphics hardware to accelerate rendering.

A hardware-accelerated FPrime would be... stunning ;)

kinich
05-15-2004, 02:04 AM
danb

seems like all this talk made you think it twice (or more)...

like someone else mentioned.. it all depends on what kid of rendering you are doing...

what kind will you be doing?

Good luck for whenever you start this!

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