View Full Version : Buying a second PC for rendering
01-29-2013, 07:09 PM
I´m looking for some advice regarding buying second PC for distributed rendering, I´m completely new at this.
I´m using VRay, I run it with 6core CPU and I need a second PC to use first one for work while rendering on the other one.
I´ll be ordering low cost components, just enough to run AMD FX 8350 CPU (as a graphic card I will use my old Nvidia 9600GT, which is not rellevant for CPU rendering I guess).
My question is: Do I need to buy 16GB RAM for this rendering PC, or would be 2GB enough, as it would be just a slave for rendering? I´m using 16GB RAM on my main PC.
And I´m still not completely decided, whether it would be better to have two separated computers (in that case, I´m buying that extra RAM), or if it´s more effective to use one main PC with another slave one just for rendering.
I´ll appriciate your thoughts or advices, thanks!
Most MB from the MATX size on up have a small built in GPU, so you shouldn't need your 9600. Just plug in your power and an ethernet cable, and you should be able to access it through remote desktop just fine.
As far as RAM goes, it depends on what you do. Most small animation things seem to only use a few GB, but some huge arch vis renders with crazy ray depth and caustics can push 20GB.
If you've got the software licences already, its more cost effective on a small scale to buy fast single socket nodes.
02-02-2013, 07:18 PM
2 gigs wont be enough, as an absolute minimum youll want 4 gigs, but 8/16 would be safer. Ram is cheap, dont skimp on it.
02-02-2013, 07:40 PM
Many thanks for reply!
I allready bought my HW, the MB is Gigabyte GA-970A-D3, but for sure it would be better to buy a MB with integrated grahic, I should had wait for reply. I was afraid that distributed rendering could be using a bit of slave GPU as well.
I bought two 4gb RAM sticks, on my main PC, I´m running 4x4GB RAM. It is no problem for me to spend money for another RAM, if needed, I just didn´t want to waste money for slave PC, as my main one is pretty decent. Would it be possible to combine two 8gb RAM sticks with that two 4bg, if needed?
In case of distributed rendering, is the RAM from both computers combined, like 16gb+8gb, or is it limited by that weaker one?
I do mainly very huge glass sculptures or chandeliers with a lot of refraction, there is not much of caustics, as I usualy want it to look rather clean (in my spare time, I do mainly cars and i´m learning the making of game models). I didn´t have any problems with my 16gb RAM on these projects (or at least I think that I didn´t). What happens if I´m running low on RAM during rendering, is it just signifficantly slower, or it will crash?
People always gripe about mixing RAM sticks, but I've never had a problem with it. It should work ok.
Your GPU wont be used for distributed rendering.
Each node will stand on its own, and will use however much memory it needs. If the RAM fills up, it can switch over to your hard drive. It wont crash, but it will really slow down. If your rendering an animation, each node gets assigned one frame, and renders that entire frame on its own before being assigned the next. If your rendering a single frame, it works best to tile your image into 4ths, 9ths, or 16ths, and let each node render one tile at a time. You would then need to reassemble the tiles into your final image.
It seems that the scenes that really push the RAM usage are the ones with lots of refraction and ray depth. You can check the RAM usage through the task manager in Windows.
02-05-2013, 10:57 AM
I realised that i´m running a 1333mhz sticks mixed with 1600mhz (I tought all of them was 1333) and there is no problem with that.
Now I´ve got everything working and with overclocked FX 8320 (now running on 4,5Ghz, temperatures with Akasa Venom Voodoo are 52°C max, I believe I could get it running on 5Ghz), I´am getting about 30% faster rendedring times over my Phenom ii x6 1100t (never overclocked this one and probably won´t be doing that) and I´ve got my main PC free for working, so it was a great improvement for that buck.
Splitting the static images into parts will be necessary, as one static image rendered via distributed rendering took me actually a bit longer, than the same one rendered via my second PC only ( instead of 3 precalculating phases, there was just one, incredibly long). I guess, it won´t be an issue in case of animation.
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