PDA

View Full Version : Dual CPU's or Network Rendering? How to...


evo_supra
10-17-2004, 04:06 PM
Dual CPU's or Network rendering? Well....when i say Network Rendering i really mean connecting my old (AMD64 3000+, 512mb RAM, 128mb ATI 9800pro) PC to the new that i'll buy, otherwise known by some as a Render 'Cow' if im not mistaken.

1) Anyways...i just wanted to know which is better? Since im only thinking of a Dual processor for its help rendering, BUT then again i could save money and just some how Network my old PC to the new one i'll get, with a AMD64 FX-55 processor, 2GB RAM, 6800GT etc. (Works out much cheaper than the Dual setups ive been looking at)

2) Lastly...ive searched around but i havent found a thread on how to set up a network mentioned above for rendering here. Is it simple? Sorry if i sound like a n00b, but I'll mainly be using 3dsmax and my PC does come with a wireless network card ...if that helps.

Any idea's? Thankx :thumbsup:

Andyman
10-17-2004, 04:17 PM
I'm interested in knowing this also, so help is appreciated! : )

JohnnyRandom
10-17-2004, 04:58 PM
well the more processors the better. If it's a only the difference of a couple hundred dollars, which it usually is, the extra investment is worth it. Think if your already spending a thousand or so dollars, its cheaper in the long run to spend a quarter or even a third more. Your equipement will have a longer usable running life.

setting up a network is fairly easy. for less than $60 you can buy a 6 port 10/100 hub (sorry, a switch, thx Jdex :) ) for bout $80 10/100/1000 (shop around and you can get this stuff much cheaper). get some cat5 and connect you pc's. Its about as simple as that. There are a few configurations settings you going to have to make (ip's and mac addresses) but the documentation that comes with your hardware is generally quite good.

3dsmax is super simple to set up net-rendering (with the scan-line renderer), simply start backburner manager on your "home" machine and server on your slave. 90% of the time the manager will find the slaves in your network without any other changes to your config.

In max check the "net-render" check box and go.

The user reference in Max has ALL the extra information you may need. It is very concise and will answer any additional questions you may have. Do yourself a favor and use it, they paid someone alot of money to write it, it is your friend :D

As far as wireless goes... without a proper setup and configuration your inviting anyone else in your neighborhood an open invite to your pc and your internet connection. Not a very secure way to go. If you dont care or want to share go write ahead.:)

Vertizor
10-17-2004, 08:55 PM
What kind of rendering do you do more often? Do you render animations a lot, or do you do mostly still images? With the exception of XSI* most 3D apps will not benefit from net rendering if all you're doing is just single images. So if you want to speed up rendering of still frames, the dual CPU option is ofcourse faster. With animations, heh, get all the power you can afford.

Also take into consideration when adding a more and more computers to your network that the cost of maintaining them also goes up (electricity, software licenses, space, noise, heat, etc).



* XSI Essentials and Advanced has Satellite Title Rendering, it breaks up a still frame into smaller tiles and distribute them to each render node in your network. This speeds up rendering still frames.

JDex
10-17-2004, 09:56 PM
Ah but the issue is much bigger... with network rendering you gain the advantage of multiple computers individually hammering away at a sequence of images. This is very good, because if a machine fails, the others will usually keep-on-keeping-on. The downside is you are hit with some very techinical production issues. A hub is not good. It's not. A switch is what you want. You can easily find out what the differences are with a google search. Also you are faced with having shaders (addon's in particular) fail for various reasons... issues of file management with textures and various sorts of other aggravations.

Having a Dual Processor setup has pros and cons as well... manufacturers wallop you with a premium price tag for the same basic processor, that you are now buying 2 of. Also the motherboards face a premium, and are often "behind the times" when it comes to latest/greatest features. On the plus side... any application that is optimized for multithreading will run better, faster and generally make the user feel more "m-m-m-m-mattressy" (sorry for the Hitchhikers reference).

I prefer both... a network of dual-processor rigs. But I am a madman.

evo_supra
10-18-2004, 11:29 AM
Thankx for the replies everyone! :thumbsup:

Vertizor: I mainly render animations. So far i'll only be networking one computer but having said that, does it cost anything extra? I thought it was free so long as its only one PC.

1) Oh and another thing, does the machine that help render my animation need a good GPU? Or from what i understand, its mainly the processor doing all the work?

2) And lastly, sorry bout this...Does the processor have to be same when networking? like 2 Intel's or AMD64's only?

Vertizor
10-18-2004, 04:03 PM
I mainly render animations. So far i'll only be networking one computer but having said that, does it cost anything extra? I thought it was free so long as its only one PC.
Depends on what renderer you use. Mental Ray for example charges a license per CPU. Maya/XSI/3DS Max ship with MR and 2 CPU licenses. So if one of your computers is a dual CPU system, that alone will use up your 2 freebie licenses so you'll have to buy more for your second machine. If you have 2 single CPU computers than you should be fine.

1) Oh and another thing, does the machine that help render my animation need a good GPU? Or from what i understand, its mainly the processor doing all the work?
Nope. In some cases these "render slaves" can be systems without a video card at all (providing that particular BIOS and OS allows it). If all it does is render, then go ahead and put in a cheap video card (just for OS and software setup).

2) And lastly, sorry bout this...Does the processor have to be same when networking? like 2 Intel's or AMD64's only?
Nope. All machines in the render farm speak to each other over TCP/IP (network protocol) and the software that manages this whole task will be compatible with itself (obviously). Those 2 layers of communication is all you need, the low level stuff like OS version, CPU arch/type etc. is transparent to the (net)rendering software.

wurp
10-18-2004, 05:04 PM
-----
Nope. All machines in the render farm speak to each other over TCP/IP (network protocol) and the software that manages this whole task will be compatible with itself (obviously). Those 2 layers of communication is all you need, the low level stuff like OS version, CPU arch/type etc. is transparent to the (net)rendering software.
-----

Not always true tho, some renderers can render slightly different on different platforms, with mental ray it should be fine tho..

sundialsvc4
10-18-2004, 05:17 PM
Dual CPUs are useful if, and only if, they are both able to run at near-100% utilization during a render without competing with each other for shared resources. This takes some very high-performance hardware. It takes lots of memory. It takes a renderer that is designed to fork more than one thread, and to establish processor-affinity for each thread, and to give each thread a separate playpen. If any of these prerequisites do not hold, your multi-CPU machine is not buying you anything.

A "render farm" of fairly junky, independent machines may be simpler, and more effective. You strip them down to bare-essentials, kill any and all background processes they don't need to run, and link them all up with a very fast network and (as others noted) switches, not hubs. Wires, not antennas. A good render-farm management package now keeps them all busy. Even a so-called "junk machine" that doesn't run the latest-version :rolleyes: of Windows ... has a lot of horsepower and no resale value. :) This is a great application for them.

I'd build a render-farm of single-CPU machines. Make a pal at the Goodwill store. ("What? You actually want these?")

evo_supra
01-11-2005, 03:33 AM
Another question;

Does both networked computers running an AMD64 processor for render, benefit being 64bit?
Do they eventually perform like dual Opterons? Or does this rely on 64bit windows and 64bit softwares?

CGTalk Moderation
01-19-2006, 01:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.