I'm looking into buying some parts to make very stripped down render nodes (for mental ray in maya), except with a lot of processing power! So I found this on NewEgg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.976993), and it looks like a good deal to me. Does anyone know if it would be a good start; couldn't even one of these make a noticeable difference in rendertime? I would also get a small hard drive for Windows 7 and mental ray.
Right now I have a Mac Pro 2X 2.8 GHz quad core CPUs. 14gb of RAM and about 4tb of storage. I've tried using computers around the house but they were not powerful enough to make up for the network overhead. Although there is a big Apple logo on the side of my system, I live in Windows 7 x64. I plan to use it as the master, sending jobs around to the other nodes, while doing some rendering of its own.
I realize I probably need more than this, like cooling and enclosures/racks. However it seems like the CPU and motherboard are the key components, so I figured I should ask about this cpu/motherboard combo first! Any advice about these parts, and any others I would need per node, would be really great!