Nice little render farm or world of pain?

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  09 September 2012
Nice little render farm or world of pain?

Hi guys,
I have come in to 12 of the following machines:

Dual Pentium 4, 3.20Ghz
Radeon 9600 (not that it matters much)
Windows XP Professional (32 bit)

It has occurred to me that I could build a 3ds Max/Vray render farm but I'm trying to figure out if it will end up being worth it (speed vs. setup/maintenance etc.)

I guess the machines will need an OS upgrade to at least XP 64-bit, but beyond that does anyone have any advice?

I'm running 3ds Max 2013 64-bit on Windows 7 workstation btw.


  09 September 2012
Considering a single overcloked 3930K would probably as fast (or close to) as all of those, I'm not sure. Along with the OS upgrade, they would probably need more ram too (if you can find it)
  09 September 2012
Ha! Well I guess that answers my question.
Out of curiosity how do you figure out the comparative speeds?

  09 September 2012
Without knowing exactly what Pentium 4s those machines are running they are still getting on for 10 years old. Hardly worth the bother of upgrading them (if you can).

Cost wise, for the price of the OS upgrades alone, you could probably buy a nice little i7 box that would leave them all in the dust. Plus there's the electricty bill, storage, noise, hassle of keeping them running etc. Not worth the return on effort.
  09 September 2012
Don't forget the cost of software and plugins for each node. Definitely not worth it.
  09 September 2012
Well there wouldn't actually be any additional OS or software costs but even so it seems the performance wouldn't make it worthwhile.

Thanks for the input guys, project is duly shelved!

  09 September 2012
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