labtop as a rendering machine?


Hi, i’m working on a short film on my own and i was just wondering if i should get a labtop/notebook to have as a constant rendering machine, while i do all the actual, modeling/animating/compositing/editing, etc on the PC. I remember reading a few things on the internet, where a few people do actually do this. But i’d like to know if this is actually a good idea.



I wouldn’t use a laptop as a rendering machine as processor speeds on laptops are slower which means longer render times, you can’t get as much memory for laptops and all components are more expensive. I have been using a small form factor, mini ITX PC for a couple of years now as my home workstation and it’s been great, so if space is an issue for you then look at them (Shuttle et al.)

I am on the verge of decomissioning my PC as a workstation as I’m going to get a PowerBook to do all my actual work on (please don’t turn this into a Mac vs PC argument) but I’m keeping the Shuttle PC as a render box. I’ll probably run it through VNC to obviate the need for monitors, mice and keyboards for it.

I hope that’s of some use.



What’s making you look at a powerbook in particular, Andrew? What software will you be using for your work?

I ask as I’ve been mulling over whether to get one of those (they’re so sexy) or one of the better-designed intel laptops, probably running linux.

I’d use it mainly as an email/internet shopping machine at home, but I’d also like to do some of my own development projects on it too…


So your saying that getting a labtop/notebook would be a waste of money if i used it as a rendering machine?

Space is not a problem for me at all, im just trying to find a way to speed up rendering times, instead of doing ‘everything’ on one PC machine. Money obviously is an issue since i’ll be doing this myself, but i’m still capable of paying for anything that i believe would be necessary.


You will get better performance for the same expediture from a desktop machine regardless of manufacturer. If you just want a render box, buy a desktop.


PS playemesumch00ns, I’ve PM’d you as I don’t want to start a flame-war here…


Actually, it’ll cost me about $600-800 Canadian, to buy a good PC. But it’ll only cost me about $200-300 CAD for a labtop, that’s a centrino 1.5ghz, 256-512 ram, 40-80gigs, and a bunch of other stuff. Still not worth getting?


I recently bought a dell m70 2Ghz for £1600, and also built a AMD 3000+ 939 rendernode. £350
The laptop is about 10% faster than the PC.

it all depends on whether you need a laptop, and whether you are prepared to pay for a decent one.


yeah i got a centrino 1.7ghz laptop with 1.5gig ram to do all my renderings. its a pitty i cant upgrad my video card memory. stuck with 64mb. but it still does the job…

i was also thinking of buying a desktop too to do my other renderings. ive spent too much on my laptop to fry it.


I’ve used my laptop for rendering while my desktop was out of order for an entire semester. It has a pentium 4 processor and had no problems with it.



Where are you getting notebooks for so cheap. I would say going for a desktop is better idea but if your getting notebooks that cheap go for the notebook, which software are you using for rendering?

if your using linux you shouldnt have any problems


A little explanation would be required on this. For that price you shouldn’t bother if it will or will not be good for rendering – just buy and try out as you could always sell with a more than double profit if you don’t like it. Or what is it about it being so cheap?


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