M dot's mini render farm choice for September 2008

I figured it would be helpful if I show you what I chose and why for those interested in doing the same...

I was originally going to use an Ikea Helmer cabinet to house all my render nodes but once I found some cheap cases w/PSU's that were cheaper than the PSU's alone for the Helmer setup I decided to just go with 4 separate boxes...

CPU: Intel Q9300 = $260.00
- gotta have a quad... could of went with a Q6600 yes but I wanted the lower heat and power consumption that comes with this 45nm chip seeing that its going to be on forever... not planning on OC'ing either

RAM: 8 gigs DDR 800 = $130.00
- My workstation has 8 gigs... I matched it so whatever my workstation can spit out these nodes will be able to render it... I'm doing lots of SPD with big textures so need the memory

HArd Drive: 80gb Seagate = $40.00
-Nothing special here..just get the smallest, most reliable drive you can find

Mainboard: Gigabyte Micro ATX = $104.00
- Why so expensive? Well I needed one that supported 8gb RAM, had onboard video and gigabit all in a micro atx form factor...this was the one

CASE w/PSU: Inwin Micro ATX case w/350w PSU = $60.00
-Now before you freak out and say 350w WTF?!!? When you don't have a mega video card (this one doesn't have any) and aren't OC'ing like a madman and only have one hard drive you'd be surprised how little power you need... I read the reviews and the PSU is surprisingly solid...

CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling 92mm : $20.00
-Didn't have to get this BUT I want these things to be cool AND silent and I don't trust Intel stock HSF's for the quiet thanG

Case fan: Scythe 90mm: $9.00
- Again I didn't need these but I read in the reviews that the lone fan in the case is loud so I'll replace it with this silent one

Total per render slave: $623.00

The reason I put the date on this is that in 3 months...or 6 months...definitely in a year I would choose something different... CPU's are always getting cheaper and faster so if you find this in a year from now DON'T buy the same stuff!!! Do your research and get the most bang for your buck while thinking about keeping things cool and quiet if you can. My last render setup was not cool OR quiet 0_o


  1. Mike (m dot) why cant i find u on the london film festival site? ur still goin to it?

  2. I'm guessing you also need to include the Windows Vista 64 cost... Is there any extra cost for the software you intend to do the rendering with, or did it come with free render node licenses?

  3. Oh in London I'm speaking at the Power to the Pixel event which takes place at the same time as the London film fest so check out the Power to the Pixel site...

    Vista 64 made me want to kill myself so I'm using XP 64.

    The Cinema 4d studio bundle has unlimited nodes or I've never noticed a limit... most I've had was 7 nodes...


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