Simple Render Farm


Myself and a friend of mine are starting an "on the side" rendering company. We are both intern architects with experience using 3dsmax 2009 (and earlier versions). Our decision to start this company stems from the lack of hardware investment at the office.

And so we managed to gather 2500$ for computers. I will be in charge of setting this up, and I'm thinking of getting 2 computers (Q9550). I would like to set up a small render farm using the two machines, but have no idea how to accomplish this (failed miserably using backburner at work...).

Only one license of 3dsmax will be purchased, but I understand that any install in a render farm only requires one seat. So one computer will be the workstation where we work and render from. The other computer will only be used to render. Here are a few questions:

1. Any basic info on setting up a small render farm with 2 computers?
2. Will the second computer require a monitor?
3. Is backburner the only way to setup a rendering farm between two computers?

Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated as I have no networking experience (but trying to learn)...


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  1. :o I am currently dealing with the same questions. I too use 3Ds Max for my renderings; ran on 64-bit Vista. The workstation I run on is a Dell Precision T7500; Dual Quad Core Processor E5504 2.0 Ghz, 4M, 4.8GT/s; 12 GB DDR3 EEC SDRAM Memory. Here are a few things that you may find to be useful for a low budget render farm.

    1. I would recommend purchasing a Render BOXX 10300 node from BOXX Tech. If you can swing it, pricing runs around $6k (no more than that or you are getting ripped off). This would speed up rendering time with a 2.26 GHz this would render at a 40% faster rate. You would get a 3 year warranty with the company with real HUMAN support. These boxes come equipt with 2 nodes (its basically 2 workstations in one but with extreme processing capabilities for way faster rendering).

    2. By using a BOXX 10300, it is not necessary to have a secondary monitor. The prime workstation is what does all of the work. Check out the video about this product for more information.

    3. :pt1cable: As far as setting up a rendering farm between two computers, there are other options besides Backburner. I am not an expert, but both Rocks and BOXX Tech are great sources for information on what you will need to set up your renderfarm. These companies are workstation vendors however they are very knowledgeable with render farms.

    Also, you might want to try for online rendering.

    Good Luck! :sol:
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