I've been lurking on here for the past few days to get info on building a render farm and i think I've got the parts I need, let me know what you guys think.
The idea was to make it home-worthy, so fairly quiet is important and compact as possible without dealing with heat and noise issues. I wanted to avoid stacking mini-towers in my closet so heres what I came up with....
CPU--AMD Phenom II X4 920 $150
MoBo--ASUS 780G MATX AMD Motherboard $75
Memory --CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 $130
HD--Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 8MB $40
Case--iStarUSA D-200 Black Steel 2U Rackmount $95
PSU--CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX $70
Heatsink--I need help on this, Something quiet that will fit in a 2u??~$30
Total cost per node = ~$600
I'd like to end up with about 10(2u) nodes total, housed the 20u rack like this one(something open and around 300$-
My thoughts are to use XP pro 64bit as the OS and use Dr. que or Maxwell Renders que manager to handle the renders. Mabey start off with a couple nodes....check the performance and add more throughout the year.
For the AM2/AM2+ socket, there are very few 2U cooling solutions, one of them is: DYNATRON A5JG Socket AM2 Active 2U Server CPU Cooler, 4500 RPM, 2 Ball Bearing, Copper/Aluminum, selling at around $36
Also, as r_manic said, those Phenom II X4 920 CPUs have 125W TDP, and the case you choosed may be insufficient in terms of cooling efficiency. Keep in mind that you'll multiply the consumed power by 10 (you want 10 nodes) and also the heat goes up.