Boards for Render Farm

I am wanting to build a small render farm, possible something like the Helmer setup - http://helmer.sfe.se/

It has been a long time since I built my own systems, and I am confused by all the choices out there. I need help picking a motherboard and the appropriate PSU.

Here is what I intend to put in each system:
CPU - i7 870
Memory - 8 GB
1 or 2 Sata drives - 7200RPM
Motherboard needs to be Mini ATX with onboard video, and onboard NIC (preferable a GB NIC)

Thats it - I don't need anything else, no sound, minimal USB ports...


What Motherboards would you recommend for this and what kind of wattage will the PSU need to support this?
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Come to think of it, I probably don't need onboard video either, as long as the motherboard will post and run "headless".
  2. Two suggestions for you to investigate

    AMD systems using the Hexcore Phenoms in a motherboard with an 880G chipset [ onboard ]
    This will be cheaper and perform as well or better than the intel system based on the i7 870

    The second system to consider is an i7 9xxx series cpu , with a motherboard that can run triple channel memory . Im unsure if there are m-ATX boards that use triple channel , or whether they will boot without a graphics card . None have onboard .

    Theres a charts section of this site where you can get a good idea of relative performance in apps
  3. Thanks for the advice. I'll check out the Phenom II X6's and see what I can figure out.
  4. ^ 'We've got radically different definitions of what a 'Rendering Farm' is, to me it is a series of Tesla GPUs running off Xeon rigs - http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/poweredge-c410x?c=us&l=en&s=biz&cs=555
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