I've been researching and slowing picking parts out for a budget render farm build. I'm a college student and have chosen to build a render farm as a project for one of my PC/networking classes. I'll also be using the farm for some professional architectural renderings after that, so it has to be at least somewhat competent and scalable (sp?) in the future. I've searched around here for a bit and haven't had much luck with budget build CPU stuff for rendering, it seems conversations end up being a debate about with i7 proc to get..
My biggest problem right now is CPUs. I'm bouncing back betwen Intel and AMD, FM1 or AM3, etc. All while trying to stick to a budget. I'd like to keep the price per node to ~$300. So for the CPU I'm looking at either an AMD option or an Intel socket 1155 option.
With a $300 per node price mark I'm looking at CPUs around $80-120 each. Right now I've got my eye on the following CPUs:
Athlon II X3 450(450-455 I don't care)
Phenom II X4 965
i3-2100 or i3 variant
For my price range I can get more physical cores from the AMD options, but the Intel chips always seem much more efficient and capable when compared to AMD chips with twice as many cores, with the AMD options usually coming out on top when it comes to rendering benchmarks. What I'd really like is some real world application performance advice; Do the extra AMD cores really help that much?