The exact question I'm wondering is should i build a renderfarm, or build one powerful computer. If my memory serves, i think its much better to spread information over multiple CPU cores. I'm also leaning towards Intel, but as far as the renderfarm goes I've been thinking to get 10 AMD Vishera 8 cores. I have also pondered of GPU rendering, having tried Octane and others, but they are still very limited and need at least 5 years to improve. But as far as a single computer, i thought a Dual Intel Xeon should do the job, what are your thoughts? You could also recommend cases and cooling as i am kinda lost there two. For my RAM i think 16gb should be fine.
I am also in the same boat as you researching what I can,
I currently bought a Fx8350 to do testing with that as to see how it fared with a plan to buy 5 more and one intel 3930k as my master PC.
I am now looking into a cluster of 5 3930k's, Vs the latest Xeon v2 processor build.
The cost of a dual Xeon V2 system is just well under the cost (4k+ UK)of 5 well built 3930k's (about 3.5k UK)
To my rough calculations, Dual Xeons should be about 4 3930k's but then I have got the power constraints and fussing about of networking nodes etc.
In my view, a system running 3D modeling, rendering, and video / effects processing is the most demanding of every system > CPU, RAM, GPU, and Disk. And, in that environments of both speed and accuracy, and in which rendering and FX processing can use all the available cores, the best system will be > Dual Xeon @ 3GHz+ > ECC RAM > Quadro / Firepro > SSD OS /Applications/ Mech'l storage RAID 1. A content creation system is quite different from a content consumption system, and substituting gaming hardware to run workstation software is, as I discovered, a time-consuming and costly mistake.
If you're on a budget, or need this system up and working right away, my recommendation is to buy a used Dell Precision T7500 > Dual Xeon X5680 , 6-core @ 3.33GHz > 24-64GB ECC 1333 > Quadro 400, K4000, or 5000 > Samsung 840 250GB or 840 Pro 256GB > 2X Western Digital Black or RE4 with 1 to 3TB. This is not only less expensive than building, it can be used as soon as it arrives and the applications are loaded. It's possible of course to buy one with a single X5680, get back to work and gradually add a second CPU, add RAM, change GPU, and so on. I did this with a Precision T5400, that arrived with a single X5460 4-core @ 3.16GHz, 4GB ECC 667, Quadro FX 580 (512MB) > Seagate 500GB purchased at two years old for $480, and eventually spending another $500, it became 2X X5460 > 16GB > Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB, Seagate 500GB. this runs AutoCad, Solidworks, Adobe CS4 MC, Corel Technica,l Designer, and more- plus is quite fast at rendering. This was one of the best purchases I've ever made- ultra-reliable and the system was improved without ever missing a day of work.
Another tactic, if you're running a lot of renderings, is to have the T7500 off in the corner on slogs and have a faster single CPU system fro 3D modeling and rendering setup. I've done this as well, recently buying an HP z420 with > Xeon E5-1620 4-core@ 3.6 /3.9 GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 > Firepro v4900 Samsung 840 250GB > Seagate 500GB. The upgrade scheme is to replace the V4900 with a Quadro K4000 and the Seagate drive with a pair of WD Black 1TB. the T5400 can be the rendering /backup system and the z420 can model and setup renderings.
If you'd like to run a single system, have it be all new for speed and reliability, have a realistic budget and time to research, order, assemble, configure, troubleshoot, and test >
The following configuration was done in consideration of the best cost /performance basis suitable for high calculation density requirements > Mathematical, Astrophysical, vector analysis, particle, fluid, gas flow, and thermal simulation, statistical analysis, molecular biology, static and dynamic structural, 2D/ 3D CAD modeling, video editing, sound processing, graphic design, rendering, architecture, industrial design, financial analysis. >
which is running at 3.4GHz. , and which will cost about $2,100.
The motherboard is a dual Xeon, so the second E5-2687W is added later for an eventual 16 cores / 32 threads. On the Passmark CPU benchmark chart, this processor is the No.2 rated, score = 21491. In the top 100 systems on Passmark Performance test, this CPU is used in the 6th highest performing system.)
2. CORSAIR Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Water / Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm $65. (Intel specifies liquid cooling for the 150W E5-2687W. Of course, another would be added with the 2nd CPU)
3. ASUS Z9PE-D16 SSI EEB Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600 > $480 (See links above for information)
4. 32 GB (2 X 16GB) SAMSUNG M393B2G70BH0-CK0 1X 16GB for ASUS Z9PE-D16 > $290 ($145 each, Server Direct)
5. NVIDIA Quadro K4000 VCQK4000-PB 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card > $800. (Quadro K5000 would be preffered > $1,800.
6. SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $220
7. (2) Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $320 ($160 each) (RAID 1+0) (Active files, backup, system image)
8. SeaSonic Platinum-1000 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Power Supply> $240.
9. LIAN LI PC-D8000 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $331.99
10. (2) ASUS Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-16D1HT ASUS DVD Burner 24X DVDDRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS > $220 ($110 ea)
11. NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller > $28.
12. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (Full Version) - OEM $140
TOTAL = about $5,070.
> If you're on more of a budget and 6-cores /12 threads will do >
This system is intended as a workstation solution with high performance / high precision, very high stability / reliability at reasonable cost, and suitable for 2D and 3D CAD, graphic design, rendering, mathematics, simulation, animation, and video editing.
3. ASUS P9X79 WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB $380.
4. OPT’L motherboard > Asus Z9PE-D16/2L Server Motherboard - Intel C602-A Chipset -dual Socket R LGA-2011 > $380. ( The idea with using this motherboard is that in the future, you could have a dual CPU system. The E5-1650 though is single CPU configuration only, so it would be replaced. Another approach would be to use this board and start with one E5-2687W (=+$1,400), adding another later- plus another 32GB RAM as each CPU has it's own RAM.)
5. 32GB (4X 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ECC Unbuffered Server Memory > $300. (Check ASUS motherboard compatibility list)