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Gallagherr

Server for teamrender

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Gallagherr    1

I was offered a server which consisted of:

4x Opteron 8378 2.4ghz Processors (4 cores/ 16 cores)

64 GB Memory

1 TB of HDD

 

pretty oldish server. but fully working. 

 

wondering if it would be good for rendering on teamrender? 

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jed    213

I use a site called cpu benchmark where they list various cpu's 'power'. I've found their scores tally quite well with Cinebench and render times eg a chip that scores 10,000 will render a scene in approx half the time that a chip scoring 5,000 would take.

 

The only reference I could find for Opteron 8378 was for a 2 cpu board - which they scored at 5,382 link. In comparison, a modern quad core Intel i7-7700K scores 12,145 link. Doing the math, your 4 Opterons have about 89% of the power of 1 quad core Intel. This is only theoretical, although I've read on CG Society that with multiple Xeons (more common) you don't always get 4X the render power with 4 cpus - usually a bit less. So your server board is almost as 'good' as a modern quad core i7.

 

You don't say what OS it has. C4D R18 needs a minimum of Windows 7 SP1, which is probably the equivalent of Windows Server 2008 R2.

 

If you're into old hardware, it might be an interesting project but personally I'd steer clear.

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Gallagherr    1
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  • honestly all i have right now is a laptop. and im thinking instead of buying  a full setup to render my scenes. i would install windows 7 onto this? 

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-PowerEdge-M905-Blade-Server-4x-AMD-Opteron-2-4ghz-64GB-No-Hard-Drives/152494616956?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

     

    my main computer broke & needs a new graphics card. i dont want to go all dirt cheap as i enjoy abit of gaming now and then & i'd like it to last 5-6 years again. 

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    jed    213

    A quick Google tells me that Windows 7 only goes up to 2 processors - see the performance table here link, and then you'd need Pro edition. For 4 chips, you'll need server software.

     

    In my little render farm I've got some no frills i7 Windows 10 boxes, built for < £500 each, as and when I had some cash.

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    Gallagherr    1
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  • so what you're saying is building a small form factor PC around 300-500 would be better than buying a server with 2 Xeons Quad cores with a price of £100?

    if not, could you show me what you have and i could base a build from yours as im not that tech smart. 

     

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    jed    213

    For self build, the easiest route is to buy a 'motherboard bundle' consisting of cpu, motherboard + ram. This way you know the components are compatible. Some bundles even come assembled and tested - it's easy for a noob to damage a cpu with static (or bent pins on the socket) during insertion.

     

    A search on Amazon for motherboard bundle should give you some ideas in the range £500 - £600, cheaper if you can make do with last year's chip. IIRC Intel are on 7th generation ie 7***, 6th gen are 6*** etc.

     

    I've only experience with consumer chips (not Xeon etc), but it seems like the older Xeons are cheap but not very powerful, newer ones are crazy prices. You have to hit the sweet spot re price/power. Don't be seduced by the number of cores alone - do your research. The new AMD Ryzens are mentioned a lot on forums.

     

    The blade server you linked would need a rack mount and psu, not the usual computer case.

     

    edit - been reading up on blade servers. They are normally cooled by forcing air around the rack - if you look at the Ebay pic, there's no blowers on the cpus. This would be a problem if you didn't have a rackmount case. Also, being rather old, the cpus would run hot - especially when rendering - so the cooling would have to be spot on.. 

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    lopakam    40

    I manage over a thousand servers all VMed on 90 blades., so it's something I feel I should comment on.  You really want to avoid blades.  They should be in a rack enclosure, but absolutely require a blade enclosure.  Blades do not have a power supply, do not have video ports, or most other ports.  They plug into a blade enclosure which supplies everything it needs to function.  Furthermore, blade enclosures do not run on standard power, ours require a dedicated 50amp circuit.

     

    Having said that, what I use at home are two old Apple XServes as headless render nodes.  They each have dual 4 core Xeons running at 2.9.  Each server cost $250 US, so 16 cores (32 threads) cost me about $500.  Not only do they run OSX, they run Windows.  As stated above, servers, such as these XServes are loud, especially when rendering.  But a fully populated blade enclosure is so loud that it is difficult to even carry a conversation next to it.  Finally, blades should have dedicated cooling because of the footprint density.

     

    Just my humble opinion,

    Mark

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