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[THOUGHTS] $4k on one system or many small ones for...

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Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Okay reading over some recent threads here about people setting up mini farms for various things i have now been thinking.. (theres a first!)

Originally i was going to go an buy a new dual opteron system / PCie (dual NVIDIA SLI') etc.

Now i have a gaming system i am putting together with an x800PRO /2.6C /1g pc440 / 2 x 250g SATA drives [deal on ebay] so even if i did do the dual opteron i would not need that type of graphics in it as i will now have this gaming rig.

I am slowly getting back into my 3d desing days using bryce / poser and such and what i am now thinking is to buy 4 mini systems which will basically be a mini render farm. (on top of the several coomputers in our home office i can use as well so now a 12 hour render may trake 2 hours :D)

I have this nice little microatx case which will be my media system with likely these specs:
http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=311477

So, would i be better to say make 4 of the above systems maybe change the mobo - and have 4 x mobile 2500+ / 2600+ - overclocked of course - they would run me about $500 each - as opposed to a dual opteron 250 / 2g of ram / serial ATA drives - a PCIe top end ati or NVIDIA card.


thoughts, feedback, opinions all welcome!!!
 

daba

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Location
Berkeley, CA
Up to you. I'd go for less systems out of practicality (my view is biased because I can barely utilize one computer, let alone four), but if you want to build a FAH farm go ahead!
 
OP
Mr.Guvernment

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
I was also now thinking to in the future i could sell the systems slowly if i needed :) and down here it would be easier to sell the smaller systems then one large one.

The main reason i was going to buildthe dual was it was also going to act as a gaming rig - but now i will havea seprate gaming rig so the dual purpose then would be for work and 3d design / photoshopping. - but i can now just use my current work system a p4 2.4 @ 2.7 / 2g pc2700 system.



This is what i priced out @ newegg so far

(i figured before buying all 4 buy one system - see how it goes and then get the other 3 - unless people can convince me it wouold be better to buy the dual opteron system :d)

thoughts?
  • 4 x IN WIN Black Micro ATX Slim Chassis Case with 180W Power Supply, Model "BT566.180BFU2A"
  • 4 x Kingston ValueRAM Dual Kits 184 Pin 256MB(128MBx2) DDR PC-3200
  • 4 x ABIT "VA-10" KM400 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU -RETAIL
  • 4 x AMD 45 Watt Mobile Athlon XP 2600+, 266 MHz FSB, 512K L2 Cache Processor - OEM
  • 4 x Western Digital Special Edition 80GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model WD800JB, OEM Drive Only (40g was $3 cheaper so went with 80g)
  • 4 x Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition, Opti-fin technology, made of All Copper
total cost : $1,367.76 +$ 82.24 for 2 day fedex shipping.


Also now i just found out out company is putting a T1 line into our home office :) so i could even use the system as game servers :D
 

[email protected]

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
Orlando, FL
Looks pretty good. I would get the 4 separate systems instead of one super system. You have much more options and freedom.

If you really plan on selling those though, I have to tell you- IT IS A PAIN IN THE *** to sell used computers. Especially if they aren't either too old nor new. Most people either go for a really cheap system, or a really good one... the ones in the middle are left out.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
As far as usability I found that network rendering allowed me to accomplish more at once since I could start the render on the cluster of machines and then use my main for games. That way my one-and-only computer wasn't held hostage rendering.
 
OP
Mr.Guvernment

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Z^ yup that to

and me being in Costa Rica - selling these system in the future if i ever were would be easy - considering i just sold 5 systems in the last month :D all used.

well, looks like that may be the route i am going to go


Any suggestions or thoughts on the actual hardware i choose? the MicroATX board i looked in icould not find any that had a multiplyer adjustment - but i can lock acp/pci and move the FSB - i do want to O/C these system :D