[Beowulf] 3d rendering cluster

Paul K Egell-Johnsen paul.k.egell.johnsen at gmail.com
Mon May 23 03:34:06 PDT 2005

I'm tasked to find prices for a solution involving a rack mounted 3d
rendering farm, but after searching a bit on the net (and more
importantly on this list) I've yet to find some simple answers to the
following question(s):

What is the most important part for a 3d rendering farm; memory to
each processor, processor speed and/or access to SAN?

The kicker is that we're also going to use the same hardware for 2d
composition in AfterFX and synth/fx processing for sound production.
Ie. when we're through rendering we're not going to let that hardware
rest but will utilise it in other parts of the workflow.

I know that for fx processing prosessor speed is paramount, and for
sample playback memory size is important, as well as local access to
the samples, but what about 3d? We're going to use Discreets 3d Studio
Max w/Brazil.

We're aiming for off the shell 1U units or blades. Any pros/cons would
be apprecieated, as for price they are pretty equal. I've been looking
mostly at Intel solutions, since they are easily available from Dell
and IBM.

Furthermore, but this is off topic I guess, would a larger iron from
SGI or SUN be better than a cluster for this kind of use (though we'd
be loosing sound fx and AfterFX processing)?

Investment timeframe is 6 months, and we're looking at < USD 50K

I'm sure this is an asked and answered question, but I've been going
through this the last few days, doing searches and still nothing in
the first 30 results on google..., even when constraining on a
particular site, like the mailing list archives.

Best regards,
Paul K Egell-Johnsen

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