Advice on new hardware

Hi all,

I’m thinking to buy some second-hand hardware to do renderings. Not now, in a few months, I’m just studying the idea.
Right now I have a 1,9 GHz / 512 MB laptop, but it has not been built to do such kind of work (I’ll have to do several animations, this means very long rendering jobs if I do them with it, and it’s getting warm fast). On the other hand I don’t have much money to spend… Today I saw this on ebay:

bi-Xeon 550,
1 GB RAM (sdram)

I imagine I’ll be able to find the same kind of hardware in a few months.
Do you think it would be able to render at least as fast as my laptop? (assuming I’m using 2.37 or at least the latest dev snapshot, as I now it supports threads). This way I’d be able to do modelling & texturing on the laptop, and rendering on the bi-xeon…

All advices and comments are welcome.


I don’t know if this is going to be a popular idea, but the first thing, is that you’re render mascine runs Linux, it will render a lot faster that way, preferably you should compile blender with gcc4, that will also speed things up. if you’re doing a large ammount of animation rendering, then you should check out drqueue:

Hi bannerboy,

It does. I never use anything else :slight_smile: SuSE or Vector depending on the hardware (but even through Vector is supposed to be used on older hw, it’s so light and fast that I might use it as my primary distro some day).

Right. I’ll try that. Anyway, my purpose wasn’t exactly on speeding rendering; I’m trying to find a solution to free my laptop from this task without loosing too much speed.

I already know it. I’ve looked at several solutions if this kind (I know Piovra too), but for a render farm you need several nodes, I don’t have any right now (assuming that my laptop won’t do any render). The only other available computer I have is a PIII-500 I’m using as a TV. It will help, but I can’t use it alone, so I still need to choose some new hardware.

Hi all,

Finally I might be able to get some better hardware. Here’s what I’ve choosed, if you have any advice before I go further, tell me… Its primary job will be, as I said, to make some big render jobs, but I’ll use it to develop my scenes too.


MB Tyan Tiger i7505
Dual Intel Xeon 2.8 Ghz / 533MHz
Memory 2x 512 MB PC2100
Graphics board… Certainly one Nvidia with 128 MB or even 256MB. I’m happy with Nvidia so far.
And I’ve already a 160GB HD.

Will be running a Linux system, I’m still thinking about it - either SuSE 9.2 or 9.3 (has SMP kernel ready to use I think) or Vector (Slackware-based, will require to compile a new kernel with SMP).