Best Blender / LinuxBox rig?

Hey there!

Do you guys know of a website dedicated to building / buying the best possible LinuxBox for Blender?!

I’m thinking maybe something like this, but up to date, now that Cycles is live…

Hi Nunud, the article is good but about 1 year old so:
Go for a fast SSD system disk about 120 GB for OS and you software and another 1 TB for large files and backup.
Look for a board with 2 or 3 PCIe 16/8 slots for more than one GFX card (one for display and one for cycles).
I am fine with my GTX 550Ti 2 GB DDR5 but I am think about another one.
Get a big tower with a good airflow, I have one for 70 € and I am fine with it.
Buy a good supply, I have a Corsair HW 850 W (a bit over sized) but may I like to buy two GTX 580?

Thats it, cheers, mib.


SSD, you sure? Would that significantly affect the overall render speed?!

I don’t know much about SSD actually…

SSD will not help render speed significantly (maybe a bit quicker to load textures - if they aren’t cached in RAM anyway)
But It’ll make your system much much more reactive : boot time, launching Blender, etc.
It is now standard practice in high-end machines to have the OS on a SSD, be it over SATA or as a PCI-e card.

A SSD won’t affect your render speed but your system would overall be faster. A SSD is nice to have but no must have.

Well then if it only affects the OS, I think I’ gonna stick with a hard-drive! :RocknRoll:

Ok, so after searching for info all over the place, I think I’m going to go with a dual GTX 460 rig… And the rest of the machine is going to be ‘average’… :smiley:

Oh by the way, do the NVIDIA cards affect what happens in the viewport, or does that only depend on the type of CPU?

There is no ultimate guide ti buy a render machine. The price range is to big. A Intel i7 is pretty fast but a quad socked Xeon machine is 6x faster.

A good payable sytsem would be a Intel Core i7-3770, GTX 580 3GB (for cycles), 16GB Ram. The mainboard should have a second PCIe Slot for a second graphics card. A 600W PSU should be enough even for 2 GTX 580

Edit: The viewport performance depends on the graphics card. With a dual rig you could render with one and keep the viewport smooth with the other one. For final renders you could use both.

@Fishlike: take a look at this page here

The guy with a dual GTX 460 rig (Mitsuma, the third one one the list) gets a respectable performance for 240 euros…

Do you still recommand a single GTX 580 (I can’t afford two of those), against a dual 460 rig?

The card affects the viewport, yes.

There are several things to consider:
ATI/AMD: have had trouble in the past with openGL (selection of objetc for example), for OK now.
nVidia: historicaly better, but some recent cards have problems. In fact nVidia crippled these cards so that not all openGL capabilities are exploited. For the whole openGL compatibility, they redirect you to the Quadro line ($$$)

Viewport is not all.
Cycles works with CUDA, not with openCL for the moment. But if AMD get their stuff together, their cards will hard to top: good viewport and openCL for Cycles…

Man these things are complicated!

I mean, the more you look for info, the less you know what to do! :smiley:

Wow, nooo… Minimum System Power Requirement for a GTX580 is 600w and max watt/card is 244w so a dual setup requires at least 850w.

Buy a card with as much VRAM as possible, then the fastest you can afford. A 560Ti w/ 2Gb is more usable than a 1Gb GTX580…

Also, you can run an older and a never card, like a GTX2xx-series card as main card for OpenGL and a GTX5xx-series card for rendering in cycles… The 2xx-series cards are still really good at OpenGL… :slight_smile:

I have a single GTX 580 3gb and have been very happy with it. What kind of budget are you looking to spend? I have and i5 running with this and am very happy with the performance of my computer. I have always tried to upgrade things at the very last moment, to try and save the pennies. Now that Nvidia 6 series is out, you should be able to get a decent priced GTX 580. I would recommend getting the 3gb version, to give you that extra space when rendering with cycles.

Good to hear you are sticking with a traditional harddrive. In the experience of the support people I work with, current consumer grade SSDs have a tendency to die after roughly a year.

Really ?

That’s alarming, especially considering the price of these toys.
But some are guaranteed 5 years !? I was about to have one in fact, but I’ll wait till after i upgraded CPU/RAM/MB

Hey guys!

Thank you for all your advices, I’ll take them into account when I’ll buy my rig…

I have one last question though: can a dual graphics card system work with two different cards, or does it have to be twice the same card?!

Yet another reason to prefer HDs! :slight_smile:

Okay, but isn’t a dual system “inherently” better?

I agree, but I don’t think the technology is quite mature yet, unless maybe you buy one of the enterprise grade drives, but those are hugely expensive.

We had a rash of them dying, anything from 32G to 128G ones, suddenly they were read only or had tons of block errors even if they had all the right tweaks like trim and no-access-time, etc. enabled. They all lasted roughly a year with moderate laptop use.

@monsterdog, when was that ? What brand ?
I was considering buying one of the new Plextors :
Shouldn’t the 5 years of guaranty be OK ?

@Nunud: no, you could even have an ATI and a nVidia card on your system if i am not mistaken… To be confirmed though !