Building a new, cheap computer - multi-motherboards?

I am educating myself with the help of a friend, and thought I would enlist the help of some Blenderhead friends… has lots of computer parts, and I am currently considering getting 2 motherboards each with 4 gig memory and quad core processors. Along with a 500g HD and power supply, I’m only looking at around 500 bucks.

I don’t have much more than that to spend and REALLY want to do the best I can.

Should I go with motherboards that can handle up to 16G memory, or just stick with the basic 8G?

A really big question - Am I stupid to try getting 2 motherboards working together? I am planning on Ubuntu 64 bit, but will be happy with anything Linux. Is it wiser to just max out a single motherboard with all I can afford ( not much…)

I guess I could also call this “The Ultimate Blender Computer for under $600 (incl tax and shipping.)”

I am listening carefully.

Blender on, dude.

you want to run 2gb of ram per core so do your math

so each core will only handle that much?

quad core is 4 * 2G = 8 gigs per quad core.

If so, why do some boards handle up to 16 gigs?

I am certainly not doubting you, just trying to learn. Thanks for the quick reply!

Any other advice?

Saw this site where somebody who stuck 6 motherboards (!!) into one computer case, and got them to work together using an application called dr. queue. I’m not sure how that gets the computers to work together, or if it will work with blender, but it might be something to look into, or get ideas from.

For rendering, i would get the old 45nm Core 2 Quad as they are fast and cheap. I7 is faster, but has lower performance/$ i think. Throw in 4GB of RAM in total, unless you are working with HUGE textures or massive scenes, then 8?

for fluids and special effects, get 16GB of RAM and a 3Ghz Core 2 Duo, as Blender isn’t as multithreaded as you might think.

If you really want the best bang for the buck, don’t just throw money at it, instead, look at where your current bottleneck is, and go from there. Also, don’t try to build a future-proof computer, such a thing does not exist :smiley:

Wow…i just heard from you one PC with 2 MObo…
Is it okay apply 2 mobo in one PC? Because i afraid the system and OS will crash one with other.

check craigs list and your local want adds. many businesses are going out of business or downsizing so they sell the pcs fairly cheap sometimes. if you know what you are looking for/at you can get great deals. just go into system info and it will tell you what the pc has in it. i once got an sgi for $500 it had parts i recognied so i was to worried about it being a brand i had never heard of. i googled it whyen i got it home and was very suprised my “generic” pc was seloling for $15,000 and it even came with a 22" monitor and highspeed color printer. alot of the people selling the stuff just know you can get cheap pc’s at walmart or bust buy, and being used they try to beat their price by a fair bit.

I think you will also have to fix the needs in power supply…

It is generally believed that the Increased number of transistors and lower power consumptions allows the new 45nm processors to run at higher clock speed compared to a 65nm counter part under same price range, but my experience is just the opposite, I found the Q6600 much easy to overclock up to as high as 3.8 from 2.4, though be mind full that only your cpu would be consuming as much as 200 watts so u end up paying more on smps and cooling.
On the other hand (and some may find it strange) my dualcore e5200 45nm processor running at 2.5 with 2 gb ram and Nvidia 7200 graphic card performs on par on any blender task than the quads with 16gb ram and quadro 1700
And the E5200 came under 20,000 including the cabinet, dvd writer, 700gb sata and 19i Lcd, where as the quad cost me almost 80,000 (Indian rupees.)
So for a cheap system, I would suggest asus P5GC MX 1333, Intel E5200 with 2 gb 667 Ram, and an ordinary 450 watts smps, 2/ 350gb sata.:yes:

I agree with everything you said. But personally I take power consumption very seriously. So being able to run a 45nm processor at 1.0volts at 3.4Ghz far outweighs the 4Ghz 65nm at 1.5v. (45W vs 190Watts!)

If you go for the multi board’s your best of buying two seperate thin cases, perhaps even rack mount cases if you can and buying a cheap rack case for the two machines, then network them with a fast ethernet cable, link these two computers upto your work computer via an ethernet cable and install a render farm managment tool on them, such as dr. qeue.

All that happens is that you send a frame or a number of frames to the render management software, which then distrubutes it between the machines.

I cant see a way for this to work with blender fluid sims or baking of any kind, you’d have to do this on a single machine. Also if your planning on just hobby work, really go for the 8GB motherboards, this, coupled with a large page file will be more than enough to render out scenes that you send to the machines.