Home Render Farm/Machine/Station

I am planning to upgrade my current computer and was doing some research on building render farms and would like to ask for some advise. My current system has the following specs:

  • AMD Phenom X6-1075T 3.00Ghz Six-Core CPU
  • Standard heatsink & CPU Fan
  • AMD 880G Chipset AM3 Black Series DDR3 Motherboard
  • 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz High Performance RAM
  • Integrated ATI Radeon HD4250 Share Up to 512MB Graphics
  • Integrated 8.1 Channel HD Audio
  • Seagate 500GB SATA3 7200rpm Hard Drive
  • 24x Dual Layer DVD +/- Writer
  • Integrated Gigabit Network Card
  • Runs on Windows 10.

I contacted the guys who built my current PC (they specialize in building customized PCs) and gave me the following specs as an upgrade option (actually to build a whole new machine).


  • AMD FX 6300 4.1GHz Six-Core GTX 950 OC Custom Built Gaming PC


  • AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz (6 x 4.1GHz Turbo) 14MB Cache Six-Core
  • MSI 970 SLI KRAIT AM3+ SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 Motherboard
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB GDDR5 DX12 Graphics Card
  • FROZR ATX Gaming Case With 4x LED Fans
  • Antec 500W 80+ High Performance Power Supply
  • 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz High Performance Gaming RAM
  • Standard Heatsink & CPU Fan
  • Samsung 120GB SSD Upto 500MB/s+ Speed Solid State Drive
  • Integrated 8 Channel HD Audio
  • DVD drive (Not Supported - Not Included)
  • Integrated Gigabit Network
  • 2 Years (1st yr. Parts & Labour, 2nd yr. Labour only)

The cost is $750, which is fine for my budget.

Could you please assist me if this is a good system? I work from home as a graphic designer and 3D animator. I am looking to upgrade in order to improve on my rendering capabilities and speed.

  • The Case, With 4x LED Fans

I would go with a MSI GTX970 4.0Gb Graphics card, make sure you have CUDA installed and use that for rendering, I have just bought one and man is it fast! I run it on an Ubuntu 16.04 Studio machine with 16Gb RAM and a 6 core AMD processor. I had to upgrade the power supply to cope with the new graphics card however. I was advised that 2Gb on the GPU is not enough. I know the 1080 is out there, but at over twice the price for very little improvement in performance over the 970, I was advised by my supplier that it is not really a good option.

Which operating system are you going to use?

Cheers, Clock.

PS. Here’s my system showing GPU and CPU, I used a liquid crystal cooler for the CPU: :stuck_out_tongue:

The MSI GTX970 4.0Gb Graphics card sounds good! Perhaps its time I tried adding rendering using a GPU as an option. I have read some positive things about it. So do I have to install CUDA as well? I thought that all I needed was to install any NVIDIA graphics card starting from GTX 4XX. Please enlighten me here.

My guys said that they would install a windows trial version. Which of course won’t do for me. I think they were trying to accommodate my budget. The idea of using Ubuntu Studio sounds logical. My current system uses Windows 10. I have fiddled with Ubuntu before but never delved into it. I just had a quick read on Ubuntu Studio now and it sounds awesome.

So then if I were to go with the MSI GTX970 4.0Gb Graphics card, I would have to upgrade the power supply and have a liquid cooler installed?

That’s a mean looking machine:evilgrin:!!! Did you build it yourself?

My local shop built it for me to my spec. You need a “Bronze” standard power supply, a normal one will go “fizzzzz” after about 5 minutes with this graphics card in the machine. The power supply cost me £65.00 so it didn’t break the bank. I used the liquid cooler because the CPU was getting too hot without it, again not an expensive piece of kit. If you use Ubuntu Studio, you just load the Nvidia driver and some other bits for CUDA, I cannot remember off the top of my head but I just did an internet search for it. If I find the link I will post it here.

My machine is stupidly fast running Ubuntu, I use it for all sorts of things other than blender, including serving films to my TV and music all around my house using Logitech Media Server and TVMobili. I banished Windows from my house after MS released Vista (spit) and have never used it since, preferring Ubuntu for my server/render machine and Macs for everything else, I have a MacBook Pro for my blender modelling work and an iMac for my music work using Reason software.

My GPU now renders my current project at 37 seconds per frame, my MacBook or CPU rendering on my server takes over 7 minutes for the same job.

Cheers, Clock.


It’s all here:

Basically you want these three bits: Nvidia Driver, nvidia-cuda-toolkit, nvidia-modprobe for Ubuntu. First render took 10 minutes while the machine loaded the kernels, very fast after that.

Thanks once again for the insight, information and the link to Ubuntu NVIDIA drivers and other resources.

Let me pass on the given suggestions to my guys will see what they’ll say. Hope to soon share an update on what comes out of it or hopefully, a photo of my new machine:eyebrowlift2:.

And I certainly can’t wait to try out my current project to see how faster it will do the renders. Keeping my fingers crossed.


hi, check this out.

The setup discussed in the article is very powerful (and seemingly cheap). More options to consider.
Thanks for the link.

There’s a few things I would recommend, some in agreement, others not.

Until Zen CPU’s come out, I would not recommend any AMD CPU’s for rendering (assuming some rendering will be done via CPU’s). Seriously. A cheap i5 CPU (even if it costs 2x as much) will render at least 1.5x faster than a FX-6300, also the CPU’s here are older Intel CPU’s, add 10% for the modern ones.


The power savings will be huge on an Intel CPU, plus you don’t have to spend money on an extra CPU cooler.

Seriously, I back AMD, used to buy their CPU’s, still buy their GPU’s. But right now their CPU’s are the worst choice for rendering, any of them.

Apart from that, definitely look at a better gpu for rendering, they can make a huge difference :slight_smile:

Also, in terms of power supplies, my gaming system with a 4.4GHz i7, 2 overclocked 970’s can barely pull 500W when rendering on everything, if not overclocked less than 400W. Don’t go spending more than is needed on a PSU, a 500W 80 plus PSU can be had for $AUD 50-60, so should be less than 50 Euro, USD or Pound.

Thanks @zeeapal for your input.

Man, 249 comments on that link! I read the article and 3 pages of comments thereof and honestly, not being a fundi on CPU’s workings, terminology, pros & cons etc, I am left wondering what to go for now.

However, from the comparison on the article it is clear that the AMD FX-6300 (and other AMDs compared with) falls behind on many tests against the i5 and i7. But the comments (well, at least of the 3 pages I read), I get the sense that they tend to favor/lean towards the AMD.

I have no doubt that Intel is a good and reputable company when it comes to making computer processors. What I seem to gather from my research is that AMD “promises” to give performance at a lower price than one would normally have to pay to get somewhat similar or closer (debatable) processing capabilities as intel’s. (highly debatable) Just my views.

The comments on that link reminded me of the never ending battle: Mercedes Benz vs BMW…:)…!

So when I got back to my guys with the response I got from @clockmender, they offered the options below. They didn’t have GTX 970 in stock so quoted me on GTX 1060:

AMD FX 6300 4.1GHz Six-Core GTX 950 OC Custom Built PC:

-AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz (6 x 4.1GHz Turbo) 14MB Cache Six-Core
-MSI 970 SLI KRAIT AM3+ SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 Motherboard
-MSI GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING X 6GB GDDR5 Overclocked Card
-[BLACK] Evetech FROZR ATX Gaming Case With 4x LED Fans
-Antec 500W 80+ High Performance Power Supply
-16GB DDR3 1600Mhz High Performance Gaming RAM
-Corsair H60 High Performance Liquid Cooler
-Samsung 120GB SSD Upto 500MB/s+ Speed Solid State Drive
-Integrated 8 Channel HD Audio
-Integrated Gigabit Network

Total cost = ZAR 14,497.00 (USD 1,013)

If it HAS to be amd setup you are ok with that. But with $1000 you get a serious workstation. (4-5 years old though)
Look at these links:

i recently ordered an HP z820 workstation from this guy. I am sure if you look closely in his store you will find something that fits to your needs. i am not promoting him, a quick search in ebay will pop up a lot of opportunities.

some more links

al these are close to $1000 or lower, but you need better GPU.

Thanks. I looked it up and looks good - awesome specs.
Unfortunately they don’t deliver to South Africa.