Optimizing linux kernel for 3D and rendering?

I just installed a fresh Xubuntu 6.10 and while its lightweight and nice, I want this rig to be as good as it can possibly be (Athlon XP 2700+).

Custom kernel compiling comes to mind first, why not custom blender compile, too.

Do any of you practice this, and does custom/personally compiled kernel actually provide any boost for rendering calculations?

I can’t think of anything that you could do to the kernel that would improve render times over one of the Ubuntu k7 series kernels, but building blender with the specific gcc -march setting and acceptable optimizations for your CPU may speed the internal renderer a bit (and maybe the GUI too if you did your GL libraries).

For test purposes though, rebuilding yafray and benchmarking that would be quicker.

If you compiled everything for your computer, and gave it some of the optimization commands on compile you would notice a massive difference. Some people have had minutes to hours shaved off there render times.

I would suggest however you try Ark Linux or Gentoo for compiling as they are more based around that with better support and instructions.