Two PCs with dual graphics cards or One PC with quad cards, Which would you prefer?


I currently have an Asus rampage IV with two GTX 580 graphics cards installed. And the motherboard has two more PCIE (8x) slots available.

So, I have two more gtx 580 GPUs to work with but I would like to get the most out of each of these cards when it comes to cycles rendering (both stills and animations).

I also have a second PC that I can devote to the project.

So which do you think would be best:

Option 1: Use a single motherboard with quad (liquid cooled) GTX 580 cards. Two cards in PCI-E 16x and two cards in PCI-E 8x? I feel this would be preferable for doing stills/single frames but might not be as fast for animations as a farm??

Option 2: Build a render farm consisting of two motherboards and two gfx cards each (All installed in PCI-E 16x slots)
This might be faster when rendering animations but I feel like that looses me two gfx cards for when Im rendering single frames, working in blender, playing games or anything really…

So which would your prefer, and why?

Also other options would be nice to consider too.


For gpu rendering, the pci lane speed isn’t that important, so dropping down to 8x is a non-issue. If you are rendering stills , having 2 separate render machines isn’t going to do you much good without a bit of a headache to set up a tiling/splitting renderfarm setup.

If heat isn’t an issue, and solid watercooling certainly would help with that, I’d go for the 4x cards.

The 580 is a little too old now…they run hot and you’re still bottlenecked with either 1.5 or 3GB of VRAM. IMO just sell the 580’s you have and grab a single 980, or even a 970 if the budget is tight. Maxwell is way more efficient and cooler.