Helmer Render Farm Choices, need help ?


Finally I'm gonna build my own Helmer Render Farm but after my research for the part I'm a little confuse.

Little background first:

I'll use the renderfarm for 3DSMAX/VRAY, Cinema 4D/VRAY and After Effect. Mainly for long animations with gi/AO etc.

GPU Animations is not an option

My budget for render node is about $1100-$1200 or less and try to squeezed for as much performace as possible.

This is my first setup:

- Intel Core i7-4930K 3.40GHz -$579
- ASUS Rampage IV Gene LGA 2011 -$210
- G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB -$160
- Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SV300S37A/60G 2.5" -$60
- EVGA 430W 80PLUS Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply $35
- Noctua NF-R8 80mm Fan $15

Total LGA2011: $1059

This is my second setup:

- Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz-$340
- ASRock H81M-ITX -$60
- G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB -$160
- Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SV300S37A/60G 2.5" -$60
- EVGA 430W 80PLUS Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply $35
- Noctua NF-R8 80mm Fan $15

Total LGA1150: $670

Now my questions:

1- I choose this motherboard because is the cheapest one for LGA 2011 socket but if there is anyone better for a rendernode I'mm be more than happy to hear it.

2- Seams that I need a graphic card with this board. Can I use a cheap graphic card for windows instalation and later remove it and work remotly ?

3- Looking for a LGA 1150 solution but that restrict me to 4 core for node. Is cheaper, but is slower than i7 4930K, that has two more cores. The LGA1150 is very appealing but give me 12 cores less when you multiply by 6 nodes, than the LGA2011 option. But Maxon Cinebench for example say that the i7 4790K give 800cb vs 1225cb for the i7 4930K. This is almost a 35% more in performance, almost the same in the price difference.

Really don't know what to do, any help are welcome.
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  1. Best answer
    I would pick up a 5820k. Cheap and you get six cores. Pick a version 3 2011 board to with it. I recommend ASRock with the best performance value. Also, get a better psu, like one from Seasonic, they will never let you down. And yes you need a gpu... will high end gpus not speed up your renders? Or are they cpu based only.
  2. Thank maestro0428, no, I'll only go to cpu render.

    What happen with my psu selection ??, I choosed for quiet throgh ?!

    And the question still remain about the gpu, the gpu has to be ALL the time in or only in the instalation phase ?
  3. I'm thinking in the GIGABYTE BXi7-4770R (rev. 1.0) too, give me 687cb in cinebench 15 and the small form factor is very attractive too...
  4. Seasonics are quiet too. PSUs are important to a stable, long lasting system. I build/service workstations and the two parts that fail the most are the psu and the storage. As far as the gpu goes, I believe you do need one, but you can run it headless. Just get something cheap. Yeah, those little PCs are very small, but I am not sure you wanna render for days on end with one. Noisey little buggers too.
  5. maestro0428 thanks for your advise, right now after some more research and listenig advises this is my setup:

    - Intel Core i7-5820K -$394
    - ASRock X99 Extreme3 LGA 2011-3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard -$210
    - G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB -$160
    - Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch -$85

    That's the parts that I have sort of sure:

    Now PSU, Fans and Case are not sure at all, LGA2011 motherboard DO NOT FIT in helmer like 1150 do in the past so now I think that is time for improvisation:


    - A Rackmount microATX Server Chassis - OEM
    - Is there any Seasonics that fit there ??

    Any other option that I'm missing ?
  6. That case fits a standard atx psu. Most psus will fit. This one is perfect and still affordable. You will need a cpu heatsink. The socket 2011 don't come with them. You will have trouble fitting a good one in there since the case is 2U. Bump up to a full 4U and you will have all of the room you will ever need.
  7. Hey man thats a great PSU, Added !. You are right, I need a heatsink and I mess it.

    I don't know about the 4U, perhaps a 3U (if that exist), I have a space issue, so I need to gather all this six nodes as small form factor as possible.

    Again thanks in advance.
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