How to: Cinema 4D + mac Pro + Render Farm

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Creative36, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Creative36 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #1
    Hello. I currently have an iMac 27" 3.4 GHz intel core i7 with 32GB of ram. I run Cinema 4d and I create 3D animations. Render time is a huge issue and would like to make a render farm. I have been considering a Mac Pro as my render machine. Do you think mac pro would work well as a render farm using Thunderbolt? Do you have any other suggestions for Render Farm with Cinema 4D and a mac?

    Thank you.
     
  2. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #2
    The title of the thread is very misleading. How To: is used for how to walk throughs not for questions.
     
  3. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    MN
    #3
    A render "farm" would imply more than one additional machine; a single Mac Pro would basically be a render server or slave. Generally that sort of thing is done via Ethernet, though I guess it is possible to network two machines via thunderbolt.

    But buying a Mac Pro to use as a render slave is a terrible use of $. You could easily build a handful of 4-6 core Windows boxes (and have an actual "farm") for the price of even the entry level Mac Pro. (And you would need much more than "entry level" to see a significant increase in render performance over your iMac.) I don't know Cinema 4D specifically, but I'm assuming the mac version can network render to either platform. You might lose a hair of efficiency splitting the load across multiple machines, but generally all that matters is how many cores are available. Things like OS, user experience, slick hardware, dual high end video cards - definitely not worth paying the Apple premium on that stuff for a render farm.
     
  4. Firewire800 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2011
    #4
    I use a HPZ600 12 core for rendering with C4D - a PC is the way to go for rendering. If you do not do a lot of rendering, or need real power you might wanna try renting a render farm. Rebus Render Farm has an excellent plugin that works within C4D, and the renders are fast - and very reasonable -- and renders download in the background to your computer. I think they have a free demo render you can try.
     
  5. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #5
    a bunch of used Mac Mini's connected via a gigabit switch. That's the ticket.
     
  6. sirio76 macrumors regular

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    Mar 28, 2013
    #6
    In term of price/performance nothing beats a few 6core i7 nodes(unless you need a much bigger farm). Each of my selfbuild nodes almost match the speed of my nMP 8core(or an oMP 12core) and costs only 1.000$. With a gigabit connection you will be fine, no need to use thunderbolt.
    The minis are nice for small works but been limited to 16GB is not enough for bigger scene and I suspect the fanless design of the minis will get them hot(=CPU throttling).
    If you are interested here is my little farm(consider also that new CPUs are coming very soon):
    http://forum.vrayforc4d.com/threads/cheap-rendernodes-for-dr.14214/page-2
     
  7. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 4, 2008
    #7
    Why bother with Mac?

    Cinema 4D is cross platform, and so are the licenses (MAXON doesn't care what you're running it on). It'll be much, MUCH cheaper to build a bunch of PCs then Mac. I landed up building 8x Mini ITX systems for the cost of two Mac Pros, and the resulting render farm absolutely kicks the crap out of the equivalent (price wise) MPs.

    I would not have done that if I had to actually use those computers- my primary workstation is still a cMP. But the ITX systems just sit around crunching renders all day long, so I could care less what they're running- plus RDP is arguably better then Apple's non-existant remote administration solutions if I do need to get into the boxes somehow.

    -SC
     
  8. snouter macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2009
    #8
    Team Render in Cinema 4d does not use Thunderbolt, it uses Ethernet.
    You already have the ability to render to other computers by installing the Team Render Client on any computer you want to use on the render farm.

    A homebuilt PC will be the best bang for the buck in comparison to the MacPro, iMac or MacMini. The iMac and MacMini just don't have the kind of thermal characteristics you'd want for a render slave. The MacPro is just too expensive compared to a PC. My 4930k runs at 4GHz so it's faster than my nMP 6c and cost about half as much.

    A 4c i7 with a cheap motherboard will be the cheapest and a good bang for the buck. When you get into 6c or higher, you start to need more expensive motherboards, so, do the math on what works best for you.

    I suspect two 6c computers would be cheaper than three 4c computers though when you factor in RAM, cases, boot drive, and Windows licences. They have a Linux client but only make it available to the big boys. Really (really) wish they'd release a Linux client for the rest of us.

    My C4d "render farm" is a nMP 6c, 4930k 6c, 3770k 4c. All Intel, all Ivy Bridge. Don't think the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge/Haswell part matters, but I have heard it is best to stay on the same processor manufacturer (AMD or Intel) although I have no first hand experience in a mixed environment. The Windows and Mac computers all play nice together.

    The Mac client for Windows RDP is indeed good.

    Also the licenses differ. I use C4d Broadcast, so I think I'm capped at 3 clients.
     
  9. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #9
    Plugins often cause issues if you use them. IE, if you use Vray for C4D, net render will have issues if they're the PC version...every place I've been to that uses a farm with C4d and Mac Stations, the sys admins have used Macs as a render farm....unless they use something like Deadline.
     
  10. Tutor, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    Jun 25, 2009
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    #10
    +1

    +1 Coolness/temps really matter much when rendering for long durations.

    I consider the Gigabyte UP4 ("GUP4") to be a cheap motherboard - It costs under $250. I've got eight systems using them and those systems have 6- and 8-core processors. Moreover, my experience with them is such that I wouldn't hesitate to put a 10-, 12- +-core CPU in a GUP4. Plus C4D really rocks with Nvidia CUDA/GTX GPU enabled rendering, especially since the Team Render feature was added. I use both OctaneRender and TheaRender for GPU rendering (and soon hope to test FurryBall for C4D; additionally, RedShiftRender is said to be extending to C4D). The GUP4 can handle up to four double wide GPUs. I highly recommend the SilverStone Raven case. This case is cool in more ways than one. Innovatively, the case flips what is traditionally the front and rear of other cases 45 degrees so that the intake fan, which now really cools the motherboard and attached GPU(s), are at the bottom of the case and the GPUs now exhaust immediately from the top of the case. Your four GUPs can hang like this: I I I I

    A word graphic -

    UP
    __________________________
    the ceiling - where air is hottest

    heat exhausts upward

    I I I I = up to four GPUs

    two large air intake fans

    the floor - where the air is coolest

    DOWN

    The Raven is thermally sound and makes me ask myself why wasn't this the case design orientation originally used as the standard by other manufacturers when multi-video card systems began to become more common. Excluding server cases, the traditional case design is brain dead stupid for multi-video card systems. In a multi-GPU case configuration, the GPU farthest from the CPU is the coolest, but it heats the one on top of it -> making that GPU hotter and the one that gets heated even more heats the one on top of it etc etc ->the top most GPU being the hottest and to make matters even worse, it's the GPU now closest to the CPU. See, also, related discussion here - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=19522505&highlight=silverstone+raven#post19522505 .

    +1 Excellent observations.

    +1 I tried a mix of AMD and Intel systems and it was a nightmare. Apples (hardware-wise) are really Intels, so I've had no problem mixing them for GPU rendering (But, see preceding post regarding V-Ray).

    +1

    I'm not familiar with the Broadcast license.

    P.S. One can even use very old MacPros (I use my three 2007 MacPro2,1s) in a GPU rendering network. With a little creativity, one can load up to three double wide GTX GPUs in them [ http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=18887887&highlight=3+double+wide+gpus#post18887887 ]. They're not as cost effective as an external chassis because of GPU rendering software licensing methods and costs, but an old MacPros provides you with another full system and may actually dispense with some of the issues that I've read about recently that others have encountered when working with an external chassis.
     
  11. cebseb macrumors regular

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    Feb 21, 2011

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