Need advice to build a rendering RIG

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lucaspkm, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. lucaspkm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    I work on several large projects and need a new rig to handle some heavy compilation.

    Here's my criteria for this new system:
    3D rendering on some models and graphic animation.
    Budget USD$6000.

    Thinking of getting:
    Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores)
    6GB (6X1GB)
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
    One 18x SuperDrive

    any better recommendation or have think that budget is not enough or the rig can be better please share.
     
  2. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #2
    Why not just get a Mac Pro?
    You can get a Mac Pro that meets your requirements for $4999, except that you will have to find the 5870 elsewhere. (apple does not sell them at the moment)
     
  3. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    I think he is talking about getting a mac Pro and wants comments on which one to order and how to outfit it.

    They do sell them with systems, just not separately.
     
  4. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #4
    You could be right, but I assume that if the OP was talking about configuring a MacPro, he would have said "configure," not "build."

    Oops. You are correct. My bad :).

    Edit: You can get a CTO MacPro with the 5780 for $5199
     
  5. highdefw macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2009
  6. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #6
    More RAM. Not from Apple though. OWC.

    Also possibly more storage depending on what you're doing.
     
  7. Shademaster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #7
    I have done a fair amount of research on this subject and I would suggest the following:

    EVGA SR-2 mtherboard with 2 Xeon 6 core processors. Use 2x Corsair H70 coolers on the processors and overclock the to 4.0 Ghz.

    Mount only 4GB memory sticks on your motherboard, 6 GB is not enough, if you buy 4GB sticks from a vendor like Corsair you are cheaper off per GB and you get yourself upgradability to 48 GB Ram. I own a 3D studio and a year ago I thought 12 GB ram was going to be plenty, right now I am selling my old ram and buying 4GB sticks to upgrade to 24 because it really is not enough in the long term.

    I calculated that a fully build PC rig like this will yield 22.0 Cinebench renderingpoint (check www.cbscores to see how that compares to the MacPro's ) and derived a price of 220 euro per 1 Cbp from that. Divide that price by that of a MacPro of the same specs that costs 7000 euro's that only scores 15 CBP and you come down to a 466 euro per 1 Cbp.

    A core i7 970 system overclocked to 4 Ghz with 24 GB ram and a rendering score of 11.5 CBP will yield a 166 euro euro per 1 Cbp pricepoint and is cheaper per rendering point.

    Recently I sold of 2 of our studio iMac's because they were 800 euro per 1 Cbp and got 2 core i7 970's instead. Total renderpower went from 3Cbp to a whole 23Cbp for the same money. If 3D is your thing and you need speed I'd go the PC way.
     
  8. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #8
    thank you bros. for the comment however i stated wrongly on my post I am trying to get a mac pro, the config i believe need more rams, however my boss gave me a budget to do so and i can't build 1 as my whole office environment is using mac.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    I'll presume for the moment that the $6k budget is for the system and upgrades. As the MP configuration listed would be $5200 (before any taxes and shipping), so that would leave less than $800 for upgrades.

    Unfortunately, this won't be enough left over, as you'll need to address bottlenecks that will still exist in the system as shipped (RAM and disk throughputs, which will require RAID, as well as a sufficient backup system).

    And a good RAID system can hit $3k+ with almost no effort at all. :eek:

    I've no idea on file sizes at this point, but you'll probably want to go with more than 16GB of RAM as well (using 4GB sticks, you can go 24 or 32GB <figure $1000 incl. shipping for 32GB>; if you need more, then you'll require 8GB RDIMM's, which are expensive <$308 for a single stick>).

    I don't know if your company already has a sufficient backup system or not, but the cheapest way is via an eSATA card + Port Multiplier enclosure + disks (consumer grade are acceptable here). The card and an 8 bay enclosure would hit $420 or so (+ disks of course).

    Please understand, I'm thinking worst case/insane performance needs at the moment (faster turn-around times = more profit over a fiscal year, as more jobs can be taken on; something the business side likes ;)).
     
  10. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2010
    #10
    Can't we use xgird to minimize the cost as we have 4 xserve and kind of a lot of other client as so i believe by using xgrid will help us cut some cost out.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    That's going to depend on exactly what you already have available (I'd presume storage to be on a SAN if your company's running a cluster/s).

    I figured the system would be a stand-alone workstation by your previous post, not a node in a cluster, which meant something was needed (DAS).
     
  12. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2010
    #12
    hmm DAS for? we already have another 2 mac pros and this new 1 will be the main machine in that cluster.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    DAS is good for stand alone systems. As you hadn't mentioned a cluster at that point, the logical assumption was that the MP you're after would be a stand alone.

    But as it's going to be part of an existing cluster, that definitely changes things. You'd still need to put plenty of RAM in the system (and I'd use an internal RAID 1 for the OS; an OS drive failure would really suck in the middle of a big job).

    What sort of storage system do you currently have in place for the cluster?
     
  14. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #14
    we had a NAS
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #15
    What's being used now?
     
  16. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2010
    #16
    nas
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    What kind of throghputs?

    I ask, as NAS usually isn't that fast (more of an inexpensive solution). Tends to be software or low grade hardware (cheap RoC if it's there), and slower networking specifications (i.e. not 10G Ethernet or FC, which are 10 or 8/4Gb/s respectively).
     
  18. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #18
    Is a netgear nas, which my bosses bought.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    Which model?

    NAS usually isn't that fast (presuming it's a single 1G Ethernet port, that's a transfer rate of 100MB/s or so at best). No where near enough for a rendering system (stand-alone), let alone a cluster.

    What are the other systems that comprise the other pair of nodes?

    Given it will be a 3 system cluster (via XGrid), it would be a good idea to consider a DAS on the new system, and use it to serve the data to the other nodes (you already indicated this will be the primary, and is the best way to go IMO for this small a cluster).
     
  20. lucaspkm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #20
    Bro. have pmed you for more info regarding this, would like to know more about the ideal setup.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #21
    Response sent.

    Basically, I need detailed information as to what you already have in place, as I'm not totally sure I've the right idea on this. Even if I do, I still need the details, as they truly matter in these cases (not like simple upgrades that "close enough" will suffice).
     

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