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Admittedly, I am not very knowledgeable of hardware, but I am trying to put together a cheap render farm using the following with my Lenovo Y50 gaming laptop:

GPU: 2X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

CPU: Intel Pentium G4560

Motherboard: ASRock 250M Pro 4

Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM

SSD: Crucial MX300 275GB

Power supply: EVGA 450W 80+ Bronze PSU

Case: Fractal Design Core 1100

Link: http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-build-guide-budget-gaming-pc/

Is this a workable method? Most articles I find online from CG artists are very expensive home made setups with render nodes, routing and server cases, etc.

Thanks

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't call it a render farm as you only have one other machine, but having a system dedicated to rendering (or other computation) is extremely useful. However, consider a single better GPU rather than two 1050's. Your processor is also not to fast. What is your budget? $\endgroup$ – sdfgeoff Oct 31 '17 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ Well I guess I was hoping to keep adding GPUs over time to make it almost like a render farm. I chose 2 GPUS because I read it would be faster since blender can just assign rendering to them as if they were just slaves. But to be honest, I'm really not knowledgable about these things so I am open to all suggestions regarding GPU. I was hoping to keep it under $1000. $\endgroup$ – lakerice Oct 31 '17 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ How is this off-topic? blender.stackexchange.com/questions/5228/… $\endgroup$ – lakerice Oct 31 '17 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Because it is opinion based and related to specific hardware. $\endgroup$ – Dimali Nov 2 '17 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ The question I was asking was more generally related to building a render farm with GPUs instead of render nodes. I happened to mention the hardware I was looking at but I was not specifically asking for an opinion based on that particular hardware. If you look at the link I posted to a similar question it was upvoted 14 times and not flagged. These questions are useful for Blender users trying to build render farms. $\endgroup$ – lakerice Nov 3 '17 at 19:03
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Your configuration seems OK so far, but your CPU is rather weak. When rendering on GPU, some tasks are also done by CPU, the BVH for example (BVH = building the scene volume hierarchy). Further reading: https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Source/Render/Cycles/BVH

I'd recommend an i5 or something similar with 4+ cores. Don't try to save money on your computers brain. Also important: don't put in 16 gB of RAM as one module, it is more efficient to put in 2 x 8 gB modules to the two fastest RAM lanes on the mainboard (usually those are color-coded). When you want to put in more GPUs in the future, consider choosing a bigger PSU. 450 watt seem OK for two 1050ti, but if you double that in the future, you might hit the maximum wattage and your cards will slow down under full stress (the clock speed will be reduced to cope with the low power = slower rendering). This will also happen, when your system isn't cooled well. With two or more graphics cards, you need to pay close attention to cooling. Make sure your case is bigger than normal cases and has a lot of fans (as many as your PSU/mainboard can supply). I can't stress this point enough, I almost melted my pc last month. I'd also recommend that you put in an additional harddrive as a framestore, 275 gB is sufficient for your OS and some few programs, but when you choose to render a lot, you will need more space for your projects and renders. This "framestore" doesn't need to be an SSD. As for the SSD, you might also consider a M.2 module. This is an SSD module, that is directly put onto your mainboard. But make sure there are enough PCIe slots available, to hold an M.2 SSD and your graphic cards.

A little disclaimer: I'm not an expert, so any comments and corrections by the community are appreciated. Those are just some empirical points from my own hardware fails :-) happy rendering!

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow that's awesome info. Looks like I have some more homework to do. I should have mentioned the RAM would have been 2X8GB yes. I guess it would be better then to upgrade all those parts I listed originally to have more capacity. $\endgroup$ – lakerice Oct 31 '17 at 19:45

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