Author Topic: Second Workstation vs. Home RenderFarm vs. Online?  (Read 2963 times)

2020-10-28, 03:01:24

shoebu23

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 23
    • View Profile
Hello!

Question for you advanced users... what's best for a $6-$10k USD investment in hardware here in 2020 for an individual freelancer to supplement an already decent system?

Situation:
After years in the agency world, I've been freelancing from home for a year now and ready to up my hardware.  I'm currently on a 2990x / 64gb / Max setup which has been, for the most part, been great.

Problem:
I am constantly trying to find ways to get work done faster - either by offloading renders to an online farm (but prefer to have the control of it while rendering and always run into problems with cloud rendering), or reducing the cores while rendering and attempt to work on two projects at once (which of course is always a challenge).

Do I....

Get a new blazing fast 3990x / 128gb setup and have two workstations that I can switch between to easily work on multiple projects at once so I can easily check on renderings while they are going (and use distributed rendering whenever possible)?

Do I...

Find a dedicated online workstations that actually work - is that a thing yet?  Feels like in 2020 I shouldn't be buying more hardware, but haven't found any other solution yet.

Do I...

Get more sophisticated and start to build a renderfarm via deadline/backburner?

In other words- what would you do?  Thanks in advance for your advice!


2021-02-04, 18:00:56
Reply #1

cjwidd

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
    • Artstation
Really curious about this exact situation. How has your thinking on this issue developed?

2021-02-04, 18:30:09
Reply #2

cjwidd

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
    • Artstation
Seems like a lot of people were pretty happy with Rebusfarm in 2015, at least for stills production

2021-02-05, 14:36:02
Reply #3

Vuk

  • Active Users
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
I personally don't use any online render farm so I can't really say anything about that. But I heard Rebus is quite ok and easy to setup. On the other hand, you did mention you want to be more in control so buying a few computers might be a better route.

I do remember a few years ago (5-6) when rendering farms were expensive and not as nearly as cheap as they are today so do count that as well. A friend of mine using Rebus was paying around 2-5 euro per rendering in 4-5K resolution. This is of course information I got from him like 1-2 years ago so I can't really say how cheap they are now but I doubt that they are any more expensive than that and plus there is a lot more competition right now.

If you need to render a lot of renderings in a short timeframe be prepared to just use a render farm or to invest 3-4 times over your budget in a personal render farm :).

Now if you ask me I would always get a good workstation PC. The 2990wx is a fast machine but I think it would be much more viable as a rendering node. I would suggest you upgrade to a 3990x as you said. I think that the performance gain would be massive especially since the improvements from gen 2 to gen 3 TR area great. If you want to save money, you could also buy any other lower tier 3000 Threadripper and just move the 2990wx to your personal farm.

I use both DR rendering and Backburner. If you are working on multiple images or projects you could easily send various backburner jobs to your 2990wx machine to render them while you are preparing other scenes/cameras for rendering.

If you don't need more than 128gb of ram then you could also set up 2-3 16 core 3950x or 5950x rendering nodes and use them instead. The 3950x go quite cheap right now so I am pretty sure you can easily build 3 of those workstations for the same money as one 3990x. The only thing is if you are willing to introduce even more machines/computers to your workflow since tomorrow you might have more work/maintenance to do with 3 instead of 1 extra machine.

Also, on a side note, a 5950x is a completely viable replacement to a 2990wx it has similar multicore performance but smokes the 2990wx in single-core performance so any other task besides rendering will be smooth AF.
« Last Edit: 2021-02-05, 14:45:56 by Vuk »