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Friday, May 30, 2008

A linux cluster in a IKEA Helmer cabinet

Helmer site

3D computer rendering are very CPU intensive and the best way so speed up slow render problems, are usually to distribute them on to more computers. Render farms are usually very large, expensive and run using ALLOT of energy. I wanted to build something that could be put in my home, not make too much noise and run using very little energy... and be dirt cheep, big problem? :) no computer stuff cost almost nothing these days, it just a matter of finding fun stuff to play with.
I wanted to use Intel Quad core 65 nm or better. I surfed the web and found 6 of then at a good price. Then I looked after the cheapest motherboard that could run these. The result of my investigation was the Gigabyte S-series GA-G33M-DS2R/S2 card.

The most amazing is that this machine just cost as a better standard PC, but has 24 cores that run each at 2.4 Ghz, a total of 48GB ram, and just need 400W of power!! This means that it hardly gets warm, and make less noise then my desktop pc.

Render jobs that took all night, now gets done in 10-12 min.

Helmer site

1 comment:

Tim Molter said...

A friend and I built another version of a 24-core Linux cluster built into a $29.99 Ikea Helmer cabinet. The total cost is $2550.11. The design and implementation is robust and elegant. On my blog, I show how to build it in pictures, breakdown the component costs, talk about air flow, and discuss idle and full speed temperatures. We think our solution is practical and feasible for other people needing a small cluster for specialty applications.