Carrara not using all of my render nodes! Solved!

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  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 35,594

    ebay magic.  would be kewl to get a hdri camera also. home made hdri images 

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    BTW there's a z600 coming up for auction tonight at 8:30pm pacific that is currently bid at $50 (+$44 shipping).  The kicker is that it only has one CPU, the other CPU seating is bent so it can only ever be a one CPU machine, nevertheless the Xeon it's running right now is equivalent to an i7 (in fact will likely render Carrara even faster than an i7 of the same generation).  And of course at some point it could be switched to a hex core Xeon for 12 render cores too, could turn into a pretty good deal as I think businesses will shy away from buying a z600 with only one CPU and consumers won't have a z600 on their radar or realize it's equivalent/superior to an i7 desktop.  Just thought I would mention it (because my unhealthy eBay obsession compels me to).

     

    smiley

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    Jonstark said:

    Just thought I would mention it (because my unhealthy eBay obsession compels me to).

     

    smiley

    You just keep doing that, okay?

    One of these days you'll post one while I have a pocket full of cash and I'll end up with a new machine on its way to my door! smiley

     

  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 35,594

    what do you put in the really short slots?

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  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    edited October 2016

    Those are PCIe 2.0 slots.  Someone more tech-savvy than me will probably give better and more accurate info, but as I understand it (at least according to a youtube video I vaguely recall from Linus tech tips or someone similar) all PCI Express cards are backwards compatible, so you can even slot in a more modern card into those little slots, but you'll miss out on the full memory capabilities of the card as it obviously doesn't have all the connections for the longer card.

    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 35,594

    saw on amazon can get ups/surge protectors direct from China

  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 35,594

    the ebay specials, most don't come with OSes or activation codes?

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    MistyMist said:

    the ebay specials, most don't come with OSes or activation codes?

    Actually most that have no OS do indeed come with a COA, at least in my experience so far.  So it's a simple matter of installing whatever version of Windows is on the COA sticker (almost always Windows 7 Pro) from a thumb drive and then using the product key from the sticker to activate.

    I've only had one purchase so far that came with no COA sticker, and for that I went and bought a key for Win7Pro for $29, which worked fine.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    Jonstark said:
    MistyMist said:

    the ebay specials, most don't come with OSes or activation codes?

    Actually most that have no OS do indeed come with a COA, at least in my experience so far.  So it's a simple matter of installing whatever version of Windows is on the COA sticker (almost always Windows 7 Pro) from a thumb drive and then using the product key from the sticker to activate.

    I've only had one purchase so far that came with no COA sticker, and for that I went and bought a key for Win7Pro for $29, which worked fine.

    Awesome. yeah, I've seen a few listings say that: "while we have a working version of Windows 7 Pro installed just for testing purposes, it is not activated nor are there any updates" type of thing.

  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 35,594

    thanks.  hopin to land a dual xeon in the next monthsmiley

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    MistyMist said:

    thanks.  hopin to land a dual xeon in the next monthsmiley

    Congrats! Be patient and get the one you want! smiley

    Totally happy for you... Totally Jealous!!! smiley

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 980

    Sigh.  Now Ebay has matched paris of E5-2650V1 8-core CPUs for <$90, and I saw an Intel LGA 2011 V1/V2 dual-cpu blade server board for $120 with heat sinks and fans.   Tempting but must be strong.  Budget is blown (Munchkins sing: "....it's not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead!").   Also iffy if I finish all builds with the parts I have if I can run them all and still have enough amps left to run my air conditioner.  : )    My sons are starting to do interventions, bless their hearts.

    You lose nothing by waiting, the hardware just gets better and cheaper!   Not long ago, I got a stack of old LGA-771 sever boards really cheap....but now they are not even worth messing with. 

    Get thee behind me, Ebay!

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502

    Too True! It's cool how tech and deals just keep getting better!

    ...and patience remains a virtue... unless, of course, one's being chased/hunted by mummies!

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    Ok, I just got a deal so good, I feel guilty about it.

    A z600 just went up in the 'buy it now' section of eBay for $125, with 2 Xeon E5504 processors.  Free shipping.  $125!  It wasn't even the usual $125.99 (and a good thing, too, or that extra 99 cents would have been a deal-breaker lol)

    Now the E5504's are not hyperthreaded and are only 2.0 Ghz, so fairly weak (like weaker than a laptop) and only 8 cores, but who cares?  I had already bought a pair of X5670 Xeons earlier this week so that I could swap out the quad cores in my first z600 for hex cores, and therefore turn it into a 24 render core machine, so I can simply pull out the existing quad-core Xeons from that machine and put them into the new z600 that I just bought, turning it into a 16 render core machine at a fairly decent power level too.

    I say I feel guilty, because I really didn't plan on buying any more servers, and my plan instead was to post here any good server deals I saw that popped up, so that other Carrarists could take advantage.  But that price point was ridiculous, and I honestly thought if I didn't buy it immediately, it was going to vanish.  I already saw 5 others were looking at the same page, and I saw it nearly as quickly as it was posted; I know it would have sold quick, so I didn't hesitate.

    I just wanted to post it as an example that some crazy awesome low prices for these servers can be had if you're willing to check daily to see what's out there.  My preferred method is to search by the model number (t5500, z600, Lenovo d20) and see what's new at least once a day, usually most prices are ridiculously high and there's no reason to follow any further, but occasionally some business or other will dump a bunch of the same model onto the market at the same time, and with auctions that are scheduled to close at the same time, which is frankly a very foolish way to sell (but great for buyers) since it floods the market and means there is less competition to buy that particular model on a given day/time.  

    My inner greedy pig made me grab this server because I couldn't believe the price point, but I promise this is the last server I'm adding to my little farm, and I'll post here about any other upcoming good deals to give my fellow Carrarists a crack at getting some cheap/awesome render nodes.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    BTW, another thought for those looking to add a render node on the cheap, is to look for a 2nd generation i7 laptop.  8 extra rendering cores on the cheap, can be very decent in power, and if you don't already have a laptop that can be quite a useful accessory to take with you on the go (and using a remote desktop function you can actually remote into your home desktop when out and about).  I mention this because I also see a lot of companies that tend to periodically dump a lot of similar i7 laptops on eBay at the same time too.  I suggest searching by processor type, for example 2720qm or 2670qm laptops go for fairly inexpensive prices and if you catch a bunch of them all coming up for auction at the same time you could easily get an i7 laptop for between $90 - $140.  I see a bunch coming up tomorrow at around 5-6pm pacific (perfect timing for most other consumers to be either driving home for work or at dinner, so very likely to go for fairly low prices).  Just another thought of a way to pick up an inexpensive render node, and one that also might be extremely useful to anyone who doesn't already have a laptop.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    Jonstark said:

    BTW, another thought for those looking to add a render node on the cheap, is to look for a 2nd generation i7 laptop.  8 extra rendering cores on the cheap, can be very decent in power, and if you don't already have a laptop that can be quite a useful accessory to take with you on the go (and using a remote desktop function you can actually remote into your home desktop when out and about).  I mention this because I also see a lot of companies that tend to periodically dump a lot of similar i7 laptops on eBay at the same time too.  I suggest searching by processor type, for example 2720qm or 2670qm laptops go for fairly inexpensive prices and if you catch a bunch of them all coming up for auction at the same time you could easily get an i7 laptop for between $90 - $140.  I see a bunch coming up tomorrow at around 5-6pm pacific (perfect timing for most other consumers to be either driving home for work or at dinner, so very likely to go for fairly low prices).  Just another thought of a way to pick up an inexpensive render node, and one that also might be extremely useful to anyone who doesn't already have a laptop.

    As a matter of fact, many users could even use such a machine as a Great Carrara-Specific Main machine instead of just a Render Node. I was amazed at the difference that eight fast cpu cores made to my renders!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    Jonstark said:

    Ok, I just got a deal so good, I feel guilty about it.

    A z600 just went up in the 'buy it now' section of eBay for $125, with 2 Xeon E5504 processors.  Free shipping.  $125!  It wasn't even the usual $125.99 (and a good thing, too, or that extra 99 cents would have been a deal-breaker lol)

    Now the E5504's are not hyperthreaded and are only 2.0 Ghz, so fairly weak (like weaker than a laptop) and only 8 cores, but who cares?  I had already bought a pair of X5670 Xeons earlier this week so that I could swap out the quad cores in my first z600 for hex cores, and therefore turn it into a 24 render core machine, so I can simply pull out the existing quad-core Xeons from that machine and put them into the new z600 that I just bought, turning it into a 16 render core machine at a fairly decent power level too.

    I say I feel guilty, because I really didn't plan on buying any more servers, and my plan instead was to post here any good server deals I saw that popped up, so that other Carrarists could take advantage.  But that price point was ridiculous, and I honestly thought if I didn't buy it immediately, it was going to vanish.  I already saw 5 others were looking at the same page, and I saw it nearly as quickly as it was posted; I know it would have sold quick, so I didn't hesitate.

    I just wanted to post it as an example that some crazy awesome low prices for these servers can be had if you're willing to check daily to see what's out there.  My preferred method is to search by the model number (t5500, z600, Lenovo d20) and see what's new at least once a day, usually most prices are ridiculously high and there's no reason to follow any further, but occasionally some business or other will dump a bunch of the same model onto the market at the same time, and with auctions that are scheduled to close at the same time, which is frankly a very foolish way to sell (but great for buyers) since it floods the market and means there is less competition to buy that particular model on a given day/time.  

    My inner greedy pig made me grab this server because I couldn't believe the price point, but I promise this is the last server I'm adding to my little farm, and I'll post here about any other upcoming good deals to give my fellow Carrarists a crack at getting some cheap/awesome render nodes.

    Great Score, Brother! Con-freaking-gratulations!!! :D

    I see other Z600s with Xeons with 56 as the first6 two numbers, yet they say they're quad-core. Aren't all of the 56 series six-core?

    Like you say, though... who really cares at prices like this. Just get replacements on the way whenever possible. It's the workstation we want!

    I'm so jealous!

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402
    Jonstark said:

     

    Great Score, Brother! Con-freaking-gratulations!!! :D

    I see other Z600s with Xeons with 56 as the first6 two numbers, yet they say they're quad-core. Aren't all of the 56 series six-core?

     

    I was about to say all the ones that start with X56 are hex core (as opposed to those that start with E56), but I went and looked at the wiki and immediately saw I was wrong, the hex cores are the X5650, X5660, X5670, X5675, X5680, and X5690.  So all the ones that end in a 0 are hex core... except for that pesky X5675, which breaks the rule  lol

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502

    Okay, so I was seeing E56xx... gotcha. I thought I was finding dual six-core Z600s! ;)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    Just to throw it out there, there are 3 different i7 laptops coming to an auction close in the next 10 minutes and not one of them is bidding over $80 at the moment.  Just search 2720qm to find them, if anyone is interested.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    smiley fun to see it play out so quickly, 2 of them went for $112.50, and one went for $119.50, shows they do shoot up a little within the last few seconds, but still very low cost for an i7 laptop.  Looks like there's another batch of low cost i7's coming up in an hour.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    Jonstark said:

    smiley fun to see it play out so quickly, 2 of them went for $112.50, and one went for $119.50, shows they do shoot up a little within the last few seconds, but still very low cost for an i7 laptop.  Looks like there's another batch of low cost i7's coming up in an hour.

    Thank goodness for those who buy people nice laptops as presents! 

    "I need some cigarettes... hmm... I s'pose I could sell my laptop on e-bay!"

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    Ok, same seller that I got that deal from yesterday has just put up another z600 for a 'buy it now' price of $125, with free shipping that comes equipped with dual Xeon E5504 CPUs.  It also comes with a 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM, and a power cord, but does not have any OS or a sticker for an OS key either.   

    The downside is there is no OS, but it's easy enough to buy Win7Pro and get a key for less than $30, so not a big expense.  Also the E5504 is very weak and not hyper-threaded, but heck you can pick up a pair of E5620 CPU's on eBay now for not much than $20, and turn it into a 16 core machine just by swapping out for a better CPU.

    The upside is... a z600 for $125 and zero cents, which is an awesome deal.  This can easily be upgraded into a 24 core machine and all by its lonesome would make for a great render node.

    I was greedy yesterday and grabbed for myself, but today I wanted to put the word out on the forums for any other Carrarists who might be interested  smiley

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502

    One day I'll be that buyer... still not today though. Like you say though, after all of the upgrades and necessities to get this thing up and running, it's still a total steal!

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    lol, no pressure, just thought I would mention smiley   The weird thing is it's basically the same pictures and entry that I bought yesterday, which makes me wonder if it's a mistake, or if this seller has 2 identical devices that he's offering at exactly the same price point.  I double checked, but the one I bought already has a tracking number, so it's presumably being shipped to me, so this must be a different but similar device (or

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502

    What it is - E-Bay charges an arm and a leg for images uploaded, so they use the same ones and recycle them for like items. Been there. I think posters can use image addresses from other places for free though.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502

    <dreaming to himself> Hmmmm twenty-four cores to render with.... Mmmmmm

  • Great to see this thread is still alive, and super happy to hear that you like the the Remote Desktop thing :-)

    I'm ultra happy with my Z600, and after working with it in a real-life render setup, I can tell you a few more things I've learnt. It's all positive, just little things to be aware of. First of all, my last electricity bill was $10 higher than usual! Temperatures in Florida are coming down, so this time of year it usually either stays the same or the bill goes down - but with the Z600 in full use, it does actually impact on my energy consumption. Perhaps it's unrelated, but its arrival was the only thing that changed in my life. I'll keep an eye on it. It's still purring super quiet, not expelling too much heat, just gentle warmth.

    Next up is the RAM upgrade issue. My unit came with 4GB (2x2), which for a render node is adequate. I couldn't resist adding a 27" monitor to it though so I can setup scenes on it as well while my Mac is busy. I decided that the Z600 deserves a performance upgrade and bought a 16GB RAM kit (2x8). Caution is needed on two levels: first, it needs to be RAM that physically fits. Some of the newer fancy gaming RAM now comes with added heatsinks attached to the sticks, which make them too tall to fit underneath the memory fan enclusure inside the Z600. Don't use anything that has sticky-up bits, make sure to use the plain stick type RAM. Apart from that, there appear to be two different motherboards in these Z600 units with different chipsets: B3 and C2. This impacts the amount and type of RAM you can install.

    B3 motherboards only support unbuffered PC3-10600E RAM in sizes of 1, 2 and 4GB per slot. In addition, C3 motherboards also support registered PC3-10600R RAM in sizes of 4 and 8GB per slot. This means, regular unbuffuered 8GB sticks DO NOT WORK in any Z600. The system just beeps at you and fails to boot. RAM clock speed regardless of chipset is 1333 MHz.

    I found this out the hard way when some registered server RAM I bought for cheap didn't want to respond, because it turns out I have the B3 revision from 2009. The C3 revision is from 2010. You can check this in the BIOS, under System Information Menu (references to 2009 mean it's the B3 revision). Thankfully the seller accepted returns, so I went with conventional PNY RAM from BestBuy. HP explain all this in this brochure.

    And one more thing: BIOS Upgrade. It's super easy and can be done while the unit is running Windows, with a small utility you can download from the HP site. After a reboot, the new BIOS is installed. Advantages include support for newer hardware and graphics cards, and a very handy feature that switches on the internal speaker in the unit so audio can be played without a sound card. It sounds great actually, and it's great to get a notification when a Dropbox file has arrived so it can be rendered. All other drivers from the HP site are not needed for Windows 10 as far as I can tell - everything just works.

    Still using an unactivated version of Windows 10 Pro - I'll take Jon's advice and buy one for $20 today and see if I ever get a key. BigShopz and Keymasters sound like respectable enterprises...

     

  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 35,594

    was just thinkin nic card speed could be a bottleneck.

    like, those weenie pci/e slots, mebbe could put uber speed nic. 

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,402

    I had seen that there were 2 different motherboards for the z600, but had no idea there was a difference in RAM support.  I saw a thread on it in regards to whether the z600 could support the newer 56xx Xeon series rather than the older 55xx series, and everything I found indicated it could be resolved by a bios update if I happened to get a z600 that wouldn't support the newer 56xx Xeons.  Surprised to hear that the bios update wouldn't allow for bigger RAM support, that's a little disheartening, but then again using it only as a node it doesn't matter I suppose.  

    On the other hand, I'm thinking of making my main z600 my main Carrara PC, since it seems that when it's the main PC it can support more render cores on the other Nodes, whereas my Win10pro main machine seems to cap the number of render cores from nodes at 64 cores. 

    Also if I made the z600 the main Carrara machine that means (once I upgrade the processors to Xeon X5670s) I would have a 24 render cores in my primary Carrara machine (although admittedly at a lower power and speed than my current i76700 desktop) which would mean the various test renders would go very quickly as I'm setting up the scene.  However if there's a RAM limitation... well, RAM doesn't matter for rendering, but does matter for scene management in the assembly room, don't want things to grind to a slow stutter when I'm moving around a complex scene...

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