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I'm looking to build 4x Maya render slaves/nodes for a friend of mine when his project gets green lit. The project involves MentalRay and lots of glass.

I'm unsure if the new i7's 9xx or 8xx with hyper threading will do any better than a core 2 quad of the same (or close enough) speed. Does hyper threading make a difference to Maya or is it more performance per core based?

I'm sure he's prefer I'd build another render node than pay for a bleeding edge CPU that only adds fractionly more GHz.

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The rest of the spec so far:

  • 4Gb - 8Gb ram
  • 64 bit OS: Probably Windows 7 (I know Linux is free, but want to build something my friend can support himself as easily as he supports his own workstation)
  • 1TB HDD to hold textures, Maya files and renders which will be copied to central storage later
  • Mobo with on-board video, gigabit NIC
  • 500 - 650 watt PSU
  • Desktop case something like a: Cooler Master ATCS 840

The machines will sold afterwards if necessary.

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If anyone has had experience in Maya and has done any tests with the new CPUs vs. the older ones I'd really appreciate your input.

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Update

I got in contact with a friend in the industry. In his experience Maya renders do not benefit from hyper threading. He was unsure about mental ray as he'd not used it. It's all about the number of cup cores you have.

If mental ray is the same this means we'll be able to go with a core i5 750 rather than the a core i7

Ak

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