Sandybridge in a RACK

loocas | hardware,opinions | Monday, January 17th, 2011

Sandybridge under full load

I must say, I am very pleased with the new Sandybridge i7-2600 in my render farm. It’s super powerful, it consumes less power and is a lot cooler in the tiny 1U rack configuration!

It’s been under a 100% load (3ds Max rendering) for over two hours and the CPU temperature hasn’t even reached 70°C! Now that is impressive, considering the i7-860s I have in the rack are a bit slower, consume more power, but mainly, in their tiny 1U configs, easily reach 90°C-95°C under full load after a few minutes.

This has been a huge improvement and I can confirm all the rumors and speculations on the forums that Sandybridge really is a great CPU for your general processing tasks. As if it was specifically designed for low-cost render farms. :D


  1. Hi Loocas,
    i am planning one of these builds now.
    Have you tried pluggin in a 2600K and overclock a bit?
    Do you think that the built in graphics core might actually slow down its brute force performance?
    All the best

    Comment by Martin Zmeskal — March 25, 2011 @ 18:25

  2. Hi there Martin,

    my answer to both of the questions would be “no” and “no”. :) I don’t overclock my machines (basically only on the principle) and no, I don’t think the integrated VGA slowed the brute-force performance at all. Quite the contrary, I’ve seen the new i7s actually perform a lot better than the older gen i7s. About 10-15% in general.

    Comment by loocas — March 26, 2011 @ 02:18

  3. Hi Loocas,
    with that being said…if i dont plan to overclock, there is no need for 2600K ….
    i ve noticed you have been equiping your render nodes with 8GB RAM…isnt that a bit of a bottleneck? especially when working with scenes including heavy loads of geometry, big textures etc???

    Comment by Martin Zmeskal — March 28, 2011 @ 05:48

  4. Hi,

    no, if you don’t plan on overclocking, you don’t need the 2600K chip. As for 8GB of RAM. I haven’t bumped into a scene that’d require this much memory, yet, so, I bet on 8GB with the option to upgrade to 16GB (the MBs support as much). So far, no need to. :)

    Comment by loocas — March 28, 2011 @ 10:02

  5. Hi,
    I’d love to know which hardware you used for your render node, since I’m planning to build a number of 1U rack units and had some trouble with sandy bridge in some configurations. Would be great to hear your experience with a stable setup.

    Comment by Michael — May 25, 2011 @ 12:40

  6. Sure thing, Michael.

    For the regular ATX boards, I used GIGABYTE P67A-UD4-B3 and Intel’s i7-2600 with 8GB of RAM. For the mITX I used the ASUS P8H61-I board with the same CPU and also only 8GB of RAM. All works perfectly fine in 1U cases for me. But make sure to buy decent 1U coolers. I bought Dynatrons for 1U installations and couldn’t be more satisfied with them. ;)

    Comment by loocas — May 25, 2011 @ 18:45

  7. Oops missed your response ;) Thanks for the info loocas! Will go out and hunt for these parts!

    Comment by Michael — July 18, 2011 @ 16:28

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