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We're looking into adding about 50 nodes to our render farm at about $2,000 (+-$300) each. What I'm trying to figure out is which specs on a CPU are the most important for 3D rendering. We use 3DMax 2012.

For instance: A Xeon E3-1275V2 seems to have a much better price/performance ratio than a Xeon E5-2620 (and uses a much cheaper mobo). But it has less threads, two less cores and about half the L3 cache.

I can't seem to find any 3DSMax 2012 benchmarks that compare these metrics. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. (And in case someone mentions it, after speaking with the 3D team, the current modeling we do is not conducive to GPU rendering.)

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If you already have a rendering farm, then gather some metrics on the existing systems. Buy/lease/borrow a couple system and perform some tests. –  Zoredache Mar 28 '13 at 16:40
    
The current systems use dual E5-2620's. Your suggestion is a good one, but as with all I.T. projects, this was dumped on me yesterday with a short deadline. –  Copy Run Start Mar 28 '13 at 16:46

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