Converting your Crypto Miner into a RNDR Node

Your Miner

This post assumes that you have a GPU miner running NVIDIA 1070’s or higher (AMD’s are currently not supported by Otoy’s OctaneRender which powers the RNDR network, but will be in the future). It also assumes you have a setup similar to this:

  • CPU: Intel Celeron
  • RAM: 4GB
  • HD: 32GB USB Drive
  • Motherboard: Any board with at least one(1) 16x PCIe lane and five(5) PCIe 1x slots (more on this later)
  • PSU: Enough to handle all of your equipment at full power and some headroom
  • GPUs: NVIDIA 1070 or higher

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

You will need to upgrade your RAM, Hard Drive and possibly some of your risers. The Minimum recommended setup is:

  • RAM: 16GB Minimum, 32GB Recommended.
  • HD: 50GB
  • GPUs: Don’t mix and match, it hurts your performance
  • Risers: We want the most data throughput possible see below
  • OS: Windows (for now)

The Details

 

RAM

16 GB is the minimum amount of RAM to be able to support the most basic rendering tasks, while 32GB is recommended for most. The client runs and stores scenes in memory, no Hard Disk is utilized, so you’ll need enough RAM to support the RNDR client and the scene you’ll be rendering. You can read how RNDR client works to get more in depth of the client side. 

 

Hard Drive

The RNDR Client requires Windows at this time (Linux to be released later), and with Windows 10 64-bit requiring 20GB of disk space, we recommend a drive with at least 50GB. Although the RNDR client does everything in system memory (RAM), we still want enough disk space for logs, and to keep our system from slowing to a crawl. 
 

GPU

GPU matching matters when it comes to the maximum scene (project) size. The card with the lowest amount of VRAM will limit the size of the projects you’re able to render. A card’s onboard RAM affects how large and complex of a scene can be rendered, so having even just one card with less VRAM could limit your whole system. You could disable that card when rendering bigger scenes, but that defeats the whole purpose of that additional card.

The video card selection is the driving factor for performance in OctaneRender and hence RNDR. There are two aspects of a video card that impact render capabilities: the raw speed of the GPU itself and the amount of memory on the card. Video memory will limit how large and complex of scenes can be rendered, speed will determine how fast it can render each frame.

Puget Systems did a really great analysis on mixing GPUs of different types if you want to see some numbers.

 

CPU

The number of cores does not have significant impact on OctaneRender performance, but the clock speeds do have a slight impact. Although all of the computing is done on the GPUs, the CPU is loading data from the scene and coordinating between the GPUs. All these things overtime have a measurable impact, but may not be worth spending the money on an upgrade just yet. Again Puget Systems has done a great job testing and verifying this.

 

Motherboard

Your motherboard will be a limiting factor in the total number of GPU’s you can connect, but there are options to expand even more. It is always a desire to get as many PCIe 16x slots, but the costs increase greatly as you start running into server boards. When looking to get the most bang for your buck using existing motherboards, there are ways to squeeze the most OctaneBench score out of your existing system. We’ll go into build comparisons and ways to expand your system in a future post.

Risers

 

Mining risers are not recommended as it slows down the transfer of scene files to your GPUs VRAM, but for most mining builds there is no option. You’ll take a 5-10% hit in your OctaneBench score running off x1 risers, but in our tests its better to run six GPUs on 1x vs three GPUs on 16x.

Note: 
PCIe 1.x – 250MB/s per lane (16x == 16 lanes)
PCIe 2.0 – 500MB/s per lane (thus 16x PCIe 2.0 is 8GB/s)
PCIe 3.0 – 1 GB/s per lane

Check and Benchmark

Now that you’ve upgraded your system and have windows on it, the best way to benchmark your system and make sure it’s all working well is to run OctaneBench. 
 
OctaneBench® allows you to benchmark your GPU using OctaneRender. This provides a level playing field by making sure that everybody uses the same version and the same scenes and settings. Without these constraints, benchmark results can vary a lot and can’t be compared.

You can head on over to Otoy’s Website and download OctaneBench. Once you run it, you can compare your results to other systems. Best thing to do is to turn off all overclocking and make tweaks until OctaneBench crashes or unable to complete its tests. At that point tune it back and you’ve got a stable system ready for the RNDR network. 

 
The best score we’ve seen is from a system with 17x 1080ti with an OB score of 4,011.

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