We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Render Farm?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A render farm is a network of computers working together to process large graphics that otherwise would take much longer to render. While this can be used to render any graphics, a render farm typically is only used with movie special effects and other graphics that are too large for one computer to effectively process. The processor in each computer communicates with the processors in other computers, so each one knows what the other computers are working on. Manager programs often are needed to coordinate each computer to ensure they are effectively working together on the graphics.

Render farm networks are a large collection of computers working together to render memory-heavy graphics. When someone makes an image or small animation, a single computer often can quickly render those graphics, but very large graphics may take hours, days or even weeks. This slows down the graphics workflow and can cause the computer to crash while rendering. To get around this problem and to make the rendering much faster, many computers are used simultaneously to render graphics. While there are other farm types, the render farm is only used for rendering.

Smaller graphics will not benefit from a render farm, and using this for small graphics can be expensive because of the high amount of energy needed to power each computer. For this reason, only very large graphics go through a farm. These graphics typically are whole, three-dimensional (3D) animations; computerized special effects for movies; and large models used in marketing. Each computer also is optimized for rendering, making the farm work even quicker.

During the rendering process, each computer’s processor will talk to the other computers in the render farm. Their communication is not very advanced and usually is limited to what each computer is uploading or downloading. This makes it easier to manage the farm, but it usually is not enough to run the entire farm without problems. Without some type of management, two or more computers may render the same graphic and, because the graphic only needs to be rendered once, this wastes time and power.

To ensure that each computer only renders graphics that need to be worked on, a manager program often is used in conjunction with the network. The manager will check through the workload and see what files still need to be rendered. It then will distribute the files to the computers, ensuring that each graphic is only being worked on by one computer.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By Laotionne — On Apr 25, 2014

If you aren't familiar with all the ins and outs of setting up a render farm, you should probably keep the process as simple as possible in the beginning.

You can avoid a lot of possible headaches by making sure that the processor you use in your work area is identical to the ones in you render farm. Different processors might not be an issue, but sometimes different types of processors will not work well together.

By Feryll — On Apr 24, 2014

Animandel - While large movie studios and people working with 3D benefit most from render farms, there is no rule that says that a person who is working as a freelance artist or a person who is interested in getting into the field can't set up a render farm.

Even if you have no interest in making money by creating graphics, you can benefit by having multiple computers rather than having only one work station if you want to create better images in less time.

Systems for a render farm can cost a small fortune, but there are also less expensive processors that will probably appeal to the person who is pursuing a hobby and not a profession.

By Animandel — On Apr 23, 2014

I wasn't sure what a render farm was, but now I have a better understanding of what they are, the way they work and how they are used. However, I wonder whether the average person can use some type of rendering farm to produce better graphics or is this something more suitable for larger productions.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.