Originally Posted by SeanWebster;13726528
You can use them for a lot of stuff. Personally i use mine for storage, movie streaming and game hosting. You can also use them as a renderbox, website host, and other things like a normal computer...it is just made to be on 24/7.
You wouldn't really use them as a rendering box. Most of these home servers aren't powerful at all and don't have much RAM. However, they can store the files that your rendering machines access.
I think a more elegant solution though for a home based CGI artist is to just have an uber beefy workstation with at least 24GB Ram and feed it directly into a gigabit switch that your rendering boxes access.
Depending on what software you use and how you render your projects, you don't even need a ton of Ram in your render boxes either...right now my main machine is getting choked up; 22.3GB in use, but the render boxes running parallel on this file are only using 6GB. Basically I wasted money installing 16GB into each box.