Selecting hardware components for render nodes is highly dependent on the size of your wallet and your desired goal. But if you take the right approach in this regard, the task will be an easy one for you. Here are a few tips for you.
When choosing a processor, a lower-cost dual-core Pentium can give you a very cheap render node with a minimum sacrifice of performance. A dual-core Pentium like the slightly faster Core 2 Duo or the low-end Core 2 Quad are all great options for constructing a node. The amount you are willing to spend matters because this is the single most costly component required for each node. Building a Core i7-based system is going to increase the price of the entire node out of proportion but will also increase its performance.
Moreover, a low-profile 1U heat sink is needed for an equivalent case which is exclusively made to draw air from the front to the back of the machine. The possibility of overlocking the nodes is limited because there is limit to the choice of processor. Since the local drive will only be used for the operating system and applications, you can get a small drive of 80GB. However, if you make use of a drive that has a digital audio workstation, endeavor to use a 320GB or even a 500GB drive.
Furthermore, if you are building many nodes, you will only need to purchase one DVD drive, even if you are building 10 systems. Build your first system, install the operating system with updated software and then use Sysprep to clear the registration number. Then, you can use Norton Ghost 14 or related drive-imaging software to clone the disk for other machines. In addition, each new system will need a unique network name and you will need to enter the Windows license key for every clone machine.