Hack An IKEA Cabinet Into A High-Performance Render Farm

Hack An IKEA Cabinet Into A High-Performance Render Farm

Attention tech heads looking for a new DIY computer project: it doesn’t get much cooler (or geekier) than this…

A group of hardcore computing enthusiasts in Germany have used an Ikea Helmer cabinet to build a computer cluster for high-end rendering tasks running on Windows 7.

Explains 'First Image' at IKEA Hackers: "We have optimized the original Helmer renderfarm for 24/7 Desktop computing. We have used the standard Ikea Helmer cabinet to build a renderfarm in it. Helmer-Air gots. 24cores, 81.6GHz and 96GB RAM."

The drawers were kept fully intact with no additional parts required. The result is an insanely powerful yet compact and stylish computing platform with optimised airflow for 24/7 desktop computing. (Note that the drawers have a footprint of 226x173mm, so you'll likely need to use microATX motherboards with integrated graphics.)

You can see the full details on how it was done at the First Image HELMER-AIR website.


  • Oh man, I would love that. Currently waiting for a 64 second animation to render – it’s been going for over 17 hours and it’s only 3/4 done…

  • Aww crap, I misread this as “Hack An IKEA Cabinet Into A High-Performance Reindeer Farm”.
    I was soooo disappointed, now what am I going to do with all these bloody reindeer?

        • Nope, dwarf reindeer, that’s why I was hoping they’d fit into the cabinet. My moose on the other hand are quite large and definitely would not fit. But I need somewhere to house my moose, because moose bites can be pretty nasti. A moose once bit my sister. No, really, she was carving her initials into the moose when…..oh, never mind.

  • The mighty Helmer. I wonder if this guy’s Helmer is the one with the pre-built drawers (the good sturdy ones) or the new ones with the drawers you have to build yourself (not as good).

  • Hi

    Much cheaper if you buy a finished case and just put your config in to the farm. There are already a couple of option on the web. You have to hack the Helmer cabinet to accept nodes which is time. And the time is money.

    For example as an alternative solution you can get a case from this company in the UK :
    http://www.modularcreation.com and just build one farm for yourself. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!