Large
stephensamuels

What hardware are you using?

I've been working my way through the beginner's learning flow and have been enjoying the exercises.  The trouble is, my IT set up has not.

I'm running a Dell XPS-15 laptop with an NVIDIA GT 750M graphics card and it's pretty slow when rendering single frames - I've not got onto animations yet!  Watching tutorials, others seem able to move around and edit scenes in viewport render mode with their systems responding quickly but I can't do that.

So I was wondering what equipment other people are using and how it performs for them.  What I'd like to understand is the optimum mid-range set up which will cope with short animations and photorealistic scenes without becoming obsolete before it reaches the end!

(Just for info, I have set up Blender to streamline renders to the maximum extent (tiles sizes, restricted samples and light bounces etc) and I used GPU compute until I started getting CUDA errors but, to be honest, there didn't seem to be much difference between GPU and CPU.)

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing other people's experiences.

Thanks in anticipation.

  • Large
  • If you're going to get into Blender, get a desktop computer. Server class, dual CPU, and try an AMD RX Vega GPU if you can dish the dough. If you can't, than get a Nvidia Geforce 900 series. You'll need a decent amount of VRAM if you want to use Cuda or OpenCL, I'd say 4GB at least. Don't forget that you can also use 2 GPU's to get twice the GPU render speed. However, that doesn't mean you'll get twice the VRAM, just twice the processing power. That means that you can get a mid-tier GPU, hook them together, and get more power than a high class. At one point I had 2 GTX 970's and I benchmarked higher than a Titan. I can't recommend a good CPU, as I don't know much other than Intel's i9 and Xeon. Remember that Google is your friend.

  • Large

    I'm using a first generation Core i7, 16GB RAM, nVidia GTX 750 Ti with (I believe) 4GB

    I've never gotten CUDA errors but maybe we are just working on very different things. I can certainly use the viewport in render mode without much trouble using the default sample size. 

    One thing that used to always trip me up was that I had set up GPU compute in the user preferences but I would always forget to set it here:

    so then I'd be cursing at it "why are you so slow!" then I'd realize I didn't have GPU on for that scene.

    For what its worth the 2.8 pre-alpha-preview supports using both GPU and CPU at the same time which seems to speed things up slightly, though CPU rendering always make my fan go to such high RPM I'm afraid it will wake the neighbors!

    I personally notice a HUGE difference in CPU and GPU rendering times. If you want you can send me a file and I'll let you know how long it took on my hardware so that you can compare.

  • Cool topic, since two weeks ago I got myself some new parts :)

    My computer specs are:

    Ryzen 1700 3 GHz, 8 core, 16 threads

    16 GB RAM,

    GTX 1070,

    This should be ok for a long long time :)

  • Large

    I use an MSI GE72 2QF Apache Pro laptop (12gb RAM, GTX970M GPU, and i7-5700HQ CPU). It's not top of the line, but it renders fairly quickly as long as I stay on top of the render settings.

    I know what you mean about slow render times, though. When I first started with Blender, I had a GTX570 Ti and it was so slow, I didn't switch to Cycles until I could upgrade to a GTX780 (a used one).

    Oddly, my laptop outperforms the desktop I had the GTX-780 in (other specs: i7 2600k, 16gb RAM). Not by much, just a few seconds per frame, but it was enough to illustrate Moore's Law.

  • Large

    I have an Acer Aspire 5 laptop with an NVIDIA Geforce 940mx graphics card.

  • Large

    Intel Core i5-7400 3.0GHz

    G.Skill Aegis DDR4 2133 PC4-17000 16GB CL15

    MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X 11GB GDDR5X

  • Large

    AMD - Threadripper 1950X      16x32
    G-Skill Trident RBG something DDR4 32GB
    Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 mb seems great!
    AMD Vega FE wc (x2 currently only using one - might set up a render box with old PC)
    Not nearly as many driver issues as when I first got it ... lol ... should get better still, I hope.

  • Large

    I've got a 32GB Core i7-7700 with a 8GB GTX1070. Render times aren't bad, but I stay away from it in the viewport.

  • I would definitely go with a desk top, and build it yourself. It's way cheaper, and you can put in what you need. It's all plug and play now anyways. You can find some cheap used Intel Xeons on ebay (that's what I am thinking about getting) you can get an 8 core 16 thread for like 70-100 bucks. Or go with one of the AMD Ryzen 6 or 8 core, the motherboards are decently priced but DDR4 memory is freakin expensive! For rendering the more cores/threads the better, and the more RAM you have the snappier the viewport will be. I have an i7 4790k which is a 4 core/8 thread with 32gb of DDR3 ram and a GTX 970 and I can get up there in polygons and the viewport doesn't lag too bad. If your not sure about building it yourself you can check out www.pcpartpicker.com and you can "build" one on there website to see what it will cost (if you buy everything new) and if all the parts you want are compatible. They also have a YouTube channel and all there vids are them putting together PCs. Good luck!!!