Beautiful Blender Beast

I posted this question on blender dot org and got about 20 responses which was great but I thought I would post here on elyisun and see what the 2400 of you thought.

The question is: What do you think the best set up for Blender usage (even just basic 3D Graphics Editing).

Give me your opinion, include OSs, I am using this as a sort of survey, query, and general interest topic to see what you think. :smiley:

I would go for 3d card, at least having one.

My experience with blender is that I get about 2 fps without one. (well, actually from 1 to 11, usually 2 to 4)

Then comes the CPU, subsurfs, and stuff, are a bit demanding.

OS? Windows works better with a good video card and drivers, but linux competes if it’s drivers are set up well (I have a NVIDIA card and the detonator drivers on one system, a voodoo 3 running linux on another).

The blender window size really makes a difference, as does the color depth. My system gets about 60 fps in 16 bit color, 50 in 24 bit , 40 in 32, but I can get more if I run at a lower resolution.

Best setup? good video card, lots of RAM (for those wonderful radiosity caluculations, and while you’re at it use subdivision surfaces), and good drivers. A good CPU doesn’t seem to be my bottleneck. (I’ve run blender on 1Ghz systems slower than my celery233 because of the video card alone)

IMHO I think Graphic card is important also OS.
I run a 195Mhz 640Meg RAM Indigo2 MaxImpact. It handles 3D work with ease. yeah its slow on rendering but cool thing is I could kick off all the blenders I want. It don’t slow down.

once you have a graphics card at the GeForce 2 level or higher, you need all of the CPU power that you can get your hands on if you are going to make animations.

It really depends on your focus. If you like to model and do games and such, than CPU isn’t as important as graphics cards. If you are rendering anything, than the faster the CPU the more you will be able to get done.

The most important aspect of editing is the 3D card that you use. One that can handle a lot of raw vertex information is best. The graphics card doesn’t need to have a lot of RAM on it, because Blender will slow down the card with vertex data before its RAM gets full.

For rendering it’s all about the CPU speed and memory amount/speed. The more complex the scenes become, the more memory it will take. Using a GI lighting method will take up some serious memory for the shadow buffers!!! If your memory gets full during rendering, expect render times to go up by about 30X past that point. No joke.

Rendering also has been said to go faster in Linux machines as opposed to Windows.

So if you have a renderfarm for Blender, no use in having fancy-pants graphics cards in each machine, as the card has no impact on final rendering performance. However, the same isn’t true of Maya/Soft Image/Lightwave.

I was going to vote “Color of Computer”, but I decided video card and cpu were too important. :wink:

Here’s a question… does fps really matter past about 30? I mean, can anyone really tell the difference (without an FPS meter) between 60fps and 120fps?


You eye doesn’t have anything slightly comparable to a refresh rate, so I would say it would depend on the kind of motion, colors and the person.


doesn’t a monitor usually only refresh at 80-90Hz? that would mean that there is NO difference beyond 80 fps, because your monitor can’t refresh that fast anyway.

maybe im wrong.

Oh yeah, lol… that was another thing I was always puzzled about… so if your monitor refreshes at 85hz, there wouldn’t be any difference between 85fps and say 2 million fps.


color of the computer, definately…

No, anything above about 20 (some even say 15) frames per second appears to be fluid motion. Movies that the theater play at 24 fps. However, those powerfull video cards are usefull when you have a lot of vertices- the kinds of scenes that would slow a GeForce2 down to an umbearable 2-5 fps would run fluidly on a Geforce4.

It’s interesting how my habits with blender evolved when I got a new computer with a faster video card and processor. Instead of making crappy looking things, I can now put more detail into my models, more shadow-casting light sources for global illumination. I can finally do UV mapping on mesh heads so that they look more like real people without it slowing to .2 fps.

The faster computers get, the more we’ll be able to do with them in a reasonable amount of time; and the more complex our scenes will get, not to mention the quality.

By the way, most monitors have a refresh rate of 75 or 85 hertz. However, most monitors slow down to 65 herts (eye strain level) when pushed to their maximum level. If you set your monitor above 85 it could lead to a decreased life expectancy of your monitor.

The next generation of displays are Organic LEDs. Specifically SOLEDS (stacked OLEDS - RGB stacked so there’s no aspect ratio), TOLEDS (transparent OLEDS - for use in HUDs like sunglasses or motorcycle helmets) and FOLEDS (Flexible OLEDS - rollup displays. Maybe pull out a display that’s been wound inside of a bluetooth enabled pen). Their response time will be even faster than CRTs and use less power. They give off their own light so there won’t be any “cold spots” like what we see in LCDs today with backlights. They can also be used as solar cells. So imagine your PDA recharges itself in the sun while you’re not using it:) Just some cool stuff.

I read up on the Organic LED technology years ago, when they got that going, I think it’ll be awesome.

Unfortunately, the FOLED doesn’t quite cut it for my dad’s uber-invention = electronic paper. I think it’s something from an older (1940’s - 1970’s) sci-fi novel. It would need a paper or paper-like material where the print could be electronically updated. So, you could have an e-newspaper that looks and feels like news print, but you can download the new day’s paper each morning. (It would only draw current while updating). There’s actually two technologies I know of that can evolve to this level. One is erasable ink, I think HP developed it. You can print with it using an inkjet printer, then just heat it up to “erase” the paper (direct heat, like from an iron breaks the bonds of the ink, and it is no longer visible). Only thing is, you need some type of very strong material that could be printed on. The other thing is some type of paint, or material that you can send a current through to change it’s color. There’s a prototype I’ve read about, some type of marquis or sign (like the price-board outside a gas station). You program in what you want the sign to say, and hit the “set” button, and current is sent to the paint to set the appropriate colors in the appropriate places. Right now though, I think the sign is set up somewhat like an LCD text display (like on your VCR or digital wristwatch), with big blocks that can be turned on and off, but if they could get a good resolution, and put it on paper, that’d be neat.

Hrm… that was a rant, but this technology is what I think will evolve into our next displays. High-gain Emissive Displays (HGED). It’s still CRT technology, but flat. Our current CRT displays have an electron gun (terminology may be somewhat off, I’m no expert) which shoots a stream of electrons at the screen. Magnetic fields are used to focus and direct the stream to scan across horizontal lines, one by one. The HGED has multiple guns, which extend the full horizontal length of the screen, right behind it. Rather than a tight beam, hitting one pixel at a time, these guns produce a tight vertically, but wide horizontally beam which hits an entire horizontal line of pixels (magnets aim the beam vertically to hit the correct line). The screen is made of vertical rows of electrically sensitive phosphors (similar to on our current CRTs), but they only glow when both the electrons hit them and a current is passed through them. Sending different levels of current through each vertical strip, matched with the horizontally aligned beam of electrons illuminates a horizontal row of pixels.

The one obvious advantage over older CRTs is it’s flat (since you don’t need the guns to be far from the screen). The one advantage over Active Matrix LCDs is its faster refresh rate, and the biggest advantage over LCDs and Plasma displays is it will about the same price as the same sized CRT screens. That, and it doesn’t have the same viewing angle problems.

I dunno, I thought it was a really cool new technology, at it seems to be progressing pretty well (they’ve built working prototypes from 6" diagonal up to 12" so far, and they seem to be well funded). Check it out,


I think HGED could be an inbetween technology. I mean something that will be an improvement until OLEDS come into play. The drawbacks are the thick lead plated glass for radiation which contributes to weight, and they probably still use as much energy as conventional CRTs (although the ray won’t have to travel as far to reach the phosphor). The obvious benefits are it being a big space saver and probably having better geometry.

They’re releasing electronic ink next summer I believe. It doesn’t really have anything to do with traditional LCD technology. Let’s use the analogy of memory. There’s the memory we have in our computers that gets reset when we turn off our computers. This is like current LCD technology- it resets when there’s no current running through it. The E-Ink works more like removable flash memory- the charges are trapped even when there’s no more power being fed to the unit. I guess you could call it a non-volitile LCD display;) They should keep their image for a good 10 years. Imagine a bluetooth or some other wireless interface that allows you to update it easily. Or a pencil and eraser that somehow transfers a charge to the cells.

They also have working models of FOLEDs too! Check out a video here: Although it’s small and it’s monochrome, it’s pretty impressive. You can also see that the display gives off its own light and is approx. 70% transparent! OLEDs are already in some devices like cell phones. They say to expect them in 5-10 years, but I have some inside information that says some pretty cool things will be comming in just 2 years;) Prototypes were everywhere at this years COMDEX.

Besides war and the destruction of us all, the future’s lookin’ good!