best video card

I know it’s been asked before but I did a search and there is nothing current and since the latest ATI cards have been release with (supposedly) better drivers. It’s time to go at it again.

What is the best video card for Blender?

Things to think about:

  • stream prossessors, the big word in GPU’s. What does more mean to a blender user?
  • Video Ram. With the advent of the ATI 4870 x2 it is now possible to have a video card with 2GB of ram. Does this mean I get more poly’s in sculpt mode?
  • Given that Blender has the ability to handle millions of poly’s what is it in a graphics card that allows for millions of poly’s?
  • Price points. Will an ATI 3870 x2 1gb outperform an nvidia 260 512mb video card using blender for less money?
    I’m busy researching all of this, but I just wanted input from anyone here who may know more about the internals of blender and understand what it is that makes the gears spin.


I’m not sure if Blender works with SLI/Crossfire so you might be wasting your money on an ‘X2’ type card. Can anyone confirm/dispute this? Personally, the only thing that’s keeping me from switching completely over to Linux is ATI’s drivers… just a bit longer now, methinks, and I’ll pick up a 4870 (5870?) and be done with Windows and Nvidia forever! Sigh… a guy can dream, can’t he?

Nvidia GeForce FX :cool: ad nausium

get the biggest baddest card you can afford. add about 200.00 and buy the next one up.:smiley:

Let me just say up front that as a Blender user, the CPU is far more important than the GPU.

To a Blender user, stream processors are important, but in the long run won’t make a world of difference.

The importance of video RAM barely extends beyond the realm of resolution. The number of pixels on screen will more or less determine the amount of memory your card is using. You do NOT need 2GB of ram on video card.

As of right now, nVidia has better performance in Blender, as well as less bugs. I’d recommend getting some card from the nVidia 8800 line.

Well, if you can maximize both of course – a good CPU of course helps (specially when it comes to rendering), but the modeling/etc. process benefits more from a fast video card with a decent memory size. I’d say get a good nVidia. Plus, if/when GPU material previews happen, you’d be more than served.

Except maybe multires the video card is not as important for Blender as RAM and processor.

I have to concur with the general subtext here. I run Blender without a video card and it is rare to find something the onboard graphics can’t handle.

(I don’t do much sculpting though)

You can’t go wrong with either of these cards. $59 and $129 respectively after rebates.

i live a little bit north of you (Vancouver), do gfx work for a living and use a nvidia 7600GT with 256MEG RAM. So far, no problems (with the card that is) :wink:

My desktop has an Nividia 7600GS with 256M ram on a quad-core cpu in XP with 2G ram and RAIDed hard-drives for extra speed. My system runs fairly well and my renders are as fast as I can expect.
However, I’m working on a .blend file that is getting rather heavy to edit. Trying to sculpt, weight paint, or even select verts in my main mesh (a terrain with 172k verts) is getting terribly bogged down. I chose this graphics card because it’s fanless and I do audio work, but I’m wondering how much I might gain if I upgrade to, say, a 9600 class. I don’t use the BGE except to bake ipos and normally just use shaded mode for all my editting. I’m guessing that some things like rotating my object around will be snappier but anything that processes the verts will not. thanks.