best videocard to use with blender?

so i don’t know if this is the right place to post this or not,
but i’m thinking of upgrading my video card this Christmas
i’m am currently running a HP a1250n pc that i got almost 3 years ago,
and while I’ve had it I’ve upgraded the ram to about 3 gigs,
however i am still using the pc’s crappy integrated video card.
so i was wondering if anyone had some suggestions for upgrading the video card it, since i plan on using my pc for mainly blender.
the highest price i am looking for would be around 200$ since i’m gonna also have to buy a new power supply for my computer as well.

any help?

Most graphics cards will do just fine but i’d recommend a geforece 8 series card. Maybe an 8800GT, or an 8600 model.

You dont need one that fast, but you might aswell make yourself a bit future proof.

thanks based off of that i’m gonna look at the 8600GTS
since it has a faster clock speed.

From what i’ve heard 8800 gt has much better performance

i just love these… you made up your mind in 20 minutes, because the first guy that replied said so. in this case, it doesnt matter, nvidia cards really are the best choice for blender, especially if you are on linux.

but still… great stuff :slight_smile:


well the main reason why i posted this thread was because i could not find anything when searching the forums.
so i was just trying to get a quick answer to what people think.
i’m running XP
Basse, what type of video card would you suggest since you just love these threads?

thats what i had thought but since i’m a college student i can’t really pay 250.00$ on a video card.

does any one know what makes blender run faster: video car memory, or clock speed
i’ve never really under stood what it is that i should be looking for in a video card.

i saw an HP at Best buy for $850 that included an 8400, quad intel, widescreen lcd, vista. Surely you can get an 8 series for like a $100. I have the 7400 running dual 19" tubes at 1600x1200 and it is sweet.

an 8 series yes, but not an 8800 newegg has the lowest 8800 series at 260ish

so thats why i was going to look at the 8600 gts

you may be better looking at high end 7 series cards. unless you need dx10

thanks for the suggestion,
which brings me back to this question
should i be looking for a card with higher ram
a faster clock speed?

He did do a suggestion: nVidia. Most people here will agree with him, because altough ATi has good hardware, they’ve always had a bunch of poopy drivers for it. For instance, my ATi displays all kinds of funny random blocks with garbage around the screen, and it’s impossible to actually use Blender without disabling hardware acceleration partly or even completely (which is probably not what you’re buying the card for). You might also get to see funny “animations” that weren’t intended to be, and slow down your workflow a lot because they take a few seconds to finish (you can’t do anything while it happens). It may get better in the future, since they’ve been bought by AMD, but for now… go with nVidia. Never had any issues with those.

As for the reason why he loved these threads… I can’t speak for him, but personally I love them because someone can’t decide what card to buy and (says he) doesn’t know enough about it, so he decides to open up a topic at his favorite board. He waits and waits until someone replies with information, which you could have easily found by using teh Google as well, and then goes off to make his final decision. All after one answer from someone you don’t know. Sure, TheANIMAL is a respected user as far as I know, but what if some crazy haired fanboy told you to go with ATi? What if an Open Source fanatic told you to wait for the Open Graphics Card?

Not meant to bash you, it’s just a little weird if you think about it :slight_smile: and indicates you’re not willing to do some serious research before spending your serious money.

Trust me, you will regret for not using teh Google (look for product pages, review-sites, wikipedia, etc) before making decisions. I know people who made the same mistake. They still suffer from that very mistake each day and again (coughs, yeah, I’m indeed talking about myself here…).

Of course, you’re going to buy nVidia now, so there’s isn’t much that could go wrong, unless you’re going to use Vista or the 7-Series (afaik it was 7, not sure, use teh Google to find the page about GeForce-cards @ Wikipedia, it tells you all about it).

I will now officially stop telling people to use teh Google.
Use teh Wikipedia instead :ba:

to be honest i tried google first and got nothing but advertisements
google and wikipedia are not always the all knowing sites out there on the internet
then i came here to search for video cards
and got nothing that really said what i was wondering

i did not say for sure that i was going to go buy the 8600 card
i only said that i would look at it.

basse just said nVidia,
which is an entire company with an entire line of cards out there.

i do not get why people are biting my head off for asking a question,
a forum is a place to ask a question, and right now i’m doing one form of research which is asking people what they use.

so please do not be biting my head off for asking a question.

now getting this thread back on topic,

for nvidia users,
what card would you recomend

and to every one else
what are you looking for in a video card
high memory,
fast speed?

AFAIK, huge amounts of memory are more beneficial in games than things like blender/maya etc. I’d be inclined to get the card that had the greatest raw processing power. As long as the card has at least ScreenResX * ScreenResY * 4 bytes of memory, I think it may well have enough.

Every time you load a new texture or add geometry, the memory usage goes up - the available system memory also goes down by a corresponding amount. That’s what makes me think that blender only really needs about an 8mb card to work just fine in 1600x1200*32bit color. Perhaps 2 or 3 times that, so OpenGL can double or even triple buffer, but I’m pretty sure you’re wasting your time with 512 and even 256mb may be excessive.

But yeah, go for power - not necessarily speed, though the fastest one may be the most powerfull. A 2ghz quad core would murder my 2.66 ghz celeron for example.

I would say that if he is going to be doing any sculpting in Blender and he tries to hit the
multi-res button more than a couple of times with your suggested 32MB video card that
he will feel like he is stuck in mud.

@batboy853 in this case I think that
and not teh google is your best friend.
As far as your question about memory versus processor power I can’t advise you because I’m no expert in this area. What I can tell you is that in Blender I do a lot of
sculpting with a nvidia 7600 gt with 256 megs of ram and when I go over 1 millon polies
it gets real doggy. Since you have upgraded to 3 gigs of ram you should be able to hit
around 3 million polies or more (I hit 3.2 once but couldn’t do anything with it) with a LAA Blender build. If you are going to be sculpting and you want to hit those high poly counts my guess is (it’s a guess because I don’t know the mathes for translating polies into memory usage) that you will want as much video memory as you can afford. According to the review on Toms nvidia 8800 GT is the best card for the money but it’s priced slightly higher than your $200 but not alot around $ 250 I think. That would give you the best of both worlds, as it has 512 MB of memory.

Any way check out the review and I hope someone smarter than me will answer the
question as I’m in the market for a knew card as well.


thanks for the help pimpmymonkey, ehnzflep, theanimal and everyone else.
i’ll take a look at what all you guys have suggested.

8800 gts 320mb nvidia card is what my brother has in his new(ish) machine. Blender seems to love it. However, that comment doesnt help much as I’m not really comparing it to other cards, it just renders reasonably complex stuff fairly fast.

This site does a heap of benchmarking and reviews so people like us dont have to. All free info to read as well. Their render benchmark is with 3dsMax, but they at least have a specific rendering benchmark alongside gaming, encoding video, etc. Hope that helps.

Very true, you need to have some serious search skills these days to get rid of the advertisements.
Did you know you can leave out things by adding a minus-sign in front of your keywords? (there’s more, check the help pages @ Google). Quite handy for getting useful information without the ads.

I didn’t say that Wikipedia (nor Google) is the all knowning site. It’s just an additional source of information about specs, and things that happened in the past for a specific version of specific cards.

i do not get why people are biting my head off for asking a question,
a forum is a place to ask a question, and right now i’m doing one form of research which is asking people what they use.

so please do not be biting my head off for asking a question.

I’m definitely not trying to bite your head off, I’m really just trying to save you from doing that by not choosing the wrong card :ba:

And the thing about memory clock settings and all that… well, there’s always going to be a card that’s faster than yours. I would decide on price, range and feature. Not clock settings. But that’s just my opinion.

Anyway, if it’s any help… I’m going to buy a new card as well, and after a few months of research I’ve decided to go with a silent version (no cooling fan, I hate those things) of the GeForce 8600GT with 256MB. Not the fastest, definitely not the slowest either, and it’s not even a hundred euros. After reading all those reviews and more, I personally think that’s currently the best choice if you’re on a budget.

512MB instead of 256MB would have been nice, but well… money, money, money…
(though if you use lots of large textures, it could speed things up a bit, I think)

i know how to use “teh google”
i actually know it quiet well, however as other people have already stated in this thread,
it isn’t the best place to do research for thing such as video cards,
when i do research for college i never go to “teh google”, i go periodical databases like ebsco host,
cause anyone can write and create a website, which you even told me is true about message boards earlier.
and actually the minus sign doesn’t work with “teh google” anymore cause “teh google” is a keyword searching website were it will search for all the terms you put into the search heading.
try searching video cards - buy
and the first thing you get is something that talks about buying a video card,
which coincidentally looks like an interesting article on how to buy the right video card.
which i will read but still it brings me back to my point i the suggestion of putting in a - to narrow the results, doesn’t work. neither does boolean operators.

how ever thanks for the suggestion with the 8600 GT i’ve been looking on newegg and i currently see a couple different versions all in my price range that have some speed to them as well as being in my price range.

i’m currently considering the 8600 GTS SSC,it has a faster 756mhz speed, but the reviews on new egg say that it runs hot,
so i am also considering the
8600 GTS

both look like great cards. and both are in my price range.