Buying a new comp... configuration ideal for blender?


Now you got to help me out guys! My old PC decided to let me down so I have to buy a new comp now. I would like to know what kind of comp would be ideal for blender, that I don’t get any bugs of weird video card compatibility issues. And if possible could you post your configurations too and mention if there is any bugs on your comps? ( When running blender )

I think this would help alot of other users also!


This has come up on several other posts i believe.

For blender and rendering, you want fast, fast, fast processor.

Really really fast. As fast as you can get your grubby little hands on. A gig or so of ram is nice.

did i mention the fast processor?

With that being said, I would go as fast as I could within my budget and for what features I wanted.

For instance, in 32bit, my personal poison is:
Abit nf7s v2.0 mobo
AMD 3200+ processor
1 gig dual channel RAM@ 400mHz FSB
WD Raptor SATA raid 10k rpm
BFG Nvidia 5700fx

Vid cards and other toys are up to you. A fast disk always helps (WD Raptor for SATA @ 10k rpms).

vid cards make no difference when rendering in Blender, so knock yourself out for whatever you like. Bear in mind though that the entire blender interface is implemented through OpenGL, so your vid card must support it. Of course, a faster vid card probably means smoother blender operation, but I am not positive about that.

if you have the money, i believe blender can be compiled for 64bit machines these days. Not sure if the benefits are there yet (is there a comparison out there by anyone of blender or yafray on 32 vs. 64 bit systems?)

[update] as a matter of fact i found my mobo on for like 40 bucks refurbed, figure a chip at about 100 bucks and thats a freakin sweet deal…

Stay away from Ati graphics cards… only problems with blender!!

Yeah tell me about it… I’m going to buy a comp that has a integrated graphics card… if it doesn’t work with blender too well then I’ll install my Geforce 2 MX to my comp and then belnder will work for sure! XD

A 64-bit version of blender isn’t new. I still have a version for Alpha circa the 2.0 days.

Anyway, if your going to be using 64-bit processors, what we’ve found over the years is you need to double you Ram for best performance. Reason I’ve heard from the engineers is that with 32-bit processors, your sending 32-bits of info to Ram at a time, with 64-Bit your sending twice the info. I am not sure if that’s the technical reason, but from a practical level we did find that 64-bit optimized software would run slower on our Dual 2 Ghz G5’s w/2 GB RAM than we had orginially thought at least when compared to our dual 1.25 Ghz G4 machines with 2GB of Ram. When we bumped the ram from 2GB per machine to 4 GB in the G5’s we noticed a noticable performance increase with Final Cut Pro Rendering. Whether the same holds true for Blender don’t know. But these machines are about $5000 a pop too.

Still for USD 500 from tiger direct you can get an AMD 64 2800 with 512MB of ram, DVD, HDD, case, motherboard with 64MB intergrated graphics card and no OS. Great if you want to run Linux or BSD for Blender use. Decent Barebones kit to start with.

Here are my recommendations and explanations:

CPU: As fast as you can afford, avoid semprons and celerons. I would recommend an Athlon 64, socket 939. Dual core if you can afford it, since blender can render in two threads. If you are on a tigher budget then consider a fast Athlon XP, or a socket 754 Athlon 64. AMD is going to move to a new socket next year, that will limit future upgrades, you may want to keep that in mind.

Memory: Get a gig at least, memory is cheap right now. Remember to match the ddr speed to your motherboards capability. If you go for a socket 939 athlon 64 you’ll want dual channel (if your motherboard supports it that is).

Video Card: You can get by with a slower card if you are’nt a gamer, a mid range 3d card would be great, something like a geforce 6600gt.

Hard Disk: SATA performs better than IDE in general, you can get even better boosts by using NCQ (has to be supported by the drive and motherboard). The fastest SATA drives you can get 10,000 rpm Raptors.

My box right now is a 754 athlon 64 2800+, 1 gig of ddr 400, a geforce 6600gt and a 34 gig raptor as my main drive and a 200 gig IDE for storage. running the 32 bit windows xp (I would run the 64 bit, but I have some hardware that prevented it when I put this pc together).

This is wrong, if you keep your drivers up to date there isn’t a problem with ATI. I have an ATI and it works perfect in both Windows and Linux, but 99.9% of the time I am running linux, since it is faster then Windows, especially for Blender.

My answer? just buy the latest high tech PC. Try to upgrade some elements i.e motherboards, graphic cards etc at least on a yearly basis to keep in touch with Blender requirements