CPU setup to rival GPU

This post is a follow up to:

I can certainly see the rationale for getting a fully featured Cycles in CPU first (before tackling GPU).
Having said that, I’m a “know nothing” when it comes to hardware so here is a question for the hardware experts.

As a novice, I’ve been rendering in Cycles using (2) GeForce GTX 550 ti cards and somewhat spoiled – the speed is terrific. If I were to get a CPU setup to match/rival that of the GPU performance (as mentioned above), how many processor cores, what motherboard, etc. would I need to purchase.

Also, is Blender even capable of taking advantage of all 6 or 8 cores when rendering in Cycles?

Your input is greatly appreciated.


Its basically the algorithm that are used in a GPU that makes it to render faster than a CPU !

I think like 12 core 24 threads. Would be nice work flow. I am still using cpu not gpu because of memory the only card i accept right now is gtx 680 or titan.

When building a computer you can choose between two types

Desktop PC and server computer.

Desktops most times only have CPU sockets to house only one CPU
and ADM and Intel max out at 6 cores there.

When you server computer the mother boards can also house two CPUs.

My MacPro has a dual quad core Xeon so I have 8 cores, the dual six core has 12 cores.

Those are the most common hardware platforms still for normal users.

You can also get high end server computers that can house more CPUs cores etc.

However a 12 core Xeon is still slower than a 260 $ GTX 570.
But the hardware for a 12 core Mac/PC is in the 2.000 to 3.000 $.
You can also buy 2 or 4 PCs with AMD or Inte Single CPU six cores but there again
you will be at a high price point. Plus you need to think about power consumption as well!

I do product design and with Cycles and my cheap GTX 570 I have a render performance I never saw before.

thanks everyone for the response. very helpful.

If you want to save some money and put it all into the best GPU set up, you can get some of the current AMD CPUs which are not bad for raw horse power, they generally lack when it comes to hyperthreading, but still quite functional for a lot less. Lets you invest in more expensive GPUs (SLI mode) or other peripherals.

I just added the Wacom Cintiq 13hd to my collection, and its a very good tool for art creation. They run about $999 so its one of those things one can save money and invest in by cutting back on other hardware choices.

If you wait, Intel will come out with a new CPU line up some time this year, which is supposed to be very good as well.

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”

I suggest a dual amd opteron configuration, 16 or 24 cores, it is not too much expensive. Anyway stick on your gtx cards because they can be useful for viewport and real-time preview render.

6GB GTX Titan ( 250 W TDP ) + i7 stock 130 W TDP + Display card ( 75-250 TDP ) + other ( monitor HDD SSD etc ) equals aprox 750 W PSU

compare that to dual opteron/xeon CPUs ( less TDP no overclock ) + display card equals aprox 500W PSU can use 64 GB ram > 3000 $ >

if you can fit your scene inside 6GB ram no need to invest in uber CPU power.

Any one here actually running a PC with AMD Opteron chips?

I’d like to know opteron performance in cycles,too. Anyway I found this bench


The opteron should be good (and less expensive than xeon… )

I have another bench for cpu´s with cycles:

My GTX 560Ti 448 cores render this file in 49 seconds.
I think you need at least a double 6 core opteron/xeon to get your work done.

Here is cinebench with opteron and xeon:


Cheers, mib.