CPU Upgrade advice

Hi and welcome.

I will be upgrading my CPU to improve my render with cycles or Luxrender. Well, I only have a budget for one. The processor (CPU) or the Graphic Card (GPU). I only have an NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT which only has a computer capability of 1.1 and I cannot put my 3D view into rendered because it needs a 1.3 CUDA. Until I saw the Nvidia GeForce GT520 which has a computer capability of 2.1. And I believe the render engine nowadays use GPU and not CPU. so the question is…

Will I buy the Nvidia GeForce GT 520?

I just want to have a confirmation before doing any purchase.

My current specs are

Intel Pentium Dual Core 3.0 Ghz
2GB Ram
Nvidia GeForce 9400 GT


Did you know that GPU rendering always limited compared to CPU, because of onboard memory, and other factors, e.g not all scenes can be rendered on GPU? Anyway, 520 have low CUDA units, i think you need minimum 560 to start working “well”. I vote for upgrade CPU to i5 2500/ i7 2600/ whatever, you get much better overall system performance, not only Cycles or Luxrender.

Ouch, save up and get a 560 ti at least. In fact you also should have more RAM as well. I dont really recommend going with the bare minimum, save up so you can do it right.

If you have an intel dual core, it’s probably a 775 socket… and afaik you’re capped at about 3.2 on the best of 775 mobos. So… your topic about processors is most likely also a topic about mobos… because you’re more than likely going to end up needing both.

Also… these guys are recommending a 560ti… which I assume is great… I have a 550ti and it handles rendered view pretty well, even with my crappy dual core (which is a 775 3.2 :evilgrin: )

I’d advise against getting the GT520, it has only a very low amount of shader cores (48), which is crucial for compute performance.
I suggest you look at the Cycles benchmark thread and see if there is a faster GPU that is still in your affordable range. For instance, this GPU (GTS 450 2GB) has four times the amount of shader cores plus twice the RAM at only twice the cost, which directly translates into a 4x speedup (according to the benchmarks)
Render engines nowadays are still mostly CPU-based, but there is GPU support in Luxrender (will not make such a great difference) and Cycles (will make a great difference).
If you cannot fit your entire scene (including textures etc) onto the GPU, you will not be able to render it, so getting a GPU with at least 2GB of RAM puts you on the safer side.
Since your motherboard is also quite outdated, upgrading the CPU or the RAM (DDR2) would be comparably expensive, while you could potentially reuse a GPU in a new system.

Get a new motherboard, ram and CPU. You’ll end up getting the best usage for your money. I don’t know if you live in the US or abroad, but if you live in the US consider getting your gear from Newegg.

A total cost of 365.97 plus tax and shipping you have a brand new fast PC. I picked this board because it has 2 PCI-E 2.0 16x slots one for your graphics card and another one for exclusive use as a GPU rendering engine. You have some expandability by having more then one 16x slot. It’s not the lastest PCI-E 3.0, but it will be plenty fast. Plus you’ll have 8 gigs or ram if you run a 64 bit OS. If you can’t afford it, I would suggest that you continue to save your money until you can. This is just a suggestion, but I’m trying to take into account future expandability. There are a little more cheaper options, but this should give you an idea. :slight_smile:

A 560ti will set you back minimum 169.99 with 2 gb of video ram.

ECS Black Deluxe P67H2-A2 SLI (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard 99.99 on sale 65.00 off

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K 219.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 45.99

You don’t say but what’s your budget?

The other thing is… depending… you’ll most likely have to buy a new PSU if you get a new card… (if so check the wattage and the amperage on the 12v rail). So neither upgrade will be a single purchase.

Thanks for the reply. I wasn’t aware of that because I’m not much really into cycles. but I always do Lux. So in conclusion.

Processor upgrade to i5 or i7. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Lux will benefit as well with a decent motherboard/CPU combo. Start with the foundation then add a decent GPU. Throw in the 560ti for a total of 535.96 you can have a good PC with a good GPU for rendering. Top that off with the ability to use more then one GPU on the motherboard. :slight_smile: This is assuming you already have a good power supply and case.

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