E-Cycles - one week left to get up 4x faster rendering + upcoming AI techs with 100€ off!

E-Cycles 20191003 is up for Windows, Linux and Mac in both the standard and RTX version.
A bug in the rendered viewport was fixed in E-Cycles (some scene could be much brighter in the viewport than in final render since the 20190912 builds) on top of the many fixes from upstream. I recommend everyone to update.

For those who would like to still get the 2019-only version of E-Cycles on the Blender Market, it’s the last day it’s available.


Which version of driver must be installed to have Optix available on Linux?
I have 430.40 and see ‘No compatible GPUs found for path tracing’ message in settings.

I can see 435.21 BETA available in AUR - anyone on Arch/Manjaro have installed it and can share some feedback if there were any issues?

Drivers for Optix:
Windows: driver version 435.80 or newer
Linux: driver version 435.12 or newer

1 Like

I quickly fresh installed Manjaro on a new partition, tried to build 435.21 from AUR (no success), then tried to install from official Nvidia installer (no success), and eventually messed up the system as much as I can’t boot it anymore. It seems like Beta driver is not for me.
So, be careful if you want to try installing it :slight_smile: And drop some hints if you succeeded please.

Dilate/erode increment/decrement bug is gone now :smiley:
Alright I’ll be using the Blender Market messages for bugs from now on
And great to hear :open_mouth: it seems BVH times have been extra obnoxious as of late, glad to hear many are working to slay that dragon.

1 Like

Benchmarks for E-Cycles with build your own E-Cycles course from bliblubli release Dec/2018 link at e-cycles course and Blender daily build Optix. In the E-Cycles course build I applied the patches from Dec/2018 with the latest Blender source for both Cycles Cuda and Optix.

The test where done with a 2x 2070 RTX with the latest E-Cycles/RTX 2.81 with Cuda boost enable and Blender daily build.

The BWM scene modified by increasing the output from 50% to 100%, since the render time was to fast at 50%.

BMW scene - output size 100%:

E-Cycle Course Build - 32x32: 1:10.01.
E-Cycle - 32x32: 1:09.50. (Use 32x32 tiles because auto tiles at 16x16 was a little slower.)

Blender Daily Build Optix - 256x256: 58:25.
E-Cycle Course Build Optix - 256x256: 51:22.
E-Cycle Optix - auto tile: 45.55.

Classroom scene:

E-Cycle Course Build - 32x32: 1:41.18.
E-Cycle - auto tile: 1:40.48.

Blender Daily Build Optix - 256x256: 1:17:11.
E-Cycle Course Build Optix - 256x256: 1:12.50.
E-Cycle Optix - auto tile: 1:05.13.

Chocofur archviz course scene:

E-Cycle Course Build - 32x32: 4:10.27.
E-Cycle - 32x32: 5:00.72 (Use 32x32 tiles because auto tiles at 16x16 was a little slower.)

Blender Daily Build Optix - 256x256: 4:39.48.
E-Cycle Course Build Optix - 256x256: 3:53:97.
E-Cycle Optix - auto tile: 3:41.65.


In E-Cycles their is a need for two separate builds for best performance one Cuda and one for Optix. The E-Cycles course build only one build is needed for good performance in both Cuda and Optix. The course patches never expired so no problem to keep using it to build with the latest Blender and adding your own customization if desired.

Comparing the E-Cycles course build with E-Cycles it performance just as fast in the light scenes and it is faster in heavy scenes like the Chocufur archviz (I double check this results).

Comparing the E-Cycles course build Optix with E-Cycles Optix it is little slower in light scenes and in heavy scenes it is quiet close.

As separate note the auto-tile settings for E-Cycles is not ideal is better to use 32x32 tiles in most cases.

Hopefully bliblubli will update this course for 2020. Once learning process of building your on Blender is done it will give the most flexibility.

1 Like

Hold on a sec… I was under the impression that OptiX was supposed to be multiple times faster. If it is not, and is merely a chunk faster, I may hold off on my upgrade, and just stick with my three 980Ti Hybrids a little longer…

I think unless you will upgrade to get more than one rtx card, it won’t be faster than 3 gpu. But, if you’re upgrading to 2 x 2080ti for example you will get probably faster speeds in both CUDA and OPTIX than 3 x980ti. So OPTIX is in early stage, but any upgrade will probably give you an advantage, just depends how much a each second less of render time is worth to you. time vs quality vs cost, weigh it all up consider them all. For some freelance work I still just use eevee :wink:

AFAIK Optix and RTX only speeds up the ray intersection parts of rendering (by a significant amount), there are still material, texture and shading calculations to do that take part in CUDA cores.

I’m late to the game. So, if I’m not mistaken right now E-cycles for 2.80 & 2.81 is $99 but only a week or so ago was half the price? If that’s the case I’ve missed a good opportunity :frowning:
Hopefully there will be a new sale before the end of the year, I’d like to play with it. I understand eventually it will become available for everyone, but if another sale is going to happen in the meantime, I’d definitely buy it.

1 Like

These builds are awesome and Mathieu customer support is first class, 5 Stars!


Hi Eric,

thanks for the feedback and testing. It’s good to see the course is still very valuable indeed :slight_smile: Small correction, I think you took the patches from September 2019 (I update those regularly)?

Regarding the speed, E-Cycles got many features added over the months too, which are not in the course. Some time ago for a studio, I stripped most of it to only keep the current speed-up from current E-Cycles builds and got 2 figures speed-up. The thing is that those features are very usefull in some case. For example, adaptive sampling has a relatively big impact in scene not using it (compared to a version build without it), but the time savings for rendering volumetrics is so huge, that I think it’s still a good Idea to keep it. E-Cycles also has memory optimizations, which allow to fit bigger scenes in memory, particularly important for OptiX where the GPU runs faster out of memory. On the chocofur Archviz, I guess there is a bug somewhere if the course is faster than the current version :smiley: Thanks for the report.

For the E-Cylces optimizations on Optix, it’s still 12% to 14% slower than the current E-Cycles RTX builds. For the Chocofur scene, I don’t think it has to do with light or heavy. I guess it also bugs here for some reason, I have to investigate. I guess it uses the old denoiser? There is also a bug in current master that I’m working on. When fixed, it will get the real speed of the RTX branch back.

The course is indeed updated regularly. The last patch update is about a month ago. The flexibility is indeed it’s big strength and I continue to tell it here when people want builds on top of Fracture Modifier or Mantaflow. Thanks for showing it is still valid today.

1 Like

Well actually there is something else going on to be honest with OptiX. In the report above, E-Cycles course build is faster than Blender with OptiX, although there are no volumes. While it’s nice for my course (patches from 2018 working on older generations and faster than months of work by NVidia and specialized hardware!) it’s probably a bug/bottleneck somewhere.

I get a few very different reports from user with same OS, same graphic card, same scene, same E-Cycles version, with significantly lower speed-up than expected. The reports are also very different in the code blog from the BF, with some only reporting a few percent faster between cuda and OptiX, on scene which are known to get bigger speed-up. As Windows 10 does a bit what it likes with drivers, settings, background apps, etc. plus the many versions on top (1803, 1810, 1903, etc.) with each their sets of bugs and performance issues. It makes it really hard to know what happens. I’ll try to speak about it with NVidia.

On Windows 7, Linux and Mac, performance is much more predictable. So while it’s very valuable data, I wouldn’t draw too much conclusions from it yet.

1 Like

It was in July, so some months ago now :slight_smile: But the Blender Market usually do sales during BConf which is in 3 weeks.


Thanks for the basic tips bro, but actually I’ve been in the GPU rendering game for seven years. Started in Octane in 2012 with two 460s, then two 580 3GB, then two 780Ti, and now three 980Ti Hybrids, that I believe are going on 4 yrs old, which is a record, I guess. And before that it was many years of dual CPU workstations.

Interesting fact: Every GPU above before my current ones were water-cooled with The Mod (CPU AIOs slapped on GPUs). Yeah, it kicks ass that hybrids became available. Modding GPUs was getting old.

1 Like

my experience so far with e-cycles is that rendering with 2080ti+gtx 1080 is 10s faster than 1 x 2080ti in optix. But the optix build seems to be much faster to update and preview in the viewport, so you save tonnes of time when making adjustments in the viewport. So I’m mainly hoping my gtx 1080 will be able to be utilised by optix in the future. If your 980ti’s are going to be able to render in optix in the near future, then you could probably just stick with those.


I using the latest Windows 10 and Nvidia driver. It is possible for course build to be faster than the Blender daily build Optix in certain scenes when the benefits of the RT cores is smaller than patches for the course build. The course build with Optix is always faster than the Blender daily build with Optix.

All test scenes had denoiser turn off. No dither sobol patch. Potentially other new patches in the latest E-Cycles could cause slow down in certain scenes.

1 Like

I’ll keep an eye on it, thanks for the info :slight_smile:

1 Like

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

Hi Mathieu,

I was wondering if I can expect a good performance increase on an older workstation.

The machine is as follows:

  • HP Z800
  • 2x Intel Xeon [email protected] ((Hex Core)
  • 72GB Ram
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB (not a Ti!)
  • Blender 2.81
  • Windows 10 Pro latest updates installed

I’m using primarely Cycles & the D-Noise plugin.
Primary work is ArchViz interior & exterior. Often high res high poly scenes.

I am thinking of upgrading the computer eventually, but wonder if your plugin gets me a chance to delay that.

Thanks for your thoughts, what can I expect? Double the speed of a typical scene?