getting momentum (revving up)

Hi there , I have been using Blender for now a couple of months and am enjoying it so much ! Thing is , I am starting to hit a wall because my rusty antique PC just will not handle too many vertices or effects (and render time…is really slow) . I spoke with a friend who told me what I needed was a “gamer’s PC” (though I don’t play video games)

My old man said he would buy a computer according to those needs , and so I would like to have your advice : what hardware do you use for modeling with blender ? what’s most important (graphics card ? processor?) .

Hoping those questions aren’t too greasy and mundane for you of the dreamy eyes…

BTW :Oh , yeah , also , what do the pro studios use ? And can you achieve pro results on your own computer ?

If you can go Mac, get an iMac or a Mac Pro.
if it’s Windows you desire, here’s what I say.
If you plan on using GIMP or something along with Blender, a touchscreen HP Desktop is nice for that.
Or if you want a total powerhouse of a tower:

High Ram (4GB-8GB ideal, 16GB is crazy good, but expensive)
Good CPU (3.06-3.2 Ghz ideal)
Good HDD (500 GB-1 TB ideal, 7200 RPM is better, but 5600 is good enough for most)

My 2 cents

Eew, Mac…

Anyways, use your old monitor (assuming it’s 19’’ or up), no need for touchscreens which you’ll barely use or any of that type of bullshit.

I consider the CPU to be the most important part, since rendering relies heavily on it. The more cores the better! A dualcore CPU can give you around a 40% speed boost compared to a single core. Quad or tri-core is ofcourse better but more expensive. (To use all cores effectively, make sure you adjust the Threads setting in Blender before rendering!)

Second most important is a good graphics card, this is what defines how fast the viewport is with complex scenes. Get a mid-range card for that (like Radeon HD2600 or HD3650) and you should be fine. You can also try to find an older/secondhand “enthusiast” card. They will have become cheaper for not supporting the latest-generation shader eyecandy, which blender doesn’t use anyway.

RAM is cheap currently, 2GB bare minimum, 4GB is AOK. WinXP 32bit supports up to 3.2GB, but you can get one of the linuxes if you want more. I’ve found 4GB to be more than enough.

HDD is not so important since even the cheapest ones are at least 160GB. I’m using an 80GB one and it’s barely half full. Make sure it’s a solid brand like Samsung or Hitachi. Tip: you should install your old HDD on the new computer for even more space and saved bucks!

all right , thanks for the prompt replies and tips ! It seems dell has some nice pc’s for sale , so I might go for them . (I might get something fitting for under 1000 euros) .

@blenderman : are you also into 2d graphics ? I really enjoy sketching ( something you rediscover from a lost childhood !) but I must say I don’t like graph tablets … assuming I won’t have a touchscreen anytime soon , how do you numerize your sketches ? (scan ? good quality camera ?)

'be hoping to post in the WIP section of this forum in a little while…

What will you be using Blender for? Game art (which you’d want to ensure viewport fluidity) or mainly offline rendering (mainly CPU horsepower).

With a thousand euros, you can get both sides of the coin - easily.

Don’t bother with 16G of ram or a touch screen. What you need is an around the board, solid machine.

Get an Nvidia GFX card (better openGL drivers) you can read THIS http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2404.html article for your specific needs. You’d probably want either an GTX 280 or GTX 285.

For CPU, get a quad core. They’re so cheap and mainstream now, you’d be a fool not to (esp with you budget). Some may recommend an i7, but your budget may not cope well with that.

6-8 gigs of memory will be OK.

The rest is up to you! Enjoy! =)

Hey , I just got a touchscreen second hand on “leboncoin” (french e-bay type site) for 150 euros with about 1gig ram , so a bit old but I won’t need much more for drawing and it works great .

So maybe I’ll be on the look out for second hand PC’s as they seem to go for quite cheap if they are older than six months . What do you think of that ?

I’d be using blender for both game art and offline rendering I guess . Anyway I’ll have to buy soon because I’ve had enough of not beeing able to render anything complicated .

Once again thanks for the advice people !