Graphics card

Blender has been very slugish lately. It takes forever to render anything with any detail. I was thinking about getting a new graphics card. If I bought one would it solve my problem? I am running a 16MB ATI card right now but I’m looking to buy either a 128 or 256MB NVidia card. Will this speed up Blender???

TraceR

It won’t speed up the rendering, but it will speed up the UI.

Is there anything I can do to speed up the rendering?

Well, getting a non-ATI card probably will speed up rendering, but don’t count on it. If I were you, I’d get more memory.

Better CPU for sure!! it is the CPU that does the rendering, and of course more RAM is never wrong either…

maybe service pack 2 slowed ya down?

Well, for a start get a faster CPU, but RAM is also very important. I’ve noticed that my large renders are always taking long because of too little RAM, the CPU only works at around 30%, but the hard drive keeps swapping back and forth like crazy… This is especially the case when rendering with Yafray, it eats my RAM for breakfast.

On a side note, buying a new graphics card is also a good idea, the whole interface will be faster and more responsive.

Zsolt

Well, getting a non-ATI card probably will speed up rendering, but don’t count on it. If I were you, I’d get more memory.[/quote]
Get your facts right.
3D cards don’t have anything to do with rendering in Blender.

Martin

That is correct, but Blender is single threaded. When it draws pixels to the screen during an interactive render, that takes time. Blender has to wait for this to happen – and a poorly written driver will eat up CPU time to draw pixels. Also, Blender might block since an I/O operation is happening, but don’t quote me on that.

Thus, 3D cards do have something to do with rendering, albeit indirectly.

Matt

That is correct, but Blender is single threaded. When it draws pixels to the screen during an interactive render, that takes time. Blender has to wait for this to happen – and a poorly written driver will eat up CPU time to draw pixels. Also, Blender might block since an I/O operation is happening, but don’t quote me on that.

Thus, 3D cards do have something to do with rendering, albeit indirectly.[/quote]
with even a software graphics driver the speed difference is minimal

and this is part of why you can render from blender on the command line

blender -b blendfile -a
[for an animation, to see all other options do blender -h]

Well… This is starting to sound like a bunch of money. I can’t really afford all this. :-?

Let’s be clear on something : compared to your very old 16 Mb ATI, even a used Nvidia TNT2 would be markedly faster. And you don’t have to stop there. My guess is that a GeForce II could be had used for a few dollars, litterally, maybe 20 or 30 and it would run your UI like you wouldn’t believe.
You say nothing of your computer but I have a feeling that the case might be comparable. No ?

Jean

Yea, I guess ur right. My comp isn’t much better. I have a 1.5GHZ with 256MB of ram and a 20G HD.

How fast is your hard drive? Also, getting more RAM always helps. Especially if you work with really large images in the GIMP. Try painting on a 20 layer 3000x3000 image in the GIMP with only 256 MB of RAM. On Windows. It’s not fun.

CPU’s aren’t that expensive, depending on your motherboard you could maybe upgrade it. Or just buy another computer. You can get a pretty nice computer for only 400 something using websites like http://www.tigerdirect.com

There’s a guide for building computers here, and also places to look for quality but cheap parts:

http://www.cheap-discount-computer-parts.com/

Run Linux of course :wink:

A 16 meg ati video card IS slwoing you down, it’s probably the worst culprit. But if that’s what you’ve got for video then I’d be afraid to here what you’ve got for cpu/ram/hd etc.

TigerDirect is evil, you want newegg.com.

Yea, I guess ur right. My comp isn’t much better. I have a 1.5GHZ with 256MB of ram and a 20G HD

Now that Ive read some of the thread I feel better. That isn’t great, but you’re still better off with a new video card, ram next since blender sucks ram quite heavily. Remember that upgrading ram now and then upgrading cpu and/or motherboard later can cause dependancy problems. Your ram is most likely pc133, get a 512 stick and install it, then you decide to get a new proc, which requires a new mobo. This new mobo uses much newer spec on ram rendering your newly purcahsed yet old ram obsolete, and useless.

You’ll have to buy everything at once. :frowning:

I bought the fastest RAM I could afford (OCZ 3200 CL2, Dual Channel) and the best Hard Drive I could buy at that time, wich were 2 Western Digital 80 GB drives, Special Series with 8MB cache (I know that we now have SATA, but it was before SATA).

Next and because the cash was a bit short (the RAM and drives were expensive), I bought a AMD XP 1800+ (at the time it was the lowest one I could find) and overclocked it with Air Cooling to a AMD XP 2600+.

Believe me, this 3 things make a big difference in Rendering Times.

I also bought an already used ATI 9700 Non PRO and overclocked it to a ATI 9800.

So, you might do the same kind of business.

I would bet on the Hard Drive and RAM.
Secondly the CPU.
And last the GFX.

You can get good already used stuff at low cost, wich will help you improve your rig.
Also, with some good cooling you can get your CPU and GFX to run faster. That’s what I did and haven’t spent a whole lot of cash on it.

Just my opinion.

Note: If you are going to use Linux ( I use it, it’s faster ) go for a NVidia Card, such as a FX 5600 or even a FX 5200, already used, they are unexpensive and would boost your feel on Blender responsiveness.

Could I just buy another 256 stick? I think I have another slot left.

Yup, and bigger if you can… and need it. If the sort of file you render don’t cause swapping to disk (you’ll hear the rattling sound of the HD) then more RAM won’t help you.

Jean

I downloaded your queen model and it’s impressive. Do you need such a dense mesh? I don’t mean reducing it at the expense of detail but there are areas where I think you could get away with less geometry. And/or (I know, bad grammer :-? ) maybe you could produce several versions, eg, small details are possibly wasted in a render showing the whole model. Maybe more experienced modellers (than me) could comment?

PS: Does two-sided geometry effect render time? Are hidden parts culled (re AO calculations)?

o lol, I wish i could claim making that. I didn’t. An][aries made it. I just downloaded the model and played around with the materials. :stuck_out_tongue: