Hardware recommandation for smooth sculpting with Blender 2.79

Hi All,

I’m new here, in search for advices.

I have been using Blender 2.79 for about 6 months now.

I use it to create 3D printable scenery for figurines (6, 10, 15 and 28mm).

So, I’m only using blender to create volumes that will show when 3D printed, starting with geometric objects that I use as a base for sculpting (so absolutely no render).

My problem is that my PC is lagging when sculpting, especially when I have to CTRL-Z something, and also when I use ‘decimate’ modifier on a sculpted object (but that’s less problematic).

I plan to buy a new PC dedicated to blender and would like to get some advices on a configuration that will make blender sculpt smoother: better AMD or Intel processor ?, what amount of RAM ?, which graphic cards?… again knowing that I will not do any render (for which I’ve seen quite some posts regarding rendering performance)

If there are some parameters that I should check to improve sculpting on my current PC, I’m also much interested.

Thanks for your assistance !

I have decently good PC and bad one all I can say blender has a limitation of holding a lot of vertex. Yes it lags way less but it’s still lags. With every version of blender it’s better and better optimized. There is no best build anyways !

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Hi Michel,
when it comes to Blender 2.79, you will always have those limitations. It will be better with more RAM and and a modern processor, but the issues will not disappear. My suggestion is, try the new 2.8 Sculpt feature Branch. I am running Blender on a 4 year old machine with only 8GB RAM, Intel Core i7-6700 3,4 GHz and a NVIDIA GTX 960 with 4GB RAM.
with Blender 2.79, with 4 million faces it was so slow I couldn’t work anymore. the SculptBranch: 25 million faces without major lag. Maybe have a look at this: https://youtu.be/AI_HjlDuHGw?t=444


What are the specifications of your current hardware?
If your current hardware is good enough, you will not get very noticeable improvements even if you have the best hardware on the market. As others have already explained to you above, Blender also has its own limitations.
You wait about 6 to 8 months to see how much 2.8 it improves on performance before you make any decisions about new hardware.


Thanks for the reply !

Hi Christina,
Thanks a lot for your answer.
Your video is astonishing!
I will finish the project I’m working on and then see how I can run 2 blender versions on my PC.
Regarding ‘branches’, how will they be integrated in the general common version? Or they won’t be ?
Thanks again

Thansk for your answer.
Current hardware is AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.20 GHz, 16Go RAM, Asus GeForce GTX1060 6Go.
With your answer and Christina’s one, I recon the problem is probably not the hardware but the current limitation of 2.79.
So I will wait and see how the 2.8 sculptbranch can help me and if the standard 2.8 also improve the sculpt response time.
If I have to change my PC (current one is also used by my kids :slight_smile:), I guess I should go for an Intel processor , 32Go RAM (is more usefull?), would a GTX2080 graphic card helps ?
Thanks again for your assistance!

Hi Michel,
Pablo Vasquez from the Blender Foundation mentioned in one of the Blender.today-livestreams, that the Sculpt Branch will be implemented as soon as possible, so I guess this will be with 2.82 or 2.83. The current only developer (not employed by the Blender Foundation) of the Sculpt Branch is Pablo Dobarro, and in the new Modul Teams List (https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Modules) he is listed officially as the developer for the sculpting tools/options. This overlaps with the Texture Painting Tools developed by Campell, so I guess they will work together and it wouldn’t take too long.
But for the new sculpting features there have to be changes in some parts of the main code, so I don’t expect to see the Sculpt Branch merged into the master with 2.81. I guess mantaflow will be the next Branch merged, they worked on it already for 2.80 but then postponed it because of other important work.
I will use both (Blender main branch and the sculpt branch) parallel to each other until they are merged. It is easy to do and one branch only takes about 320 MB space on the harddrive, so even running 10 versions parallel doesn’t really matter when it comes to the diskspace.

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In my opinion more RAM is always useful, but I guess 32 GB would be enough for your needs. Maybe buy a motherboard that is capable of using 16 GB modules (at least 4x, or even 32 modules). You can then start with 32 GB and upgrade to more RAM later.
2080 is a RTX card, and at the moment, those cores aren’t really supported.
A friend of mine just changed to a 2080. It works fine with Blender, and of course it is faster than a 1080, but at the moment the real advantages of the card aren’t that noticable in Blender.
I didn’t follow developments in that area, but I know that they are working on the full support of the RTX cards with a high priority. But to be honest, i don’t know enough about all that technical stuff to judge if it brings a lot of advantages when it comes to sculpting. It surely does with rendering, but you don’t do that. I guess it will also improve the viewport, and therefore the sculpting workflow.

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You could also keep your current PC and invest $ 895 in ZBrush if your main purpose is sculpting. ZBrush can handle millions of polygons without lag on a relatively low-end PC, and offers a better sculpting toolset than Blender, because Blender is a jack-of-all-trades, and its Sculpt Mode is not as versatile as a dedicated sculpting tool like ZBrush. ZBrush also offers effective 3D printing tools.

Your CPU is not bad, it has relative good single thread performance. “Decimate” and many other tasks in Blender are single thread tasks, you can check it with a CPU monitor while Blender works (preferably a graphic monitor program).
With a CPU with better single thread performance you will get better speed, but the improvement will not be linear for what has already been said about Blender limitations.
Anyway, when you buy a new CPU, you do not neglect single thread performance. Many threads are good, mainly for Cycles render. But single thread performance also influences many tasks in Blender.
So when you buy a new CPU you try to get one with balanced performance between Single and Multi thread performance:



About RAM, 32GB would be ideal.

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He could. But with the new sculpting branch at least for me there is no need for that. On my machine ZBrush begins to lag very bad at about 16 million faces. The sculpt branch has a way better performance than ZB with even 25 million faces.
True, ZBrush has a lot of more options and tools than Blender, but do we really need that? I only use a small part of all that options, just because I never needed all those other ones. And with the new remesher and the better performance in the sculpt branch, the two reasons I preferred ZB over Blender are now history.
I don’t 3D print (yet), but I have seen those options on YT videos. it seems the 3D print toolbox in Blender is quite good for all those purposes? I only use it to manifold the sculpts and get rid of holes etc.

Thanks for the reply.
I’ve been using Blender for 6 months now and all I know is that I’m still a long way to mastering it (even for the reduced part of fucntionalities I’m using). So to be honest, I’d prefer not to throw away all the learning done so far :slight_smile:
If there is a way to improve sculpting performance with new versions, I think I will stick to Blender

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Hi Chris,

That’s not my experience. ZBrush can handle 50 million polygons here without noticeable lag.

The Sculpt branch is an interesting and exciting project, but the remesher can’t even dream of being as good as ZRemesher. The Blender remesher uses OpenVDB, which is reasonably comparable to Dynamesh for a global polygon distribution, but not to ZRemesher’s unequalled quad-autoretopology, which is my single most important reason to keep using ZBrush.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been an avid Blender user for years now, but I keep finding myself switching back and forth between Blender and ZBrush, because ZBrush offers so many useful tools that simply aren’t there yet in Blender’s sculpt branch, such as extracting a mask to a new mesh layer, cutting, slicing and clipping using screen-space curves, projecting details and vertex color from one mesh to another with the touch of a button, more and easier-to-use deformers than Blender’s modifiers, polygroups, much better masking tools, the Relax tool, and the overall sculpting feel of ZBrush is much better. Just compare the Grab tool in Blender’s sculpt mode to the Move brush in ZBrush.

As for 3D printing Blender has competent tools, but it doesn’t offer the ZBrush option to make a mesh hollow with a consistent wall thickness, which is one of the most important tools to keep a 3D print affordable by minimizing print material volume. When you use Blender’s Solidify modifier, polygons that have sharp corners are pushed together until they touch, even when you activate the Even Thickness option.