Is a high end pc really necessary for Blender?

I started using Blender about 4 or 5 months ago. One thing that always holds me back from rendering more complex scenes is that Blender frequently crashes due to insufficient RAM. That’s for the internal render engine. The rendertimes and crashes with cycles are even awfully more. So many a times I get discouraged from using Blender. So my question is, ‘is there no way for avoiding those crashes other than upgrading my pc?’…Can you guys please show me a couple of good renders or animations that are rendered on a ‘not-high-end’ pc? Those would serve as an inspiration for me.

My pc specs:
Os: Windows 7 32-bit.
RAM: 2 gb.
GPU: NVIDIA nforce 630a 256 mb(No cuda. That’s as good as having no gpu at all.)

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.01 GHz

You did not post your CPU specs, but from the data you posted I can honestly say: Your PC is not only “not-high-end”, but rather on the low-end side. 2 GB of RAM are hardly sufficient for Win 7 on its own, let alone for ambitious graphics work…

So: No, I see no way for avoiding those crashes other than upgrading your PC. You definitely need no high-end-machine, but as I already said, your machine is already far from being midrange. Sorry.

uh, lets see, this image i did for the 2012 blendercookie halloween contest
scarecrow pic

windows xp 32 bit
intel pentium 4
1gb Ram
version 2.63 ( maybe .64)
you cant really see but there are 3 seperate particle systems, the long grass at the back and some patchy grass clusters in the mid ground and small rocks as well,
the long grass was supposed to be wheat stalks but my pc couldn’t handle that! the main model has something stupid like 600 bits of straw for its stuffing (or it did at one point, not sure how much of that i removed!)
balcony has 3 array modifiers for the posts, individually modelled planks. and there are some 3 or 4 different lights. you can tell iwas a bit of a noob back then! (the texturing is terrible!)
needless to say my pc wasn’t happy rendering it and there were areas where i had to compromise and the render layers wouldn’t work properly at antialiasing level 11.
but it worked, and i immediately after went out and bought a 64bit pc

i’d post the image on the forum but i don’t have it anywhere other than my website now, and the cg cookie gallery

@lkariShinji: Oh! I forgot to mention the cpu. It’s an 'AMD Athlon II x2 250 3.01 GHz; and thanks for your advice btw.
@Small Troll: Thanks for replying! That’s not that bad of a render. I like it;).

Your cpu is about 5-6 times slower than even my aging i7 920. And as IkariShinji stated, 2gb with win7 is begging for problems when used with any 3d package.

Your machine is sufficient for web browsing and office work, not at all for graphics work, I am afraid. Your 630 is an on-board graphics cpu, and hardly even registers on the low-end GPU charts (24 points versus a 7950’s 4631 points!):

There is a good chance Blender’s crashes are mainly caused by that shockingly bad 630a - I am amazed Blender would actually run on that at all. I am not even sure if that 630a comes with its own video ram - probably not - which would leech another 256mb from the main ram.

Looking at your specs, I doubt whether any upgrade path would be cost effective. Even a low-end game desktop system would get you far better specs. You can get the required average specifications for Blender for about $400~$500 nowadays.

Check out a builds like these to get some ideas:

You could possibly salvage a couple of parts from your current setup and recycle them to save costs.

Windows requires 2GB of RAM to run I think, at least 1gig. With that gpu which you are right is only good for watching video and is useless for blender, you have to fall back on processor and ram (as I understand it). You could probably improve your system overall by buying all new ram. If ur running 32bit windows your max is 8gigs. Buy 8 gigs in 2gig modules. Buy them all at once and throwaway the ram you have. Best to have them all the same. You can get 4 2gig modules for around $100 USD. You’ll need that memory to keep blender running smoothly. Next purchase would be a cuda supported gpu also under $100. Those 2 improvements will give you many, many times faster, smoother use of blender.

Actually, you can get low-cost 2x4gb ram modules (total 8gb) for less than $50 now.

Win 7 for me takes about 1,5Gb in idle with just antivirus being turned on. Take note that viewport also takes quite a bit of RAM and after that theres not much out of those 2Gb you can actually use.

As others have said, you dont need high-end PC hardware to use Blender efectively but 2Gb of RAM is far too small. At least 4Gb is recommended.

Hmm…then what do you say guys; would I be able to render(at least a little bit) better if I install windows xp?

I think for 100 bucks you could improve your computer by lightyears. cheap nvidia cuda 1gig gpu and 2 4gig mems.

I don’t understand why my posts aren’t appearing in this topic…
Is installing windows xp a good idea?

32-bit can’t do 8 gigs, it maxes out at 4, 3.5 on a Win machine.

I’d honestly be surprised if you got any kind of use out of Blender at all. Almost every operation would have to be writing to and from the page file on the hard disk since your memory is almost certainly completely occupied by the OS.

I can do blender internal rendering just fine on my pc. It’s just that it is very slow and Blender crashes for scenes with heavy compositing and lighting. Here’s a scene that I recently rendered on this same pc:

Sorry, but I seem to have lost track about the point of your thread…

You started with complaints about the lousy performance of Blender on your machine - both with BI and Cycles (see quote). Then everyone told you that you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel with your system specs and that you should upgrade. And now you’re telling us that you can render with Blender Internal “just fine”?

As a side note: I’m typing this on a netbook that has more power than your PC… Money is tight, I get that. But if you want to get serious about your 3D hobby, get a new machine. Seriously.

I am sorry. I should have been more specific. My bad. What I meant to say was that Blender crashes frequently if the scene that is being rendered is quite heavy. For e.g. complex compositing, high resolution render… in short everything that makes a render look realistic. And normal renders too take quite some time to render. The image I posted in my previous post itself took an awful 15 minutes to render!:confused:

But nevermind. You guys have convinced me that an upgrade is seriously a must for my machine. I will probably do that in the near future.

Thanx a lot guys. This community is awesome:D

have a nice day.

possibly, but really you are better off looking for ways around your issues and go forward with your upgrading.
you can try rendering things in seperate scenes and render layers, and use gimp as your compositor, rather than struggling to do everything within blender, stick to still for the time being and don’t attempt complex animations, at least until you have an idea just how much you can get away with at rendertime and just forget about cycles until you have a better machine.

Realistic renders are the most intense on any machine. Either find a “style” that don’t require you to have heavy amounts of realism in your renders or save up for a new machine. You don’t need a 1000 dollar computer either. An emachine for 250 would be a pretty good improvement. Look on craigslist for ppl selling their systems. You can find them very cheap. I started learning blender on a P4 system with 250GB and only 2gigs of ram. Used that until lightning struck the house and fried it.