New System questions

I was piecing/pricing together a decent Blender box and was planning on buying it myself for ~$1300, and a very generous friend has ordered me the following components for me at no charge. I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, and heartily accepted, but am thinking I may need to make a couple adjustments (without telling him)

This is in the mail:
Black Mid Tower Case
Intel Core I5-4570 3.2 Ghz Quad Core cProcessor
MSI Z87-G43 Motherboard
16 GB DDR-III 1600 Crucial Ram
Two Seagate SATA HDD 1.0 TB Drives with 32MB Cache
Integrated HD Intel Graphics on CPU
Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit OS
3 Year Warranty

I may need a Full tower and some extra cooling, as well as a better PSU.
This is what I had in mind.

Case: Do I need a full tower?
PSU: Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $109.98
CPU Cooler : Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 45.0 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler $22.98
(audio card,wi-fi and minor other stuff)

I mean will this all work together?

I would like to spend $500-$600 on a GPU. Will someone just tell me which GTX is best for me. My head is spinning on the video card. And I mean that literally, I render heads spinning sometimes.

It’s been a little while, but I do enjoy putting systems together. I’m just hoping to avoid the sick moment when component A and B aren’t compatible.

Thanks in advance.

Ok thank you. I am leaning toward the 780. I guess I’m just confused over the brands, ASUS versus EVGA , PNY?

I am also confused over whether Cycles can do SSS or hair. As I use those 2 a lot. For instance (Without compositing) can I render cycles sss materials and hair using GPU, or would I need to switch entirely to CPU.

I do use render farms occasionally, but anything is going to be better than my current system (laptop) :frowning: The internal fan sounds like a WW I dog fight right now. I had to take it all apart last week and clean it. Duct tape was involved.

Hi blenderallday, I see from your avatar that you have a new project going on?

I am also confused over whether Cycles can do SSS or hair. As I use those 2 a lot. For instance (Without compositing) can I render cycles sss materials and hair using GPU, or would I need to switch entirely to CPU.

SSS is not implemented for GPU rendering at the moment. Hair is possible on GPU. But don’t expect wonders. Hair is still slowing things down, even on GPU.

Hmm, Ok, that kind of sucks. SSS is important to me. But I’m sure it will be implemented soon.

I started out sculpting Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and retopoed and re-sculpted, in multires,a fatter more unlikable man. And put a roman solider style helmet on him. I’m still not sure where I’m going with it all. It’s the most realistic human I’ve made from scratch.


Yes, the likeness in the left image is good. It is really depicting him. The Roman is also nice, and the texturing looks good.

Blenderallday, is the roman a Blender internal render? Very realistic–good job!

Thanks guys,

It’s about the farthest away from the valley I have taken an original model.

@copperplate, no it’s cycles with a pretty basic sss/diffuse + glossy skin shader I made. There’s a separate spec map just for the scars I have been trying to get other, more complex shaders, working but they always look terrible when I implement them. I spend a lot of time in photoshop tweaking the maps, and then the nodes, and then waiting… I used a different approach this time. I sculpted to multires 5, and then baked to 3. So there is real geomtry up to 3, including the scars etc… The pores are normal maps.

I might use it for the bg character contest, but right now it’s just a bust. I have a version where his left cheek is getting pierced by an arrow. I wished I’d planned a scene before hand, but right now it’s just an organic project, no specific goal.

I spend a lot of time in photoshop tweaking the maps, and then the nodes, and then waiting

I guess that was the point when you said that a new system is needed. For CPU renders with blender I found that Intel is faster than AMD. So you made a good choice with the CPU, regarding the brand.

Buy an SSD HD and intall windows there …vast imrpovement in speed

Yeah minoribus, I will probably be using CPU quite a bit so quad intel 3.2 will come in handy.

COUNTFTS. I may wind up getting a SSD down the road. We’ll see how the regular hard drives work.

Here’s a few more things I ordered on amazon, due to arrive Tuesdays. I couldn’t help myself on the lights. I also got an extra case fan and a wireless card.


PNY Video Graphics Card VCGGTX7803XPB - $494 (QUESTION, Does this really have a lifetime warranty for normal use???)

Corsair RM Series 650 Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified Power Supply - CP-9020054-NA RM650 - $119

ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2, CPU Cooler - Intel & AMD, Multi-Directional Mount, 92mm PWM Fan - $22

Logisys CLK12 12" Cold Cathode Kit with Dual Tube, 3.0mm Tube Diameter, Blue - $9

Okay, thanks very much for that response! I clearly have a long way to go to learn Blender…

if you want to have a pleasant experience with GPU rendering I recomend using two separate GPUs in your system. one for display one for Cycles GPU rendering.

the one for display can even be a gaming card with inside disipation of heat and can be cheaper but for the GPU rendering I recommend you don’t look for mobile GPUs just stick with normal desktop geforce 760+ cards and make sure they disipate outside your case.

This is what I ordered. It should be here tomorrow, before the computer arrives.

  • Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
  • Core Clock: 863 MHz
  • Video Memory: 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 6008 MHz (Effective)

Congratulations on the card. Being able to do GPU rendering will take your Cycles experience to a completely new level.

Thanks minoribus, I’m really excited. Do you have a similar card?

I keep checking the tracking #'s online like every 10 ten minutes. The rest of the system won’t be here for a few days, but I have a test tower I may toss it into.

Out of curiosity what happens if you try to render a scene that has SSS in it with GPU? Is there an error, does it just automatically switch to CPU? Can it use both simultaneously?

EDIT: HOLY S**! The 780 arrived. It’s enormous! I’m worried it may destroy me.

I bought a Titan, nearly one year ago, after I realized that I spent too much time waiting for renders. :slight_smile:

No, it does not switch to CPU automatically. In recent Blender versions it shows a warning in the node (as an outcome of the GUI discussion), but it uses the GPU. The SSS node is just skipped.

Yeah, I know that feeling :slight_smile:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! My quad core system isn’t due to arrive until Tuesday. My 780 Is sitting in the plastic, mocking me. I do have a machine I could put it into, but I am almost afraid to touch it. I think I will have to though. SSS is worrying me, skin texture without SSS is just not skin.

Thank you for the answers. And damn, a Titan, much respect. :yes:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! My quad core system isn’t due to arrive until Tuesday.

So, tomorrow will be THE day :smiley:

It’s all finally working! I was never able to get the card working on the other system, but my quad core, win 7 system arrived and the 780 went in like a charm. Extremely fast and responsive.

Does blender use GPU for viewport, or only real renders?

It does use gpu for viewport. And it’s very fast. No lag panning even on complex models. It would be impossible to go back now. Although it did crash when I tried a multires level 6 viewport render.

tiny lag at level 5 , lag at 6 , and crash in viewport render. 6 was like 6 million verts.