Optimizing Blender Performance on WIndows

*System-Wide Tuneups (Overall performance gain: 5-30%)
The obvious: Make sure your PC is virus/malware free and that you obtain the latest software updates and hardware drivers from the manufacture’s website.

(The driver updates is especially true for graphic cards, so make sure you head over to intel.com or nvidia.com or ati.com, as the case might be, and download the latest drivers.

The less obvious: Defrag(increase disk access speed), remove old applications and files(to make sure you have at least 20% free HDD space), clean out the registry(deletes old entries), and disable un-wanted start-up programs(to conserve memory and free up more cpu time for the foreground taks: blender) via msconfig.msc(on XP). However please do not over-do these, defraging 1 time a day or run regcleaner everyweek is excessive and will probably age your computer faster.

*Blender Binary Optimization (Overall performance gain: 5-30%)
If Blender is behaving strangly(ie crashes, display corruption or bugs), please make sure you download the official blender version only from blender.org .

Although “Optimized Builds” and “CVS builds” are usually stable enough for production use, do use official builds when troubleshooting.

You can find
‘CVS-builds’ - Daily version of blender that contains new features not yet formally release to the public and
‘Optimized-builds’ - Usually fully stable, yet faster version due to the specific compiler optimization used

at:
http://blender.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=18&sid=464e3004c7e71b9b1c6ab1ea8762daf5
http://www.blenderbuilds.com/
http://mpan3.homeip.net/sub.php?mid=resources&fid=88.txt

*Blender Render Optimizations
-Disable Raytracing (‘ray’ button) when raytracing is not used.
-If ray is used, play around with the Octree Resolution, usually larger value gives better performance when polygon count is high and vice versa.
-Use Vector Blur composite instead of ‘MBlur’
-Reduce render size and antialiasing quality
-Set Xpart and Ypart to 1 for best performance

*Hardware SelectionIf you are lucky enough to be building a computer system from scratch for computer graphics, please keep a few pionters in mind:

RAM size: Depending on the complexity of your project, this will vary from 512MB to 4GB. Get the amount that suites your project and wallet. However, that said, NEVER let your computer run out of memory, HDD based swap is hundreds of time slower than memory, and thus if you encounter excessive-thrashing, get out and buy more memory, or lower the complexity of your scene. But if your project only requires 512mb of RAM, getting 4GB will not make blender render any faster. Memory speed (DDR1 PC3200, DDR2-800, DDR2-1066 etc etc) also matters to a certain extent, but in general the performance impact is very small.

CPU speed: MANY factors (cache size, cache latency, pipeline length, instruction features, architecture) plays into the performance of a processor. You may want to do in-depth research before buying. Note that frequency/clockspeed does NOT equal performance, an E6600 running at 2.4Ghz is easily twice as fast as a Pentium D 805 running at 2.6Ghz due to sheer archetectural differences. Dualcore or multicore processors are recommanded for serious artists, as Blender render performance decreases linearly as the number of processors increase.

GRAPHIC CARD: Graphic cards do NOT play a major role in Blender, it only influences the performance of the Blender interface. Onboard videos are fine. But get a dedicated graphic card if you are working with lots of polygons or particles, a Geforce 6600 or Radeon X700 or better is recommended.

What tricks did you use to speed up blender?

Apart from what you have said, I think that other factors of optimisation are

  • Optimized lighting scheme
  • Optimized Antialiasing Settings
  • Multipass rendering
  • Compositing & mattepainting techniques.
  • other post processing techniques.

Build Flags: -O3 -march=$ARCH -mfpmath=sse -ffast-math -ftracer -fweb -ftree-vectorize -ftree-loop-linear -fvisibility-inlines-hidden -fomit-frame-pointer -frename-registers [SIZE=-1]-malign-functions=4 -fpeel-loops

Kernel: vanilla + realtime-preempt patchset

GRAPHIC CARD: Graphic cards do NOT play a major role in Blender, it only influences the performance of the Blender interface. Onboard videos are fine. But get a dedicated graphic card if you are working with lots of polygons or particles, a Geforce 6600 or Radeon X700 or better is recommended
.

Maybe we should have “don’t get this graphic card list”

My ATI FireGL 3100 has “slowing down” symptoms whatever new/old FireGL driver i use. Unfortunately i cant use Catalysts with FireGL cards.

mpan3 - This thread should be titled Optimizing Blender Performance under Windows. Under windows you should also check your virtual memory settings.

None of this advice applies to Linux or Mac OSX. No anti-virus or defragging in these!

In linux systems, start Blender-only X-server (or use minimal, low-memory footprint window manager like twm or evilwm instead of huge desktop package like KDE or Gnome). This can save hundreds of megabytes of memory for blender only. See linux helpdesk -thread for more on-going discussion on this topic - link in my sig.

I heard that if Blender’s OpenGL is redone Blender can easily run ten times as fast. (I assume the GUI) Still 1000% improvement might be worth looking into someday by some openGL experts :slight_smile: