Running Blender on a $39 computer

This new SBC might be the cheapest way (without keyboard, mouse & monitor) to run Blender. https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/09/11/rock-pi-x-low-cost-intel-sbc/

Anybody willing to try how it goes? :smiley:

It’s a full Intel computer with integrated GPU that has OpenGL 4.3 support.

There’s also this https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2/ that’s more powerful, but also more expensive.

you don’t need an intel soc.

blender (pre 2.8x) runs fine on raspberry pis since a few years.

maybe blender 2.8x runs on a raspberry pi 4 but i haven’ t tried it yet.

If i had to buy something under 500$ to use Blender on it i would get second hand pc/workstation/laptop.

Yea, those low cost soc can run Blender, with even eevee ($99 nvidia Jetson Nano, can I run blender 2.80?), but with same price you can get at least double memory and more power that you will lack for sure with those low cost soc specs.

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You can run Blender on some pretty cheap rigs, it is a thing of beauty.
But unless you’re like me and have long since given up on anything more computationally expensive than PS1 graphics then the low specs life is not for you.

I suggest that the most important things to consider are: (1) the amount of RAM, which should be maximized; and (2) the vintage of the video-card, which is actively used by EEVEE as well as Cycles. You can get a pretty darned powerful microprocessor for $39 these days, but it all has to fit together.

I guess the main thing I’m personally after for is having a 3D printer board that I can also use for modeling. :wink:

The table space is super limited so even a laptop might not fit well, but if I could just plug in a bluetooth keyboard + mouse to my 3D printer and run Blender, and the entire pipeline locally, that would be pretty sweet. The EEVEE or rendering part isn’t that important, just to have enough CPU power to run basic modifiers and enough GPU to edit <10k polys.

Admittedly, my use cases might somewhat unusual.

There’s also something to be said about having a much cleaner look where the computing parts are hidden either behind or inside the monitor.

I used to run Blender (arm version) on my Android tablet using chroot Linux with an Xserver, but the opengl was always an issue. How is the speed on a Pi?

i find the speed on the pi very ok (even cycles rendering with the 4 arm cores) and 10k poly models shouldn’t be a problem. of course the 1gb ram were kind of limiting but the pi 4 can have 4gb now.

i haven’t tried it on a pi 4 yet and i also kind of doubt that blender 2.8x with eevee runs (well). i am not sure if the opengl drivers are good enough for that. someone should try. :slight_smile:

edit:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=244520
it seems support opengl 2.1 only. :frowning: