Ton's new proposed minimum hardware specs. for Blender: A decent machine required

1 GHZ Single Core CPU
512 MB RAM
1024 x 768 px Display with 16 bit color
3 Button Mouse
OpenGL Graphics Card with 64 MB RAM

32 bits,
Dual Core CPU with at least 2 GHZ.
24 bits 1280x800 display
Mouse or trackpad
OpenGL Graphics Card with 512 MB RAM

Those here with old machines will be disappointed, but the truth is the fact that maintaining support for old hardware is become really difficult in part because there are few, if any developers who use machines more than 5-6 years old.

As of now, the only way that one might agree to keep Blender running on old machines is if someone volunteers to maintain support, otherwise, support will be dropped to make development easier.

Also proposed for the chopping block is Windows XP support and support for OpenGL versions older than 2.0. It may actually make sense to do these spec. changes as a lot of the commercial apps. have since dropped support for a lot of these old systems.

So what is your opinion?

Technology advances and sometimes it is required to cut old ties that drag you down.
It sucks for users but would also suck for the others that dont get the best performance.

Sadly but true.

I rather have a fast and modern Blender then a serve all but not so efficient Blender.

you can use older versions

From my point of view, I should be happy. If lower specs go high, that means that Blender is more powerful, and things like more modern viewport would be in.

But we should not forget the importance of free software for less developed countries. FOSS can help third world countries to jump the technology gap between them and more developed countries. So we should not rise the bar too high.

Of course new features are welcome, but blender should work, at least in its basics, in older computers.

At first i was annoyed to read about the end of XP support in Blender, but finally it’s not really a problem for me when Blender will not work anymore on my XP, i’ll just continue to use the last version that worked on it.

Because after all, until +/- 2.63 i used majorly 2.49b when working seriously with Blender as it had some tools and scripts that are a good part of my workflow and that weren’t either existing or working well in 2.6x.

Too bad i will not follow anymore development, but as long as i have a working version of Blender on my system and can still make things with it, it is enough for me.

At first i was annoyed to read about the end of XP support in Blender, but finally it’s not really a problem for me when Blender will not work anymore on my XP, i’ll just continue to use the last version that worked on it.

The mailing list discussion does point out that it won’t specifically prevent Blender from working in lower specs. Windows XP ect…, but it will be unsupported.

Again, keeping the specs. where they are right now would require some developers (whether they are new developers or veterans) to step up and volunteer to maintain support for those systems, as it is too much work otherwise.

Good riddance, I say. Have any of you actually tried using Blender with a 64MB GPU? You can pretty much just load the default scene and render. I exaggerate of course, but the number of support threads being created by people who either don’t have hardware from the current decade, or don’t understand the interaction of hardware and software at all definitely shows that a higher entry point is necessary. Some people are going to bitch and moan, but in all seriousness 3D graphics aren’t for every computer or every person who thinks they can make something cool in 10 minutes and whines on the internet when they find that they actually have to learn something. It’s the same people who complain that a frame in their animation takes more than 5 minutes to render. Upping the minimum specs will at least help cull some of the people who don’t have a ton of perspective for what true support issues look like. The old versions will always be there to learn the ins and outs, and then maybe if you find that 3D really is for you, you can invest in some better hardware to take you the rest of the way.

You dont want new features anyway, so I expect you to be using Blender 1.80 still :wink:

I find these specs reasonable, and it doesn´t mean things will stop working automatically on older machines, just that they won´t be supported. It´s a delicate question for an application like Blender, though, which is in large part crowdfunded. I would also like to see OpenGL 3.0 as minimum 2013 , moving eventually to 3.1 in 2014, removing deprecated features (following the 5 year rule).

I would say only 64-bit :slight_smile:

I think it’s a good thing. Like others have said continuing to support older hardware just hampers development. The specs outlined are still pretty conservative and shouldn’t cause too many problems for people. My 4 year laptop that I only use for web browsing will still be supported!

And theres always the older versions.

And lose a potentially significant chunk of donating users? Like I said, it´s a delicate question. Give people 2 years more before dropping 32-bit I would say. Wouldn´t affect me, but there´s a rather big userbase on 32 bits still (Vista had a 32-bit version).

I don’t know if I would agree to the screen resolution as I know many people who still are using 1024 x 768(industry standard for cheap screens) and 256mb graphic cards(I know about 6 people who do not have directx 10 cards).

The screen resolution is my main worries as Blender is used a lot by hobbyist and many are on budgets.
The graphic cards can be upgraded easy and cheaply.

The ram is cheap as well but even still the lowest PC I know has 512mb and its a dell pc used by my friend for learning(he has dipped into 3D in the last year or so), mines only 4gb and would be costly to upgrade as its mini motherboard with 2 ddr3 slots only.

Also remember that some less developed country’s are now creating films and from what I have heard blender and open source programs is a dream come true for them.

But i still use WinXP… :frowning:

Hi guys,
thanks for the feedback here.

The Intention is not to make older systems stop working from one day to another, it’s more about our support regarding those.
Every time we get a bug report about “Windows XP issue”, some devs have to spend hours and hours inside a slow Virtual Machine and debug that.
Windows XP is 12 years old now, not even Microsoft itself supports it anymore.
If you do not want to upgrade Windows, you can always install a free Linux system on a secondary partition (10 GB is enough for that) and use new Blender releases there. Blender is also faster on Linux. (especially rendering)

Regarding the screen resolution, smaller monitors will of course still work, but our current UI is too big for small screens, that’s why we advice people to use bigger screens.

I understand that some people have mixed feelings here, but as others already said, people can always use older versions. You can still achieve beautiful things with a 2 year old Blender or even Blender 2.4x.

But we have to look forward and that’s why we have to draw a line somewhere.

Best regards,

In a way, I’m starting to agree with the move by companies to drop WindowsXP, one of the main reasons my old Quad Core system (which my father now uses), was recently upgraded to Windows 8 as part of the promotion deal is because Windows XP will soon be considered an insecure system. In other words, if there are any security holes left, they will not be patched and your PC may become vulnerable to hackers.

So Pesho and others will need to take that into account if they’re willing to continue using XP.

If you don’t want to spend the money on Windows 7 right now, you might want to give Linux Mint 13 a spin, I hear they’re making some major strides in terms of developing a solid UI to make things easier.

Unless you’re forced to by your company, I can’t imagine having (or chosing) to use Windows XP in 2013 unless you have some kind of hatred for progress.

The UI is a bit worse in Win7 and i never really had a reason to use it… until now. As for Linux no thank you, i’d rather not have to learn a new operating system.

made me LoL

These specs are fairly arbitrary and there isn’t anything that would technically prevent Blender from running on a system with lower specs. As far as XP support goes, this just means that the developers won’t bother fixing XP-specific bugs or sorting out dependency issues for it. If there really are (capable) people interested in supporting this OS, they’ll likely be able to provide builds (maybe with certain features disabled).

My point of contention would be this:

OpenGL Graphics Card with 512 MB RAM

There exist a lot of very crappy integrated GPUs with access to this (and more) amount of RAM, at the same time a lot of much more capable GPUs may have only 256MB of dedicated RAM. Unless we’re talking about GPGPU, RAM is more of a soft limit. Using more RAM than physically available tends to make things slower, but it usually doesn’t make things not work.

Instead, I believe it is time to draw the line at whether a GPU fully supports SM3/DirectX9 (a bit complicated to express in OpenGL terms), which essentially means full support for vertex/fragment shaders as a hard requirement.
PC Games as well as other 3D suites have had this requirement for many years now.

Looks fine to me. Advancement in software often needs advancement in hardware. One point though:
I would write “32 bit or 64 bit”.
I know most feel this is redundant but I have just had two people ask if Blender cant run on 64 bit machines with these requirements… (I know I know, but not everyone understands the difference apparently)