Which CPU for Blender?


I would like to by a notebook and work with Blender.

However, I cannot decide between an Athlon 64 or an Intel Dothan.
Which CPU would be best for rendering and also doing some games
and office applications.

Does the AMD CPU produce much more heat?
Is it necessary to by an expensive Dothan 2,0 or would an older Banias core also fit? MAy even a very cheap Athlon xp 3000+ or so be enough?



You have to distinguish two activities with blender, rendering and modelling. When redering, a Pentium-M is not the best. For games, it’s pretty good. The Athlon XP is not the fastest in rendering, but I don’t think you’ll suffer that much when it goes a bit slower. If you do want to render fast, you should get an A64 or pentium4-M.

As for the modelling, that’s more dependent on the videochip. You need a videochip which is able to handle OpenGL very well. Nvidia comes to mind before ATi. But for games, Nvidia chips other than the new generation, 6xxx, produce low-quality texturefiltering.

The Pentium-M is much more power-friendly than any other CPU, so I’d consider buying it, because it’s quite handy to be able to use your laptop for more than 15-30 minutes. As for Binias or Dothan, if I remember correctly, the powerusage of Binias 2.0GHz is 25 watts, and Dothan 21. It’s not that dramatic. Performance is a little bit better on Dothan, but also, not that much.

i’d go for a pentuim M. it’s low-power (in terms of watts), high end (in many benchmarks equal to the high-power pentium IV’s). make sure to have a decent nVidia GPU and enough RAM, and last but not least, a big display.


Which CPU would be best for rendering and also doing some games
and office applications.

I suggest you to buy an P4-3GHz with Hyperthreading. It runs like Hell. I got a really good rendering performance and since the Yafray renderer supports more than one CPU you are able to use the HT capabilities, which speed up the rendering time about 20%.

EDIT : Didn’t read that you are going to buy a notebook, so forget about what I said. :wink:

There are only two problems with the P4-3GHz in this situation.

  1. It drains your battery flat within 30 minutes. In my opinion, it’s not very usable in laptops. BTW, is it even available for laptops?

  2. Yafray may be able to use hyperthreading, but blenders internal renderer doesn’t. If you want to take advantage of HT with Blenders internal renderer, you have to setup a small renderfam locally, starting the render process twice. And of course, this only benefits multi-frame renderings.