What hardware are you using?

I've been working my way through the beginner's learning flow and have been enjoying the exercises.  The trouble is, my IT set up has not.

I'm running a Dell XPS-15 laptop with an NVIDIA GT 750M graphics card and it's pretty slow when rendering single frames - I've not got onto animations yet!  Watching tutorials, others seem able to move around and edit scenes in viewport render mode with their systems responding quickly but I can't do that.

So I was wondering what equipment other people are using and how it performs for them.  What I'd like to understand is the optimum mid-range set up which will cope with short animations and photorealistic scenes without becoming obsolete before it reaches the end!

(Just for info, I have set up Blender to streamline renders to the maximum extent (tiles sizes, restricted samples and light bounces etc) and I used GPU compute until I started getting CUDA errors but, to be honest, there didn't seem to be much difference between GPU and CPU.)

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing other people's experiences.

Thanks in anticipation.

  • If you're going to get into Blender, get a desktop computer. Server class, dual CPU, and try an AMD RX Vega GPU if you can dish the dough. If you can't, than get a Nvidia Geforce 900 series. You'll need a decent amount of VRAM if you want to use Cuda or OpenCL, I'd say 4GB at least. Don't forget that you can also use 2 GPU's to get twice the GPU render speed. However, that doesn't mean you'll get twice the VRAM, just twice the processing power. That means that you can get a mid-tier GPU, hook them together, and get more power than a high class. At one point I had 2 GTX 970's and I benchmarked higher than a Titan. I can't recommend a good CPU, as I don't know much other than Intel's i9 and Xeon. Remember that Google is your friend.

  • I'm using a first generation Core i7, 16GB RAM, nVidia GTX 750 Ti with (I believe) 4GB

    I've never gotten CUDA errors but maybe we are just working on very different things. I can certainly use the viewport in render mode without much trouble using the default sample size. 

    One thing that used to always trip me up was that I had set up GPU compute in the user preferences but I would always forget to set it here:

    so then I'd be cursing at it "why are you so slow!" then I'd realize I didn't have GPU on for that scene.

    For what its worth the 2.8 pre-alpha-preview supports using both GPU and CPU at the same time which seems to speed things up slightly, though CPU rendering always make my fan go to such high RPM I'm afraid it will wake the neighbors!

    I personally notice a HUGE difference in CPU and GPU rendering times. If you want you can send me a file and I'll let you know how long it took on my hardware so that you can compare.

  • I use an MSI GE72 2QF Apache Pro laptop (12gb RAM, GTX970M GPU, and i7-5700HQ CPU). It's not top of the line, but it renders fairly quickly as long as I stay on top of the render settings.

    I know what you mean about slow render times, though. When I first started with Blender, I had a GTX570 Ti and it was so slow, I didn't switch to Cycles until I could upgrade to a GTX780 (a used one).

    Oddly, my laptop outperforms the desktop I had the GTX-780 in (other specs: i7 2600k, 16gb RAM). Not by much, just a few seconds per frame, but it was enough to illustrate Moore's Law.

  • I have an Acer Aspire 5 laptop with an NVIDIA Geforce 940mx graphics card.

  • Intel Core i5-7400 3.0GHz

    G.Skill Aegis DDR4 2133 PC4-17000 16GB CL15

    MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X 11GB GDDR5X

  • AMD - Threadripper 1950X      16x32
    G-Skill Trident RBG something DDR4 32GB
    Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 mb seems great!
    AMD Vega FE wc (x2 currently only using one - might set up a render box with old PC)
    Not nearly as many driver issues as when I first got it ... lol ... should get better still, I hope.

  • I've got a 32GB Core i7-7700 with a 8GB GTX1070. Render times aren't bad, but I stay away from it in the viewport.

  • I would definitely go with a desk top, and build it yourself. It's way cheaper, and you can put in what you need. It's all plug and play now anyways. You can find some cheap used Intel Xeons on ebay (that's what I am thinking about getting) you can get an 8 core 16 thread for like 70-100 bucks. Or go with one of the AMD Ryzen 6 or 8 core, the motherboards are decently priced but DDR4 memory is freakin expensive! For rendering the more cores/threads the better, and the more RAM you have the snappier the viewport will be. I have an i7 4790k which is a 4 core/8 thread with 32gb of DDR3 ram and a GTX 970 and I can get up there in polygons and the viewport doesn't lag too bad. If your not sure about building it yourself you can check out and you can "build" one on there website to see what it will cost (if you buy everything new) and if all the parts you want are compatible. They also have a YouTube channel and all there vids are them putting together PCs. Good luck!!!

  • My setup isn't that good but I'm using a notebook with the GeForce MX150 GPU and the 8th Gen Core-i5 8250U CPU. My notebook originally had 1 TB HDD but I recently added a Western Digital 128GB SSD. The RAM is 8gb DDR4.

  • When performing field tests (like now)  and staying in hotels week-wise, I use my modified development notebook built in 2015. It is also capable to run some graphical programs...

    It's some sort of a desktop replacement, MSI GT72 2QE, 32 gig ram, I7 4710HQ, NVidia 980 Mobile with 8 gig ram, and a bunch of ssd's (1x 2.5"  1TB 840 Evo, 4x m.2 ssd drives from Samsung (2x 512Gb, 2X 1Tb).

    Heavily used with RAD Studio for work, in sparetime used with Blender, Modo 12, Substance Painter, Unfold3d and Affinity Photo / Designer.  No problems with heavier scenes.

    Of course, if you can stay at your home or office, a desktop computer would be my primary choice (AMD's TR2 should be around the corners in August, yay!)

    Best and cheers,


  • I have the parts and am building this weekend. I'm going to use this

  • Still sitting with Intel Q9650 8GB RAM and 1080 GTX but plan to go with 2700X Ryzen this summer.

  • Mine is i7 4500u, 8 GB ram and useless HD8850M which doesn't support cycles anymore

  • ASUS N551JW with Intel Core i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (2GB) and 16GB DDR3 RAM

    Defenetely not a render farm :D But i'm aiming on game engine renderers, so I don't feel uncomfortable.

  • At home:
    HP Z800 with dual Xeon 5670s (total of 12 cores, 24 threads), 48 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 1050ti (4 GB).  Most of my work right now involves Blender Internal, so this is where the bulk of the rendering gets done.

    On the go:
    Fujitsu Lifebook T901 with an i5 2520M, 4GB RAM, nVidia NVS 4200M (1024 MB).  Thermal throttles at the drop of a hat and not particularly a powerhouse with Cycles, but it was inexpensive and it's amazing at the grease pencil (it turns out that the display and stylus were made by Wacom).

  • Intel i7-6700 (4 cores, 8 threads), 8GB RAM, MSI GTX 1080ti Aero (11GB). Just updated the graphic card a month agoto this 1080ti beast, it was about time. The CPU is from late 2015, so far so good :)

    By the way, in terms of temperature performance, what's your GPU temperature (idling and rendering)? I'm a bit concerned with 36-38ºC at idling, I just want to compare. I'm planning to update the cooling system soon (add a couple of fan, one intake and one exhaust). When rendering, the GPU temp climbs to 75ºC (depends on the scene), with fan at max 50-60% so on that side I don't feel worried.

  • Ryzen 5-1600, Nvidea GeForce GTX 750 with 2 gygibates of VRAM and RAM is 8  gygs. Not very impressive, I know :), but it works for me (most of the time). Even though it's a bit of a cliché, I'll tell you: better hardware won't make you a better artist, I also wished for a better PC when Substance Painter kept crashing over and over again, but you just have to be smart and try to solve the problems with the hardware you have. As for rendering animations, you could use Eevee! 

    What I'm trying to say is these recommandations on this page are awesome and if you really want a faster PC, go for it. Just remember that it's 95% about the person sitting in front of the computer.

  • If you plan on using Houdini, you NEED at least 16 gigabytes of RAM.  I plan on getting a new computer soon because right now Houdini takes forever just to cache (I don't know how to bake simulations in Houdini) and even after it's cached it takes a very long time to play it back.  Rigid body simulations are fine, but pyro and fluid simulations are horrible.

  • Thanks all for your thoughts and experiences, hopefully this thread will remain open so we can continue to compare, especially with the advent of 2.8.  Incidentally, has anyone at Blender mentioned any change in processing requirements for 2.8?  I'm still working on the recommended high end spec  given on their website.

    Anyway, having googled my life to a standstill, i'm going for a self-build workstation with the following core spec:

    i7900 10 core processor

    32GB DDR4 RAM

    2 x Quadro P4000 4GB video cards

    Plus a hunk of storage etc.

    All in all, around £5k sterling for the bits which includes two colour correct monitors.

    Hopefully it will future proof me for a while - and shorten my waiting times!!  I'll still have the laptop for design, then  throw them onto the workstation for processing.

    Incidentally, a quick update on the poor old laptop - i created a 20 sec animation in 4K with 510 moving objects - it took 14 days to render!!  You could almost hear the electrons creaking through it!  I'll not be doing that again.