[GLLUG] Machine spec for 3d art

j.roberts j.roberts at stabilys.com
Sun Jul 28 13:23:14 UTC 2013

Since no-one else has responded:

we specify machines for graphics workstations for clients. That does not 
however include Blender rendering w/s so I am not speaking from 
experience, this is just generally probably correct. If I was trying to 
specify for a client a cheap Blender workstation I'd start from here.

Since you are not going to use a new graphics card and don't say if 
current card is nvidia and CUDA or AMD (and nvidia) Open CL capable then 
I'd go with maximum cores and lots of memory.

That would be AMD FX 8 core and as much RAM as possible (16GB OK, 32 
better). This will affect the maximum render block size but not speed.

Intel is much faster per core at any given clock GHz, but 8 cores fully 
engaged will generally beat 4 Intel cores at anywhere near the same 
price. This is one of the few situations where AMD will beat Intel atm, 
sadly :(

Also ensure that you have very substantial cooling and good PSU; 
rendering can take hours or days of 100% CPU so keep it all cool. Decent 
CPU heatsink/fan, extra case fans.

There's a guide from someone who is a Blender expert but seriously Linux 
challenged here:



On 25/07/2013 22:24, Dylan wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'm helping a friend replace his old Windows Vista machine which died in
> the heatwave. He does a lot of 3d art with blender (which has been
> terminally slow under vista.) I've provided a temporary Linux box
> (actually my testbed machine: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ with 2G ram, which
> is already faster than his old quad core with 4G) and I'm hoping that by
> the time he gets a new machine he won't want Windows on it...
> The 3d art is a hobby and the budget is limited. I'll be using his
> existing graphics card and 'on-board' sound will be more than adequate.
> So, which aspects of the spec are likely to have the most impact? I'm
> assuming more cores and more memory, but which would have the most
> impact for cost? Is there an appreciable difference between AMD and
> Intel chips? Are there any other aspects of the motherboard that might
> have a bearing on rendering speeds?
> Any and all comments welcome.
> Dylan
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