Blender PC upgrades for faster rendering
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My fastest render time was 75 minutes 😉
I needed to make my PC faster for Blender. I love learning 3D and creating animations. But my PC was slow, and I wanted to make it faster.
I upgraded my HP Pavilion Gaming – TG01-1414no (HP specs page) to use Ubuntu, 32 GB RAM, and Geforce RTX 2060.
These upgrades boosted Blender rendering performance by 50%, cutting down the rendering time in half!
Main takeaways for upgrading your PC for faster Blender:
Look at the specs of your PC to make sure that the parts you use are compatible.
- Bottleneck: my HP TG01 uses a Intel H470 chipset with PCIe revision 3.0, limiting bandwidth to 8GB/s. That means using a GPU like RTX 3060 which is designed for PCIe 4, is wasting money as the bottleneck limits the ‘horsepower’.
- PSU Power rating: OEM PC’s are often equipped with small power supply units. You might need to get a bigger one. I my case the original worked!
- Case size: mATX most likely won’t fit an ATX sized PSU!
If you want to install Ubuntu – Install it on another drive
- From my experience, it’s better to keep Windows and Linux on different drives. I have them on the same drive on my laptop, and sometimes booting to Windows takes many attempts, because updates on both OS’s somehow manage to mess up the boot. Save time and trouble; use two drives.
- When changing PC parts, it’s a good idea to update the drivers. I also updated BIOS, which is more of an optional step, but still might give a small boost in performance. Updating drivers in Ubuntu might be little annoying, but a necessary step.
- Check Cycles Render Devices in Blender Preferences. Makes a huge difference in render times.
- For this test I used a scene that takes long to render on purpose.
- You can reduce render times massively by lowering the render settings without visible reduction in quality, for example:
- Lower Noise Threshold, less Samples (keep Denoising ON)
- Lower Total Light Bounces under Light Paths
- Enable Simplify
- Enable Persistent Data under Performance – Final Render (in some cases)
DDR4 32GB RAM
512GB M.2 drive
PCIe M.2 adapter
450W PSU (optional)
The total cost for my upgrades were about 538 dollars. Not the cheapest upgrade, including the fact that I don’t need the PSU for now. But still a cheaper upgrade than buying another store built-pc, or building one from scratch.
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If you would like more details about any of the steps, please leave a comment below and I’ll expand this article.