Blender Cycles – Rebirth of a 7 years old computer

Another great thing with cycles is that you can make a good render machine out of an old computer: just buy a new graphic card !
No need to upgrade CPU, motherboard, or even RAM, just plug a recent graphic card and voilà.
A long time ago (2005) I bought a Dell PC for rendering, It was an amazing dual-core pentium D ! 2 Gig of RAM and a whooping 80 Gb harddrive. A good machine that served me well a few years. But it started aging…
Needless to say I haven’t used it recently (my wife do still chat and watch chinese soap opera on it though). Even my “old” macbook pro is faster.
The solution to give it a second life was to buy a graphic card, I opted for a geforce gtx 560.
Unsurprisingly Windows did not want to install recent nvidia drivers. Luckily there was a linux mint install cd in my drawer, all worked fine and I got a 1min15 result using Mike pan’s Car cycle benchmark file. !
Compared to 53 sec for the recent linuxbox I bought in the beginning of the year, I say it’s a very honorable result. It just confirms that Cycles used full power of the GPU.

So folks, take out your old machines and give the a second youth by buying a recent graphic card for a cheap home-made renderfarm ( you can use my renderfarm queuing software system Brender for that )

As comparaison : pure CPU render is 07:17 for the pentium D, and with an i7-2600 00:44 seconds

And final word : yes we own too many computers 🙂

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7 Responses to “Blender Cycles – Rebirth of a 7 years old computer”


  1. 1 Reynante Martinez March 28, 2012 at 7:18 am

    That’s good to know! Glad you had your old PC kicking again. 😉

  2. 2 blenderfanatic April 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

    This is why I’m enjoying the technology that Blender Cycles had created. Even I had revived an old computer to use in rendering. Same with what you did I just upgraded my graphics card then started using it again. And up to now I’m still using it. But what had got me really interested in using Blender Cycles was when i came across this site: http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/introduction-to-cycles. Since then i have been using Cycles and other Blender tools.

  3. 3 Dave C April 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    That is fantastic but does that include PCs with an AGP graphics interface? Yes, my computer is that old.

  4. 4 Dave C April 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    That is fantastic but does it include PCs with an AGP interface? Yes, my computer is THAT old.

  5. 5 Subhan Zein April 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    This is great! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Subhan Zein

  6. 6 Yenz July 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    That’s a smart idea, or just use a crappy new-age computer with the same specs.

  7. 7 anthonyvenable110 January 29, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Reblogged this on anthonyvenable110.


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