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The old trick of using 'Light Path > Is Camera Ray' as the factor for a mix between the shader seen by the camera and a simpler 'fake' shader that is never directly seen (except maybe in reflections).

For example, you could switch between a detailed Principled shader with normals and roughness, and a simple diffuse shader as a 'proxy'.

My question is... is this really even worth doing? I did a little testing once, and hardly noticed a difference in render times (not sure about memory).

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    $\begingroup$ "I did a little testing once, and hardly noticed a difference" <- There is your answer $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Aug 9 '18 at 8:12

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