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I am trying to choose a Graphics Card for rendering in Blender, I would like to know if Blender uses Single or Double Point Operations. I have been looking at Nvidia's GeForce and Tesla line of graphics cards, but I need to know what blender uses in order to find the most high performance one.

One of the biggest dilemmas I have had while searching for the last two days is the lack of information about this topic that is newer than 2012. I do not know how much blender has changed in the last two years, but I managed to find two people who said the opposite thing. Here is what one said: The fourth post on this page Thanks in advance for everybody's help!

EDIT: Here, I found this comparison chart, and forgot to add it: http://www.systemagnostic.com/faqs/quadro-tesla/

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  • $\begingroup$ I think it's single precision, and that your best bet would be a GTX Titan with like 6GB of ram, or a GTX 780ti; The latter has more CUDA cores, but I don't think there are any versions with as much ram has the first; $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2014 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ @someonewithpc Thanks, I think that would be a good choice too, I also found out that the Tesla cards are better at double point precision, and the GeForce series are better at single point. Another question, how does Blender do with the Titan? All benchmark info I can find is two years old, closer to the time it came out and support wasn't very good. $\endgroup$
    – The Count
    Jul 17, 2014 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't that post on the forum answer your question? It sounds pretty cut-and-dry. Blender uses single precision floating point operations. Also, if you're looking for a graphics card, an Nvidia Tesla isn't going to help you; it has no where to plug in a monitor. If you're looking for extreme rendering speed, and you already have a graphics card, then a Tesla would be a good fit. $\endgroup$
    – Justin
    Jul 17, 2014 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Justin I don't know if It answers my question, that answer was a couple years ago, and I don't know if blender has been updated to support double now. Actually I am making a render farm, and everything will be administered from SSH, so I won't need a monitor. $\endgroup$
    – The Count
    Jul 17, 2014 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @TheCount Ah, I thought that a render farm might be the case. Otherwise, I might have said 'who cares?' $\endgroup$
    – Justin
    Jul 17, 2014 at 19:18

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I chatted and got an answer from someone on the #blendercoders IRC chat. They said that Blender does use single precision floating points. The GeForce cards are going to be the best choice for rendering because they do better at single points than doubles. The Quadro and Tesla lines wouldn't perform as well because they handle double point operations better than singles, and are mostly used in CAD and software that does scientific research. So, the best choice would be to go for the GeForce line because they perform better at single point operations which is what blender uses.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's good to know. I'm going to be developing for a server that has 8 Teslas, so I won't be afraid to use Doubles instead of Floats. $\endgroup$
    – Justin
    Jul 18, 2014 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Justin What are you developing a server for? And did you mean Doubles instead of Singles? $\endgroup$
    – The Count
    Jul 18, 2014 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ My university just built a server with 8 Tesla K40's. I'm developing a 4D path tracer to run on the server. $\endgroup$
    – Justin
    Jul 18, 2014 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Justin Wow, good luck to you! Email me: weston at code-bytes.net I might want some tips while I am building my renderfarm. $\endgroup$
    – The Count
    Jul 18, 2014 at 23:18

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