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So, to start off. I'm a member of cgcookie.com. they offered some pretty good tips, like turning of VBO and stuff. Still, I just feel like for having an home built i5 and an GTX970 card and 16GB of ram, I should get better performance while working.
I'm totally happy if the answer is upgrade my machine, I get it. We all know rendering is math intensive. It just feels like I must have some setting wrong. Here are the stats on the scene in an example I set up where I wouldn't expect only 70k vertices to bring copy past to it's knees.

blender header object stats

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  • $\begingroup$ Great question! I recently had a lot of frustration myself when working with a large landscape scene. Some things that helped were 1. For meshes with a high poly count, using the Mask Modifier to show only the regions of the mesh you are working on and hide the rest. 2. Disabling any modifiers you don't need. 3. For objects you don't need to see at the moment, set their maximum display type to Bounding Box. 4. May seem obvious but, organize layers carefully and only enable those you need now. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Sep 11 '15 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ Define "brought to it's knees".. 70k verts might be nothing, or it might be a lot, depending on what you are doing. What is slow and how slow is it? (for enhancing performance, VBO's should be turned on, not off) $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 11 '15 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ 5. A tip for speeding up the viewport in Cycles when Viewport Shading is set to "Rendered": Create viewport versions of your materials that are shadeless and label them as such, like "vport_WoodFloor" or whatever. The reason for this is that shadeless materials that use the Light Paths node to show only "Is Camera Ray" output don't need to do nearly as many calculations. Don't forget to make a fake user of both your original and shadeless material though or you're bound to lose one as you switch back and forth. I hope someday we'll get a built-in "Rendered Shadeless" viewport mode. ;-) $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Sep 12 '15 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ 5. Cont. - A perhaps more efficient way to handle this would be to include a custom "Toggle Shadeless" Node Group before the output of each of your materials, and then each time you reroute inside of that Node Group all your materials will be updated. But take care to save frequently, especially before toggling, because in my experience when many materials share a Node Group, and especially when large textures are involved, crashes can become common. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Sep 12 '15 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ Look at your spelling. Its not cgcoockie. $\endgroup$ – Mr. Manager Sep 13 '15 at 15:16

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