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Are there any limits on the CUDA GPUs that Blender will support (besides really old ones)?

I thought I heard somewhere that Blender doesn't support workstation class (NVIDIA Quadro) GPUs. But I have a couple friends with Dell m3800 laptops, and Cycles renders fine on it's Quadro k1100.

Are there any certain specs or features which I should look for to make sure Cycles will support it, or is CUDA enough?

Note: personally I am really just interested in workstation class GPUs since I want to be able to run other software (AutoCAD, Inventor, SolidWorks, Photoshop, etc.) which demand workstation class. But for the sake of generality I'd like to leave the question genral.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think so, you will have to check specifics on a device-by-device basis. Check the CUDA version, etc $\endgroup$ – VRM Dec 14 '15 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ @NᴏᴠɪᴄᴇIɴDɪsɢᴜɪsᴇ I am asking what specs to look for. For instance I am considering the brand new Quadro m4000. What should I look for? $\endgroup$ – PGmath Dec 14 '15 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ here it seems that quadro versions should be supported wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Supported_platforms also blenderartists.org/forum/…. But I don't have one, although I'm interested for next laptop to support Blender 2.8+ :) $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Dec 14 '15 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ @m.ardito Thanks for the links. Though the first one looks pretty old, it says Brecht (who is no longer full-time with Blender) is on a Core 2 Duo! Wow. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Dec 14 '15 at 21:38
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GPU Rendering Page: https://www.blender.org/manual/render/cycles/gpu_rendering.html

Blender supports GPU rendering of CUDA cards with computing power 2.0 and above. (See chart here: https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus)

So as long as the GPU is on the NVIDIA CUDA chart with a processing power of atleast 2.0, you are good to go. If it not on the chart you are running a gamble whether it will work or not. (Unless of course your friend confirms specfic GPU will work because he has tried it.)

As for what to Specfically look for, I am not exactly the expert but I can say that Blender cannot render a scene IF the size of the scene is larger than the memory of the video card. For example: A scene that is 2.5 gb will not render on a 2gb video card. A scene that is 2.5 gb will render on a 3gb video card.

And obviously try to shoot for a higher porcessiung power when buying. Here is a 'blenchmark' sheet for GPUs: http://blenchmark.com/gpu-benchmarks

I personally use the GTX 970.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response! (I'm looking at the m4000, which has 8GB of GDDR5 so scene size shouldn't be an issue!) $\endgroup$ – PGmath Dec 28 '15 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Pythogen for dual (of more) GPUs the memory is not shared 2 cards with 2gb are limited to 2gb. Moreover, if there is a card that has less memory the rest of the cards will be limited to the size of the smallest of the cards. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jan 4 '16 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton thanks for the correction! Always appreciated:) $\endgroup$ – Pythogen Jan 4 '16 at 4:58

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