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I'm trying to specify the build for a new PC, my current one is 5 years old and starting to show its age. It's going to be a multi-use machine for Gaming, Virtualisation, Coding, Blender and possibly even VR (Rift). Because of the shift to the cycles renderer I was thinking of going SLI (for the first time) so that I could dedicate one GPU to Cycles and leave the other for X. This would still give me an excellent gaming rig if I used, for example, 2x Geforce GTX 960 (4GB).

Now that I've started to look into the build, I see that the Intel Skylake CPU's also include an OpenGL capable GPU, e.g. the Intel HD 530, in the Core i5-6600, which is OpenGL 4.4, HLSL 5.1 and DX12 compatible.

My question is whether I could run Blender (on Linux) using just the Intel HD graphics for the X session (with OpenGL for Blender) and then dedicate a single Nvidia GPU for Cuda (for Cycles rendering). The Blender system requirements only state a need for OpenGL 3.2 [OK], but the Intel specs don't specify how much VRAM is available - Blender requires between 512M and 4G. The Intel spec sheets are very vague about Video Memory, a couple of sources quote 64MB or 128MB eDRAM so I assume the actual VRAM is borrowed from system memory but I can't find a solid figure for how much is available.

Does anyone have an Intel Skylake Core i5-6600 processor running Blender without a dedicated GPU? Or better with a GPU that is dedicated to Cuda/Cycles?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have heard many horror stories about SLI , the double card GPU whether Nvidia or AMD is not really well supported, most often you will want to stick with a powerful single card it should suffice. You are paying for a technology that is bleeding edge ... so at the edge that causes you too bleed too.... lol $\endgroup$ – hawkenfox Jan 11 '16 at 3:45

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