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System Spec:

  • Intel i5-3470
  • AMD R9 290
  • Nvidia GTX 460

Blender 2.76 (and tested on 2.77 RC2) does not support smoke & fire rendering on AMD GPU. Rendering the animation on my CPU takes too much time.

My proposed solution is to install an existing Nvidia GTX 460, then hack both GPUs with Hybrid Physx.

Does anyone tried this method or would it work? What are your feedback and suggestions?

I am not be able to upgrade my PC in the near future.

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  • $\begingroup$ Fairly sure you can't use both at the same time (for cycles rendering). Nvidia uses cuda while AMD uses opencl. You should be able to use the nvidia for rendering and keep the amd for the monitor display. $\endgroup$ – sambler Mar 14 '16 at 6:35
  • $\begingroup$ I will benchmark GTX 460 & R9 290. My suspicion is R9 290 is going to cream GTX 460 on all renders except smoke and fire simulation. Alternatively, I will try to render on different layers to speed up the overall time. Not sure how complex that would be. $\endgroup$ – Wen Mar 14 '16 at 9:36
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Testing Methodology:

  1. Load up the .blend file.
  2. Set the "Compute Device" to "OpenCL".
  3. Render twice on AMD R9 290. Record the lowest value.
  4. Set the "Compute Device" to "CUDA".
  5. Render twice on NVidia GTX 460. Record the lowest value.

Results:

  • AMD R9 290 (OpenCL): 1:43:57
  • NVidia GTX 460 (CUDA): 3:33:95

Blender cannot use both OpenCL and CUDA simultaneously.

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I bet two instances of Blender working the same file could. -- Open thefile in Blender. Set to render on AMD, open another Blender, load the same file, point NVIDIA to it. There's a way (escapes my mind right now.) You can set Blender to render individual parts. So you're not overwriting what was just rendered on the faster of the two.

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