With a new graphics card, one that has 2GBs of video RAM and a faster processor than the one from before, life just got a little bit better for me. Not surprisingly, the new card was a little cheaper than what I paid for the old one, albeit that was from nearly three years ago. You do get a little bit better “bang for your buck” upgrading hardware over the long term with electronics. With my 3D art, render times have not decreased a whole lot, but I am able to render more detail then before. The quality of the images really jumped out at me when I started with complex object with over two million polygons, with intents shaders, that would have froze or quit the software on my old hardware configuration.
The card that I those to buy (if you read my previous post about the recovery from the crash) was a “NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 2GB GDDR5.” The reasons for switching over, and purchasing this card fall into two categories. First, I needed a completely different set of graphics drivers to reinstall onto my failed OS becuase the old card was corrupted from an upgrade that failed. I went from using a ATI, to now using the NVIDIA driver. This was a quick and dirty way of solving my problem. Second, why would I buy something less powerful than what I have now? So, I bought a card that was slightly better, and was at a lower cost than what I paid for previous. I did not want to make a huge investment at this time. Moving to 2GBs of video RAM made a difference once I started rendering complex scenes using software like Blender.
The top image was the very first image I created using Blender 2.75a. Using Blender Cycles, I set the render at 500, and it completed at just under ten minutes. The next image, the Red Crystal Spiky thing, rendered at just under twenty minutes, mainly becuase of adding the glossy/glass shader to the object. These images are using the same object, just changing the shader, or colour and texture of the surface in each. The bottom image was using the same texture/shader, and the same method of creating the object, but changing the maths on it to create a new object.
New Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 2GB GDDR5
Old Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD6770 1GB GDDR5