Enabling GPU rendering for Cycles?

  • I want to enable GPU rendering, but there is no option in User Preferences > System:

    enter image description here

    Why is this? How can I get cycles to render using my GPU?

    I'm using OpenSUSE 13.1 x64 with Nvidia official repo drivers installed. However, despite I bought an nvidia Geforce 650GT, stil have no GPU option available on Blender. What am I missing or doing wrong?

    @user3305984 Without more info it's hard to say. This site isn't really designed for back and forth discussions (as will undoubtedly be the result of troubleshooting etc.), so you'll probably have better luck on a forum like BlenderArtists

    for Linux mint (an maybe other distros) read this also: http://blender.stackexchange.com/a/31111/1853

  • gandalf3

    gandalf3 Correct answer

    7 years ago

    Ensure GPU Support

    Currently cycles supports CUDA (Nvidia) devices and has experimental support for OpenCL devices as of 2.75 (added in B7f447). If you are using an AMD/ATI graphics card, see the OpenCL section below. If you are running an older NVIDIA card, ie the Geforce series, support is extremely limited and these are not officially supported, see How to enable GPU rendering on older Nvidia GPUs?


    Cycles only supports CUDA GPUs with a CUDA compute ability of 3.0 or higher. To use CUDA, check to make sure your GPU is on this list of CUDA capable GPUs and has a ranking of at least 3.0.

    Install Latest Drivers

    If your GPU has a CUDA compute ability greater than or equal to 3.0 and you still don't have the option to enable GPU rendering, you can check a couple more things:

    Below are instructions for various operating systems. If you are still having issues after trying all the steps listed in this post, try asking for support on BlenderArtists.
    This site is not well suited to localized troubleshooting discussions often needed to untangle unusual hardware/driver issues.


    Run as root
    Due to an issue with some versions of the nvidia drivers, you must run blender (or any other program which uses cuda) as root before you can use any cuda features as a normal user. See this thread for more detail.

    Ubuntu-based Distributions

    • Open your driver manager and select the recommended driver and Apply Changes.

      enter image description here

    • You can also use the terminal to install the latest stable driver.

      $ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
          $ sudo apt-get update
      $ sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

    For linux Mint, Ubuntu and Debian variants (and maybe other distributions) you will need to install the package nvidia-modprobe which will detect your nvidia CUDA device and make it available for blender. Read this answer for further instructions

    Debian Jesse

    Please note that these instructions were put together in June 2015 on Debian Jesse. Although Debian is a very stable distribution, it isn't unlikely that this will be out of date on Debian Stretch. If you have more up to date information, please feel free to edit this.

    Before we can install the drivers, we will need to install the kernel headers from the contrib nonfree repository. If this repository hasn't been added already, open /etc/apt/sources.list with nano:

    $ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

    And add:

    deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free 

    For Debian to recognize the repository, we will need to refresh the package list:

    $ sudo apt-get update

    Once this is done, the headers can be installed:

    $ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r|sed 's,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,') nvidia-kernel-dkms

    With some sed magic, this will install the correct headers for your version of the kernel.

    Now we need to blacklist (disable) the open source nouveau driver. To do this, we will create an Xorg configuration file:

    $ sudo mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d
    $ sudo echo -e 'Section "Device"\n\tIdentifier "My GPU"\n\tDriver "nvidia"\nEndSection' > /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf

    And reboot the computer.

    $ reboot

    All that is required afterwards, is to install cuda:

    $ sudo apt-get install nvidia-cuda-toolkit

    For more in depth information, please see https://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers (only covers the drivers, not cuda). If you are running a GTX 970 or 980 you will need a special build of cuda available here.

    Arch Linux

    Identifying your GPU:

    From the Arch wiki:

    If you don't know what GPU you have, you can find out by running:

    $ lspci -k | grep -A 2 -i "VGA"

    Drivers and CUDA:

    For Arch Linux, installing proprietary Nvidia drivers for your GPU can be as simple as installing the nvidia package and then rebooting:

    # pacman -S nvidia
    # systemctl reboot

    If you are compiling Blender from source, you will also need the CUDA toolkit. You can get it by installing the cuda package:

    # pacman -S cuda

    Windows 7

    1. Find out what GPU you have in the Device Manager. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> System -> Device Manager), then open the Display adapters tree.

      Screenshot of Device Manager showing an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

    2. To find out the architecture of your Windows installation, open a command prompt (search for cmd in the start menu) and run wmic os get osarchitecture.

      enter image description here

      Alternatively, you can get this information from a GUI by going to Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> System or by using the keyboard shortcut Windows KeyPause.

      Screenshot showing the architecture of Windows.

    3. Go to the Nvidia Website and select your driver.

      enter image description here

    4. Finally, download and install the proper driver for your architecture. I am assuming you know how to use installers.

      enter image description here

    Nvidia Optimus:
    If you're running Blender on a notebook with Nvidia Optimus, make sure it uses the dedicated GPU. Either configure Blender to always use the dedicated over the integrated GPU in the Nvidia Control Panel, or right-click Blender.exe (or a shortcut to Blender) and select the Nvidia GPU in the the Run with graphics processor menu:

    Run with high-performance Nvidia processor (GPU)

    OS X

    Install the latest Nvidia Driver for you graphics card. You can download them from the Nvidia website.

    1. Open the CUDADriver.pkg file by double clicking it.

      enter image description here

    2. Go through the installer.

      enter image description here

    3. If it installed correctly, there should be a new CUDA option in the System Preferences (the only time you need to go here is to install updates):

      enter image description here

    Finally after you have installed your drivers:

    1. Restart your computer

    2. Start Blender.

    3. There should now be an option in the Blender's settings allowing you to select CUDA and your GPU:

      enter image description here

    4. Then select the GPU in Render settings > Render > Device:

      enter image description here


    As of blender 2.75, AMD HD 7xxx+ GPUs are officially supported. Other OpenCL devices may work, and can be tested by force-enabling OpenCL with an environment variable:


    Also see Is it possible to do OpenCL rendering on Intel processors?


    On Ubuntu/debian you may need to install ocl-icd-opencl-dev package


    Nvidia OpenCL
    To get OpenCL working for nvidia GPUs, ensure that the opencl-nvidia package is installed:

    # pacman -S opencl-nvidia

    Then run blender with the environment variable set to 1:


    In the User Preferences > System there should now be an OpenCL option:

    enter image description here

    If it's selected, rendering on the GPU will now use opencl. Note that the first time you try to render, blender will have to first compile the necessary kernels which may some time.

    This was on IRC yesterday: kaito: look how 'gandalf' is replying things http://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/7485/enabling-gpu-rendering-for-cycles [11:15am] Severin: that's what I call an answer

    @MarcClintDion This was a team answer, credit must also go to Vader, CharlesL, CoDEmanX, and catlover2 :)

    maybe putting credits at the beginning of a collaboration would help clear things like that up before they happen. It works well to do this with source code. Seems like a good idea for documentation as well.

    You are my hero. I needed CUDA support on my Mac for more than just Blender. I've been using OpenCL for modeling wave particle physics and I was under the impression that I just needed to wait for the next release of OS X to get proper CUDA drivers.

    @MarcClintDion You can always check this in the revision history.

    I have this nvidia: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/notebook-gpus/geforce-820m/specifications In the specifications I don't see any mention of CUDA on the specs page, but it is listed here as having 2.1 Cuda compute capability: https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus I've installed all the binaries via apt-get using the ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates. Anything left for me to do? I still don't see the CUDA option in Blender. Thanks

    @Rexford It's hard to say, these sorts of problems are often very specific and require long discussions better suited to a forum to sort out. You could try asking on BlenderArtists or AskUbuntu, as these questions are considered off-topic here.

    @gandalf3 Thanks. Im trying in the blender community on google plus. I think I'll have to install something related to CUDA before i can leverage that capability of the graphics card. Will keep digging.

    Do NVIDIA GeForce GT610 support this and is 331.113 good driver for my GPU?

    This won't solve the problem on Debian, while it might work on derivatives. If I remember how I did it correctly, I installed my driver from the terminal, and then I installed the cuda package. I'll try to propose an edit to be looked over soon.

    @AdriansNetlis In that case try asking on blenderartists. This site isn't well suited to the long trial-and-error discussions which are often needed to sort out problems like these.

    well, found a fix - running a blender as root(cd /blender directory/, than sudo ./blender) and than it is aviable for ever even not root login!

    @AdriansNetlis Ah, glad you got it working. That's the second suggestion in this answer though ;)

    Oh... I didn't see that :D

    @gandalf3 Indeed, I finally got my gpu to show and use, but the speed was crazily too low. Just 96 cuda cores? My intel struggles with rendering even better than the gt880m. Can't wait the day cycles supports Intel.

    I'm having trouble getting the OpenCL render to work under OS Luna with Radeon 7750s (which should be officially supported): the GPUs simply don't show up as compute devices. I'm using the default open source drivers, do I need the closed source ones?

    @gandalf3 i do not have that option Run with graphics processor when i right click on blender.exe only run as administrator where can i find that option. thanks

    @atek Are you using optimus? If not, that step does not apply.

    @gandalf3 On Xubuntu 16.04 LTS, the only thing I had to do to get the CUDA toggle was to install `nvidia-cuda-toolkit`.

    Take care, installer only builds for current kernel! Don't be surprised if you use new kernel, it also will not work with nvidia driver at all.

    So important to check that list for compatibility. My GeForce GT 525M ranks a 2.1, so there's no CUDA available for it since it is not a 3.0 or higher. I was about to try a different Linux distro! Thanks!

  • Also note that you need to change 2 settings to enable GPU rendering. The obvious one is in the User Preferences, System. You also need to set it for the blender file (scene) by clicking on the camera icon (on the left) in the Properties window and under the Render section is a setting for Device.

    If this is important that might have to be included in that other much more detailed community wiki answer?

  • Sharing my recent experience with 2.8

    If both, the CPU and the GPU are checked, in the "Preferences / System", Blender will prioritaze the CPU and the render will be slower.

    When I unchecked the CPU, I only could see 1 "processing square" in the render time, but really fast, 1/6 of the old render total time.

    I hope this help someone.

  • The huge answer above was solution to some of my problems for enabling GPU for Blender with NVIDIA drivers in Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based distros, but it didn't always work on some cases.

    So, I wrote an article for myself that has always worked since. It has a lot of the info mentioned here, but for me it's a simple straightforward way to go:

    Installing NVIDIA Drivers in Linux

    I hope it could be of help for someone in addition to this whole thread :)

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution

Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM