GPU Rendering

What is GPU Rendering?

GPU rendering refers to a process where the Graphics Processing Unit is used in place of the CPU or Central Processing Unit for rendering. The process also signifies generating 2D or 3D images automatically from a model with the help of different computer programs.

The process indicates that the GPU runs a single set of instructions across several cores on numerous data. The process emphasizes parallel processing on a particular task.

Understanding GPU Rendering

What is GPU Rendering

GPU rendering is slowly but surely becoming more popular and prevalent especially in those particular areas where traditional CPU rendering is found to be struggling.

GPU rendering is a process where the GPU of the system is used for processing data for the high-definition images.

These images need to be rendered fast and with a reasonably good quality in particular industries such as:

The Graphics Processing Units or GPUs are specifically designed for such a job and come with several microprocessors in them that run parallel to the Central Processing Unit, each of them behaving like a separate computer.

This helps them to make the large number of computing calculations fast and at the same time reduces the workload of the CPU.

Rendering System

You will need a proper rendering system in order to ensure that you have proper GPU rendering.

Typically a rendering system will consist of two specific parts such as:

You must make sure that both these components of the rendering system complement each other in the best way possible.

GPU Rendering Engine

GPU rendering uses a GPU render engine which is also referred to as a GPU accelerated renderer.

This is basically an engineered program. It is designed on different disciplines such as:

You will get a wide variety of GPU renderers in the market today. Some of them may even come with hybrid capability which will allow both CPU rendering solutions and GPU rendering solutions.

You can simply switch between the two solutions in just a single click.

Some of the most popular GPU renderers are:

If you choose a good rendering engine, which are essentially plug-ins, it will work most efficiently with the features and different 3D rendering software programs that are unique to them.

Rendering Hardware Considerations

You will need a specific type of hardware for GPU rendering because this process is a bit more complex than CPU rendering.

Therefore, for GPU rendering you will need to consider a lot of things over and above the graphics card type in particular.

One of the most important things to consider is whether or not you are going to use the hardware in your PC or anything else for GPU rendering.

Then, you should focus on the type of graphics card you want for GPU rendering.

Ideally, there are two types of graphics card that you can choose from which are:

One of the most significant differences between these two types of graphics cards is in their amount of memory.

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The consumer cards usually come with a lower memory capacity in comparison to the professional cards.

You should choose a professional graphics card for GPU rendering especially if you want to:

Finally, you will need to consider the number of GPUs you want to use.

Usually, most users use only one graphics card but using multiple cards will boost up the graphics performance significantly.

However, if you want to use multiple graphics cards in your system then you will need to make sure that the system itself comes with the right type of CPU, PSU or Power Supply Unit and motherboard in the first place.

In addition to that, you will also need to ensure the compatibility of the Render Engine and the hardware.

Role of the GPU

In GPU rendering the role of the graphics card is immense.

The most significant one among all is to reduce the workload of the CPU so that the overall performance of the computer system is not affected or reduced.

As you may know, the CPU is the brain of the computer which performs a lot of operations.

Though the processing power of the CPUs has increased incredibly in the past decade, it still seems to be inadequate to handle gaming, 3D design, and other graphics intensive tasks single-handedly.

Since these are processor heavy and involve a lot of complex computations, more processing power is required.

The GPU works as the co-processor to take off the major responsibility of making graphical calculations and processing image data from the CPU.

This ensures that the images are rendered seamlessly, though the quality of it is not as good as CPU rendering.

Therefore, the more powerful the GPU is, the more efficiently and faster the images will be rendered.

Different Features and Aspects

As said earlier, the GPUs come with thousands of small cores with low power.

They work in parallel to compute the image data which facilitates the rendering process overall.

These cores also allow the graphics cards to handle huge amounts of data at the same time with ease and quickly.

Some of the other significant features and aspects of GPU rendering that have resulted due to the continual development in the GPU-based rendering systems are:

All these bring in a speedier workflow where everything is run simultaneously which helps the users to have a better visual experience in real time.

Rasterization is an aspect of the graphics cards that is used during the rendering process which helps in projecting the objects geometrically onto the image placed in the scene.

This process is very fast but it does not comprise any highly developed optical effects.

GPU rendering is a process that is very high in demand for a wide range of applications which includes:

This specific process also helps in more photorealistic rendering in specific types of industries such as:

Moreover, in the smartphone user interfaces and similar applications that have weaker CPUs, it is good to use force GPU rendering.

This enables the 2D apps to add to the fluidity and frame rates.

Force GPU rendering should be ideally enabled when bottlenecks are identified in the frame rendering times at any specific stage within the rendering pipeline.

Force GPU Rendering

Force GPU rendering is a process used in mobile devices where the GPU of the device is used instead of software to render 2D elements.

When the devices take advantage of this option it offers specific benefits and changes in performance such as:

It will also reduce the workload of the Central Processing Unit of these systems.

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If you are wondering when and how to force GPU rendering, here are a few important facts that will help you to make your decision.

You should enable force GPU rendering to offload several window components to the GPU such as:

You may force GPU rendering if you want few or no lags while rendering UI or User Interface animation.

It will offer a much smoother experience by enhancing the frame rate in 2D apps as well as reduce power consumption by the system overall.

However, at this point it is important to remember that force GPU rendering is most efficient only with 2D applications.

Therefore, force GPU rendering is certainly not a viable option while playing major games that come with complex 3D graphics because it will offer worse frame rates.

Therefore, in short, you should enable force GPU rendering when you want to increase fluidity and frame rates.

Now, keeping this in mind, here are the steps to follow to enable force GPU rendering:

This will set the forced GPU rendering.

However, in a few particular system settings, you may not find the Developer options right away in the Settings.

For that, you will need to follow these additional steps which include:

Then you should go to the Settings, scroll down and click on the Developer options now included there and follow the remaining steps to enable Force GPU rendering.

Advantages and Disadvantages

No knowledge is complete without knowing the pros and cons and the same applies for GPU rendering as well.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of GPU rendering.

The list of advantages of GPU rendering includes:

However, though the benefits offered by GPU rendering are very significant, it is not all bells and whistles for it.

There are several caveats to GPU rendering that are worth mentioning at this point.

Typically, the downsides of GPU rendering are also quite significant that limits its capabilities in a lot of specific scenarios and the list include:

Still, with the continual development in the GPU industry, it is expected that these demerits will be soon handled and eliminated by the manufacturers.

Is Rendering with GPU Good?

Yes, GPU rendering is quite good and therefore it is so high in demand.

There are several benefits of GPU as mentioned above, which is why it is preferred over CPU rendering.

GPU rendering will offer much better results in 3D rendering due to its parallel processing while making graphical computations.

Well, the results may not be accurate, but it can produce much faster results for most scenes if the VRAM or Video Random Access Memory is large enough to fit it.

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The quality of the project will be much improved due to faster and interactive preview renders and project iteration.

The graphics performance can be scaled even higher very easily hardware-wise by simply adding more graphics cards into the system.

Should You Turn on GPU Rendering?

Yes, you should turn on GPU rendering if you want to have better results with low power consumption than CPU rendering.

This will be especially helpful if you are using a laptop because it will eventually result in an increase in the battery life by as much as 10 to 15%.

It is also an essential thing to do if you particularly have a weaker CPU installed in your system.

For example, if your processor is anything less than a quad core, it is better to turn on GPU rendering and leave it on all the time.

What Does GPU Rendering Mean?

As said earlier, GPU rendering implies using the Graphics Processing Unit in the system to generate automatic 2D and 3D images from a raw model with the use of relevant computer software programs.

The graphics cards are optimized for the rendering process and therefore are more responsive to graphically intense apps.

These will not burden the CPUs, which have a lot of other tasks to perform, and therefore will not hinder the overall computing performance.

GPU rendering means taking a single set of instructions and running various data across several cores.

This emphasizes parallel processing on the particular task much unlike the CPU that usually focuses on different serial and sequential image and data processing jobs.

Is GPU Rendering Good for Gaming?

Though it cannot be said for each and every GPU, there are surely some particular graphics cards available in the market that are optimized for rendering which will enhance the gaming experience.

These specific graphics cards can deliver better and faster results consistently.

These are time and power efficient when it comes to rendering the scenes, both of which affect the gaming performance.

Is GPU Rendering Faster than CPU?

Modern GPUs offer superior processing power and memory bandwidth than traditional CPUs.

In addition, the GPU is more efficient when it comes to processing tasks that require multiple parallel processes.

In fact, GPU rendering is about 50 to 100 times faster than CPU rendering.

Is GPU Rendering the Future?

Ideally, GPU rendering is at the same level as CPU rendering but the low cost, its speed, optimized performance and easy scalability makes it a more lucrative and productive choice.

With its continual change and the varying and rising demand in rendering, conventional CPU rendering is falling back and is also being challenged.

The traditional rendering process is being challenged on a number of aspects such as:

Therefore, it is high time for all users, especially those who are engaged with professional graphics intensive computing tasks, to reconsider their rendering practices.

Ideally, there are two particular rendering technologies that are disruptive namely, GPU rendering and rendering in the cloud, of which the latter is blurring the previous hard boundaries between online and local rendering.

Due to all these reasons, it is said that GPU rendering, in fact, is both the present as well as the future of 3D rendering.

It is for this reason that several render developers have adopted different versions of GPU renderers.

With the given scenario and the continual developments in the technologies, experts think that it may not be a long time when GPU rendering may eclipse CPU rendering some day.

Also, with the paradigm shift in the choice of hardware and software as well as the increasing number of updates in the GPU industry, the shortcomings in the GPU rendering scenario are sure to be improved in the future.


So, with all that said, now you know everything about GPU rendering.

As you can see GPU rendering is a continually evolving process and has the power and abilities to streamline workflows for rendering by quickly exporting the necessary data, making it so important today.