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Update minimum GPU requirements
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Description

Based on T61936: EOL GPU problems tracking report we will define minimum requirements for GPU. Once this is decided blender.org, the release notes and user manual need to be updated.

  • macOS: 10.12+ is required due to driver bugs in older versions. GPUs released in last 10 years appear to work fine, but newer recommended for working well in Eevee.
  • NVIDIA: need GT 200 or newer.
  • Intel:
    • Windows: known issues with older drivers, which are on Windows 7 and 8, as well as older cards on Windows 10 (HD 4000). Blender works but Eevee has issues.
    • Linux: cards from last 10 years appear to work.
  • AMD
    • GCN or higher are working stable, older Terascale cards have many reported bugs. On Windows there were no Terascale drivers released in the last 3 years, so we can't realistically support them well. On Linux the situation for Terascale may be a bit better, but still GCN is probably required for good results.

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Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) triaged this task as Confirmed, High priority.

For both Windows and Linux I propose that we use the same EOL cutoff for support as the GPU manufactures. It seems to match quite well with the reports in T61936.

An added bonus is that we could potentially then kick the manufactures to fix bugs in their drivers and not have to implement as much workarounds. (If we try to support EOL cards, they will never get these kind of fixes)

I don't have a tracker for mac issues exactly (as even non EOL cards have big issues), but it seems to me like the best course of action would be to only support the latest macOS release.
@William Reynish (billreynish) do you have any input on this (macOS version support)?

Wherever this is documented it should clearly explain the difference between Workspace/Eevee and Cycles GPU acceleration, and link to the appropriate Cycles documentation if it's not included (I think just having one document that explains all of this in one place for 2.80 might be simplest).

For supported Cycles Nvidia cards, there are some places like https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/render/cycles/gpu_rendering.html that say things like "We support graphics cards starting from GTX 6xx (computing capability from 3.0 to 6.1)." when in fact there are quite a few 600+ Geforce cards that only support Compute Capability 2.1 (mostly mobile devices, including a dozen or so 600 series cards as well as the 800M, and 820M, and a couple of them are GTX models. See:

https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus

which maybe we should just link to and tell people to see if their card supports Compute Capability 3.0 or greater.

I'll throw in another very frequent confusion which is that people rarely seem to understand that the Cycles Render Devices system preferences does, in fact, only apply to Cycles rendering, and they often twiddle these settings hoping to affect Eevee or Workspace behavior, or they get hung up on the fact that there are no OpenCL devices listed for Nvidia cards. It may be wroth adding a note to the above documentation to try to clarify this, or even add some text to the Preferences screen to help people avoid confusion in the purpose of those settings.

Once this is decided blender.org, the release notes and user manual need to be updated.

and Steam. Please don't forget to update the Steam page as 2.80 won't run on Windows XP.

I'm trying to define clearly which Intel GPUs we support on Windows. To me it seems Haswell (2013) and newer work generally ok.

Two serious issues for that range of Intel GPUs I'm aware of, that we could try to fix:

Intel only has a 3 year support window for graphics cards, so we are still dealing with old drivers that won't get bugfixes. But only supporting Intel cards from the last 3 years seems too short.

@Clément Foucault (fclem), do you agree with officially supporting Haswell or newer?

The Blender requirements page has been updated now:
https://www.blender.org/download/requirements/

The user manual just links there now, instead of duplicating the information and potentially going out of sync then.

@Clément Foucault (fclem), this is what I have for the blog post, feel free to add or edit:
https://code.blender.org/?p=3603&preview=true