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Blender - Will it kill my Laptop?


EllieAnne Silverfall
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Sorry if this has been asked elsewhere; I tried a search and failed to find anything to help me.

I am pretty certain that blender should work on my laptop, as I do believe it meets the minimum specs. However, I know all too well that with meeting the minimum requirements for SL means a VERY frustrating, laggy SL that must be on the lowest graphics settings. I've also burnt up a few motherboards from my SL use in the past (even though my system exceeded the minimum requirements at that time). I don't want to kill my current laptop. SL seems to work fine on it and I can even run at ultra for short periods if I want. I generally run on mid to high when I have a good connection. That being said, here are my specs (if anyone can tell me if I had better not try it or if I'll be fine, I would be very thankful): 

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You didn't mention your graphics card, which is the only truly important component as far as your question is concerned.  As long as you have a decent amount of GPU memory to work with, though, Blender should be happy.  For comparison, I can run Blender on my old laptop with a NVidia GeForce GT 650M card, which is not near the top of anyone's list of speedy cards today.

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SL puts a heavy load on a GPU because a typical scene contains lots of objects often moving. In Blender, you have only one object, and it rarely moves. It should run fine on that system with a fairly basic GPU.

 

Edit: Rolig got there first!

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It should be fine -- but :

it will depend somewhat on what you are doing IN Blender. You will probably want to keep your render settings low (the default is 20 I think). If you are baking in cycles be prepared to wait awhile for any kind of complex item at any clear setting. If you really only want a 512 texture then you will probably want to bake to a 512.  

You should have no issue with the modeling part. And if you are patient enough things will bake. But it does depend a lot on your graphics card. If it is an integrated one, that's not so good.

Again, it really REALLY depends on what you are planning to do within Blender. Blender Render will no doubt work better for you than Blender Cycles.  

 

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That's not a graphics card.  It's an integrated graphics chip on your motherboard.  It's not designed for image-heavy environments like SL, so it's no wonder that you have to run on the lowest quality settings.  As others have said, you should still be able to do basic modeling with Blender, which doesn't put anywhere near as much load on your GPU as SL does.  If you are at all serious about 3D modeling, especially if you see yourself spending more time in SL in the future, though, I suggest starting to think about upgrading to a more appropriate computer.

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2 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

That's not a graphics card.  It's an integrated graphics chip on your motherboard.  It's not designed for image-heavy environments like SL, so it's no wonder that you have to run on the lowest quality settings.  As others have said, you should still be able to do basic modeling with Blender, which doesn't put anywhere near as much load on your GPU as SL does.  If you are at all serious about 3D modeling, especially if you see yourself spending more time in SL in the future, though, I suggest starting to think about upgrading to a more appropriate computer.

Ok, maybe it's not the graphics card, where would I find the card info? I didn't say I have to run on low on this computer, I said I can run  ultra if I want and that I usually run on mid to high the rest of the time. I only run on low if I have a bad connection or in a really laggy pace like a packed club. When I referred to minimum specs, I was referring to my old outdated system. So if I can run on high or even ultra in sl, I should be ok with blender?

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OK, here's the whole sh-bang: 

I'm still curious that if my chipset is not a graphics card, how is it that I can run SL better than I could on my old laptops? anyhoo.. I would consider buying another more advanced computer, but this one is only about a year old, I'll give it a couple more years before I toss it to the kids lol

graphics.png

sys.png

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Here's a page that shows benchmark results for various graphics adapters...

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php

You'll find your HD 5500 there, and it scores 573. For comparison, the NVIDIA GTX 680MX graphics adapter in my 4.5 year old iMac scores 4371. I can barely run Ultra on it, but part of that is because it's driving a 2560x1440 pixel display... and it's a Mac. My 11 year old MacBook Pro scores 91 (and can still log in on low). Your old laptop might be in that ballpark. And that's why your new one works better.

All that said, Blender doesn't work your computer (CPU or GPU) as hard as SL. Few things do. If you can spin on a mesh dance floor in SL, you can spin a mesh dance floor in Blender.

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5 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

All that said, Blender doesn't work your computer (CPU or GPU) as hard as SL. Few things do. If you can spin on a mesh dance floor in SL, you can spin a mesh dance floor in Blender.

I think I understand now. Basically, if I can run on ultra, or even mid to high in sl, then I should not have any problems with blender. I usually only run ultra for pictures, or to take in the view for a moment, but mid and high, in general, don't give me much issues and I rarely over heat with this unit. I guess it's time for me to watch some tutorials :D. Thanks so much, Madelaine.

Cheers

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As I said before, "you should still be able to do basic modeling with Blender, which doesn't put anywhere near as much load on your GPU as SL does,"  so don;t worry about whether Blender will work for you.  The Intel HD 5500 is your GPU -- a chip, not a card.  You could have also just click the Help menu at the top of your viewer screen and then "About Second Life" to get a record of what equipment your viewer is seeing on your computer.

Graphics chips are commonly used in laptops designed for light office or home use, not for gaming.  They are fine for less demanding applications like web browsing, word processing, watching YouTube videos, and many less demanding games.  When you use them in a more demanding environment, you will often find low performance.  The real risk, though, is that the chip will draw a lot of power and generate a lot of heat.  That can decrease its lifetime and may cause damage to other expensive components, as you have found out in the past.  Therefore, it's a good idea not to push it to its limits by turning up the quality slider or your draw distance too high.

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I get your points. Like I said, I've burned up a few motherboards in the past - which is why I carry the 3 year warranty on all my laptops - so if I burn it up, I get a new one :D . By the time my warranty is out, I'll be getting a new one anyway. Someday I'll probably invest in alienware, but not yet. I don't get low performance on my current system and it doesn't overheat. I make sure to use an extra fan when I am on SL (most of the time). Even when I don't, it doesn't overheat. My old system used to actually get hot to the touch - really hot. I'll watch for it, of course. And who knows, maybe I'll have a really great year at work and I'll be able to spoil myself ;) 

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18 minutes ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

[ .... ] maybe I'll have a really great year at work and I'll be able to spoil myself ;) 

Yay!  I vote for that.  9_9

Meanwhile, if you haven't done it already, you can download a free temperature monitoring program from the Internet. I keep mine running in the background on my laptop and my desktop all the time.  That and a $20 laptop support with an extra fan are cheap insurance against disaster.

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1 minute ago, Rolig Loon said:

Yay!  I vote for that.  9_9

Meanwhile, if you haven't done it already, you can download a free temperature monitoring program from the Internet. I keep mine running in the background on my laptop and my desktop all the time.  That and a $20 laptop support with an extra fan are cheap insurance against disaster.

I have the laptop support/fan already. I consider them a requirement when I am on SL or anything else demanding. My first system I used for GIS mapping, it was a pretty intense program and I think that was part of the reason I burned up so many motherboards - even though it met all the specs the State told me it had to have (to run the programs they required of me). I don't have need for that program anymore and I think I only went through one motherboard in 4 years with my last system. To be fair, I was off of SL most of that time lol. I have a HP that is starting to age out - running SL on it is getting iffy, so I just don't. My dell system is newer and better. Thankfully, I have two of them. I'm considering using one just for work and using the other just for play. I'll also check into that temp monitoring program - thanks :)  (I prefer laptops because I don't like being tethered - in RL or SL lol)

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I'm seriously concerned that people think hardware that can be damaged by software is acceptable.  Granted I don't use a laptop, and I don't use Apple or Microsoft anything on principle, but doesn't the OS close down when the temperature rises to a dangerous level?  It shouldn't matter if it's the graphics subsystem (on MB or off it), the Fixed disk, or the CPU, they all have thermal sensors and the OS should be monitoring them.

My 8core AMD-based desktop with AMD R9 graphics with Linux does shut down when I run Ultra on two high rez monitors for long periods, am I reading that with Microsoft Windows 10, I could expect the MB to melt before it turned off?  Sheeesh!

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@anna2358

We can't all afford the top systems and we are not all techies. I'm so so with newer technology. The system I'm using was not purchased for gaming. In fact, at the time I purchased it, I was not active in sl at all. But, I have a three year warranty that has been tried and true over the last eight years (i always get the warranty), so yea, if I burn up a motherboard, it gets replaced within two days, at my house so I'm not overly bothered about it. I've been able to run sl just fine at mid and high and I could probably do ultra (as I mentioned before, I have on occasion) more than I do, but I take it easy there. I know nothing about how blender compares, which is why I asked the question. If it would simply be too much for my system, I'd forgo it. But, if I can run sl fine means I should be able to run blender fine, I might give it a go. To each their  own, aye? Ps, I don't ever recall my Dell's shutting down when they got too hot, but maybe I just don't remember.

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3 minutes ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

But, if I can run sl fine means I should be able to run blender fine

please stop comparing those two... it's in no way simular for your machine.

Being able to run blender doesn't mean you can run SL

being able to run SL you most likely can run blender fine

 

30 minutes ago, anna2358 said:

  Sheeesh!

we have more of those ubunto guru's here... but you always forget one thing.. Linux is a real drama for the people who just want to push a button and go ...

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7 hours ago, anna2358 said:

[ .... ] doesn't the OS close down when the temperature rises to a dangerous level?  It shouldn't matter if it's the graphics subsystem (on MB or off it), the Fixed disk, or the CPU, they all have thermal sensors and the OS should be monitoring them.

[ ... ]

Not all the time, and not necessarily quickly enough.  And often not on machines that were only designed for light use.  Even on a machine like yours that was designed for intensive use, prolonged operation at high temperature (over 85 C) can degrade the equipment even if it is never hot enough to trip the shutdown mechanism.  If you drive a Honda Civic like a Ferrari, it won't last long.

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7 hours ago, anna2358 said:

I'm seriously concerned that people think hardware that can be damaged by software is acceptable.  Granted I don't use a laptop, and I don't use Apple or Microsoft anything on principle, but doesn't the OS close down when the temperature rises to a dangerous level?  It shouldn't matter if it's the graphics subsystem (on MB or off it), the Fixed disk, or the CPU, they all have thermal sensors and the OS should be monitoring them.

My 8core AMD-based desktop with AMD R9 graphics with Linux does shut down when I run Ultra on two high rez monitors for long periods, am I reading that with Microsoft Windows 10, I could expect the MB to melt before it turned off?  Sheeesh!

During the 33 years I have owned Apple hardware, I've never had an instance of overheating leading to damage. In every case, MacOS intervened by winding up the fans, throttling the GPU and/or CPU clocks (which can crash SL) or throwing an error message and shutting down. A well designed computer that is not compromised by malware should be able to protect itself. Apple computers have a separate little microprocessor (the System Management Controller) that monitors things like chip/board/HD temperatures and is responsible for protecting the hardware. Even if MacOS is compromised, the SMC continues to operate.

Some PCs are not as tightly integrated. The BIOS, CPU, GPU, motherboard and OS may all come from different manufacturers and never be subject to one overarching integration and QC plan. Those computers might also not have the equivalent of the SMC. If not, they depend on the integrity of the OS for protection. Malware and software bugs can render OS safety mechanisms inoperable, exposing the system to overheat damage.

I hope that most modern PC hardware protects itself from overheating, but there are enough smart people who are still wary (Ms. Loon for one) that I can't discount that possibility. And, even if a computer protects itself from dangerous overheating, heat cycling of any kind stresses electronic assemblies. It's quite possible that daily use of SL, or any other programs that cause your computer to whirr like a vacuum cleaner, will shave a little lifetime off the system.

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8 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

being able to run SL you most likely can run blender fine

That's what I said, and that is what I asked about. I already know I can run sl just fine.

1 hour ago, Rolig Loon said:

If you drive a Honda Civic like a Ferrari, it won't last long.

I love the comparison! I agree and am aware of this fact, but when you have a warranty that replaces the engine quickly, as many times as you need while the warranty is in place (no questions asked), it makes it a little less of a problem. 

All in all, what I've learned here:

*It is best to get a newer, stronger system meant for gaming.

*Yes, I should be able to run blender, because I can run sl, which is more demanding (in some ways)

*I should watch the temperature on my system

*I should cease and desist if I am having performance issues.

Do I have that right?

Btw, thank you again for your responses!

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6 minutes ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

, but when you have a warranty that replaces the engine quickly, as many times as you need while the warranty is in place (no questions asked), it makes it a little less of a problem. 
 

this is a bit double ... what you say here can sound right, but it isn't, you know(!) your machine isn't up for this task and it will get damaged.

If the manufacturer gets a idea about this, because it happens to often at one person, you'r in trouble and get nothing.

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2 hours ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

That's what I said, and that is what I asked about. I already know I can run sl just fine.

I love the comparison! I agree and am aware of this fact, but when you have a warranty that replaces the engine quickly, as many times as you need while the warranty is in place (no questions asked), it makes it a little less of a problem. 

All in all, what I've learned here:

*It is best to get a newer, stronger system meant for gaming.

*Yes, I should be able to run blender, because I can run sl, which is more demanding (in some ways)

*I should watch the temperature on my system

*I should cease and desist if I am having performance issues.

Do I have that right?

Btw, thank you again for your responses!

Brava! xD

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On 4/9/2017 at 0:13 PM, Alwin Alcott said:

this is a bit double ... what you say here can sound right, but it isn't, you know(!) your machine isn't up for this task and it will get damaged.

If the manufacturer gets a idea about this, because it happens to often at one person, you'r in trouble and get nothing.

In 10 years, and multiple motherboards, hard drives, ect replaced (several on one system when I ran my GIS program), I've never, ever been questioned by Dell. That's why I ALWAYS get their 3 year warranty. Never a question asked and always repaired within 2 days. 

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