CPU vs GPU Rendering – What’s the Difference and Which Should You Choose?

The dependence on our machines has increased considerably. This is taking its toll on the devices in the market today, and it is becoming more challenging to handle the tasks placed on them.

One of them is rendering. If you are into animation, graphics, and 3D designs, then you would know that rendering is a complicated procedure that involves plenty of tasks. It provides you with a rendering quality that has continued since its inception.

How do devices manage those tasks?

Most of the PC devices we use today can perform them using two methods. They usually handle it with two instructions, one would be the CPU or the central processing unit, and the two would be the GPU or the graphics processing unit.

They both come with their own methods of handling things in a proper manner. While the CPU may seem ideal for some users, the GPU may be better for some users. That is what we are going to find out through this post.

We will try and help you understand more about CPU vs GPU rendering. Through that, you can decide which to use for your machine. There are several kinds of processors, makers, and even models.

You need to know which one would suit your needs in today’s competitive market. Of course, the post will be mainly on rendering and discuss some of the nuances of CPU and GPU rendering.

CPU vs GPU rendering – What is the difference?

CPU vs GPU Rendering

How does the CPU work?

First, we need to understand how the CPU works. This will help you get a better idea of the working of the CPU. The CPU takes the instruction, then processes the instruction, and then executes the task efficiently.

It is known as the instruction cycle. In the instruction cycle, the information is provided to the CPU; then, it works on the points that we mentioned in the above paragraph. Then it goes to the next task that is supplied to it.

It is designed in a way that these instructions are processed pretty quickly. It is not a matter of minutes, but milliseconds to be precise. Some models like the Asus PCs or the MacBooks don’t take long at all.

As you know, the CPU is produced with the help of the cores. You can now get the complete processing power of the device. You may require high-quality renders. It is the main reason for the CPU to offer you with a top-notch image.

Though the GPU may be quicker, it comes with a higher possibility of some blurs in it. The size of the CPU also differs and can be either a single core or a deca-core processor. Each of the cores that are present in them is an independent system used to perform the instruction cycle.

A deca-core processor comes with ten cores to perform that cycle and multitask as well.

How does the GPU work?

The CPU does not work like the GPU. It is pretty evident in their features. The GPU comes with different architecture and mainly concentrates on the graphics aspect of things on your PC devices.

Unlike the CPU, the GPU works using slower cores that have only two main functions. The first would be vertex processing & second would be pixel processing. These two are the main functions of the GPU model.

Vertex processing handles the depth and dimensions of the image or picture you want to view on your PC device. Likewise, the pixel processing handles the textures and the patterns of the pictures you wish to view on your monitor.

We hope that you have to understand the significant difference between the CPU and the GPU model. The GPU has an edge here because it does only a single task compared to the CPU. However, it can do several processes simultaneously, one after another.

Besides, they are very phenomenal these days. They are equipped with tremendous power, like the ones seen from AMD & Intel. Though some of the top-end Intel models can be very expensive, priced under $1000, AMD GPU units come for a lesser rate at under $750.

The features in them are spectacular and opulent. You can get exceptional working capabilities when you have integrated them with your PC device. You can find them integrated into laptops, PC devices, built-in desktops, and even some of the latest smartphones.

Some top-end models come with support for the motherboard PCI-e slot. For other motherboards, you can make use of the GPU models that are compatible with them. This can be done to enhance the power of the PC device for better performance.

What do they mean for the rendering?

What do they mean for the rendering

The speed & clarity of the CPU vs GPU

Both the speed & clarity of any image or picture is of the utmost importance. You would want to ensure that the rendering quality is astonishing. It may be the most prominent concern that some of you may have, and you want to know the solution for that, and rightly so.

The CPU renders have the capability of producing better quality images & pictures for you. The shots that are taken are much better when compared to the GPU rendering. This is the concentrated process of the CPUs that let a reliable rendering.

But there is a difference in the speed of the process as well. The CPUs run somewhat slower than the GPUs in this case. When you are for speed, then you may want to choose a GPU model.

But when you are for quality, then you know what to do. Remember that the GPU model will cause some compromise in the clarity of the final output. If you are alright with that, then it is okay.

When you want to use the CPU or GPU for mild or acceptable picture quality, then it is fine to use the GPU. However, when you want to get a sublime picture ability, then you may want to use the CPU.

That is possible with the help of the CPU farm. The CPU farm is the capability of the CPU models to infuse several CPUs in their processing speeds. This helps in enabling to get a better image quality for you.

The cost of using the CPU vs GPU

We may want to also discuss about the pricing of the components of the PC device. You see, the CPU & GPU are expensive components of the PC system. Whether you are designing one or getting a new laptop model for yourself, these come infused in them.

They can cost you a lot in some cases. For example, you would be amazed to know that gaming laptops and PCs cost a lot because of the CPUs and the GPUs embedded in them. For example, the ASUS ROG models cost more than $2000 because of the CPUs and GPUs alone.

As the GPU is massive, in comparison to CPUs, they are required for gamers and graphic designers as well. Besides, some moviemakers might also need them for their professional field. Not to mention, the cryptocurrency industry is also making use of these graphics cards.

The cost of a powerful GPU and a top-notch CPU is not the same. The GPU can cost you around $400 to $2000 in some cases. Likewise, you can find the CPU costs varying depending on the use, from $200 to $1000.

The memory and performance of the CPU vs GPU

The CPUs, when installed inside a PC device, comes with intense power and incredible performance for you. They are capable of handling extensive processes and have the capability of elegantly maintaining speed while performing tasks.

The main reason for that could be the ability of the CPU Ram in the device vs the typical memory sizes of GPUs. When you do not have the processing power in your GPU, then it might not be able to make much progress in your PC system.

In some cases, your system might crash. When you make use of the GPU, then there is the concern of overheating. It is due to the fact that they come with a fast processor and a greater number of cores.

The workload of the GPU is more than that of the CPU. This can generate more heat in the PC device, causing it to crash when the cooling technology is not that efficient. You would want to keep in mind that if your PC is using a GPU, then ensure top-notch cooling technology.

That is because when you are working on a tight project or want exceptional output from your work, then it is essential that your GPU can help you with results. Hence, you should be able to render your internal and external GPU model quickly.

Market specifications for the CPU vs GPU

When you work in the virtual reality space, then you will need to make use of the added speed that is offered in the GPU processing. Using a dedicated graphics rendering processor can provide you with the rendering depending on the player.

As you might know, the market is pushing hard to keep evolving every year. Today, you can find that every month there is some change or other taking place and happening in the GPU models. It is a good thing.

But users cannot be expected to change their models every month, is it not? They may provide you with exceptional tasks, but the speed needed to make the sudden and quick calculations to enhance the deep learning process is also there.

It could be another reason why GPUs are used mainly in the data and crypto mining sectors. It is because of their movements and quick calculations for an extended period of time that they are undoubtedly helpful for these industries.

There are a few of them that can work pretty splendidly. They can provide you with breathtaking quality real-time renders without compromising on the images provided to your PC device. Now, when shifting your scene, you can view the top-notch snapshot, which needs GPU rendering as a solution.

The software you use will say between CPU vs GPUs

It comes down to the software that you use that will decide on whether you opt for the CPU or the GPU. While some programs can provide you with an unparalleled capability of the CPU or the GPU rendering, some may not.

Like, the Autodesk Arnold Engine, which is good at taking a photorealistic ray tracing that makes use of the CPU-based render engine, Arnold is used for animation purposes. This is even though the processing times vary with the CPU rendering.

But you also have the Octane Render Engine, which focuses on GPU rendering mainly for dynamic real-time texturing. You may want to move into the render to know what kind of program is worthwhile.

The best way to do that would be to know how precise you want the render or the simulation for your images to be. Though most of CPUs can offer you with the best there is in physics simulations, GPUs provide you with the best rendering engines for real-time experiences.

Is CPU or GPU better for 3D rendering?

The CPU is better for 3D rendering. That is because it is able to provide you with precise performance. Moreover, 3D is the gold standard in rendering because it is able to offer a dazzling quality than the GPU can give you with.

What is the difference between CPU rendering and GPU rendering?

The most notable difference would be that the CPU rendering is precise & extremely accurate instance. But the GPU can be quicker & faster for you. Several models provide you with many built-in render engines that offer you both CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) rendering.

Does CPU affect rendering quality?

It can affect the CPU rendering in a good way. That is because it can take some time to provide you with rendering an image using the traditional CPU-based image. But you can get more explicit pictures without any issues. Moreover, a GPU comes with several cores than a CPU. Each core may run slower compared to a CPU core.

Why is CPU render better than GPU?

CPUs are generally more concentrated on image rendering than GPUs. That means you can ensure that the CPU provides you with a better rendering than the GPU. It comes with some difference in the speed too. CPUs can be slow, but GPUs take less time, compromising the final output quality.

Should I use CPU or GPU for rendering blender?

The GPU is mainly used for rendering because of its top-notch performance. But when you have to use a GPU with the blender, then you need to choose edit. Then select preferences and the system settings for enabling Optix for Nvidia GPUs and OpenCL for AMD graphics cards.


This is it. We have ended our post on the difference between CPU vs GPU rendering. We hope that you were able to make your decision on which to choose for your video rendering purposes.

It will vary on your needs. When you require the top-end renders, then you might not want to worry about the quick turnaround times. That is because using a top-end CPU or a CPU farm would be your best bet.

There are some excellent solutions for PCU processing, with significant firms providing you with distributed processing technology for optimized performance. You can check them out later. When you work as a graphic designer or somebody in the animation department, who is keen on developmental progress with good quality, then you might want to make use of a GPU.

Regardless of the source, you would like to make sure the GPU rendering source and your CPU are compatible. What do you feel about the post? Have you used the CPU or the GPU for your rendering?

Which did you prefer and why? Do let us know in the comments section about your thoughts and feelings.

James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.