Render Engine Hardware Compatibility – CPU / GPU / Hybrid

When you are in search of the best rendering process on your computer device, then you are in luck. Today, we are going to be discussing about the best rendering process for you. There are three kinds prevalent on PC systems.

They are the CPU, GPU, and Hybrid rendering. They are the central processing unit, graphics processing unit, and hybrid rendering processing. We will also be discussing briefly about rendering, CPU rendering, GPU rendering, and hybrid rendering.

The CPU rendering makes use of the CPU model of the PC system for you to perform the visual rendering of the image to near perfection. It is the traditional method to complete the rendering process on your PC device.

With the emergence of GPU rendering, the CPU rendering method has faced tremendous competition from this mode. As you may know, GPU models are purpose-specific models that provide exceptional results in some cases.

It allows for a more considerable amount of parallel processes to work simultaneously. This makes the process work quicker in terms of the tasks carried out. But comes limited when they have to render large amounts of rendering work.

But CPU rendering can effortlessly take up a lot of work. Besides, the process can carry out more tasks on its workload. It basically provides you with rendering having more consistent details in it.

In this post, we will be reading about the different rendering processes and which one would be the best for you. Besides, we will learn briefly about the hybrid rendering process that is gaining prominence but may take a few years to cement itself in today’s competitive market.

We will try and help you to find the choice that is more convenient for you, depending on your objectives and budget.

What is rendering?

Render Engine Hardware Compatibility

But first, we need to know what rendering is all about. Rendering is a process that helps you improve the images seen on your PC system. It allows you to generate the final visual, which could be a 2D or a 3D model, with the aid of a software tool.

This process helps you enhance the final result of the visual, offering a new dimension in the quality of the image and angles, perhaps. It can be done with the help of CPU, GPU, and hybrid rendering on your PC machine.

In hybrid rendering, software like V-Ray is used, where GPU & the CPU have to work in tandem to get the final result. You need to be able to understand the kinds of rendering for you to evaluate the differences between them.

Now, let us take a look at the GPU and CPU rendering processes. Then we will learn more about them the characteristics that can differentiate these three.

CPU vs GPU Rendering

Render Engine Hardware Compatibility

First, we will read a bit about the CPU rendering process. It provides you with more capabilities to refine the image displayed on your monitor. That is possible with the help of several high-powered cores running on the PC machine.

The cores come at a high frequency that enables them to execute the work on the PC device rapidly at a high-speed rate. Besides, the higher the cores, the better the output performance.

The modern CPU models come with 64 cores, which allow some exceptional rendering performance. The process also has ample access to the onboard random-access memory. Scenes can be rendered using massive data with sublime ease.

You would be delighted to know that Pixar uses CPU rendering. With its help, they produce phenomenal movie quality. Top-notch movie quality is based on the rendering process. This gives you an edge in architectural design.

Now, we will read about the GPU rendering process. The GPU models are cheaper than the CPU models. This is the foremost advantage that you are going to have when using the GPU rendering process.

It provides you with an efficient, if not cost-effective, a method for gaining images for those of you who have a limited budget. As you may know by now, the GPU unit has several thousand small cores that can work at a relatively low clock speed.

These cores allow the GPU model to offer you with a phenomenal rendering performance on your PC machine. Besides, they are produced such that they can operate the tasks in a parallel manner.

In this aspect, they are good and give you an advantage over the CPU models. You would be glad to know that the rendering times are also quick. This is something that we noticed many users failed to take into consideration.

You can also process the graphics in real-time and understand modern video games work more smoother than the CPU rendering process. Additionally, they are also becoming commonly used in the gaming market, crypto industry, Big Data, AI, and machine learning field.

Considering their high potential, Autodesk has acknowledged the significance of GPU rendering in the market. To get a clearer understanding of each of the rendering processes, we may want to know more about the unique features that are also good to know about.

Render Engine Hardware Compatibility List

We can take a look at some of the most popular render engines, software packages and the hardware compatibility:

NVIDIA GPU (CUDA / OptiX)AMDGPU(OpenCL)CPUsupportCPU+GPUHybridEngine Type
V-Ray (Some Versions)Offline
V-Ray NEXTOffline
Twilight RenderOffline
AMD ProRenderOffline
Cinema 4D (physical)Offline
Cinema 4D (standard)Offline
Cinema 4D (prorender)Offline
Blender (Internal)Offline
Blender (Cycles)Offline
Blender (EEVEE)Realtime
Modo (Internal)Offline
Modo (ProRender)Offline
Houdini MantraOffline
Sketchupno internal renderer

CPU vs GPU – The differences

1) Design

The Threadripper 3990x is a powerful CPU that comes with close to 64 cores. You will want to know that the average PC CPU comes with less than 8 cores and not more. The cores are numbered less when compared to GPU cores.

However, they have a high clock frequency where they can operate on the tasks that are assigned to them more quickly. When they do render, the increased core is much better. In contrast, the GPU models come with thousands of cores, close to 10,496 in the Nvidia RTX 3090.

2) Quality

The CPU models come with immense quality when compared to the GPU units. But they are versatile and produced to bring out complicated instructions. It lets the CPU models work on algorithms using less effort, offering a decent-quality result.

3) RAM Benefits

When you make use of a top-end motherboard, then it can accommodate 128GB RAM. Moreover, the CPU models have proper access to the system memory, which allows them to use vast amounts of memory.

Besides you can also upgrade them if you want to. We take the Threadripper 3990x model, which can support 512 GB of DDR4 RAM. It helps the CPU unit to render huge amounts of data in a complex visual.

The GPU models come with built-in video RAM (VRAM). You would find the same on the Nvidia 3090, as it has 24GB of VRAM. This is more than sufficient for several users. However, it becomes a bottleneck when you look at complicated scenes with several elements.

4) Complicated scenarios

The CPU model can design a wide range of tasks. It is advantageous for different workloads where the kind of work is not consistent and when there is a lot for you to manage simultaneously because of their hardware capabilities.

These models are produced such that they can work on similar tasks repeatedly. Additionally, the RAM limitations combined with slow cores limit their capacity. This leaves scenarios efficient.

5) Stability

The CPU models are designed into and well-integrated inside the PC device. The applications used are made considering the CPU units at the core of the OS. The CPU units have been used for several years now for the rendering process.

It provides your PC device with stability compared to the GPU and hybrid rendering processes. The GPU units are pretty likely to fail at some point in time. There is a sudden fluctuation in the power, driver updates, and the lack of compatibility on a few systems that cause low and unstable GPU performance.

6) Speed

The GPU model has more speed than the CPU rendering process. It is due to the fact that they run in parallel, transitioning to more speed, and different elements in the scene can be done successfully together.

Not surprisingly, they are used in fields where rendering is required a lot, mainly in video games. They have smaller cores and are produced to be able to run the tasks sequentially. That makes them slower than most GPU units.

7) Regular improvements

You would be delighted to know that a combination of the RTX 3090s offers a phenomenal rendering performance. Today, we can see that the current CPU models provide you with more performance due to the improvements in technology.

Likewise, GPU models to are showing that they can be quicker and cheaper as well. You can see companies like Nvidia and AMD competing for the top place in this market. GPU models have seen massive improvements over the years and continue to do so in each new generation.

8) The cost of hardware

The GPU models cost lesser when compared to the CPU units. For example, you would have to pay around $1500 for the RTX 3090 graphics unit. At the same time, you may have to shell out around $5000 for the Threadripper 3990x processor.

In terms of upscaling, GPU units have an edge compared to the CPU models. The GPU unit can be attached to another GPU model, and you are set. If you want to upscale the CPU models, then you have also to purchase expensive hardware.

9) Rendering engines

When deciding between GPU rendering & CPU rendering, then the type of the rendering engines is also crucial. In some cases, the rendering engines work only on a GPU unit or the CPU model.

Besides, these rendering engines decide on the software that you can work your system on your PC device. Some of them include 3Delight, Arnold, and Corona, which work primarily on the CPU models and offer you with opulent results.

However, rendering engines like Redshift, Blender Cycles, and Octane are optimized for GPU units. So, you would have to take into consideration this factor also before deciding on GPU rendering & CPU rendering.

Hybrid (GPU+CPU) Rendering

As you know, CPUs are processing units that are meant for several uses in a reduced capacity; these models offer you with GPU rendering as well. With CPUs, you may not be able to perform these things more quickly than the specialized GPU unit, but they can help in the rendering process.

When the render engine supports hybrid rendering, then you can make use of the CPU and the GPU rendering processes effortlessly. However, please note that you need to make use of a CPU having lots of cores and several GPUs.


Can CPU and GPU render together?

Most engines can support either GPU or CPU rendering. But there are engines that are able to support both. There are the Blender’s cycles, and Chaos’s V-Ray is two render engines. These engines can make use of your CPUs & GPUs together.

Should you render with CPU or GPU?

GPU rendering. You would be delighted to know that modern GPUs provide you with intense processing power & bandwidth when compared to the traditional CPUs. Besides, you will want to know that GPUs are efficient for doing processing tasks that need several parallel processes.

What is hybrid rendering?

Hybrid rendering is a method where it provides for the components & systems for rendering ECS entities. This is not a render pipeline but is a system where the data is collected for doing the rendering of ECS entities, and this data is sent to Unity’s current rendering architecture.

Should you render with CPU or GPU in a blender?

Most users generally prefer using the GPU rendering services for a blender. That is because they get a sublime performance through it. When you can make use of a GPU model for the rendering service, then you need to go to Edit-Preferences, System settings, and then enable Optix for Nvidia cards, OpenCL, and AMD graphic cards as well.

Is more RAM better for rendering?

This entirely depends on your rendering requirements. When you want to do a 3D rendering task, then you will want to make use of 8GB RAM. Likewise, when you want to do a top-end job, then you would need to use 32GB RAM and an MHz rate of 2.2.


We have concluded our discussion on the CPU, GPU & Hybrid rendering. Though we primarily focused on GPU & CPU rendering, Hybrid rendering has its own benefits if you want to consider it.

When your tasks require you to have more speed, are less complex, and you need consistency, then GPU rendering might be the ideal setup because it is good for you. GPU rendering lowers costs, and the quality is almost equal to that of CPU rendering.

You would want to beware that the GPU rendering is ideal for those with lower budgets who prioritize quality and want opulent results. However, when you have more budget and require top-notch results, then CPU rendering would be better.

The quality of the renders is good, and the ability to process complex scenarios is much simpler. As you can see, GPU & CPU rendering come with their own pros & cons that you would want to be aware of before delving into either of them.

It depends on your needs, outcomes, and budget. Please share your thoughts and feelings about this post in the comments section. We will be extremely delighted to hear from you. Happy rendering!

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.