[Bf-committers] Minimal Blender specs - 5 year old systems & OS

Campbell Barton ideasman42 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 06:15:37 CET 2013

On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 11:36 AM, Chad Fraleigh <chadf at triularity.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 8:25 AM, Jed Frechette <jedfrechette at gmail.com> wrote:
>> FWIW, I see 3D content creation as a fundamentally high-end endeavor.
>> Being able to start learning Blender on low-end systems is great. However,
>> I want Blender to be taken seriously as a professional tool, not just
>> something you play with until you are able to afford "real" hardware and
>> software.
> That sounds like a rather narrow view. Wouldn't this be like telling
> musicians that they _can't_ make a career unless they sign up with
> some major recording label that has "real" resources (that then takes
> 90% of the artists' money). It is a good thing those people that wrote
> that software for commodity hardware that does much of what costly
> recording studios used to only do didn't think this way. Or maybe
> start charging $500 for blender to filter out all those pesky users
> that can't afford (or prefer not to waste that much money on) $2000
> "real" systems. This must be the Maya philosophy, given the [are you
> &$^* kidding me] US$3675 price tag (it probably requires $10,000
> hardware minimum).

The intention from blender devs isn't to be elitist, you may choose to
see it that way but I think its a stretch.
Just to say that since I've been using blender, its been able to run
fine on sub $500 system quite well, I doubt this will change even with
suggested updates to the minimum system spec.

>> If development is being held back by attempting to support old hardware
>> and OS versions and no one is willing to step up and support those bits
>> then their use should be depreciated.I would much rather see the limited
>> developer hours available put towards moving Blender forward rather than
>> attempting to maintain compatibility with an ever increasing list of
>> legacy hardware and OS versions.
> And if the product _only_ caters to the rich (or "professionals" that
> write it off as an expense) and significantly limit its target
> audience, then interest in development will drop (the nature of OSS).
> It seems part of the issue here is all these generic statements that
> blender should drop support for X and Y, but not many specifics on
> what "development effort" it would actually unhinder (OpenGL is maybe
> the only one that has had some specific reasons mentioned [I think]).
> For example, "Drop XP".. Ok, if support for just XP was dropped, what
> would be different? I mean if I was to go out and buy some $5000
> top-of-the-line system and then install XP on it (assuming the drivers
> all worked fine), then what about this machine would be harder to
> support in blender? Similar vagueness goes with RAM.. the suggested
> new minimum is 2G. I assume this is what the machine has total, not
> what is available to blender after the OS, any background
> apps/processes (and what if one runs a Windows VM on their linux
> box?). So how much memory does blender typically "get" after overhead
> on a 2G system running XP, how about Vista, Win7, Win8, or Linux? Each
> newer OS version tends to use more memory that prior ones for itself..
> so requiring a new OS is likely to artificially "require" more system
> memory to let blender do the same thing. So maybe the better thing to
> do would be state what specific developmental/runtime requirements
> will be minimally supported instead of what some assumed hardware/OS,
> that may or may not meet those true requirements, when blender is
> executed on a user's system. This goes back to my previously stated
> principle of "don't assume just because a system _has_ resource X that
> application Y will get that due to user's choices of how that system
> is used overall" (give or take however I originally phrased it).

Memory requirements exist weather they are apart of our minimum-spec
or not, exact details depend on many things out of our control.
System specs are typically quite arbitrary - Of course a poorly
configured system may fail, or a below-spec system may work well with
a tweaked configuration.

The system requirement for memory are mostly to manage user
expectations --- that they will be able to use blenders entire
feature-set,  follow tutorials - etc, without having to do tricks with
swap space or reduce undo memory limit (for eg).

> Oh, and when the minimums do change.. would it be better to do it on
> major 2.x lines? So we don't have users going "Feature X in 2.67 is
> great (despite the crashes).. I can't wait for the stabilized form in
> 2.68, the next minor release. What? I can't run 2.6x anymore _with_ a
> stable feature X?!"
> -Chad
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- Campbell

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