As we covered a couple of weeks ago, Blender 3.0 is going to bring about lots of change, not just at launch, but throughout the life of the product (leading up to 4.0). One of the more major changes we’ll see in 3.0 is the replacement of Cycles with the new “Cycles X”, a complete rewrite of the popular render engine that won’t just pave way for more features, but also improved performance.
If you’ve been following Techgage for a while, you’re probably familiar with our in-depth performance looks at Blender, tackling rendering and viewport performance. To say we’re keen on giving the new Cycles X engine a thorough test would be an understatement, because for the first time in a while, we may see our performance results experience a nice shake-up – perhaps not only with GPU, but CPU, as well.
Blender 3.0 beta
In the past year especially, AMD performance in Blender has been a bit hit-or-miss, so we’ve been especially eager for 3.0 to come along and see where the company’s Radeon optimizations would take us. Well, the company has today announced that it’s released a new beta driver that specifically targets Blender 3.0 and its new Cycles X engine.
In Blender 3.0, the OpenCL option under the system settings is removed, which was a bit of a problem for AMD as that’s what its Radeon GPUs used. Well, the company has worked around this removal with the introduction of the HIP (Heterogeneous-computing Interface for Portability) API that will allow Radeon to continue on rendering as if nothing changed. You can see the new option here:
This move by AMD isn’t one that came out of nowhere. The company has been working with the Blender Foundation to ensure that Radeon users would never be left in a lurch after the transition. AMD’s Professional Graphics Software Development Manager Brian Savery wrote about HIP integration in a blog post, offering quick links to both the 3.0 and AMD GPU driver betas.
According to the current Blender 3.0 development schedule, it appears that the final version will be launching on December 3, which for those not looking at their calendars, is a mere two-and-a-half weeks away. As always, we plan to greet the launch with an in-depth performance report, so stay tuned.