Supported videocards

by Florian Findeiss

Graphics Compatibility

Blender requires a 3D accelerated graphics card that supports OpenGL. We strongly recommend making sure you are using the latest version of the drivers for your graphics card before attempting to run Blender. See the Upgrading section below if you are unsure how to upgrade your graphics drivers. Additionally here are some tips to try if you are having trouble running Blender, or if Blender is running with very low performance.

Most consumer graphics cards are optimized for 16-bit color mode (High Color). Try changing the color mode you are using in the Display Properties. Some cards many not be able to accelerate 3D at higher resolutions, try lowering your display resolution in the Display Properties. Some cards may also have problems accelerating 3D for multiple programs at a time - make sure Blender is the only 3D application running. If Blender runs but displays incorrectly, try lowering the hardware acceleration level in the Performance tab of the Advanced Display Properties .

Upgrading your Graphics Drivers

Graphics cards are generally marketed and sold by a different company than the one that makes the actual chipset that handles the graphics functionality. For example, a Diamond Viper V550 actually uses an NVidia TNT2 chipset, and a Hercules Prophet 4000XT uses a PowerVR Kyro chipset. Often both the card manufacturer and the chipset maker will offer drivers for your card, however, we recommend always using the drivers from the chipset maker, these are often released more frequently and of a higher quality. If you are not sure what chipset is in your graphics card consult the section on determining your graphics chipset. Once you know what chipset your graphics card uses, find the chipset maker in the table below, and follow the link to that companies driver page. From there you should be able to find the drivers for your particular chipset, as well as further instructions about how to install the driver.

Determing your graphics chipset

The easiest way of finding out what graphics chipset is used by your card is to consult the documentatioon (or the box) that came with your graphics card, often the chipset is listed somewhere (for example on the side of the box, or in the specifications page of the manual, or even in the title, ie. a "Leadtek WinFast GeForce 256"). If you are unable to find out what chipset your card uses from the documentation, follow the steps below. If you don't know what graphics card you have, go to the Display Properties dialog, select the Settings tab, and look for the Display field, where you should see the names of your monitor and graphics card. Often the graphics card will also display its name/model and a small logo when you power on the computer. Once you know what graphics card you h ave, the next step is to determine what chipset is used by the card. One way of finding this out is to look up the manufacturer in the card manufacturers table and follow the link to the manufacturers website, once there find the product page for your card model; somewhere on this page it should list the chipset that the card is based on. Now that you know the chipset your card uses, you can continue with the instructions in the Upgrading section.

Dispkay Properties

The display properties dialog has many usefull settings for changing the functioning of your graphics card. To open the display properties dialog, go to Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel and select the Display icon, or right-click on your desktop and select Properties.

Advanced display properties

The advanced display properties dialog has settings for controlling the function of your graphics driver, and often has additional settings for tweaking the 3D acceleration. To open the advanced display properties dialog open the Display Properties as described above, then open the Settings tab, and click on the Advanced button in the lower right corner.

Table 1. Card Manufacturers

CompanyCommonly used chipset
Diamond MultimediaNVidia/S3

Table 2. Chipset Manufacturers

CompanyChipsetsDriver Page
NVidiaVanta/Riva 128/Riva/TNT/GeForce 
S3 GraphicsSavage
Trident MicrosystemsBlade/CyberBlade

Graphics Compatibility Test Results

In the table good (or bad) performance refers to the speed of general 3d drawing and is a indication of how well a game will perform. Good (or bad) interactivity refers to how fast the interface responds on the graphics card, and is an indication of how well the graphics card works for creating and editing files. All tests are carried out with the latest drivers we could find. If results on your system do not match ours make sure you are using the latest drivers, as described in the Upgrading section.

Table 3. Card Types

Chipset ManufacturerChipset ModelWindows 98Windows 2000
3DfxBansheeWorks (very poor performance)-untested-
3DfxVoodoo 3000Good performance, Poor interactivityGood performance, Poor interactivity
3DfxVoodoo 5500Works (good performance)-untested-
ATIAll-In-Wonder 128Works (poor performance)-untested-
ATIRage II 3DWorks (poor performance)-untested-
ATIRage Pro 3DWorks (poor performance)-untested-
ATIRadeon DDR VIVOGood performance, Good interactivityGood performance, Good interactivity
MatroxMillennium G200Ok performance, Extremely poor interactivity, Some drawing errors Ok performance, Very poor interactivity, Some drawing errors
MatroxMillennium G400Good performance, Poor interactivityGood performance, Poor interactivity
MatroxMillennium G450Good performance, Very poor interactivityGood performance, Very poor interactivity
NVidiaTNTGood performance, Good interactivityGood performance, Good interactivity
NVidiaVantaGood performance, Good interactivityGood performance, Good interactivity
NVidiaTNT2Good performance, Good interactivityGood performance, Good interactivity
NVidiaGeForce DDRWorks (good performance)-untested-
NVidiaGeForce 2Works (good performance)-untested-
PowerVRKyroGood performance, Good interactivity, Some drawing errors Good performance, Good interactivity, Some drawing errors
RenditionVerite 2200Works (poor performance), Some drawing errors-untested-
S3VirgeOk performance, Good interactivity-untested-
S3Trio 64Works (poor performance)-untested-
S3Savage 4-untested-Works (poor performance)
SiS6326Works (poor performance)-untested-