NVIDIA Iray is a progressive pathracing engine, and uses your computer's graphics card in conjunction with the CPU to accelerate rendering when rendering animations and still images.

In order of importance, these are the things you should prioritize when building a system for GPU rendering with ProWalker.

  • Supported NVIDIA GPU with Iray drivers - An NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA computing capabilities is necessary for GPU rendering. The number of CUDA cores is by far the most important specification for rendering with ProWalker GPU.
  • CPU speed - Faster clock speed and greater number of cores generally yields faster rendering, but this is less important than the GPU. ProWalker will only fall back to the CPU if a supported graphics card is not present.
  • RAM - Recommend at least 8GB, though 16GB+ is preferred. RAM does not affect render speed, but too little RAM may prevent you from working on highly complex models.

  Graphics cards with Iray support/drivers:

All RTX, GTX, Quadro and TITAN cards from the Turing, Pascal, Maxwell, and Kepler/Fermi generations are technically supported. ProWalker now fully supports real-time raytracing cores from the RTX line.

Render speed is primarily determined by the number of CUDA cores (the more the better) and the GPU's clock speed. As of June 2020, these are roughly the upper tier of consumer level GPUs from fastest to slowest.

  1. RTX 2080 Ti
  2. RTX 2080 Super
  3. RTX 2080
  4. GTX 1080 Ti
  5. RTX 2070 Super
  6. RTX 2060 Super
  7. RTX 2070
  8. GTX 1080
  9. GTX 1070 Ti
  10. RTX 2060
  11. GTX 1070
  12. GTX 1660 Ti

This is roughly where I would draw the line if I were looking to purchase a GPU for rendering in June 2020. There are plenty of slower cards that will work with ProWalker, this is simply where performance starts to fall off noticeably.

The list order is an estimate based on 3dMark and DirectCompute benchmarks from Passmark, but might not reflect the exact order for Iray performance. Please consult the sources below and do plenty of research before purchasing a GPU.

Workstation cards - Quadro and Titan wokstation class cards were not included in the above list simply because they are in an entirely different budget category. If you are considering a workstation card, see the three links above for rankings.