Upgrading graphics card for Vray

Morning everyone-

Apologies for posting here rather than the chaos forum… only I’ve found the latter to be massively less responsive, and on the rare occasion someone does reply, it feels like they’ve seized an opportunity to mock my lack of computer knowledge! :rofl:

I’ve got an HP workstation… Z4 I think, with an Nvidia Quadro P2000 GPU. More and more frequently I’m getting the typical error messages relating to lack of memory to buffer when a render is initiated that utilises the GPU (it works fine, but very slowly, using the CPU).

Can I use any Nvidia card that I can stretch to? My understanding is that I can get something circa 8-12GB for circa £500. Is second hand a bad idea?

As there are multiple “slots” (?) in the back of the old girl (sorry- that sounds horrible!) can I leave the old P2000 in there too, or is that just silly/not possible?

I’m dreading opening the computer tower up. It lives on the floor of my office in a cabinetry workshop. The dust is going to pretty biblical I’d imagine. Can anyone recommend one of those computer hoover things? Or just 3d print a delicate nozzle for Henners?

Thanks in advance and have a nice weekend!


yes. there are tons of websites that compare GPU performance, and as long as you pick a more performant GPU than your P2000, you will have better results. Off course a P3000 (if it exists) won’t be as much as a difference as a RTX 4090. But since you are on a budget, you won’t get a super high end one anyway.

I’m sure the “I built my own PC” team will soon come here and help you with possible GPU to buy in your price range : )

depends where it was used. A crypto mining farm ? yeah, run, it’s on its last legs. otherwise no, it’s not a bad idea, it’ll give you access to better gear if you’re on a budget.

well on a “simple” workstation, I’m gonna say probably not.

You could check for a fablab near you. In there you’ll find tinkerers and tech enthusiast, people that will take down their computer for the pleasure of assembling it back again. Fablabs are built around the concept of sharing knowledge, and it’s probable that if you join one and say “hi, I 'm not tech savy, I bought a GPU, can someone teach me how to replace it and good ways to clean my machine” you’ll find help.
(or maybe someone from here is around Maidstone? you never know)

Thanks so much for your response @ateliernab, that’s all the info I need. It sounds like buying graphics cards is like buying woodworking machinery: the used market is to be avoided unless one knows exactly what to look for…

I’ll stretch the budget as far as it can go. There’s no hurry, but it feels like it’s becoming a problem more and more frequently, so soon it’ll be a necessity.

Thanks again!

Hi. Are your models pretty huge? I ask because I routinely render ~40-150mb SU models in V-Ray 6 on a Celeron laptop with 4gb RAM and Intel i650 video with only rare crashes. It can be slow as molasses if, say, I’m using lots of big textures – I now refer to the app as “SketchUp (Not Responding)” – and render times can be long (overnighters), but you can do quite a lot with very little.

One thing a lot of people overlook, is that a Vray subscription usually comes with a few free credits to use their super powerful render farm. You can get a lot of rendering done with those credits and in the process you may decide that rather than buy an expensive graphics card and/or the machine to run it, it may be more cost effective and convenient to use their services going forward. That obviously depends on your own specific rendering requirements and circumstances.

Definitely worth checking it out :+1:

PS - I am not associated with vray in any way :smile:

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Thanks @Saul. No… not massive files at all really… maybe 20-30mb. It’s never been a problem but has been increasingly so recently. I did a quick bit of research on it following the crashes and the error messages and most things pointed to the GPU being insufficient. Buuut- it’s not entirely possible it’s not something else causing the issue. Maybe I’ll reinstall the GPU driver and vray, and check prior to plundering funds.

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Cheers @kevin58, that’s true… I for one have completely overlooked the cloud service. The issue for me is that I do lots of smaller renders, often starting one, then making a small tweak and going again, and so on, doing maybe 3 or 4 jobs a day when I’m not required to actually fabricate something.

Certainly worth remembering though.


I’d you have a file you’ve made where you are seeing the issue - share it here there might be something workflow related that is causing the issue.

For Vray only Nvidia gpu’s are supported, so avoid AMD or intel gpu’s, with 500 pounds you can get an RTX 3070, which is a good one if you don’t work with big files. My recommendation to you if it’s possible, is to wait a bit more, Nvidia is releasing their new gpu’s series 40, with your budget you’ll probably be able to get a 4060 or 4060ti which in theory should outperform a 3070, and they will probably have more vram like the already released 40 series gpu’s have in comparison to the last generation equivalent. If you decide to go for a used gpu, avoid the GTX, those gpu’s don’t have ray tracing cores, so they take a lot longer to render than an RTX and as you were told already, but gpu’s only you’re sure they weren’t used for mining, those ones were working 24/7 for almost the entire pandemic, the most used for mining were the top end ones like the 3080, 3080ti, 3090 and 3090ti, but also some middle and low end could be used for that, during the crypto currency madness people were using whatever they could find to get a portion of a it, that’s why even a low end gpu costed like a top end if you were able to find one. Those were dark days.

Probably not of all that much interest, but I’ve narrowed down the problem with my consistent failures to render… it’s when I try to use the Light Mix render element that it all goes wrong. I suppose that suggests it is certainly my graphics card that needs changing?

It’ll have to wait… found some new machinery to buy for now!!!

Thanks again to everyone for their input.