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Improve Blender Performance on Linux Mint using GPU computation power

20 October, 2015 | Linux

Again, after successfully activated GPU support for Darktable (in order to make good use of the video card capabilities), I wanted the same thing for the (in)famous video editor called Blender. Well, not a video editor per se, but definitely extremely powerful after you get the grasp of it. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of juice from your computer, so a GPU support is more than welcome.


Trying all combinations of howtos and tutorials on the internet with no luck. In User Preferences, under System tab still only CPU Compute option. And then I realized.... that the current official version of Blender from Linux Mint repositories is too old (2.6 something). So, the first step:


Update your Blender to the latest available (using a PPA)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thomas-schiex/blender

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install blender


And then, also very important:


Install an additional openCL package

sudo apt-get install ocl-icd-libopencl1 # package for 64 bit system, 
sudo apt-get install ocl-icd-libopencl1:i386  # for 32 bit system.


Now you should be able to see also some GPU options under the settings.


Note: it's assumed that you already have installed the AMD drivers for your video card. This tutorial was done based on the experience with AMD Radeon R7 250. Your mileage may vary.