Next level support for AMD GPUs

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


Blender 3.0 takes support for AMD GPUs to the next level. With improved AMD GPU rendering support in Cycles. Beta available now!

By: Brian Savery, November 11, 2021

We have some exciting developments to share about AMD graphics card support. Blender 3.0 was announced with some rewrites to the rendering engine Cycles (AKA Cycles X). This removed OpenCL support for rendering on AMD GPUs for technical and performance reasons. To help address this, AMD has been working very closely with Blender to improve support for GPU rendering in Blender using the AMD HIP API, to ensure users of AMD graphics cards can take advantage of all the enhancements found in Cycles X.

For AMD GPUs, this will be in Blender 3.0, expected in December 2021.

Previous versions of Cycles, Blender’s physically-based path tracer, supported rendering via the OpenCL framework. OpenCL is a C-based programming language that allows running programs on many GPUs which support it. However, moving forward our partners at Blender were hoping to merge the separate OpenCL code with the C++ CPU and CUDA rendering code. In short, with Cycles X, they were looking for a way to compile a single codebase that could be used on all the different devices Cycles can render on, including AMD graphics cards.

Luckily, AMD has an open-source solution for developers just for that. HIP (Heterogeneous-computing Interface for Portability) is a C++ Runtime API and kernel language that allows developers to create portable applications for AMD and NVIDIA GPUs from a single source code. This allows the Blender Cycles developers to write one set of rendering kernels and run them across multiple devices. The other advantage is that the tools with HIP allow easy migration from existing CUDA code to something more generic. AMD has been working closely with Blender to add support for HIP devices in Blender 3.0, and this code already available in the latest daily Blender 3.0 beta release.

HIP Render Device for Cycles

AMD Support for the Blender 3.0 Beta

To use this with a supported AMD graphics card an updated AMD Radeon Software driver is needed. Today we are releasing a Windows beta driver for users who wish to test out our support for Cycles X in the latest Blender 3.0 Beta release. As this is a beta release of both our driver and Blender 3.0, our support for Cycles X is currently in preview. We will have more to share about our support in December when Blender 3.0 is expected to be launched. (Linux support is expected Q1 2022)

We love the Blender community and are excited to better support it for rendering on AMD GPUs. In addition to our continuing support of the Blender Development Fund, we will continue contributing code to Blender development to benefit users and improve their workflows and experiences. Stay tuned, as there is more to come!

Compatibility: Cycles X in Blender 3.0 is enabled on AMD RDNA™ architecture graphics cards and up, and support has been validated by AMD on the following desktop graphics cards:

  • AMD Radeon™ PRO W6800
  • AMD Radeon™ 6900 XT
  • AMD Radeon™ 6800 XT
  • AMD Radeon™ 6800
  • AMD Radeon™ 6700 XT
  • AMD Radeon™ 6600 XT
  • AMD Radeon™ 6600

Brian Savery

Brian Savery is a Professional Graphics Software Development Manager for AMD.
AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, Radeon, RDNA, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

58 comments 8,976 Views
  1. Hello,
    No chance for the radeon VII to work with HIS ???
    If not, all of the olders cards will stay in 2.9 ?
    Thanks

  2. what about amd radeon pro wx 9100?

  3. Isn’t it quite sad that a flagship open source software like Blender doesn’t support Linux? If you are a Linux user with an AMD card and you wish to try Cycles X like everybody else, you’re just left behind. So much for the open source spirit

    • As you can read in the blog post, Linux support is expected Q1 2022.

      Here at the Blender HQ pretty much everyone uses Linux, it would have been awesome to have support for that together with Windows, but AMD had to focus resources on a single implementation first. Windows being +80% of Blender’s user base, it made sense for it to go first in 3.0 (instead of delaying the entire AMD support until 3.1).

  4. does anyone know how well this is functioning on the first rdna architecture (5700xt)

  5. I have a new 6600 XT, I uninstalled the old drivers (for AMD Adrenalin) and installed the Radeon Beta Driver linked to above. I then installed the latest Blender 3.0 daily build. I selected HIP, renders were very fast, but here are the two problems that arose that caused an immediate uninstall:
    1. A thousand sample render of an image was still very very noisy. That would be OK if I were only rendering a single frame because I could use noise reduction and be done. But in my experience with making animations/movies is that use of noise reduction leaves artifacts (because it processes/smears each frame slightly differently) so you get jittering in the animation (i.e. I can’t use noise reduction to fix this problem.) Increasing the sampling to many thousands more might help, but if it can’t get to a pretty good image in a thousand samples without denoising, it’s a step backward for me.)

    2. Uninstalled AMD Radeon Adrenalin, so that the installing of the custom AMD Radeon Pro would go smoothly, which it did (aside from being scary as hell for this non-programmer who loves his new computer that he waited forever for a GPU for, which has a AMD Ryzen 7-5700G) which I see that this custom driver for Blender 3 has other inhibiting factors (in my opinion) for a serious run at animation rendering (it’s great that one frame is done before things heat up, but if you’re doing a movie…), AMD’s Radeon Adrenalin driver/software (that I had to un-install to put this one in) also has my only method of custom fan control for the GPU (which is needed in this setup). BTW, I have some very taxing games (Space Engine, Flowscape, BeamNG.drive etc. while streaming live on Twitch or YouTube) that don’t push this card above 55 deg. C. but Blender will just keep going higher and higher at 99% GPU utilization (with the 6600 XT specifically selected only), which BTW this Windows 11 computer Task Manager Performance monitor cannot see the correct utilization amount, and reports it at only 2-3% (but the Radeon Adrenalin can see it at 99%!) and when it starts getting into the 80’s C. and still ticking higher, I start worrying. With Adrenalin custom fan settings I can keep things in the 50’s – 60’s at 99% utilization and not even be at 50% fan utilization, but by taking away fan control (because the custom AMD driver for Blender 3 doesn’t have that) one would have to run a separate fan control software (and since like I said, I’m not a programmer, or a hardware guy, nor an overclocker (sorry Jayztwocents and GamersNexus :^) but I still like watching you guys) , now didn’t seem like a good time for me to learn about that (having to be without a GPU to run all my other stuff with custom graphics profiles that is), as I’m doing other things on this machine besides Blender (I love you Blender, Ton and Blender people!)

    Unfortunately the one killer app I wanted this machine for (Blender) didn’t work out that way. Addtionally the whole reason I looked around for a different AMD solution is that I’m currently creating something in Blender “LTS” 2.93.5 and suddenly all the shader nodes dissappeared in the pull-down and only the Principled Shader was available. I figured out a workaround, but that was scary as heck (I use everything nodes-wise but mostly being a procedural rather than UV sticker guy, and Principled doesn’t have a lot of the procedural fun stuff.) Ironically it seems like 2.93.5 might be my last version (or maybe I’ll even have to go back a little now?) for a while until Radeon either builds this custom driver for 3.0 into main Adrenalin (because I need fan unified fan control for everything, not just Blender) that doesn’t have so much noise after 1000 samples or comes out with another Add-on (which I also don’t use the custom AMD add-on for Blender Version 2.8+for several reasons not worth going into here.) So I’ll just sit on the sidelines now and am happy as can be because my re-installation of Adrenalin worked and I won’t be doing that scary driver fiddling again until everything becomes an everyday normal update that plays with AMD without fiddling.

    Very best wishes to Blender and AMD to work these things out over time, I know you can do it, you all rock!!!

    Jason H.

    • if you still wanted to try the other driver you might toy with msi afterburner for your fan control.
      that and rtss had some neat features for osd in games (lots of stats)
      i did have an issue while mining for long periods when i was at work that made me switch from afterburner and rtss though
      for some reason i couldnt keep my system mining for too long im not sure if it was a conflict with adrenaline and afterburner being used at the same time but i ended up going with the aio solution with amds software
      i also dont do any long term rendering yet so i could see it being a nogo for that reason given your requirements

      • Reply to “matthew fitzpatrick”

        Thanks Matthew, I’ll check it MSI Afterburner. If I could keep the fans ramped up I could try several thousand samples per frame in Cycles (it wouldn’t buy me a processing time advantage, but at least I could run Cycles for movie animations (without noise reduction on that is.)

        Best wishes to all. Jason
        ________
        Matthew wrote

        “matthew fitzpatrick
        November 22, 2021
        if you still wanted to try the other driver you might toy with msi afterburner for your fan control.
        that and rtss had some neat features for osd in games (lots of stats)
        i did have an issue while mining for long periods when i was at work that made me switch from afterburner and rtss though
        for some reason i couldnt keep my system mining for too long im not sure if it was a conflict with adrenaline and afterburner being used at the same time but i ended up going with the aio solution with amds software
        i also dont do any long term rendering yet so i could see it being a nogo for that reason given your requirements”

  6. Anybody has benchmarked the new HIP feature??? I very much like to see the benchmarks of AMD vs NVidia.

  7. I guess its a given that 3.0 / 3.1 will support RX 7xxx series with HIP when they launch?

  8. Seems to work with my RX580, can’t believe the performance I’m getting! Prior to this update I had to use my CPU for everything!

    • Really? Are you not joking. All the info says support is initially for RDNA 1 and 2 only.
      How did you do it? Just install Blender 3.0 beta and the AMD beta driver for blender 3.0?

      • I got excited, I don’t think it’s actually working. The scene I’m working on just hasn’t given me any issues yet. Sorry for getting your hopes up.

  9. I recently got a RX6600XT and this is amazing news, my Vega 64 is still in my wife’s computer so I hope that we get support for them also.

    HIP works great in blender, a lot less unstable then OpenCL and pretty fast 🙂
    I rendered the classroom blend file at 300 samples in 1min 28 seconds on the RX6600XT in 3.0
    In blender 2.93 at 64×64 pixels it rendered in 2 min 40 seconds

    Thanks AMD and Blender foundation.

    • At 300 samples and 64×64 tile size the Vega 64 rendered clasroom at 4 min 55 seconds
      At 300 samples and 512×512 tile size the Vega 64 rendered clasroom at 3 min 01 seconds
      At 300 samples and 512×512 tile size the RX 6600 XT rendered clasroom at 2 min 36 seconds

      All rendered in 2.93 in openCL

      • 5600 XT
        “Class room”
        300 samples – 1.42. A bit more than 6600 XT. I’m interesting about 6900 XT results

  10. I hope that in the future there will be support for AMD RX570 Polaris architecture for Blender 3.x.
    Because it’s very hard lately to buy an AMD RDNA GPU considering the price of the GPU which tends to be expensive. I hope AMD can understand the current difficult conditions.

  11. amazing news for AMD user, i just hope for RX 580 Support 🙏

  12. What about RX560??

    • It’s RDNA and RDNA2 only for now. More cards will be added if possible.

  13. This is dope. Installed the driver on my RX5700 and it works perfectly. The viewport rendering performance is awesome. Thanks so much! I got so desperate lately that I almost bought an overpriced nvidia card.

  14. This is amazing. I just gave it a try with my RX6800 and the performance is incredible. Roughly 5x – 6x compared to CPU Ryzen 7 5800. About 2x faster than 2.9 cycles on OpenCL. Hopefully they add Linux support too as it is my primary system.

    • Thank you!

      All i needed to hear. Since my 1080ti has started to show age in current archviz and production renders. Time to order a 6900XT was on the fence due to support lack.

  15. Congratulations but will the GCN architecture see compatibility anytime soon as well? 😀 A lot of people who are on tight budgets but happen to have older hardware would love to spend more time in Cycles.

  16. This is awesome! I’ve been waiting for this. Will this have VDB support by official release?

  17. We need support for RX 5700 XT.

  18. This is exciting. i was always pissed by the fact that AMD GPU’s weren’t supported natively on cycles rendering engine before so that’s why i resorted to prorender–however prorender is also good so no sh*t on it. Cycles is just commonly used and i dont want to miss out :/ Keep it up AMD

  19. If HIP delivers its promises and gives the same amount of performance as CUDA on NVidia hardware, will you drop CUDA to 1)make Blender lighter and simpler? 2)get rid of proprietary solutions inside an open-source project?

    • That’s a really good question! I would love to know this as well.
      AMD has always had a tendency towards Open Source/Standards, very much in contrast to NVIDIA with their “IP makes milking easy” way. So I see AMD as a much better fit for FOSS like blender.

  20. amd yes hope to join the rays against optix

  21. This is a milestone for amd in this field

  22. Oooooh this is amazing news, i hope to see some benchmarks with people running with 6900XT’s so i know if i should get that while its in stock or wait for ages for a 3090 (since the Nvidia 4xxx series and AMD 7xxx series seem to be POWER hungry)

    Would be nice to know the improvements.

  23. Will HIP support go into the regular consumer / gaming optimised driver for AMD GPUs or only the “Pro” GPU drivers?

    • Hopefully the next version will see the removal of the cuda stock and enable hardware ray tracing

    • I experienced it and it was very fast and,hip than opencl experience is very much better, opencl face a very large scene the first rendering takes a long time to prepare (opencl performance actually to the second prevail) hip can do seconds rendering, the first start does not require time to prepare the hardware driver

  24. So no support for 5700 XT cards?

  25. What about older cards and any APUs?

  26. We’re very happy with the AMD support to get this ready in time for 3.0.

    For ongoing user feedback and bug reporting, see this devtalk topic:
    https://devtalk.blender.org/t/cycles-amd-hip-device-feedback/21400/2

  27. What about Vega GPU support?

  28. So eager to give this a try. Thank you for all the work that was put into this from AMD’s and Blender side.

  29. Yay, awesome news, hope the performance will be great.

    HIP HIP hoera

    Hopefully it will be possible to get support for older GPU’s in the future.

  30. I have a MacBook Pro 16″ equipped with AMD 5600M. Could i set expectations on running x cycles on it?

    • I’m disappointed that an RDNA card like my RX5600M can’t get these drivers. I really thought AMD was wanting to make older cards work with recent software…

  31. It looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it out when I get home from work later.

  32. Is this going to work on Linux and open source drivers too? Are NAVI / RDNA older GPUs like the Radeon 5700 XT supported?

  33. should work with 5700?

  34. So RX 580 is not supported? =(

    • If you have a Mac it will probably work in Blender 3.1 and onwards. Cycles is moving to Apple’s Metal API on the Mac and the RX-580 is supported by Metal. It does depend which version of Metal the Blender developers decide to support and which ones support the RX-580, so we’ll have to wait and see. This next part is speculation but if you’re a Linux or Windows user it should also be supported eventually because AMD are still selling that card. If they aren’t planning on supporting a card they still sell then something is seriously wrong in my view.

  35. amd yes yes yes

  36. Is it possible for Vega cards to also see performance upticks, or is this strictly limited to RDNA and up?

  37. What are the implications for Macs here?

    • Apple will move to Metal for Cycles. To my knowledge this should do fine for Macs with AMD GPUs. Waiting for final details still.

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