CPU vs GPU Krita advice please

Hi all

My old Dell laptop seems to have died!
So need to start looking for a new pc … and I’m thinking desktop will be better alternative to a laptop performance and cost wise.

So what I’m wondering with regards to Krita, is what is more demanding and used best by Krita … CPU or GPU?

I know RAM is important, but I’m also aware that RAM is only secondary as it can’t perform as fast as the actual processors.
I’m also not sure just how much of “3D” acceleration Krita needs and if important at all … should I concentrate more on CPU?
FYI … Im not really much into gaming, play some, but nothing serious, so high end GPU not important to me on that side.

Which CPU & GPU, make and model is another discussion for another time …


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Good CPU, with fast RAM (quantity of RAM is important at least 8GB, 16GB if possible)
If CPU is too strong for RAM (too much cores) finally your computer will be slower than expected :slight_smile:

All computers have GPU now I think, and basic models are enough to display Krita’s canvas (GPU is used to render canvas: zoom, pan, rotation)



This question you should be able to answer yourself. Let’s choose other words to make it graspable.
“How much 3D-Power does a 2D-Application need?”
At some point, in the course of this year, a developer put it this way (analogously): “By and large, the graphics card only paints the images that the CPU has calculated onto the monitor.”
Today, every graphics card is capable of this, but you should keep in mind that you might also want to play a game or watch a 3D animation.
@Grum999’s advice I can only confirm, a good processor and enough RAM is what Krita needs.
If you can afford it, buy even more RAM than 16 GB, Krita benefited in my trials when I allocated more memory to Krita, for example, when editing large files over 5 GB in size.



Wow … files over 5 gig?? What are you painting … multi story wall murals! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
It thanks, yes I thought CPU might be the bigger focus than GPU, just wanted to confirm it.
And yes, I think I’ll start with 16g RAM and upgrade to 32 when the wallet allows.

I think the big question now is which CPU, but maybe leave that for another thread …l

Thanks for that, in a way good to know I can focus on CPU … I will try to get a reasonably half decent card, as mentioned … in case I want to play the odd game or do some minor video or 3D editing … but CPU now the focus along with RAM … didn’t realize that too little could slow pc even with good CPU so will keep that in mind.

Thanks again

@Michelist, well to be fair GPUs don’t only do 3d, in fact todays GPUs are fully programmable and can calculate just about anything your CPU can, just with rather performance characteristics…

But yes integrated graphics should be fine for Krita, so far GPU really only renders a bunch of triangles with a tiled copy of the image, and the brush outline.

It’s probably more important to avoid laptops that only have single-channel RAM, especially if you go for more than 4 cores, because Krita does eat quite some memory bandwidth. Though that often interferes with upgrade options, like either you can’t upgrade (or only by replacing the shipped module and end up with an asymmetric setup that’s not fully dual-channel), or have only single-channel memory until you put more RAM into the available slot.



@redrobin: Actually, I paint nothing special, especially since I’m learning to paint at all. More than simple landscapes they are not, the sizes are at DIN A2/A3 rarely larger, resolution 300 PPI and between 50 and 200 layers, including fill layers, filter layers, transformations, overlays, layer styles.
Okay, half a year ago I also considered this a lot, but the more I try in Krita, the more I use, I am in love with this program, can’t get enough of it!

@Lynx3d: That GPU’s are usually the biggest crowbar in multithreaded performance today and are prevalent in HPC because of their brute computing power, I am fully aware of that. If you look at server boards for HPC, yep, there is typically a powerful server CPU in there, but 8 or more fully wired PCIe Gen 4 x16 ports should make you think.

My concern was to try to answer the question if Krita needs 3D acceleration (compute power). I like verbose/wordy and figurative circumscriptions.


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Well I’m assuming it’s all the layers that add up then , from what I understand. Hopefully in near future I’d be able to have a system that can support such.
I hope to get to a chance to also enjoy Krita to its fullest … Krita feels refreshing to me since working in Photoshop etc.
Thanks for feedback and info.

Firstly , best wishes to everyone for the new year.

Just to follow up and be more specific, would my onboard intel card from 2011 be able to hand Krita solo, without using the external display card?
My old Dells external display is not working any more.
Thinking of reloading Kubuntu with Krita …

Most likely this on-board graphics card will be sufficient. More important is how much RAM you have in the computer and how powerful its CPU is and how many cores it has available, especially with low-end and mobile CPU’s from the time you will most likely not enjoy Krita.
If, like me for example, you have two XEON CPU’s from 2011 and 96 GB of RAM in your PC, then even today it’s more than adequate, it’s a question of the whole system whether a machine is suitable for Krita, but the GPU is the least of the problems.
To be sure you could boot a live DVD/USB with Kubuntu and run the Krita AppImage in it and test Krita, that way you could see if it is enough, but a 2011 dual core CPU with 4 GB of RAM will not be a joy to use.


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