You may not know this, but if you have an nVidia GPU, you can use it to speed up your Cycles renders! Here’s how you do it:
- If your render settings look like this, you are not taking full control of your GPU.
- Press Ctrl+Alt+U (or go to File>User Preferences).
- In the User Preferences Window, go to the System tab. At the bottom left, press CUDA. Select your Graphics Card in the menu.
- Back in the Properties Window, select GPU Compute from the dropdown menu.
Now you are rendering with your GPU! 😀
Notes: This will only work with newer nVidia GPUs and in Cycles Render. Blender Internal does not allow rendering on GPU.