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Cycles X now in Blender 3.0 alpha!


It finally happened: the groundbreaking Cycles X project has left its embryonic "experimental branch" phase and has just been merged with master, meaning it is now officially part of Blender 3.0!

Cycles X has been announced a few months ago, promising a massive leap in rendering performance thanks to vast overhaul of the aging Cycles code, as well as the inclusion of several next gen technologies to the venerable render engine. It received great reception from the community who could try it in a separate experimental branch, and built anticipation for its ultimate inclusion with the official Blender build.

Well the time has finally come, and the improvements Cycles X brings prove to be worthy of the milestone 3.0 release:

  • Massive performance increase in render times and viewport responsiveness
  • Subsurface Scattering Anisotropy
  • New GPU volume sampling
  • Improved PMJ sampling pattern
  • Improved adaptive sampling and time-based rendering limits
  • OpenImageDenoise upgraded to version 1.4 with improved detail preservation and prefiltering option
  • Re-written shadow catcher with indirect and environment light support, as well as separate shadow catcher pass with colors
  • Baking support for denoising and adaptive sampling
  • Position render pass

And much more

Blender 3.0 is slated for release in early December, but you can download the latest Blender daily build and enjoy the future of Cycles right now on the link below:

About the Author

Mario Hawat

Mario Hawat is a Lebanese 3D artist, writer, and musician currently based in Paris. He is a generalist with a special focus on environments, procedural and generative artworks. Open to freelance work.


  1. Exciting times. When rendering the Barbershop scene with this new Blender 3.0 / CyclesX main branch, I'm struggling to get my GeForce RTX 3090 to hit 100% utilization. I'll have to see if CLI rendering does better

  2. I wish I had a better computer…
    But in my country a good PC that costs 1.000 coins in the US costs in my country 30.000 thousand coins.
    More than half are taxes and the government steals from workers even when they receive their pay.

    But changing the subject
    Success because the Blender Team is the most dedicated I've ever seen. The best team in the world!

    • Eddy
      This might be a suggestion without know the full extent of your circumstances and I am not affiliated to any company just another blender user but what about using external rendering company? Use your existing computer to build and then pay to have the speed work done by one of the companies that offer rendering? Would this help in the short term

      • Hello it's a good idea yes
        I'll take a look at how it works.

        Until I can buy a new PC...

        Very grateful for the idea
        All good for you!

    • There's a free distributed render farm for Blender projects called Sheep-it: I used it a bunch of times and I couldn't be happier - they render your projects for free (as long as you participate a bit) and there's a great community of very helpful people around it. Make sure to check it out, it's insanely useful for people with weaker computers.

  3. wow .. this version appears less stable.
    When I tried to run cycle with it .. just boom out.

    The previous version I am now using Blender 3.0.0A downloaded early Aug works fine on cycle engine.
    As well as the previous version of cycle-X and version 2.92 working fine too on the same blender file.

  4. I just tried it and wow! A scene that was taking 6-7 minutes per frame with a 3090 is now only taking a minute and a half! This is crazy. I'm going to get so much more work done!

  5. Also wondering, do you just select Cycles and boom, that's Cycles X? Does it matter if you have Optix selected? I think it would be good to add that differentiation to the final 3.0 release and say "Cycles X" so that people know, but after testing a bit, it does seem that it is just using the Cycles X engine.

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