Stable Diffusion PC system requirements: what do you need to run it?

Stable Diffusion is possibly the most popular tool for generating art using artificial intelligence. It’s fast, intuitive, and delivers pretty impressive results. However, if you’re interested in using Stable Diffusion yourself, you should first check that your computer is up to spec, as it can be quite demanding. This also applies to anyone trying to use Stable Diffusion on a Mac.

However, the system requirements of Stable Diffusion are not as simple as those of games or applications, since there are several different versions available.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

What do you need to run Stable Diffusion?

System requirements for stable broadcasting vary drastically between different versions of AI tools. On its initial release, Stable Diffusion required the following to work effectively:

  • 16GB RAM
  • Nvidia graphics card with at least 10 GB of VRAM

However, many other forks and iterations have appeared since then that have lowered the system requirements for Stable Diffusion, while also opening up new options for those with different, but also more limited hardware.

The specifications you need to meet to run Stable Diffusion vary for each fork, but in general you’ll want a computer with:

  • Windows, macOS, or Linux operating system
  • A graphics card with at least 4 GB of VRAM
  • 12 GB or more of installation space. Ideally SSD.
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These are the absolute minimum system requirements for stable broadcasting. With those specs, you probably couldn’t output an image larger than 512 x 512 pixels, and its quality would be lower than if the AI ​​ran on more powerful hardware. The best results and highest resolution images are only possible on some of the best graphics cards, such as the Nvidia RTX 3080 with its 10 GB of VRAM or the new RTX 4080 and 4090, with their 16 GB and 24 GB of VRAM each. .

RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT on a pink background.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Does Stable Diffusion work on AMD graphics cards?

It is not official, but some forks have been created that support AMD graphics cards. The installation process is more involved, but if you follow the steps in this Reddit thread, you should be able to run Stable Diffusion on the latest generation of AMD graphics cards, although you’ll see much better performance on AMD GPUs with at least 8GB. of VRAM.

Does Stable Diffusion work on Intel graphics cards?

Like AMD GPUs, Intel graphics cards do not officially support Stable Diffusion. However, there is a fork that supports it. OpenVino supports Intel Arc graphics cards, although it works better on higher-end models.

Does Stable Diffusion work on Apple M1 processors?

Yes, but again, you’ll need to use a special fork designed with this compatibility in mind. InvokeAI is currently one of the most popular with full support for Apple M1 chips. It requires at least 12 GB of system memory and 12 GB of installation space.

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As with other forks, you’ll be able to generate higher resolution and more accurate images with more powerful versions of the M1 chip.

Can Stable Diffusion be run without a GPU?

Yes, and there are several possible ways to do it. You can use Stable Diffusion online through DreamStudio, without any hardware requirements.

If you want to run Stable Diffusion without a dedicated graphics chip, you’ll need to use one of the forks specifically designed to work with CPUs only. OpenVino is a popular solution and works with AMD and Intel CPUs as well as Intel GPUs. It runs much slower than when running on the GPU, with individual passes taking several minutes even on powerful CPUs, and you’ll want to do multiple passes in most cases, but there is an option for those who want to try Stable Diffusion without a GPU. .

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