Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to run Stable Diffusion without a graphics processing unit (GPU)? Or maybe you’re curious about the system requirements to execute such a program? Perhaps you’ve questioned what exactly powers Stable Diffusion — is it your computer’s RAM or its GPU?

In this article, we’re going to explore these queries and provide straightforward answers to help you understand how Stable Diffusion works, whether it’s possible to run it without a GPU, and how to do so if you can. Let’s dive right in.

Does Stable Diffusion use RAM or GPU?

When it comes to the functioning of Stable Diffusion, it actually depends on both RAM and GPU. However, the bulk of the processing work is typically done by the GPU.

This is because Stable Diffusion, like many other AI models, performs a large number of parallel computations. GPUs, with their multiple cores, are particularly good at this. RAM, on the other hand, is used to store the data that’s being processed. The more RAM you have, the more data you can handle at once. But does that mean you can’t run Stable Diffusion without a GPU? Let’s find out.

Stable Diffusion PC Requirements

Running Stable Diffusion on your PC requires some specific hardware. Traditionally, you’d need a good GPU, given that these types of AI models are computation-intensive.

Operating SystemWindows 10/11 (Linux also supported)
Disk SpaceAt least 25 GB of local disk space
CPUIntel Core i7-9850H (for example) or equivalent
GPUNot mandatory for running Stable Diffusion
Processor Speed2.60GHz, 2592 Mhz
Cores6 cores
Logical Processors12 logical processors

Can I Run Stable Diffusion Without a GPU

Yes, you can! It’s a common misconception that a powerful GPU is mandatory for running AI models like Stable Diffusion. While it’s true that having a GPU can significantly speed up the processing time, it’s not a strict requirement. Advances in AI technology have made it possible for these models to run efficiently on CPUs as well. This means even if you don’t have a high-end GPU at your disposal, you can still run Stable Diffusion on your regular PC.

How to Run Stable Diffusion Without a GPU

Source – IMG

1. Get the Right Setup

First things first, you need to ensure that your computer is equipped with the right software to run Stable Diffusion without a GPU.

Download the Installer: This involves downloading a zip installer suitable for your operating system. For Windows users, a specific Windows-compatible installer is available. This installer is designed with all the required components that make Stable Diffusion work seamlessly with your Windows operating system.

Extract the Installer: Once the zip installer has been downloaded, the next step is to extract it on your local disk. Ideally, you should extract this folder under your C: root directory. This is to ensure that the software has the necessary permissions to run effectively and also keeps your directory organized.

2. Prepare Your Environment

Now that you’ve got the installer in place, the next step is to prepare your system environment to run Stable Diffusion.

Run the Setup File: The zip folder that you downloaded contains a batch file named “Start Stable Diffusion UI.bat”. Double-clicking this file begins the setup process.

Download Dependencies: Once you run the setup file, it will automatically start downloading all the necessary dependency files for Stable Diffusion. Be patient, as this process can take a while. The total file size of the dependencies is around 10GB, so it might be a good idea to get a coffee or take a break while the download completes.

3. Configure the System Settings

With the setup process complete and all dependencies in place, you’re almost ready to run Stable Diffusion on your CPU.

Navigate to System Settings: On the Stable Diffusion User Interface that automatically launches after the setup, navigate to the System Settings tab.

Toggle the ‘Use CPU’ Button: Here you will find an option that says “Use CPU”. Toggle this button to switch computation from GPU to CPU. This is essentially instructing the software to utilize your CPU for image generation rather than relying on a GPU.

4. Start Generating Images

You’re now all set to start creating stunning, hyper-realistic images with Stable Diffusion, powered solely by your CPU.

Create Your Masterpiece: Go ahead and enter your desired image prompt, then watch as Stable Diffusion brings your idea to life in vivid detail, all without needing a GPU.

The End

Stable Diffusion on a CPU might be slower compared to a GPU. However, the final image quality should be just as good. This makes it a great option for individuals wanting to experiment with AI image generation, even if they don’t have access to top-of-the-line hardware.