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Can Stable Diffusion Run on a CPU?

Updated: Jun 25

Old School PC in NEON, enough for Stable Diffusion?

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you can run Stable Diffusion on a CPU? Well, good news! The answer is a resounding yes, but let me add a "but" here – it's not optimal. It's like trying to ice skate on a sandy beach – possible, but not exactly the most efficient or enjoyable experience.

The CPU Adventure with Stable Diffusion - Can Stable Diffusion Run on a CPU?

Stable Diffusion is generally a GPU-loving entity, but there's a fork of it that doesn't mind running exclusively on your CPU. This CPU version has been tested on Linux Mint 22.04 and Windows 10, proving that it's possible to have a date with Stable Diffusion without a high-end GPU chaperoning it.

The Trade-off: Speed for Accessibility

Just remember that this CPU experience is not the fastest. It's more of a leisurely stroll than a sprint. However, it opens up accessibility, allowing users to explore most of the current features like txt2img, img2img, image upscaling with Real-ESRGAN, and better faces with GFPGAN. It's like trading in a sports car for a bicycle. Sure, you can't race down the highway, but you can still get around and enjoy the scenery.

Requirements: The Needful Things

Running Stable Diffusion on a CPU requires a few installations, even including Anaconda, Git, and Visual Studio Community Edition. Yes, even Linux systems need Anaconda! But don't worry; it's not as daunting as it sounds.

An Alternative, Not a Replacement

However, it's essential to remember that running Stable Diffusion on a CPU is an alternative and not the recommended method. It's there for those who don't have access to a beefy GPU, but for optimal performance and the best experience, a good GPU is your best bet.

Interested in going down the CPU-only route? Check out this handy guide on how you can run Stable Diffusion with only a CPU. But remember, while it's possible, it's not the most efficient way to experience Stable Diffusion. Like that ice-skating-on-a-beach analogy, it might be worth investing in the right tools for the best experience.


Leave a comment below to let me know if this information becomes outdated. I will do my best to keep this blog updated as time goes on.

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