Need Help? Ask us Anything!

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   140 comments
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Ask us Anything in the Comments! 🙂

And don’t forget to include as much info as possible:

  • what PC-Parts have you picked so far?
  • what is your budget?
  • what will you be using your PC for?
  • what Software and Plugins will you be using?
  • and whatever else you can think of! 🙂

 

Alex from CGDirector - post author

Hi, I'm Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I've built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I'll do my best to help out!

140
Comments

Peter Edmondston

Hi, I’m in a similar situation to Ian Hill below but have no idea where to start. I’ve tried looking for the same components plus your motherboard advice but seem to get multiple products when I search for them.
My budget would be higher normally but currently off work. so although a perfect time to learn, money is tight. Could I get started on a lower budget to jump from mac to pc using cinema 4d to model and render in octane?
Is there a low end I can start at and gradually sell parts and upgrade as I develop? I’m used to 30-60 minute simple renders at the moment say anything will be better haha.

Thanks,
Pete

Hey Peter,

Thanks for dropping a line!

The beauty of the Ryzen platform is it’s upgradeability so you can definitely start off with a low-budget build and gradually upgrade to better and more powerful components later on. If I may ask, how much are you willing to spend?

And to give you an idea, a budget of around $1,000 will get you a good base system to start off with. Please see below for the specs:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($199.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: MSI MPG x570 Gaming Plus ATX AM4 ($159.95)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce ($256.30)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($77.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($99.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.29)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($78.42)

The total of the build comes up to around $941.93 and you get a Ryzen 5 3600X paired with 16GB of RAM to ensure decent performance when doing your modeling tasks. It also comes with a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card that supports CUDA core acceleration. This will come in handy when you used the GPU render engines in Octane. And as mentioned earlier, once you get more budget for upgrades, you can then change the CPU to a Ryzen 7 or a Ryzen 9 and your GPU to at least an RTX 2060 or RTX 2070 for more power and better performance.

You can also check out the site’s PC Builder Tool at https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/. Simply indicate your budget using the slider and choose the most appropriate use case scenario and the tool will automatically give you the best recommendations based on your inputs.

Cheers,
Alex

Ian Hill

Hi,
I have been teaching myself c4d on my mac. I am wanting to get more serious and set up a dedicated pc for gpu based rendering (probably octane). I am Selecting components for what i think i would like. But am getting confused when selecting a motherboard. I am looking for something that would be both fast in the c4d viewer (I do a lot of dynamics and sometimes pretty high poly models) as well as fast render times in octane. Here is my current list of components:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core
GPU: (2x) RTX 2070 Super (blower style)
MOBO: ???
HD: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
RAM: Corsair LPX 32GB (2x16GB)
PSU: CORSAIR RMX Series, RM750x
CASE: NZXT H510

I am curious about selecting the right motherboard for dual GPU (I am also open to intel cpu but amd seems to be better for c4d in benchmarks and includes cooler) I am hoping to spend around $200 on motherboard but flexible if there is good reason to spend more.

I am grateful for any feed back on this system and the pc build has been very helpful for getting me started in this project.
-ian

Steve

Hi team, I have 3 MacBook pro laptop with i7 processors 2015 how can I set them up to be a rendering farm for my 2013 Mac Pro?
Thanks
Steve

Aye Min Latt

Hi. I really love your website and help a lot of people.

Can I have some advices of you? I am 3D modeler. Most of my work are modeling and rendering. I built workstaion PC by myself, I spent a lot money on it, but it isn’t quite run smooth well on when come to rendering. I want to upgrade more it to quick and fast and smooth. . Now I found your website and, Can you provide me what should I do with it? here My PC space

CPU-AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX 32_Core 3.00GHz
GPU-NVIDIA Quadro P5000
RAM -Corsair CMW128GX4M8C3200C16 Vengeance RGB PRO 128GB (8x16GB) DDR4 3200 128 GB
OS -Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Motherboard_ROG STRIX X399-E GAMING

Should I change GPU or CPU. I am not really sure.

Hershy Schwartz

Hi I do 3d renderings I use 3ds max and Corona renderer what would you suggest if my starting budget is $1500 and willing to add in the future?

Hey Hershy,

Thanks for asking!

Since you use your CPU for Corona rendering, you want to invest in a CPU with a high core count as that brings about a better CPU rendering performance. If you have a starting budget of $1,500, you can get a build with specs like the below:

Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=yb1xgj00lke

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.89)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 AM4 ($86.46)
Motherboard: MSI MPG x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wifi ATX AM4 ($239.99)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce ($279.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($154.99)
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 QVO 1TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($109.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.29)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($139.59)

The total of the build comes up to around $1499.19 but you do get a Ryzen 9 3900X CPU at the heart of your system. It has 12 cores that comes in handy for your CPU rendering tasks while it’s high clock speed in conjunction with 32GB of RAM will ensure task responsiveness when you’re actively working inside the software.

If you can add around $300 to up your budget to around $1,800, you can get a Ryzen 9 3950X CPU which has a higher core count compared to the 3900X (16 cores vs 12 cores). The 3950X has a slightly lower clock speed but you can be sure that it will still deliver a fast and smooth experience in your workflow.

Cheers,
Alex

Hershy Schwartz

Hi can you please send me a link with the list for the $1800 option

Hershy Schwartz

Hi and if you can send me link for monitor 3k resolution screen for about 250 300
Thank you

Ray

Hi! Love this web, is really helpfull.

I want some advices before spending my money on something Im not sure.

Im looking to build a pc for a 3d modeling and animation. My budget’s top is 1300$

The programs ill be using:
Zbrush
Blender
Substance
Toon Boom Harmony
Photoshop

I was about to buy a pre built pc but I think this is the best way to go.

Thanks a lot!

Hey Ray,

Thanks for dropping a line!

A budget of $1,300 could get you a build like the below:

Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=zq1Dh0h0lkb

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($339.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 ($184.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X ($424.50)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($74.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($109.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.29)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($87.99)

The total of the build comes up to around $1,291.74. It has a Ryzen 7 3800X CPU at the heart of its system working with 16GB of RAM to ensure that you experience a fast and smooth workflow. In addition to that, it comes with an RTX 2060 SUPER GPU with CUDA core acceleration which will come in handy in case you plan on using the GPU render engines. All in all, this build is more than decent enough and should be able to handle your 3D modeling and animation tasks!

Cheers,
Alex

Vihitha

Hello,you have very nicely explained, now I wish to build my own PC so that I understand how it works, the reason why u suggest too.. Frankly speaking I don’t have enough idea about which PC part I should select, I don’t have that knowledge at all, I just got little after reading here. My requirements are
I want a PC
I will be using the following software’s:
Illustrator
Photoshop
Zbrush
Maya
3dsmax
Lightroom
Sketchup
I would like to spend around 1400 USD
Im also thinking of buying a tablet, could you even suggest me that too… The only specification is I should be able to see what I’m drawing.. A pen display.
Please let me know what’s best.

I’m buying a new PC coz I have a old laptop that doesn’t support zbrush. It’s
Lenovo G400s Touch
Intel i3
Nvidia graphic card

Hi Vihitha,

Thanks for asking!

A budget of around $1,400 will get you a build with specs like the below:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.95)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime X570-P ATX AM4 ($147.00)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X ($424.50)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16 ($134.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($109.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.29)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99)

The total of the build comes up to around $1,394.71 but you get a Ryzen 9 3900X working in conjunction with 32GB of RAM so you can expect task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. In addition to that, you get an RTX 2060 SUPER graphics card with support for CUDA core acceleration so you can expect better render performance in case you need to use the GPU render engines.

As for your drawing tablet, it depends on how much your budget is for this. Good options though are the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display, Wacom Cintiq 16, and the Wacom One (2020).

Cheers,
Alex

Vihitha

Hello Alex,
Thank you so much, it was great getting to know your website, was very helpful for me. It was after reading your site that i developed an interest in assembling my own PC. You’v been doing a great help, please continue to do so as u will be inspiring others who may not have muck knowledge on this subject. My budget would be around 30,000 for the pen display. what about the monitor which one should i go with? the VA or IPS panel.

Thank You So Much Once again.

Hi Vihitha,

Thank you for the kind words!

Your budget of 30,000 for the pen display (I assume this is in Rupees) comes up to about US$394. If you add a little more to your budget, you can get the XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro which is priced at around US$399. It is a 15.6-inch pen display drawing monitor with tilt function with good colour accuracy, thanks to its 120% sRGB coverage.

As for what type of panel you should be getting for your monitor, I suggest that you check this article out: https://www.cgdirector.com/best-monitor-graphic-design-video-editing-3d/. This article will give you an idea about the different types of panels, their advantages and disadvantages, and which among these will be best for your use case.

Cheers,
Alex

Vihitha

Hi Alex, Ur most welcome..OK… What about the huion kamvas Pro 13? I’v read about huion too & it’s better that the X-pen.. But I’ve gotten really confused with which one to go for.
I did read your website regarding the panels too already. I’ll be working on graphic designing and using zbrush for 3d sculpting… Not able to go between VA & IPS…
Actually the thing is I have no clue about computers, I’ve just started researching when I decided to buy one PC.. So it’s really difficult for me to decide.
Thank you Again Alex.

Hi Vihitha,

The Huion KAMVAS Pro 13 is also a good option and priced at US$279.00, it is cheaper than the XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro. However, you have to take into consideration the fact that the Huion KAMVAS Pro 13 only has a 13.3-inch display compared to the 15.6-inch display of the XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro. Other than that, the Huion KAMVAS Pro 13 with its 120% sRGB coverage and full-laminated anti-glare glass is an excellent option.

In terms of panel type for your monitor, that would really depend on your budget and use case. In your case where you will be working on graphic design where colour accuracy is very important, it would be best if you get a monitor with an IPS panel. It may be a little more expensive but in the long run, an IPS display will be worth it.

Cheers,
Alex

Mike Shin

HI, I have a couple of Lenovo PC about 7 years old. We do a lot of graphic design using Adobe / Corel.
PC starting to slow during certain applications. Is it worth upgrading the motherboard / HDD etc. or should we just build a new PC. Current Lenovo spec:
i7-3770 @ 3.40 ghz
20 GB ram
1 TB HDD
64 bit OPERATING SYSTEM
Windows 7 pro
intel hd graphics 4000

These have been very good PC, wanting to know if a new motherboard / PC or replace HDD with SSD is likely to make much difference.in terms of speed.
Many Thanks M

Hey Mike,

Thanks for dropping a line!

If you upgrade the motherboard, chances are you’d also upgrade your CPU, your RAM (if your old RAM is no longer supported by your new motherboard), and your GPU. Replacing your HDD with an SSD may bring about a little improvement in terms of speed but the improvement will not be “game-changing,” so to speak, because you will be limited by your older generation CPU.

Taking all that into consideration and if you have the means for it, I suggest that you build a new PC from the ground up for a more significant improvement in your workflow. That said, please feel free to check out the site’s PC Builder Tool found at https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/. This is a web-based tool that gives you the best recommendations in terms of PC components for your build depending on your budget and what you need the workstation for.

Cheers,
Alex

Mike Harkins

How would I go about having someone build me a system using the configuration you have recommended. What I am really looking for is some bit of protection from the standpoint of my making some dumb mistake putting it together…

Ricardo Trindade

Hello Alex,

This question isn’t entirely related with the core of this site, however I think you might have a great insight on this matter, and it might be useful for other readers.

I usually work on two different machines, one at work and another one at home. Because of that and because I use a lot of resources, like textures, images, fonts etc, which are needed on both, I have them stored on an external drive which I always have with me.

So it’s pretty common that I’m working on 3D files or other types of files, which are using resources from the external drive. My straight away question for this is, what do you think of this workflow? Can you share how do you do with your resources, do you have them locally saved on your machine?

I’ve been wondering if this might be the best solution, or if I might be slowing some processes because of the limited speed of and external drive.

Thanks for any help on this.

Cheers.