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Building the best Cinema 4D Workstation Computer (Updated)

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex  ⋮   ⋮   237 comments
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It’s always fun to research new hardware components to make your new Workstation or Computer work as fast as possible in your desired Programs without having to spend an arm and a leg.

Making sure your hardware is not slowing you down when spending valuable time on the Computer is of utmost importance.

This is why I have put together this Guide to building the best bang-for-the-buck Cinema 4D PC and Workstation.

This Guide also works great for a Best Blender PC or Best 3ds Max PC, Maya, XSI, you name it.

All of these 3D Animation Software Packages tend to work very similarly! But I will focus on Cinema 4D in this Article.

But first, let me say this:

Don’t buy a pre-configured Workstation!

Don’t buy a pre-configured Workstation, as these are ridiculously over-priced. The PC-Parts I recommend in this Article will cost you roughly 1750$.

Build your own Workstation!

Building it yourself is probably the most fun part of getting a new Computer.

If you have never built a Computer before you might think: I don’t know how! I might end up breaking something.

Let me tell you this: If you know how to put together a Lego set, you can build a Computer.

Here is how:

If you don’t think you want to build it yourself, many shops offer to put together the hardware you chose for some extra money.

That said, what I could do now, is just list a few Hardware parts and say: “Hey, buy that, it’s the best.” Unfortunately it’s not quite that easy.

What the best Computer for Cinema 4D is, really depends on your use case. Are you mainly Animating? Modeling? GPU Rendering? CPU Rendering? Simulating? Texturing?

This List could go on and on so what I will try to do here when People ask me what the best Computer for 3D Animation, the best Workstation for 3D Modeling or specifically the best Computer for Cinema 4D is,  is configure a Workstation that makes most of the stuff an average Cinema 4D User uses, run the best it can. With “most of the stuff” I mean:

  • Animating: Great performance
  • Modeling: Great performance
  • Texturing: Great performance
  • Simulating: Good average performance
  • CPU Rendering: Good average performance
  • GPU Rendering: Good average performance

So here goes:

Best Hardware Parts for Cinema 4D

The Best CPU for Cinema 4D: Intel i7 8700K or i9 9900K

Wait, What?

A 6-8 Core CPU for a 3D Software? Couldn’t I easily get an AMD Threadripper or Intel Xeon CPU that has much more cores with better rendering performance…?, you might ask.

You could, but you shouldn’t.

Let me explain why:

Your work hours are much more expensive and valuable than the computer’s work hours. You can easily bill a client tenfold for your own working hours, compared to your computer’s render-time.

If this Computer will be your Workstation for actively working on your projects, you will want the fastest feedback and Viewport as possible.

A slow Viewport and lagging Clicks is something we want to avoid or at least reduce as much as possible or you will end up becoming frustrated, work slower and probably lose quite some motivation.

The Computer should not slow you down when actively interacting with it.

You will want real-time playback when animating your characters, sculpting on millions of polygons or set-dressing some hundreds of thousands of trees into your environment.

Every split second here counts.

Many Cinema 4D features like deformers, generators, and cloners are calculated on the processor using only a single CPU-core. This is where you will want the fastest possible core speed.

As CPUs have temperature and power limitations, this is how it usually is set up: A CPU with fewer cores can clock very high and a CPU with a lot of cores has to clock fairly low so it doesn’t get too hot or draw too much power.

This, fortunately, leaves us with some great CPUs to pick from:

The Intel i9 9900k has a 3.6 GHz base clock and a 5.0 GHz Turbo Clock to make your viewport refresh as fast as currently possible.

It is the CPU with currently one of the highest Cinebench Single-Core Scores on the market. With decent cooling, you can also overclock it.

The i7 9700K or i7 8700K, although slightly lower tier, offer similar speeds but can be bought at a better price point.


Intel CPUs come at a price, not only because they are having some difficulties with satisfying demand. If you would like to go with an AMD CPU, that are offered at an excellent value, the AMD Ryzen 2700X is the CPU to get for best active work performance.

RAM: 32+ GByte DDR4 (Look for high Clock Speeds, low CL latency)

RAM prices have unfortunately increased in the last couple of months but 32GB helps when you have large scenes (high polycounts, displacements…) and textures, or multiple applications open at the same time.

I recommend the Corsair LPX Vengeance 2x16GB 3000MHz RAM Kit.

Graphics Card: Nvidia RTX 2070

There is no need to get an overpriced Nvidia Workstation Graphics Card (Quadro). Since the bottleneck in viewport speed is almost always the single-core CPU performance, a “Gaming” Graphics Card such as the Nvidia RTX 2070 8GB will be more than enough.

GPU Rendering

If you are planning on rendering with your GPU (Redshift3D, Octane, VRAY RT …) you should consider the Nvidia RTX 2070 8GB, RTX 2080 8GB or even the RTX 2080ti 11GB. Get a quick overview of how powerful different GPUs are with the Redshift Benchmark List here.

The important part here is how much VRAM you will need to render your scenes and if your render engine can use system memory if the scene is larger than the VRAM.

The Nvidia RTX 2070 currently offers the highest value in many benchmarks and also pulls ahead in price/performance ratio in Octanbench. Highly recommended!


The Asus Prime Z390-A is a great LGA-1151 (v2) Motherboard choice that supports CPU overclocking and up to 3 GPUs. It has 4 RAM Slots for a max of 64GB of RAM.

Hard Drive / SSD

You should definitely go with the new M.2 form-factor type drives such as the Samsung 970 PRO/ EVO. These are blazingly fast. Be sure your Motherboard has a socket that supports PCIe-speeds on M.2, though this has pretty much become standard nowadays. (The Asus Prime Z390-A has this support)

Cinema 4D does not heavily rely on Hard Drive performance (mainly just for loading and saving scenes), so you could easily save some money here and go with a slightly slower Samsung 860 EVO SSD, which is still very fast.


I recently built these parts into a Corsair Carbide 400C Case, which I am very happy with. If you are thinking about adding 3+ GPUs though, you will want to look for a bigger case.


This Workstation will give you roughly 2077 R15 Cinebench Points (CPU: i9 9900k), which is good for CPU-rendering. This PC though was configured as a Workstation and not a render-node, meaning: “As little delay as possible while actively working on Scenes”.

So, good for Rendering and excellent for active work.

Cinema 4D PC Build

Here is an excellent allround Cinema 4D Build I put together for you with all the compatible parts:

Cinema 4D Render-Node or Rendering Workstation / Best Computer or Workstation for 3D Rendering

Now, let’s take a look at what the best PC configuration for 3D Rendering would be. If you are looking for fastest CPU-render-speed the Processor configuration will have to go into a different direction, namely:

The maximum number of CPU Cores.

The AMD Threadripper CPUs such as the 2920X, 2950X, 2970WX or the new 2990WX (32Cores!) have excellent Multi-Core Performance. I highly recommend these CPUs, and they have an outstanding price/performance ratio compared to Intel CPUs.

Check this Link to find the best performing CPUs for Rendering in Cinema 4D.

Here is a Render-Focused Build I put together for you, with maximum Multi-Core Performance at an affordable price:


Custom PC-Builder

If you want to get the best parts within your budget you should definitely have a look at the Web-Based PC-Builder Tool that I’ve created.

Select the main purpose that you’ll use the computer for and adjust your budget to create the perfect PC with part recommendations that will fit within your budget.

Be sure to check it out and please feel free to send feedback my way!

CGDirector PC-Builder Tool

PC-Builder Facebook Title Image


What type of Computer are you building? Feel free to ask for Build Advice in the Comments!

Liked this Article? Support us by spreading the word :)
  • 28

Alex from CGDirector - post author

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

I have 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!



hi alex, thanks for this good information about building workstation pc for cinema 4d, im not ready to bulding this one but before that i want your help to answer this , i want use cinema 4d, primier, Ae and photoshop in feauture pc , what a best pc for this recomanded? and what do you think about Apple Mac Pro desktop with 3.0GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5 ?


What do you think about getting a Macbook Pro? Maybe the new one that was just announced. And couple it with an eGPU? The Macbook Pro is expensive but if you had one anyway for other work, would this be a bad solution? Just plug it to an external monitor you already have, but buy an eGPU?
A simpler way to put it – if you already had a top of the line Macbook Pro and an external monitor, what would make more sense – using it with an eGPU or spending the same amount of money for a PC?

The goal would be to use the next C4D that will probably have Redshift built in.



Hi Alex, awesome article and very informative. I would like to know what is the best workstation to build for cinema 4D with a budget of 4000€. I will use octane / arnold render for live preview before final render.
Do you think its a good idea to go with this cdu:

Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme 18×3,0 (Boost 4,4)? Instead using I9 9900K!

The workstation will be built for macOs.

I appreciate your help and your great effort.
Thank you,

Paulo Caldas

Hi Alex great Job! Love your website!
I´m mooving from a Mac user to PC, so i could start to use redshift.
I was thinking about building a PC like this, do you think the power supply should be enought? And the case sizeXcooling system is not gonna heatup while rendering?

I9 9900K
ASUS Prime Z390-A
Corsair HX1000i 1000W
SAMSUNG 500Gb Série 970 EVO
HD 6TB WesternDigital
Monitor Asus 27
Monitor Asus 27
Gabinete Corsair 400c
BE QUIET Dark Rock Pro 4 135 mm
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB GDDR6
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB GDDR6

Great thanks! keep the good work!


Hi Alex,
Im a total Mac guy and know literally nothing about PC’s. Having got into C4D in a big way last year I have managed to convince my work to update my rather slow Mac for a purpose built PC (never thought I would say that!). Your post is so informative and plan to use it as the basis for my pc. I will have a pretty decent budget and was looking at something like the below…

– CPU: Intel i9 9900K (3.6 GHz base clock and a 5.0 GHz Turbo Clock)
– CPU Cooler: BE QUIET Dark Rock Pro 4 135 mm Silent Wings Fan CPU Cooler
– RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz
– Graphics Card: Nvidia MSI GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING Z 8G,
– Mainboard: ASUS Prime Z390-A LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) ATX DDR4 DP HDMI M.2 USB 3.1 Gen2 Gigabit LAN???
– SS Drive: Samsung 970 PRO 1 TB V-NAND M.2 PCI Express Solid State Drive
– Case: Corsair CC-9011078-WW Obsidian Series 750D Airflow Edition Windowed Full Tower ATX High Airflow Performance Computer Case
– Power supply: Corsair RMX Series RM750x ATX/EPS Fully Modular 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply Unit???

Firstly, I don’t know if the mainboard and power supply would work with this set up?
I mainly use the adobe suite AI, PS, IN, AE and C4D, but I mostly use Arnold renderer in CInema so not sure if the Intel i9 is still the best option?

I want to try and get the best spec possible but don’t want to spend extra money for the sake of it and knowing nothing about PC’s… Its a mind field!

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,


Hi Alex, your post is the best on the internet, pretty useful, and detailed. Really, i’ve read all of them, in this agrumentum, subject.

I’ve two short question.
Config plan,
For 3D modelling,texturing.
durability, quiet less noize, lower temp, stability and fast VIEWPORT performance is important without manual OC.
(sw: C4D or Houdini+RedShift3D, AE, ZBrush, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop )
(not additional GPU planed in this config)
—Thermaltake Core X9 Black Cube
—PSU Corsair HX1000i
—ASUS TUF Z390-Pro
—i9-9900K+Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut+Noctua NH-D15
—G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x16GB 3200 DIMM 288 C16 (?)
—1x Gigabyte RTX 2080 Ti Aorus XTREME Waterforce 11GB
—1x 1TB M.2 Samsung EVO 970 Plus 3500MB/s Read ‘MLC’, 600000 IOPS
—Acer Predator XB273K 27”+Club3D – DisplayPort 1.4 VESA Certified cable 5meter
[4K 3840×2160,IPS,VESA HDR400,90%DCI-P3, 120Hz – 144Hz(OC) G-SYNC, 4ms latency, 10bpc(8+2), quantum dot pxs]

2×16 G.Skill C16 3200MHz Ripjaws V or 2×16 Corsair LPX 3200MHz C16 ?

ASUS TUF Z390-Pro or other? (no OC needed, only stability is important)



New, a bit updated edition (more reilable mobo):

—Thermaltake Core X9 Black Cube
—PSU Corsair HX1000i
—GigaByte Z390 Aorus Ultra
—i9-9900K+Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut+Noctua NH-D15
—G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x16GB 3200 DIMM 288 C16 (?)
—1x Gigabyte RTX 2080 Ti Aorus XTREME Waterforce 11GB
—1x 1TB M.2 Samsung EVO 970 Plus 3500MB/s Read ‘MLC’, 600000 IOPS
—Acer Predator XB273K 27”+Club3D – DisplayPort 1.4 VESA Certified cable 5meter
[4K 3840×2160,IPS,VESA HDR400,90%DCI-P3, 120Hz – 144Hz(OC) G-SYNC, 4ms latency, 10bpc(8+2), quantum dot pxs]



Asus ROG Strix Core i7 8th Gen – (16 GB/1 TB HDD/256 GB SSD/Windows 10 Home/4 GB Graphics) GL503GE-EN270T Gaming Laptop (15.6 inch, Black, 2.6 kg)


Hi Alex
I’d love to get some advice on this.
I am mainly using c4d with vray, cpu rendering of still images only – but some scenes are fairly big and complex. I am looking for something that allows me to model and texture fast and also gives me a good turn around time when rendering.
I live in South Africa so not all components are available here, so far I have selected this:

Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6GHz Octa Core 14nm Coffee Lake Socket LGA1151 Desktop CPU – Cooler Not Included
Samsung MZ-76E500BW 860 EVO 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Windforce 8G GV-N2070WF3-8GC 8GB GDDR6 256-bit PCI-E 3.0 Desktop Graphics Card
Gigabyte B700H 700W 80 Plus Bronze Certified Semi Modular Desktop Power Supply
Asus Z390M-Plus Prime Intel Z390 Coffee Lake LGA1151 Micro-ATX Desktop Motherboard
Corsair CMK64GX4M4A2133C13 Vengeance LPX 64GB (4x16GB) 2133MHz DDR4 CL13 1.2V Desktop Memory

I am also not sure what kind of case would suit this built and what coolers I would need.

Thanks so much for your help


Hi Alex. I’m starting to learn Houdini. What’s best? More clock or more cores? I just got an i9 9900k. Am I okay with it? One of these articles for Houdini and vfx would be great. Thanks, and keep up the great work.

Dion Imbach

Hello Alex,

I know that the i9 9900K is the fastest and best CPU for single core processes in C4D.

But how do you really feel the differences between the CPUs?
Intel i9 9900K, Intel i9 9980XE, AMD Ryzen Thread Ripper 2990WX

I just mean SingleCore processes like working in Cinema 4D like:
Simulation of dynamics and MoGraph material, solid modeling, handling of polygons, pre-computation of rendering jobs like Ambient Occlusion and Global Illumination. Maybe you work with X-particles (but I think that’s MultiCore or not)

I find that very hard to estimate and need decision support for the best CPU to work and render.

Or. I could run the actual rendering synonymous externally on a second computer. But how does the particle calculation in X-Particles or Houdini FX behave if these are multi-core processes and my main workstation is a 8 core processor like i9 9900K?

I would be very grateful for an answer


What do you think about this build for 3D modeling + gpu rendering.

— Asus Prime Z390-A
— Intel Core i9-9900K
— Samsung 970 EVO 1TB
—Corsair 4x16GB DDR4 3200
—ASUS RTX2080ti 11GB Turbo x2
—BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 4 250W
—Corsair AX1000 PSU (enough?)
—BeQuiet SilentBase 601

Thank you very much.


Hi Alex,

I am going to build my first PC and will be using it for GPU rendering with C4D & Redshift / vRayRT / Octane.
I used your Custom build tool so I’m sure it’s great, but below is what I got:

CPU AMD Threadripper 1920X
CPU Cooler be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4
Graphics Card #1 NVIDIA RTX2080TI – Asus Turbo
Memory(RAM) 32GB Corsair Vengeance LPX Kit DDR4-3200, CL16-19-19-36
SSD Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB SATA
Mainboard MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ATX TR4
Power Supply Corsair Professional Series Platinum AX760 760W
Case be quiet! Silent Base 601

I had a couple questions:
1/ Is this a good setup and will I be able to render stuff in near real time with this?

2/ is that GPU good in general? I read some average reviews online so am just checking. I am planning to add more GPU’s in the future.

3/ Are the Asus Turbos RTX2080TI – better than the geforce RTX 2080 ti which seem cheaper?

4/ finally, can I mix and match GPU’s or do they all need to be the same brand? IF I can mix, which top notch one would you recommend I get next?

Thank you so much!


Hi Alex,

I’m right looking for invest in a new Render Beast, able to let me do a lot of “dynamic” Work (Cinema 4D -> modelling, texturing, big scenes with lot of polygons and models, vectorworks, Photoshop, InDesign) and regular High-end Renderings.
I have a confortable Budget to build it, and try to get the best invest possible (but i’m not so familiar with the big amount of separate Components it give on the market…).

I came on your website and find a lot of interestings articles, wich let me get a better understanding of all. Thank you very much for that!

I was thinking to let build the following Configuration, can you tell me what do you think about it? it will be really helpfull, to be sure i invest the right Money in the right material…).

I use till now only CPU Rendering, and will stay by such a way to work.

First Config I may buy:

CPU : Intel i9 9900X 3.5-4.4Ghz 10 cores
GPU: Asus Nvidia RTX 2080 Strix o8G, 8GB GDDR6 (or maybe RTX 2070?)
GPU cooler: be quiet Dark Rock 4
Mainboard: Asus WS x299 Pro
RAM: 64GB 8x8GB 2666Mhz
+be quiet 750W dark power pro

Can you tell me what do you think about this Configuration?maybe it give some Components to switch individually to get a better ratio between price/ performance? or some parts they definitely had to be changed in this Config?

thank you for your feedback, Cheers!


Hello Alex,

How to get the following system to be able to do professional work for cinema 4d ?

CPU AMD RYZEN 7 2700X 4,35GHz 20MB AM4
Mainboard MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon Soket AM4 AMD X470 ATX 7B78-002R
Graphics Card MSI GeForce RTX 2060 GAMING Z 6G 6GB GDDR6 192bit
Memory(RAM) GSKILL 16GB (2x8GB) SniperX DDR4 3200Mhz CL16 1.35V Dual Kit Ram
PCIE-SSD Samsung970 Evo Plus NVMe M.2 Sata Ssd Disk 500GB MZ-V7S500BW AD256SAM196
Power Supply Seasonic FOCUS PLUS 750W 80+ Gold (SSR-750FX)


CPU Intel Core i9-9900K 3.60GHz 16MB Soket 1151 14nm
Mainboard Asus Prime Z370-A Intel Z370 Soket 5-V.2 Ddr4 4000Mhz(Oc)
Graphics Card MSI GeForce RTX 2060 GAMING Z 6G 6GB GDDR6 192bit
Memory(RAM) GSKILL 16GB (2x8GB) SniperX DDR4 3200Mhz CL16 1.35V Dual Kit Ram
PCIE-SSD Samsung970 Evo Plus NVMe M.2 Sata Ssd Disk 500GB MZ-V7S500BW AD256SAM196
Case CORSAIR Carbide Series 270R CC-9011105-WW
Power Supply Seasonic FOCUS PLUS 750W 80+ Gold (SSR-750FX)


Hey Everyone, I stumbled across this site when I was looking to purchase a beefed up PC. This site helped a lot so thanks a lot!

I had an older macbook pro (mid 2012) and really wanted to upgrade to help the overall workflow.

In past tests, I’ve seen great improvements using the 8700k compared with the stock 2.3ghz CPU in the Mac, but I just did another test and was a bit disappointed.

It was a fairly simple scene. Spheres, randomized, HDRI background, global illumination and depth of field using the physical renderer. I felt like the render time weren’t blowing me away on the new PC, so I brought the same file over to my old MBP to test. The PC rendered at 1:05 and the Mac was 1:06!??

I’ve done other tests and the PC is usually around 4 times as fast compared to my older Mac. BUT….in this test it was essentially even.

I’m going to try and post this concern in other places, but this webpage popped up where trying to troubleshoot so I figured I’d ask to see if anyone thinks this is strange, or makes sense.

Thanks in advance!


I see most of the people here are somewhat knowledgeable about PCs. Is there a way you can make an updated Youtube video showing us how to build such a beast.


Hi, which one would you recommend for photoshop, InDesign, ARCHICAD 2D/3D and faster rendering??? I can’t decide on Intel or AMD.

Option 1 – Intel

CPU: – Intel® Core™ i7-8700 | 4.6 GHZ | 6 Cores 12 Threads
MOTHERBOARD (ZEAL) : Z390 Extreme 4 Motherboard
CPU COOLING SYSTEM (DESKTOP) : WATERCOOLING : AFTERSHOCK Glawater coolingsed loop watercooling
MEMORY (RAM) : 16GB DDR4 3000MHZ Black Edition Ram with Heat Spreader (8×2)
Primary Solid State Drive Bay : 250GB SAMSUNG 970 Evo NVMe M.2 SSD
CHASSIS FANS : Standard Chassis Fans

Option 2 – AMD Ryzen

– CPU- AMD Ryzen 7 2700 – 8 Cores 16 Threads
– Motherboard – ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Motherboard
– Memory – Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2666MHz (2x8GB) DDR4
– Graphics ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2070 8GB
– SSD – Samsung 970 EVO 250GB M.2 SSD
– HDD – Seagate BarraCuda 2TB HDD
– Power Supply – Corsair CX550M 550W Bronze ATX Power Supply
-Fan – 3x Bitfenix Spectre 120mm RGB Case Fan


Hello Alex!
Thank you for all your valuable help.
I’m trying to build my first pc workstation to use mainly with c4d, octane and redshift. I’m using an imac for all the design work so i wanted a pc that i can focus mostly on 3d and take advantage of the gpu rendering.
I’m a bit confused with the “pc-builder” system since you are having 2 different paths, one is “GPU rendering” and the other “3D Modelling and Animation”. I was hoping to build a workstation capable of doing both effectively since it will be the only dedicated machine for my 3d work. What would you suggest for a powefull all around gpu render workstation.

Thank you!


Hi Alex, Thanks for the article! I am about to purchase a build to be used primarily for GPU rendering with Octane Render in C4D, but also some After Effects / Adobe PS, AI etc. I’ve been a long time mac user so It would be great to get some final feedback before I go ahead.

Heres a link to the build:

Couple of notes – My max budget is £3500ish. I plan on adding 1 or more GPU’s later. The case is ATX and the motherboard CEB but from what i’ve read this has the same mounting holes so should fit. For the 2080Ti I was thinking of holding out for the release of the EVGA hybrid edition to keep temps and noise down. Any feedback or advise would be greatly appreciated 🙂

Ihab El Shazly

Hey Alex, i’ve been using a mac mini and its time to move to a pc. i’m working on cinema 4D and adobe after effects .

Here are the specs:

– AMD RYZEN Threadripper 1950X 16-Core 3.4GHz Socket TR4 180W Desktop Processor

– Gigabyte X399 AORUS Gaming 7 Socket TR4 Motherboard

– Aorus ATC700 CPU Cooler

– Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4 2400MHz C16 V1.2 Memory Kit

– Gigabyte Geforce 1080 8GB

– Samsung 970 EVO Series 250GB SSD

– Seasonic SSR-750FX Focus Plus Gold 750W 80 PLUS GOLD PSU

– NZXT H500 Mid Tower Case

I don’t think i can afford intel processors.

I need help making sure that all these parts can go well together, no bottleneck . or any advices from your point would help a lot.

Thank you


If you had to absolutely just buy a pre-made workstation with all the specs you mentioned, or lets say you simply do not have time to build one. What company would you say is the best to approach. Best in value, customer service and won’t rip you off.


Hi, Ive been using a 2011 MacBook pro and its time to upgrade and swap to pc as its way too slow. I need to do modelling, particles, simulations, rendering etc. I need the viewport to be fast and rendering fast. Can you please recommend what I should get. I can spend about AUD$5k

Gavin Strange

This is such a useful site, thank you! I’ve stumbled across this post as I’m a long-time Mac user, which I use for After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere etc but I’m getting more and more into Cinema 4D, and am tempted to build a PC to get me using Octane (I’, right in thinking Octane simply wont work on Macs because of AMD?)

Anyways, do you think it’s possible to build a ‘starter’ PC for $1000, with it being slanted towards GPU-rendering for Octane? Or do I need to spend more than that?

Thanks so much for a great resource!


Hi i’m building a new computer from my old one but i can’t buy everything in the same time (low burdget) so i’d like to know your suggestion about it. I need a “good” workstation for 3D modeling, texturing, sclupting… Rendering is not my priority for now.

My old build (i know it’s ridiculously old !) :

-motherboard: asustek P8Z77-V LK
(memory = 4 x DIMM, Max. 32 Go, DDR32400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered )
-CPU: i7 2600k (4 cores, base: 3,4 turboboost: 3,8)
-CPU cooler: i have a good one but i don’t remember which brand
– power supply: don’t remember either but it’s probably enought
-GTX 560 (yes…)
– 4 x 4 Kingston DDR3 pc3 10700
– SDD: an old 128 Go i’ll change it to get more Go

New build:

-GPU: RTX 2080 (probably the EVGA- GeForce RTX 2080 XC gaming)
– CPU: the old i7 2600k (if it’s okay for the RTX 2080 for now and later i’ll probably upgrade for the i7 8700K you recommanded)
-RAM : 2*16 DDR4 3000 or 3200 depending on price or offer, i have to find the cheapest.
– motherboard: haven’t checked yet but i obviously have to change it for the RAM limitation. I’ll go for the cheapest againn maybe the one you suggested if it’s a fair price, I don’t want to be limited later when i’ll upgrade again.

My principal concern are about the compatibility between the RTX 2080 and my old i7 2600k. I also see offen speaking about RGB Memory, i’ve no idea what is it and if i have to look at this feature for my new RAM kit.
And of course if you have any suggestions about cheapest “good” motherboard and Ram they’re more than welcome.

Thx you


Hey Alex! I am new to cinema4d and the world of motion designers. I use cinema4d for modelling and to create animations such as loop animations. I currently have a MacBook pro touchbar but it takes a lot of time for rendering and using c4d is sometimes slow. Also, my laptop has become slower. I decided to switch to pc desktop but have no idea how to do it! Your article is very helpful really, and it made things clearer but I still feel like I need help as this is my first time building a workstation and also not that old c4d user. As an Economics student, I really don’t get all the details I read concerning building my pc… Btw my budget is $1000 USD. I would really appreciate some help, thank you in advance!


Hi Alex! Great post, thank you very much. It looks one of the best CPU is the 9900K, A bit better than a 7940x. But 9900K has only 16 PCIe lanes, 7940x has 44 lanes. I’m planning a 3x SLI system with 1080 cards for Cinema 4d with Octane. Is there a speed difference between a 9900K system (PCIe 8×1080 + PCIe4x1080 + PCIe4x1080) and a 7940X (PCIe 16×1080 + PCIe16x1080 + PCIe8x1080)? So how Cinema 4d uses lanes? Do I have to count with them?


hey guys.. just wanted to thank you – I built my PC (after 20 years of Mac usage) on the base of this post.. the machine runs smoothly with octane and the only hickups that occured were windows-related (still sucking a tad bit from a Mac point of view).. thanks a bunch!!


Hi Alex,
Thanks so much for posting this, it’s so helpful! I just wondered if you have any advice for students starting out with Cinema 4D? I’m a student wanting to run an educational license of Cinema 4D & need to completely upgrade to a new system that is capable of handling the program. As I don’t yet have any experience using the program, I’m not really sure how I’ll be using it, but mostly I just want to be able to fiddle around & work out a few things and generate some 3D animation… would I be best following your first lot of advice to build a system which makes most things work to a good standard? Are there any systems pre-built that you would recommend that would be worth investing in for the time being while I’m a student just to learn the program and then I could look to upgrade when I want to start doing more/possibly working.
Thanks for your help! Hannah


Hello Alex i was hoping for some advice to upgrade my build for my 3d hobbies. I’m torn between another 1070 to run dual sli for gpu rendering, however i feel with the new rtx 2080ti cards out (which i doubt id pay 1200 for one graphics card at the moment) i was thinking of maybe getting just the 2080 or maybe just a 1080ti not sure which would be better for my budget im hoping that i will be able to keep most of my current pc parts. I mainly use octane at the moment with c4d as well as the built in render. im hoping to reach better rendering times and overall a faster workflow. my other thought is if i should get a new cpu i was thinking of the Threadripper 1900X not sure if that would be a good fit i currenly have intel so i know that will require me to get a new motherboard if i were to switch to amd. I do know i need a better power supply as well anyways please feel free to drop any feedback or build suggestions you think would be good for what im after . Mainly modeling in Cinema 4D, Maya, Zbrush, Substance, Photoshop and Octane and a bit of gamming . My Budget is around 1300$ im hoping to buy most of my parts around black friday / cyber monday this is my current build below. live in California



I am doing rendering in cinema4D but the speed of rendering is very poor
Please let me know how can I improve it.
The specification of the machine is given

I have HP Z840 Workstation with
Processor: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 v4 @ 2.10GHz (16 CPUs), ~2.1GHz
Ram : 32 Gb
OS – Windows 10 Pro
GPU : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11 Gbps

I’ll very glad if you could give me some feedback about this configuration!
thanks a lot!


Hi Alex, Which one will do it for render and work in cinema4D, if money is not a problem. i7 8086 limited edition or i9 7900. I´ll use two gtx 1080 ti with it. I use standard render engine and redshift. Thx!


Hi Alex!
Thanks for advice!
As I told, I need trade of between viewport and render speed.
Already ordered parts for my workstation:
CPU – i9 7900x
Cooling for CPU – be quiet Silent Loop 360
MoBo- asus x299 sage
RAM – Hyper X 64gb
GPU – 2x- Zotac 1080ti FE
           1x- Asus 1080 turbo
            (and in the future may be one more 1080ti or 2080rtx)
SSD – 970 evo (500gb)
HDD – WD gold 2tb
PSU -corsair ax1600i
Full tower – cougar panzer max (cooling: front 3 fans in 120mm, back 1 fan out 120mm, bottom 1 fan in 140mm and up will be rig radiator silent loop out)
And monitors:
AOC U2777pqu
Dell 2417u

But I doubt about CPU cooling. I9 7900x is hot enough, and wrote some comments about problems with silent loop series. Because I’m planning OC till 4300.
Have you any advice? May be your experience use of 7900x?
And may be advice how is correct install or set up rpm for fans (air flow in and out, because Founders Edition GPU also blow out)?
I know that custom water cooling the best decision,  but money already ran out).
Again many thanks!)


Hi! Very useful tips! I have a question:
What is the best cooling setup for this computer?


hello there! I just discovered your great site, very useful!!!! Well I have a question about my upcoming setup:

Is a watercooled workstation I’m planning and I’ll is it mainly for animation, now there are 3 GPU and I’ll add one more in the future for 4 GPU in total. I’ll use After Effects cc2017, Cinema 4d, Houdini so no multithreading for Ae but core speed and I’m thinking about 7900X comes 4.3/4.5 in turbo mode,
As render engine I’ll use Octane/Redshift mainly.

CASE – ThermalTake The Tower 900 Full
MOBO – Rampage VI Apex X299 M.2 DDR4 Extended-ATX Socket 2066
CPU – Intel i9 7900X 3.3Ghz 10 Core
CPU COOLER – EK-Supremacy EVO Elite Edition – Intel 2011-3
GPU – 2x RTX 2080 Ti + 1 Titan X 11GB(Maxwell)
PSU – MasterWatt Maker 1500W Full Modular 80Plus Titanium
RAM – 64GB (4x16GB) G.Skill 16GB DDR4 DDR4 3000MHz
HD – Samsung SSD 950 Pro M.2 256 GB PCIe 3.0 +
OS – Windows 10
WATERCOOLING PARTS EK-RES X3 400 Reservoir + Radiatore EK-CoolStream XE 480 (Quad) + EK-XTOP Revo D5 PWM – Plexi + EK-HDC Fitting 16mm G1/4 -Nickel
GPU BACKPLATE 2 x EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Strix – Nickel + 1 EK-FC Titan X Backplate – Blue
FAN 16 Grand Flex 120×120 PWM da 600 – 2400rpm CFM Max 96.8

I’ll very glad if you could give me some feedback about this configuration!
thanks a lot!


Hey! thanks for the info its very usefull!, but I have question,… What if i want to a middle point, for example, a great performance in the viewport and 2 graphics card for redshift render?. The 8700k only has 16 PCIE lanes, that means that only I can have 2 cards at 8x speed each, but if i want a nvme ssd for example, im out of pci lanes. If that is the case, what proccesor do you recommend?…maybe the 2700x ryzen with 20 pci lanes, i dont know, i would like to know your oppinion. Thanks in advance.


NVME drives are usually connected through the CPU chipset, not direct PCIe lanes so you can have 2 8x graphics cards and an NVME SSD depending on motherboard manufacturer. Intel is rumored to be releasing the i9-9900k soon giving you 8c/16t at 4.9GHz boost, so worth waiting for that if you’re happy with only 16x PCIe lanes.


Hi, I’m new to building pcs and am looking to build a pc for 3D modelling and animation. I mostly work in cinema 4d and after effects along with a few other programmes, illustrator , photoshop etc. I wondered if you could advise which one of these builds above would be better for me, i want something that will last me a while and perform to a high standard in-case I ever do any 3D freelance. Thanks in advance.


Hello im building a new computer soon and im on a budget so i was planning to get a i7 8700 non k ( since i have a b mobo and dont want to overclock ) along with a gtx 1050 ti 4gb oc and 16gb ram 2666mhz with 1to hdd and 256gb ssd with 650w psu , so did i do a good match ? ( currently want to use it for 3dmax , coding , and some games like pubg , gta v , forza , … ) thanks in advance ! 🙂


Hey Alex, just thought I’d mention you recommended the “1060 8GB”, I assume you mean either “1060 6GB” or “1080 8GB” as this card doesn’t exist and could cause confusion.

Adam Benton

Hi Alex, thanks for this article!

I’m a Cinema 4D user of about 18 years, all of them spent using Apple Mac’s. I’ve a decent workstation (Mac Pro 2010 12-core) which I have recently upgraded the processors to the highest available for this machine (X5690 @ 3.46Ghz). I now get a CB score of around 1560, which is good for rendering, but with my stock Radeon HD 5770, and the general malaise of GPU performance under Mac OS anyway, I have become despondent that by even adding an Nvidia 1080 or Radeon 580 etc, I will get any decent viewport performance where I really need it these days, during modelling and animation! – Hence, I found myself here, having decided that maybe I need to rethink the front end of my workflow, and invest in a PC for this task, whilst utilising my MP as a Team Render machine.

So, prior to finding this article, I priced up some machines at sites like Overclockers UK, with their ‘Renda’ boxes, which seem to be using pretty the same hardware as you have listed here, with the i7 8700k being in their base model, but overclocked above 4Ghz. Their default GPU is also the Nvidia 106o, and I can add the 1080 or 1080TI for about £200 and £400 more consecutively.

My question to you, regardless of whether I look at building this machine myself, or buy configured, is in regards to the GPU – I want the fastest/smoothest C4D viewport feedback whilst modelling and animating, and whilst I understand the CPU single clock speed is of primary importance, will I see any greater benefit in a 1070/1080 0r 1080TI GPU over the 1060, or are the additional specs of these ONLY really seen if I use one of the GPU renderers like Octane or Redshift? (would Pro~Render benefit also?)

Would I see greater benefits in these higher GPU boards elsewhere like in Photoshop or After Effects etc?

Thanks in advance!

Adam 🙂


Hello, can I have an advice. In C4d, I have problems with complex boolean-operation, that is, I can not see anything. In addition, the rendering time is very long. My system: ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2.0, AMD Phenom II X6 1070T, 8,00GB Dual Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz, 4095MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 232GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO, Win 10.
Should I buy a new PC or would a new processor be enough?
Thank you for an answer

Vítek Linhart


Just a quick question. With the release of the new Nvidia Geforces is it worth buying the new 2080? Or would you go for 1080 Ti. What would you look for in graphic cards for real-time feedback ?

Thanks a lot, and a great article!


Hey, Alex,
somebody recommended this build to me, since I will mostly be modeling and rendering still images (architecture renders with rarely some walkthroughs) in c4d/archicad and 3dsmax.

CPU: AMD – Threadripper 1920X 3.5GHz 12-Core Processor
CPU cooler: Noctua – NH-U12S TR4-SP3 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler
Motherboard: MSI – X399 SLI PLUS ATX TR4 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill – Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
SSD: Crucial – MX500 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
HDD: Seagate – Barracuda 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
GPU: Gigabyte – GeForce GTX 1080 8GB WINDFORCE OC 8G Video Card
CASE: Fractal Design – Meshify C TG ATX Mid Tower Case
PSU: Corsair – RMx 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Wentronic 51361 Internes Stromkabel (8 Pin Stecker-Buchse) 0,28m schwarz

Would you agree with the items listed above? I can only purchase on
It is a bit more expensive build than I first anticipated but if it’s really much better I will buy it. If you have any comments/recommendations (and if I’m missing anything), I would really appreciate it.

(I realize I have changed the build and asked you about it many times now… But I will be ordering in the next few days and I would really like to get the best bang for the buck )

PS: would changing the GPU to a EVGA – GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB SC GAMING Video Card be a major mistake?

Thank you!


Great write up!! This is perfect for what I needed. can you give me some advice on this build. is anything unnecessary or would you change anything. I’m looking to build this over the next few months. in hopes of some price changes and maybe new chips….

thanks in advance


Can I suggest switching from the 4x8GB memory kit to this 2×16 GB:
as the CPU you’ve listed only supports dual channel memory, running 4 DIMMs has the potential to cause instability in some scenarios, also this will allow you to upgrade in the future with another 2x16GB kit without having to replace the current kit. It’s currently similar in price if not cheaper than the 4x8GB kits at the moment. The 200MHz difference is unlikely to cause any major performance losses.


Also you’re better buying windows keys from windows directly as the part you have listed is an OEM product, meaning that it doesn’t come with a warranty. It costs a bit extra but this is usually worth the extra cost as you don’t have to worry about any issues.

Nicolas Ibarra

Hey Alex ! I read this article, it’s super useful, thanks a lot ! I need to ask you, though, can you give some advice in which the best combo for both Revit modeling (not rendering) and 3DMax would be ? I guess that maybe using the selected items in this post would perform an excellent workflow.. but.. perhaps you can share some advice, since it’s quite an investment. Thanks a lot !


Hi Alex,

I’m a motion design student and mainly use After Effects, Cinema 4D and Premiere pro. I’ve decided to make the big jump from my small MacBook to a PC with CPU and GPU – GPU to optimise for Octane render use. I was wondering if you were able to help.

The current setup i’m looking into is:
Either – Intel BX80671I76950X Core i7 6950X 3.00 GHz LGA2011 V3 25MB High End Desktop Processor CPU
or Intel Core i9-7900X 3.30 GHz LGA 2066

Gigabyte AORUS X399 Gaming 7 AMD Chipset AM4 ATX Motherboard

32GB (16GBx2) G.SKILL Trident Z RGB DDR4 PC4-24000 3000MHz

1 x EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 GAMING, 11GB GDDR5X, iCX Technology

Corsair CP-9020140-UK HX1200 1200 W 80+ Platinum Fully Modular Power Supply Unit

Samsung MZ-V7E500BW SSD 970 EVO Internal

Seagate ST2000DM006 Barracuda 2000 GB Hard Drive

Anidees AI Crystal Black Midi Tower Gaming Case – USB 3.0

2 x Anidees AI Aureola 120 mm RGB Fan for Case Fan, CPU Cooler Fan, Water Cooling Fan, 3 pack set with Remote controller

Firstly, which CPU would you recommend for fast render speeds in Cinema and After effects and optimal workflow?

Also I have concerns over cooling. Initially I was looking at getting water coolant combined with a few fans, however am unsure as to whether this is the right route as complications can arise and obviously the upkeep. Should I consider purely air cooling or the hybrid? What would you recommend?

I am fairly new to all of this but a friend of mine who knows a fair amount about computers is helping me, but any advice on anything would be much appreciated!

My budget for the PC is around £3.5k but preferably less than that, however I don’t want to invest and the spec not be good enough for my practice.


Also, another question, you stated that the best CPU for cinema 4d is the Intel i7 8700K, but the 8700K only has 16 PCIe lanes, so only one GPU can run at 16x speeds and 2 at 8x8x so won’t extra cards under perform due to bottleneck?


I’m the aforementioned friend.
The motherboard is actually the MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon, and the PSU is a high wattage to allow for extra graphics cards to be added without replacing it, In terms of water cooling, we’re looking at a fully custom loop using EK parts however there are problems at the moment due to transporting the PC so i’ve also suggested trying pure air cooling initially with the option to move to water cooling if the PC runs too hot, or using an AIO for the CPU only and letting the GPU stay air cooled.

james schofield

hi, great site btw. im looking into building my first pc (27years on mac) for motion design, c4d & after effects, do you know if the 1080ti is compatible with element 3d?


Hey Alex is there anywhere that I may be able to finance this build entirely rather than purchasing them all separate?


Overclockers UK does finance if you’re in the UK, if you’re in the US, Newegg and Amazon do store cards which let you buy on finance, if you’re outside of the UK and US, a lot of stores will do a similar thing so search local PC part sites for finance options. Also there are some companies that will buy the items for you and allow you to pay them back over time but all of these options tend to be more expensive overall.


Hi, Alex!
I wrote few questions for you in another topic, but now i want to ask your opinion.
What is better for for AE, C4D and Octane (workstation/rendering):
1. CPU I7 8700K + 2X 1080ti
2. CPU i9 7900x + 4x 1070ti ?
How slower second option in viewport?

and if i will use first option, should i install GPU with SLI or just like separate GPU?
Also, can you advice MoBo and cooling for this options?
Or maybe advice other options.
Many thanks in advance.


Hey Alex, thanks for all the information. I’ve been working mainly on Mac’s my whole life (current setup trashcan macpro 6core 32GB ram) with C4D but now looking at upgrading to a PC for my personal work as the Mac struggles hard. I’m mainly going to be creating complex still images (using octane renderer) rather than animation sequences which helps a lot. Every now and then I do animation work but the bulk workload is still images.

Based on your information I was looking at getting:
Intel i7 8700K
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB or GeForce Titan X (happy to pay more for better viewport performance)
Asus Prime Z370-A
Samsung 960 PRO/ EVO
Corsair Carbide 400Q Case
+some monitor which I haven’t decided on (if you have a recommendation please let me know)

But reading on, I may need a second graphic card for the monitor? Will getting another one be worth it? I mainly use online render farms to render my images (as I render them out in poster size 60cm x 90cm) as my current setup takes about 12 hours to render a 2k image of these, but if I were able to do that with a setup at home that would save me money.

thanks for your help!


Also potentially thinking of 2×24″ monitors for my setup, so that would strain the one graphic card I take it? Maybe 2 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB would be sufficient? I understand this is going to cost me, but its worth it to me if it all runs smoothly


great article! What would you recommend for an architecture student, that works mostly in archicad/c4d and 3dsmax? I mostly make architectural renders and occasionally walk-through animations. I use those programs daily and have a budget of about 1700€. (I only have the option to buy from amazon) Would this do the job?

– Intel BX80684I78700 K 8th Gen Core i7 – 8700 K Processor

– Corsair CW-9060007-WW Hydro Series H60 High Performance 120mm Rad All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler

– Asus ROG Strix Z370 Gaming Motherboard Socket 1151 (ATX, Intel Z370, Coffee Lake, 4x DDR4 Memory, 3.1, M.2 USB Interface)

– Gskill F4 3200 °C16D 32GVK Memory D4 3200 32GB C16 Ripv K2 2x 16GB, 1.35 Ripjawsv Black

– Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive

– Seagate ST2000DM006 Interne Festplatte Barracuda 2 TB

– Gigabyte 6g NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce OC – Graphics card (Active, ATX, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, GDDR5, PCI Express x16 3.0;)

-Corsair CC-9011082-WW Carbide Series 400Q Performance Computer Case – Black

-Cooler Master RS750-AMAAB1-UK GM Series G750M “UK Cable, High Performance, 80+ Bronze Rate, Semi Modular. 5 Year Warranty” 750w

Do I need to buy anything else in order to assemble the pc? Is this still viable or would you change/add anything?
Thank you for your time and effort. I will be very grateful if you reply.



After further searching and some help,this is another type of build.
Processor: Intel I7 8700K 8th gen
CPU cooling: Le Grand Thermalright Macho RT
SSD: Crucial MX500 CT500MX500SSD1 (Z) 500 3D Nand SATA Internal SSD (2.5)
HDD: Seagate ST2000DM006 Interne Festplatte Barracuda 2 TB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB LED Light 2x16GB 3000 MHz
Motherboard: Asrock Z370 Extreme4
Case: Corsair CC-9011082-WW Carbide Series 400Q Performance Computer Case – Black
PSU: Corsair RM550x
GPU: KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EX PCI-E Gaming Graphics Card – 8GB, black

I would really appreciate your opinion and recommendations.


Thanks for the article. It’s helpful for me.
What do you think of this configuration?

Processor: Intel i7 8700k 8th Gen
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7
Ram: G.skill 32GB 3200bus Trident Z RGB
SSD: Samsung 850EVO 01TB
HDD: Toshiba 2TB
Case Fan: Cooler master RGB MF120Lx3
Cooler: Liquid Cooller ML240 RGB Cooler Master
Graphics Card: Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070ti 8GB DDR5
Power Supply: Masterwatt 750 Bronz
Case : IN WIN 909
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2715H 27″ LED

PJ Richardson

actually and one other question, can a 1080ti handle both gpu rendering and displaying a monitor plugged in at the same time without performance issues?

PJ Richardson

Hi Alex, thank you for a wonderfully detailed article. I am switching from mac to PC for the first time in 20 years. Could you have a look at this parts build I made based off your article? Would this work for a c4d octane/redshift setup? I am a bit surprised at how cheap this is coming out to be in a great way.

Thank you for being such a great resource!

See Sweet

Great Article. Very helpful! I just went freelance after being staff for years… Up until now, I have been using a Mac at home, but I now need a proper set up to work from home.

I noticed the I8700 K and I 8086K are really fast but don’t seem to have a motherboard that allows 128gb of ram, and from what I understand the ability to have 4 GPUs. So I have questions about that… Is 64 gb enough to work with? Or will I have to make a major upgrade sooner than later?

Also, I have a question about Octane 4. Up until now I have been using Arnold…
It seems as I should be able to use Octane for free as long as I use only 2 GPUs. At the moment it is all I can afford, but is it better to plan my build to have the option to have 4GPUS and 128gb or ram? even if that means I have to use a slower CPU. I was told Octane was going to offer a cloud-based rendering platform… If that’s true is there any point in having more than 2 GPUS? Also if I had 3 GPUs but disctivated one so that it is used for the screen and application other than Octane while I’m rendering. Would the free version of Octane still work?

It’s a lot of questions I know… I’ve spent the last three days trying to figure this thing out an I am still hesitating.
I need to have a build capable to meet my clients’ expectations. However because I am starting to freelance without much of a network to rely on yet, 2 kids, and being the only source of income in my family I cannot afford to spend a lot at the moment but I also don’t want to screw myself with a machine that will reach its limit in the near future…

Here are the options I came up with so far…
Option 8700K:

Option Treadripper 1950X:

Or a Intel Xeon W-2135 3.7GHz 6 Core 8.25MB 140W
with Gigabyte MW51-HP0 mother board


Hey Kevin, I’m new to 3D animation and want to move from doing 2D illustration/animation to taking on 3d Simulations, animations, environments, and objects. I have a Wacom Intuos Pro and would like to work with Cinema 4D, After Effects, Octane and Blender. Do you have suggestions on parts for a more budget-friendly workstation?


‘m building a render node which will be purely used for Cinema4D & Vray. I don’t need a fancy graphics card (yet) (i don’t think!) i just need to be able to switch it on, hit render from my main machine and let the Threadripper do it’s stuff.

I know this has all probably been discussed a thousand times but I’ve looked at so many videos and read loads of build descriptions but find it hard to reach a decision about certain parts due to peoples different opinions.

The thing i am struggling with the most is the ram, can i use 3000mhz DDr4 or should i really go higher?
I’m going to add 64gig of ram which should be enough, obviously i can pick up 8×8 sticks cheaper than 4×16 but are there major benefits to running 4×16 apart from having room to upgrade?

Can anyone recommend an RGB/LED 64gig kit that will suit the Threadripper?

Here is my parts list so far….


Hey Alex, I am a musician who is looking to invest in a serious visuals rig (budget around 2k) and I’m planning to use Cinema 4D to create clips as well as Premiere to organize and render music video content. BUT, my main mission is to use Touch Designer live to generate and manipulate material made in C4D.

From what I’ve seen having more cores can be great for render times in content creation, but Touch Designer’s website (Derivative is the company) also says that having multiple cores is beneficial to doing fluid manipulation and generation of visuals. I do believe that (as you mentioned in your article) having a smaller amount of fast cores with a great graphics card is what’s most important., but am wondering if you could advise me on what combination you think is good with a budget of around 2k, with the priority being use of Touch Designer and live sourcing MIDI in real time.

I’m planning to put quite a strain on the computer with Touch Designer live since I have a lot of pressure sensitive foot controllers that I use for effects in my music that I’d like to link to generative (new content) and triggered (pre-existing content) for visuals.

Any advice here is much appreciated, as I am new to the visuals world and have only really worked in Resolume on a macbook 2012 (lol).

Future More Mobile Rig?
With the budget only for 1 super computer I would most likely bring it to the gigs at first, and eventually purchase a macbook less prone to crashing alongside an external GPU unit, unless you’d advise otherwise.


Really great post.

Based on it, it would have been a no brainer for me to pick an i7-8700k for the config I’m about to build if I did not need to rely on 128gb of RAM at the same time to get really comfortable when actively working in Houdini, C4D and After Effects (-> my main objective).

In this 128gb ram context, would it then make sense in your view to then opt either for the i7-7820x or the i9-7900x as second best picks for the same purpose/objective?

1) If so:

a) any preference between the 2? Among other things, the i9 is notably more expensive than the i7 but seems to bring proportionally more rendering speed on the table (which may still be welcome even if not the main objective)

b) any insights/opinion on a possible unstability (crashes) reported on these 2 CPUs with the Adobe softwares (can’t remember where I read that but I may remember (and can be mistaken here) this could be possibly due to the high temperatures these 2 CPUs are said to generate and was possibly mitigated if not solved for some reason when used with the motherboard Asrock X299 Extreme4 (which mobo I cannot unfortunately get for commercial reasons anyway)).

2) If not, any other alternate CPU you’d have in mind?

Thanks a lot in advance


I am interested by the answers on this one. Could anybody reply please?


Sir, as of now GTx 1060 and gtx 1070 prices are skyrocketting, is it worth to Invest in Quadro series? for Workstation or should wait for price drop in GTX card


Great article Alex, thanks. Just wondering what sort of power unit I’ll need if I use this setup. Cheers.


From what I can tell GPU’s / Graphics cards are very expensive right now due to the bitcoin mining craze, do you have any advice as to how I can combat this (being completely new to building a PC) The Nvidia GTX 1070 for example is sold out and totally inaccessible as I write this. Thanks for your time!


Hey Alex thanks for the post, I’m currently moving over from mac to allow me to use Octane. I am however, unsure what kind of cooling I would need for the above build? Whats a good thrifty option? Thanks for your time.


really great article, very great help, thanks alot, do you prefer i7 or xeon for x-particles and octane workflow? and what do you suggest for a motherboard which has 2 sockets for GPU?

Atlan Frédéric

Congratulation for your contribution.
I know it’s not the best but I am obliged to work with a laptop.
Which one should I buy? With 16 or 32 Go ram?
Think you verymuch for your help.
HP ZBook 15 G4
Lenovo ThinkPad P51
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
msi we63

Tony Cappello

Great article Alex. I am currently working on the new Subway restaurant for Subway HQ. I built a killer model of the entire restaurant including bathrooms, back room, and dining room, sub area etc. Most of the projects I have built out were smaller in scale and I had high hopes once I got rolling on this. About 2-3 weeks into the project and looking pretty great, I hit a wall and started having memory issues, it stopped me flat out, so now I am trying to backtrack so I can at least get something to my team. I am going to try an have them build me a new machine and this article helped big time! If you have any other articles you might be able to post regarding these issues, please do,learning more and more about the systems, tricks in the software, cards, memory etc only makes us stronger as designers, keep up the great work.


Great post, this really helps me in spec’ing machines for my department as we are planning on crossing the fence from the Apple world.

I do have a question though. Since the 4.5GHz 7700s are faster than higher core counts, what about the upcoming iMac Pro which is up to 18 cores and 4.5 GHz (they call it “Turbo Boost”). This sounds like it solves both problems of render speeds and viewport performance. For me, that and the fact that my workflow is way faster in the OSX environment sounds like a win/win/win situation. Or is that wishful thinking?


Hey Alex,
Just wanted to thank you again for your sound advice. I must admit I was a little worried when the cost of this build came in so cheap. But this is an epiphany for me, my new workstation absolutely rocks! Files that clogged up and crashed my old mac pro are absolutely fine on this build, I have struggled for so long.
There’s so much advice out there about building machines with Quadros and multi processor CPU’s for 3D work, costing shed loads of money, it was really refreshing to read your no-nonsense article.
My build came in at under £1.9K – absolutely stoked!
Really grateful to you.


[Solved – See Comment Replies] Great build, but worth mentioning that the ASUS Prime Z270A comes shipped with 0505 BIOS which aren’t compatible with the i7-7700K. You’ll need to get the BIOS updated – which is kinda tricky if it doesn’t boot.


Cheers for the article, really great help (as one abotu to switch from Mac to PC). Can you suggest a case?

What do you think of this setup?
I was told the case is too small and will not work well with air-flow.

Intel® CoreTMi7 Quad Core Processor i7-7700k (4.2GHz) 8MB Cache
ASUS® PRIME Z270-P: ATX, LG1151, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs
64GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (4 x 16GB)
8GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1070 – DVI, HDMI, 3 x DP – GeForce GTX VR Ready! 240GB HyperX SAVAGE 2.5″ SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 560MB/sR | 530MB/sW) 2TB SATA-III 3.5″ HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Corsair H60 Hydro Cooler w/ PCS Liquid Series Ultra Quiet Fans
Genuine Windows 10 Home 64 Bit – inc DVD & Licence
United Kingdom – English Language
Windows 10 (64-bit) Home DVD with paper sleeve
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365
BullGuardTM Internet Security – Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)


It’s sad but true that peeps spend mega bucks on 8, 10 core cpus to do C4D/AE work when an overclocked quad core machines regularly outpace them.
@Parthibaraj – the recommended spec is true for AE but Premiere will benefit from as much CUDA or Opencl performance as you can throw at it – therefore a 1070 or even a 1080 will be better, specially if you’re editing/grading uhd.


are there any website that could help me find all these parts? like a PC simulator ?

Parthibaraj rajasekar

Sir, will this configuration also work best for after effects and premiere pro?