Building the best Cinema 4D Workstation Computer (Updated)
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Building the best Cinema 4D Workstation Computer (Updated)

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   308 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: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X or i9 9900K

Wait, What?

A 8-12 Core CPU for a 3D Software? Couldn’t I easily get an AMD Threadripper or Intel Xeon CPU that has up to 32 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 in Cinema 4D 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.

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

But..

Although Intel still has an extremely small single core performance lead, AMD has caught up to Intel with their new 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs.

And the great thing about these new CPUs is, that you can get the 12-Core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU at the same price as the Intel i9 9900K. But with 12 Cores you have much higher multi-core performance.

Highly recommended!

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 3200MHz RAM Kit.

Graphics Card: Nvidia RTX 2070

There is no need to get an overpriced Nvidia Workstation Graphics Card (Quadro). Since the bottleneck in Cinema 4D Viewport Performance 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 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!

Mainboard

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 an M.2 form-factor type drive 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.

Case

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.

Conclusion

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 “allrounder” 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!

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!

308
Comments

Deuce

Hello there cg people. I was picking put parts for my new PC that I’m planning on using for c4d with red shift mainly and I would like to check if everything is compatible so far. Thank you.

AMD ryzen 9

Samsung evo 970 1tb

Be quiet dark rock pro4

Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Memory Kit

MSI GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard 

ASUS TUF Gaming GT501 Mid-Tower Computer Case

CORSAIR HX Series, HX850, 850 Watt, 80+ Platinum Certified,

Hey Deuce,

Thanks for asking!

If I may ask, what type of work do you do and what software do you commonly use? Also, what’s your budget like?

As for the components you put together, I would say you made excellent choices! Be advised though that the stock cooler (Wraith Prism) that comes with the Ryzen 9 is more than capable enough to handle its CPU cooling tasks so you have the option of dropping the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler and use the money intended for the CPU cooler on other components of your build.

Cheers,
Alex

Deuce

Alex, my man. Thanks for the quick reply. I’m going to spend the extra on other things. One quick question. What should I spend more money on when building a PC. I want to be able to do any task regarding 3d applications on my pc. Mostly I use c4d with redshift and other plugins. But I don’t want it to be strictly for c4d as I’m going to be using it for maya and Houdini. So something future proof, you know. And what parts of the PC is expected to die so that I can get warranty on those parts. Thank you Alex. 

Auroratrek

Hey Alex, thanks for all the advice, and the video on how to build the PC–it was invaluable to this newbie, and I feel pretty good about the physical build. I’m now a little less sure about starting the system up and configuring it for optimized 3D modeling and rendering. Do you know of a good video guide that might help me set up my system, maybe including loading on Windows? This is the final build (below).

CPU: AMD Threadripper 2950X

CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4

Motherboard: Gigabyte X399 GIGABYTE X399 AORUS PRO (AMD Ryzen Thread Ripper TR4/ATX /3X M.2/Front USB 3.1 Type C/Intel LAN/ALC1220/ Motherboard)

GPU: MSI GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDRR6 256-bit HDMI/DP/USB Ray Tracing Turing Architecture HDCP Graphics Card (RTX 2070 ARMOR 8G)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Memory Kit

Storage SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM)

Power Supply: CORSAIR RMX Series (2018), RM650x, 650 Watt, 80+ Gold Certified, Fully Modular Power Supply

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower Chassis Without Window Cases PH-ES614PC_BK

Thanks!–Tim

Auroratrek

Update: updated the BIOS and loaded Windows, and everything seems to be working fine. Loading software now, and looking forward to using this shiny new machine. Thanks again for all your help!

Piotr

Hello Alex,
first of all thank you for awesome article!

I’m starting my adventure with C4d and I wanted to build a PC like your setup from – ” Cinema 4D PC Build “.
Unfortunately like most people here I see Ryzen 3900x is out of stock everywhere.

As I want to go for new C4D R21 + redshift my question is:
– Do I need such a strong processor like 3900x or can I go with Intel i9 9900k and stronger graphic card since using redshift requires more GPU? Right?:P

Please let me know what do you think as I have to build PC till end of September.

Eric

I had been (digitally) building the best machine I can around the Ryzen 3900x for my do it all workstation. Im an effects artist, x-particles, even some Houdini and Unity but will rely on it for rendering as well.
All of my research was based around building for the 3900x…

My question : With 3950x coming out any time now, im opting for that instead…would you assume a system built around the 3900x would still be optimal for 3950x, or should I start the research and build all over again from scratch? Being the the cpu isn’t out, not a lot of info I can dig up anywhere around this question. Im set on dual liquid cooled 2080 Ti’s, but maybe ideal motherboard/memory could change? Want to start pulling the trigger on ordering parts asap but want to make sure I do it proper.

Thanks!

Remy

Hey Alex !
Should I go for the 3900x or wait for the new 3950x ?

Auroratrek

Hi Alex,

I’m a total newbie at not only building a PC, but even using one, so I definitely need some help! I would like to strike a middle ground between your two recommended builds for C4D by “upgrading” the “all-arounder” to an AMD 2950x Threadripper for better CPU rendering, but I want to make sure the parts I get are compatible. So I am proposing:

CPU: AMD Threadripper 2950X

CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4

Motherboard: Gigabyte X399 GIGABYTE X399 AORUS PRO (AMD Ryzen Thread Ripper TR4/ATX /3X M.2/Front USB 3.1 Type C/Intel LAN/ALC1220/ Motherboard)

GPU: MSI GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDRR6 256-bit HDMI/DP/USB Ray Tracing Turing Architecture HDCP Graphics Card (RTX 2070 ARMOR 8G)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Memory Kit

Storage SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM)

Power Supply: CORSAIR RMX Series (2018), RM650x, 650 Watt, 80+ Gold Certified, Fully Modular Power Supply

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower Chassis Without Window Cases PH-ES614PC_BK

Would this build work, or would you recommend other components?

Thanks!–Tim

Auroratrek

PS: I’d rather have a Ryzen 9 CPU, but who knows when they’ll be available again??

hisato

Dear Alex,
Our designers started to use Cinema 4D recently. Should I buy used Firepro W7000 or new Geforce cards that costs about the same? I hear that 3D modeling and CAD, you want to go with Firepro or Quadro, but we want to keep it under $500.

They use Adobe suite as well, so I gave Geforce 1650, not a high end card. I am wondering if I should swap.
Thank you!

Eric

Hey Alex,

This article has been a fantastic launching pad for my workstation build, have sort of a general question as to how youve spec’d it out, though.

Curious how much “cost” was factored into some of your decisions, vs raw performance. I know (esp when it comes to GFX cards) the price to performance ratio gets pretty absurdly high, that theres a sweet spot on that curve. I guess my question is, if you weren’t too concerned about money would you have spec’d out a similar machine? If you were to put a little more money into one of these components, and you were a C4D Artist that will be heavy in GPU rendering as well as animation/simulation, xParticles…etc, where would you opt to (still, reasonably) splurge?

I used your “builder” and wondering if i should opt for the beefier “GPU Rendering” setup (budget set at 6k) , but up the CPU and RAM speed?

Thanks!

Eric

Phil

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your great article it has helped me a lot over the past few weeks!

I do have a quick question that i hope you can help with.

I am looking to build a workstation that has 4x 2080ti GPU’s for rendering. This is what i have so far:

Intel Xeon E5 2620 v4 2.1GHz Octa Core CPU
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Air Tower Cooler
ASUS X99-E WS Intel Socket 2011-v3 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x 8GB) 3600MHz DDR4 x4
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11GB x4
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2-2280 NVMe PCIe SSD
EVGA SuperNOVA G2 1600W Modular 80+ Gold PSU
Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Gaming Case – Black

My question is – for C4D to use all GPU’s in a 4 way setup, do they need to be linked together with NVlink or SLI, or can they be left unlinked? Are there any downsides to having them unlinked vs linked etc? Apologies if this has already been answered!

Thanks

Phil

Phil

Hi Alex,

Sorry think I pasted in the wrong build there – please see updated build below.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X 3.5GHz Twelve Core
Be Quiet! DARK ROCK PRO TR4 Air Tower CPU Cooler for Ryzen Threadripper
ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme AMD Socket TR4 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x 8GB) 3600MHz DDR4 x4
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11GB x4
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2-2280 NVMe PCIe SSD
EVGA SuperNOVA G2 1600W Modular 80+ Gold PSU
Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Gaming Case – Black

Thanks

Phil

amit

dear sir i need a pc for C4d for my youtube chanel. so i need fast render and fast viewport. what u reccommed plz specify. my budget is 1 lac indian rupees or 1300 euro. plz send link of amazon of products.