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