Building the best Cinema 4D Workstation Computer (Updated)

Last updated on September 17th, 2018,

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 can also read as: Best Blender PC or Best 3ds Max PC, Maya, XSI, You name it, since these 3D Animation Software Packages all tend to work very similarly! But I will focus on a Cinema 4D PC here.

But first, let me say this:

Don’t buy a pre-configured Workstation!

Don’t buy a pre-configured Workstation. They are ridiculously over-priced. The Computer Parts I recommend in this Article will cost you roughly 1750$. The same configuration on Boxx.com for example will cost you over 5000$. Go have a look yourself, be sure to Input the same specs as listed here.

Build your own Workstation!

Building it yourself is probably the most fun part in 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 its 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 Animation or specifically the best Computer for Cinema 4D is,  is configure a Workstation that makes most of the stuff an average C4D 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:

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

Wait, What?

A 6-Core CPU for a 3D Software? Couldn’t I easily get an AMD Ryzen or Threadripper chip that has 16+ Cores and much better multi-core performance for the same price…?, you might ask.

You could, but you shouldn’t. And this is why:

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

If this Computer will be your Workstation for actively working on your projects, you will want as fast a feedback and as fast a viewport as possible.

Slow viewport and lagging clicks is something we want to avoid or reduce as much as possible or you will end up getting frustrated, work slower and lose motivation.

The Computer should not slow you down when actively interacting with it. You will want realtime 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.

The Intel i7 i7 8700K has 3.7 GHz base clock and 4,7 GHz Turbo to make the viewport refresh as fast as currently possible. It is the fastest single core CPU currently on the market. With decent cooling, you can also overclock it.

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.

Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1060

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 speed, a “Gaming” Graphics Card such as the Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB 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 GTX 1070 ti 8GB, 1080 8GB or even the 1080ti 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 need to render your scene and can your render engine use system memory if the scene is larger than the VRAM.

The GTX 1070 ti and 1080 have dropped in price quite a bit and you get 2432 – 2560 cuda cores of power on 8GB of VRAM.

Mainboard

Asus Prime Z370-A is a great LGA-1151 (v2) Motherboard choice that supports CPU overclocking. It has 4 RAM Slots for a max of 64GB of RAM.

HardDrive

Definitely go with the new M.2 form-factor 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. (The Asus Prime Z370-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 slower Samsung 860 EVO SSD, which is still very fast.

Case

I recently built this hardware configuration into a Corsair Carbide 400Q Case, which I am very happy with. If you are thinking about adding 3+ GPUs though you will want a bigger case.

Conclusion

This Workstation will give you roughly 1360 R15 Cinebench Points, which is still excellent for CPU-rendering. This PC though was configurated as a Workstation and not a render-node, meaning: “As little delay as possible while actively working on Scenes”.

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

Now lets look a bit into 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: Max CPU Cores (e.g. Dual Xeon E5 2630v3 or i9 7900X – 7980XE), but this will then be slower for actively working, Animating/Modeling/Texturing in the viewport and more expensive.

The AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs  such as the 2700x or the 1800X and AMD Threadripper CPUs such as the 1900X, 1920X, 1950X or the new 2990WX (32Cores!) have great Multi-Core Performance. Highly recommended and a great price/performance ratio compared to Intel CPUs!

Check this Link for CPU Single and Multi Cinebench Benchmark Scores of all modern CPUs: Cinebench Scores

 

Feel free to ask for Build Advice in the Comments! Maybe you can even help some of the others?

Alex - post author

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

I have built a multitude of Workstations and Renderfarms for all kinds of 3D related use cases and love to optimize them as much as possible.

After working in the 3D/VFX Industry on-staff for several years, I have recently gone freelance and am having a blast!

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

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Giuseppe
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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!
Giuseppe

Victor
Guest
Victor

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.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

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.

Abbes
Guest
Abbes

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 ! 🙂

Alex
Guest
Alex

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
Guest

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 🙂

achim
Guest
achim

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
Achim

Vítek Linhart
Guest
Vítek Linhart

Hi!

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!

zaNyyy
Guest
zaNyyy

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 Amazon.de
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!
Greetings

developinfro
Guest
developinfro

Alex,
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…. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3cMYmq

thanks in advance
Fro…

Developinfro
Guest
Developinfro
Alex
Guest
Alex

Can I suggest switching from the 4x8GB memory kit to this 2×16 GB: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/product/rRHRsY/gskill-trident-z-rgb-32gb-2-x-16gb-ddr4-3000-memory-f4-3000c16d-32gtzr
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.

Alex
Guest
Alex

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.
Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/windows-10-pro/df77x4d43rkt/48DN

Nicolas Ibarra
Guest
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 !
Nico

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

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.

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

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?

Alex
Guest
Alex

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
Guest
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?

Damon
Guest
Damon

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

Alex
Guest
Alex

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.

Max
Guest
Max

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
or
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.

Aymeric
Guest
Aymeric

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!

Aymeric
Guest
Aymeric

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

zaNyyy
Guest
zaNyyy

Hello,
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.

Greetings

zaNyyy
Guest
zaNyyy

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.
Greetings.

Mahibur
Guest
Mahibur

Hello,
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
Guest

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
Guest

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.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/XQ4zZR

Thank you for being such a great resource!

See Sweet
Guest

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:
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/6FZphy

Option Treadripper 1950X:
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/pdZTmq

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

Vlldmmd
Guest
Vlldmmd

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?

Colin
Guest

‘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…. https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/VpFjXP

Matt
Guest

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.

Solcarlus
Guest
Solcarlus

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

Julia
Guest
Julia

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

Yogin
Guest
Yogin

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

Rich
Guest
Rich

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

J W
Guest

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!

J W
Guest

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.

trackback

[…] the investment, which is reasonable, because more cores facilitate faster rendering. As Alex from CGDirector explains however, the fastest response time while actually working on a project is far more […]

Tahseen
Guest
Tahseen

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
Guest
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
Guest

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.

Polystorm
Guest
Polystorm

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?

Phil
Guest

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.
Best
Phil

Phil
Guest

[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.

rogerC
Guest

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.

FRACTAL DEFINE R5 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
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
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
CORSAIR 450W VS SERIESTM VS-450 POWER SUPPLY
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Corsair H60 Hydro Cooler w/ PCS Liquid Series Ultra Quiet Fans
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
2 PORT (2 x TYPE A) USB 3.0 PCI-E CARD + STANDARD USB PORTS
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)

Aivaras
Guest

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.

tov
Guest
tov

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

Parthibaraj rajasekar
Guest
Parthibaraj rajasekar

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