Best Workstation Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   988 comments
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Best Workstation Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering

The most interesting thing about looking for a Computer or Workstation for 3D Modeling and Rendering, is the fact that 3D Modeling and (CPU) Rendering are two very different use cases.

Both use the Hardware of a Computer in very different ways!

Before we dive into it, take a quick look at the Table of contents here, in case you prefer to skip the theory and want to know my recommendations immediately:

CPU Rendering

CPU Rendering uses all cores of your CPU, 100% of the time while rendering.

This means, if you’ll use your Workstation just for 3D Rendering Images and Animations, or encoding Videos for that matter, you would be looking for a Computer with a CPU, that has as many cores as possible

Even if these cores are clocked relatively low.

This is because the render engine assigns a so-called “bucket” to each core in your CPU. Each individual core will render its bucket and then get a new bucket once it’s finished rendering the old one.

Perfect for Multi-Core CPUs.

CPU Rendering CPU Cores Buckets

3D Modeling

Contrary to rendering, 3D modeling is an active working process.

You (usually) sit in front of your computer and interact with the 3D Software.

Actively using a Software utilizes the Hardware it is running on in entirely different ways.

Take this example: I am modeling a car. That Car consists of Polygons that will have modifiers and Deformers applied to it, such as Mirroring, Cloning, Bending Objects and so on.

Your computer has to go through some serious calculations to process all this, but the key here is that these calculations are mainly done on only a SINGLE CPU Core.

Why? Because the Scene is built according to a certain hierarchy. A CPU has to work its way through this hierarchy step by step.

It can’t skip or off-load certain steps to other cores, because most of the steps depend on each other!


What does this mean?

It means quite frankly that having lots of CPU-Cores will do nothing towards speeding up your modeling and does not usually make your Viewport faster.

Long explanation short:

For Modeling and actively working in your 3D Scene,  you would need to get a CPU that has the highest Clock Speed possible.

It doesn’t matter if it only has a few Cores, as most of these Cores won’t be used for modeling.

Take a look at this page to find the highest clocking CPUs currently available.

Same is also valid for working on Computer Animations or for running a CAD Workstation. A high-Clocking CPU will almost always outperform a high-Core-count CPU.

If you had to pick one: Which do you consider your main 3D Software?
  • Blender 29%, 2000 votes
    2000 votes 29%
    2000 votes - 29% of all votes
  • 3ds Max 23%, 1569 votes
    1569 votes 23%
    1569 votes - 23% of all votes
  • Maya 15%, 1060 votes
    1060 votes 15%
    1060 votes - 15% of all votes
  • Cinema 4D 13%, 875 votes
    875 votes 13%
    875 votes - 13% of all votes
  • Revit 6%, 436 votes
    436 votes 6%
    436 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Zbrush 5%, 360 votes
    360 votes 5%
    360 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Other 4%, 283 votes
    283 votes 4%
    283 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Houdini 3%, 186 votes
    186 votes 3%
    186 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Modo 1%, 61 vote
    61 vote 1%
    61 vote - 1% of all votes
  • Artlantis 0%, 24 votes
    24 votes
    24 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Katana 0%, 14 votes
    14 votes
    14 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 6868
10. Apr, 2019

The more Cores and the higher the clock speed, the better, right?

It’s now tempting to think you should get a CPU with lots of cores AND high clock speeds. After all, then we’ll have a workstation on which we can work fast AND which can render fast, right?

Unfortunately, because of power consumption and heat limits, there usually is a proportional trade-off between the number of CPU-cores and clock-speeds.

This means the more Cores the CPU has, the lower it will usually clock and vice versa.

The faster the Cores are clocked, the fewer cores there usually are on the CPU.

Many Cores need lots of Power and lots of Power produces lots of heat. CPUs have thermal regulations that need to be adhered to. The same applies to higher clocked cores that will be hotter than lower clocked cores.

This is quite a bummer, but it’s 2019 and the major CPU Manufacturers wouldn’t be all that major if they hadn’t found a way to improve upon this.

AMD and Intel have thought of a nice way of compensating for some of these trade-offs.

Enter Turbo-Boost.

Turbo-Boost (Turbo-Core)

Turbo-Boost is a feature that automatically overclocks Cores until thermal and power limits are reached. Depending on the Quality of cooling, duration can vary.

Say we are currently modeling and are only really using 1-2 Cores, the rest of the Cores are idle.

What Turbo boost does now is overclock these 1-2 Cores as far as specified by the manufacturer and as long as the Power Consumption and Temperature stays within the predefined limit.

As soon as these limits are reached, the Turbo-Boost will clock these two cores back down.


Image-Source: Intel

This way, to a certain degree, we can get CPUs with more Cores (and a low base-clock), that clock higher on limited cores, when needed and not all cores are being used.

CPU vs GPU Rendering

There are currently two popular methods of Rendering Images and Animations in 3D Software: CPU Rendering and GPU Rendering.

Are you mainly rendering on the GPU or CPU?
  • Mainly GPU 56%, 2486 votes
    2486 votes 56%
    2486 votes - 56% of all votes
  • Mainly CPU 44%, 1917 votes
    1917 votes 44%
    1917 votes - 44% of all votes
Total Votes: 4403
12. Apr, 2019

As you probably guessed, CPU Rendering utilizes the Processor for calculating the Image, and GPU Rendering utilizes the Graphics Card.

There are some differences in GPU and CPU rendering that you want to be aware of when choosing a new Computer or Workstation for 3D Rendering and Modeling:

First of all, almost every popular 3D Software comes with an inbuilt CPU Render Engine nowadays.

Only recently have GPU Render Engines such as Octane, Redshift,  V-RAY RT or FurryBall become mature enough to slowly but surely overtake CPU Render Engines in popularity.

In popularity, because GPU Render Engines are much faster in many cases and allow for extremely interactive preview Renderers.

This can improve and accelerate a 3D-Artists Workflow by a tenfold as you are able to iterate more often before finishing a project.



Beginners are often told to start with 3D Rendering on the CPU and later switch to (often) costly 3rd Party GPU Render Engines when they have learned enough to properly utilize them.

I think this is about to change.

Just look at Blenders in-built Cycles GPU Render Engine and Cinema 4Ds new ProRender GPU Render Engine.  Both GPU render engines are built into the software itself and don’t rely on third-party plugins.

If you had to pick one: Which do you consider your main Render Engine?
  • V-Ray 39%, 1890 votes
    1890 votes 39%
    1890 votes - 39% of all votes
  • Cycles 19%, 917 votes
    917 votes 19%
    917 votes - 19% of all votes
  • Arnold 11%, 525 votes
    525 votes 11%
    525 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Octane 8%, 396 votes
    396 votes 8%
    396 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Redshift 8%, 364 votes
    364 votes 8%
    364 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Other 5%, 250 votes
    250 votes 5%
    250 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Corona 5%, 246 votes
    246 votes 5%
    246 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Mental Ray 3%, 124 votes
    124 votes 3%
    124 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Maxwell 2%, 80 votes
    80 votes 2%
    80 votes - 2% of all votes
Total Votes: 4792
10. Apr, 2019

Best individual Hardware Parts for 3D Modeling and Rendering explained

But enough talk! Let’s take a look at what specific Computer Parts you’ll need for the best Computer or Workstation for 3D Modeling and Rendering:

Best Processor (CPU) for 3D Modeling and Rendering

For Active Work: Intel i9 9900K

As explained above, you’ll have to make a decision depending on what you will use your computer most for.

Do you use it mainly to Model, Sculpt, Texture, Light, Animate and you spend much more time actively on it, than rendering on it?

Then you’ll want a CPU that is clocked as high as possible!

Good choices here are:

  • Intel i9 9900K, 8-Cores, Clocked at 3,6 GHz Base, 5 GHz TurboBoost
  • Intel i7 9700K, 8-Cores, Clocked at 3,6 GHz Base, 4,9 GHz TurboBoost (No Hyperthreading)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 12-Cores, Clocked at 3,8 GHz Base, 4,6 GHz TurboBoost (Turbo Core)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, 8-Cores, Clocked at 3,6 GHz Base, 4,4 GHz TurboBoost (Turbo Core)
AMD Ryzen vs i7 8700K

Image-Source: AMD/Intel

A great benchmark for finding CPUs that are the snappiest is the Cinebench Single Core Benchmark.

Take a look at this page with Cinebench R20 Benchmarks and sort the Table on the “Cinebench Single” column to find the CPU that will give your workstation the best performance when you’re actively working on it.

What CPU Core-Feature is more valuable / important to you?

If you have the budget for an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, this CPU is currently the best CPU for active Work such as Modeling and Animation. It also sports 12 Cores which gives you nice multi-core rendering performance.

Texturing 3D Models and painting or sculpting, too, need a high-clocking CPU. So if you consider yourself a Graphic Designer, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is an excellent choice.

For Render Work? AMD Threadripper CPUs such as the Threadripper 2950X!

Do you use this Workstation less for active work and more to Render out your Projects? Do you spend more time on Rendering than on actually sitting in front of it?

You should consider going into a high core-count direction which are the best CPUs for Rendering (Or if you want a second Computer just for Rendering on).

Good choices here are:

  • AMD Threadripper 2920X, 2950X, 2970WX, 2990WX – 12-32 Cores – Highly Recommended!
  • Intel i9 9900X, 9920X, 9960X, 9980XE – 10-18 Cores (quite expensive)

If you want to use VRAY, as it is one of the most popular Render Engines available, have a look at the following page to get an overview of the VRAY CPU Benchmarks Results.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3D Rendering


Which CPU are you planning on Buying?
  • AMD Ryzen (e.g. 2700X, 3700X, 3900X...) 48%, 1383 votes
    1383 votes 48%
    1383 votes - 48% of all votes
  • Intel LGA 1151 Series CPU (e.g. i7 8700K, i9 9900K...) 29%, 831 vote
    831 vote 29%
    831 vote - 29% of all votes
  • AMD Threadripper (e.g. 2950X...) 18%, 536 votes
    536 votes 18%
    536 votes - 18% of all votes
  • Intel 2066 (HEDT) X-Series CPU (e.g. i9 9980XE...) 5%, 149 votes
    149 votes 5%
    149 votes - 5% of all votes
Total Votes: 2899
10. Apr, 2019

Best Graphics Card (GPU) for 3D Modeling and Rendering

Best GPU for GPU Rendering: GPU Rendering is becoming more popular as we speak and is likely to overtake CPU Rendering in the near future.

Some of the most popular modern GPU Render Engines are Octane, Redshift, VRAY-RT, and Cycles. The first two only support NVIDIA GPUs, while the latter also support AMD (OpenCL) GPUs.

Personally, I prefer recommending GPUs that work with any of the above Render Engines (CUDA Support), so here are a few NVIDIA GPUs in order of Performance that will give you excellent GPU Rendering Speed:

The Nvidia Graphics Card List could go on, but I think you get the gist.

The higher the number, the faster and the more expensive they get.

Nvidia GPUs 3D Modeling and Rendering


Here is a GPU Render Benchmark overview if you’d like to compare the cost to performance in a bit more detail.

Other great GPU Benchmarks to take a look at are the VRAY-RT, Octane, and Redshift benchmarks.

Best GPU for Viewport performance

As the Processor is usually the bottleneck in having a snappy Viewport, Graphics Cards shouldn’t usually make a noticeable difference, if you buy good enough.

All the GPUs listed above will perform roughly the same in Viewport performance.

This is because there are rarely features in 3D Applications, that the GPU computes slower than it takes the CPU to update Meshes, Deformers and the like.

In other words: The GPU usually has to wait for the CPU to finish its tasks to continue working.

This being said, if you rely heavily on In-Viewport SSAO, Reflections, AO, Anti-Aliasing and the like, you might want to lean towards the top of the above GPU list for a snappy Viewport.

But for most, a high clocked-CPU will make a much larger difference.

Let’s pick the Nvidia RTX 2070 for our Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering, as it has excellent GPU-Render value and is fast enough for any kind of Viewport challenges.

A quick heads-up:

In rare cases if you only use a few extremely high-poly RAW meshes (such as a CAD-Converted Car with 40 Million Polygons) and you don’t have any modifiers on this mesh, then the GPU will probably be the bottleneck as your workstation only has to update the viewing angle of the Car and not the meshes underlying structure.

How much and what Type of RAM (Memory) do you need for 3D Modeling and Rendering?

Similar to the CPU, the amount and type of memory (RAM) you’ll need will depend on your use case.

If you work on models with extremely high polygon counts, you will want more RAM than if you usually only do lightweight 3D work with simpler scenes.

I recommend 32GB of RAM for most 3D Artists.

If you sculpt or work on high-poly meshes, use lots of large textures or have complex scenes with thousands of objects in them, you might want to go with 64GB of RAM.

16 GB of RAM can be enough for many starting out with 3D, but usually, you outgrow this quite quickly.

Corsair RAM for Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering

Image-Source: gskill

RAM speeds & timing can normally be ignored, as these don’t make much of a difference performance-wise.

Getting DDR4-4166 RAM won’t be noticeably faster than DDR4-2666 RAM.

That said, AMD Threadripper does benefit more from higher clocked RAM than Intel CPUs do. This is due to the fact, that some components on Threadripper CPUs are linked to the Memory Clock speed.

So having Quad Channel Memory that is clocked at 2933Mhz might give you a few percents more performance on Threadripper CPUs.

If you do like to optimize your hardware as much as possible, the rule is usually:

The lower the CL and higher the Clock Speed, the better. So a DDR4-3200 CL15 would be slightly faster than a DDR4-2800 CL16 for example.

The new 3rd gen AMD Ryzen CPUs too, benefit from higher clocked RAM.

A note on RAM Kits

When buying RAM, buy the full amount in a single RAM kit. RAM Kits (which are RAM Modules packaged together) are pre-tested in the Factory and will work well together.

Although people often say you can buy some RAM now and add some more laterRAM modules sometimes don’t work well together.

So if you are getting entirely new RAM for your PC, be sure to get (for example) 4x8GB in a KIT and not 2x8GB + 2x8GB in two separate KITs.

Why should RAM in different KITs be different from each other?

The reason why RAM in different kits differ from each other is because they can be manufactured in different factories and different factory lines that use slightly different silicon, or because one RAM module might have been manufactured in 2017, while the other module was manufactured in 2019. You don’t know for sure that the timing on the RAM will be exactly the same between modules from different factories or different manufacturing dates.

My point is: get a kit that’s pre-tested.

Good RAM Brands are G.Skill, ADATA, Crucial and Corsair such as the Corsair 16GB Vengeance LPX Ram Kit or this 32GB Corsair RAM Kit.

Best Motherboard for 3D Modeling and Rendering

The Motherboard or Mainboard is the Hub that connects all of your hardware components together.

It’s unlikely to impact performance all that much, but you should make sure it has all the features you need. Some important things to take note of are:

  • CPU Socket type: Different CPUs need different Sockets. Make sure your motherboard has the right socket for your CPU.
  • Memory Maximum: Some Motherboards/Chipsets can only support a certain amount of RAM and only have a certain number of RAM slots. Make sure it supports the amount of RAM you want.
  • Max # of GPUs: Motherboards support a certain number of GPUs and have a certain amount of PCIe slots and lanes that your GPU will use. Make sure you have enough for the number of GPUs you want.
  • Support for M.2 (NVME Drives): If you want an M.2 PCIe drive, make sure your motherboard supports this kind of drive (the motherboard’s manual is your friend).
  • Size of the Motherboard: Motherboards comes in different sizes. Make sure your motherboard fits inside your computer case (and vice versa too, of course).

I understand this might start to sound a bit complicated, and perhaps a bit too much to handle, particularly if you’re a first-time PC builder.

This is why I have built a few workstations for you, so you won’t have to figure out every detail on your own.

If you are leaning towards a 3rd gen Ryzen build, do check out this Article on what Motherboards are best for Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs.

Best Storage for 3D Modeling and Rendering

The speed of the storage is responsible for a few things:

  • Saving and loading your scene Files
  • Storing and loading your Textures, Assets, References
  • Swapping to disk if your RAM is full
  • Launching your Software

If you want to load your scenes quickly, you’ll need a fast disk.

A feature like autosave (which I highly recommend you always have ON) will save your scene faster if you have a fast disk. On the other hand, a blazingly fast disk won’t do much for your performance once your scene is loaded into RAM.

I recommend going for at least a SATA SSD such as the Samsung 860 EVO for your OS and your Scene Files.

Consider a PCI-E M.2 SSD such as the Samsung 970 EVO if you want even faster Performance and don’t mind spending the extra money.


Fortunately, flash-based SSDs have become quite cheap recently and prices continue to drop.

Just have a look at the price decrease of the Samsung 860 EVO 1TB over the last six months:

Samsung 860 EVO Price Drop


It usually is a good Idea to get a larger HDD to be able to periodically backup your Data in case your main Discs brake down out of unforeseeable reasons. As they tend to do in the middle of the most important Project.

About PCI-E-Lanes

This section is a bit more advanced, but I get this question often enough that I want to explain it. Feel free to skip this part.

Here’s the Question: If the i7 8700K, i7 9700K, i9 9900K CPUs only offer 16 PCIe-Lanes, how can you use NVME SSDs (that already need 4 PCIe-lanes) or SATA Drives, if your GPU already uses up all of the 16 PCIe-Lanes to the CPU?

Answer: While the CPU-GPU PCIe-Lane interconnect is 16 PCIe Lanes wide, the Chipset itself can create 24 additional PCIe Lanes if required (on the Z370/Z390 Chipset).

The chipset lanes are connected to the CPU through a DMI link that’s only 4 PCIe lanes wide (which is roughly 4GB/s).

There could be a bottleneck in the unlikely scenario that you continuously copy huge amounts of data (like 50GB) from one of your NVMe SSDs to your second NVMe SSD and if your NVMe SSD can read and write faster than 2GB/s.

While that type of sequential read/write is possible (with the 970 EVO it is), it’s extremely rare that you’ll continuously be reading and writing sequentially for files that are of such size. If anything, you’ll be reading/writing randomly and on much smaller files.

Everything except for the RAM and the GPU is connected to those 24 chipset PCIe lanes, which are themselves connected to the CPU through the DMI link that’s 4 PCIe lanes wide. This includes LAN, USB, and everything else you plug into the motherboard.

The PCIe lanes from the chipset to the CPU are not used from the moment you plug in a new component. Instead, think of these PCIe lanes like highway tunnels: they’re always there and let traffic through if it has to.

So you can attach up to 24 PCIe lanes worth of components to the chipset (SATA SSDs, HDDs, USBs, Ethernet cables, etc…) but they will only connect to the CPU and use Bandwidth when needed.

If you use all those components at maximum speed at the same time, then you would bottleneck. In such a scenario, you would need to turn towards the HEDT platform (such as the LGA 2066 or TR4) and not mainstream (1151, AM4).

Best Monitor for 3D Modeling and Rendering

It’s usually better to go for a monitor with an IPS panel instead of a TN panel. IPS display panels have better color and better contrast.

If you’ll spend many hours a day staring at your monitor, you’ll want a non-glare (matte) monitor. This will avoid hard reflections that could otherwise distract you.

You also want at least a Full HD 1920×1080 monitor that nicely fits the viewport and all your software. You might even want to consider higher-resolution monitors with a 2560×1440 or even a 4K (3840×2160) resolution, so you can fit more of your footage, references, and software windows.

This is particularly true if you’re working on 4K advertising and films, or on hi-res images.

I’ve had great experiences working on the Asus IPS monitors, such as the Asus ProArt PA329Q, but you might prefer a different brand.

How many Monitors do you use?
  • Two Monitors 55%, 1407 votes
    1407 votes 55%
    1407 votes - 55% of all votes
  • Just one Monitor 32%, 814 votes
    814 votes 32%
    814 votes - 32% of all votes
  • Three Monitors 11%, 270 votes
    270 votes 11%
    270 votes - 11% of all votes
  • More than 3 Monitors 2%, 59 votes
    59 votes 2%
    59 votes - 2% of all votes
Total Votes: 2550
10. Apr, 2019

Check out this in-depth Guide to buying the best Monitors for visually demanding work, which has all the information you need for getting the best Monitor for your specific kind of work.

Best Power Supply (PSU) for 3D Modeling and Rendering

While an expensive PSU won’t increase your performance, it’s wise to get more than enough wattage.

Usually, you’ll want around 400-500 Watt for a regular build, with an additional 250W for every additional GPU.

Good PSU brands are Corsair, Seasonic, and beQuiet.

Here’s a PSU calculator that will tell you how many watts your PSU will need depending on the hardware you choose.

Build your own Computer!

The best computer for 3D modeling and rendering is a computer that’s fast, makes you spend less time on it, avoids you wanting to punch through your monitor, and shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

I get tremendous joy from building my own computers for 3D modeling, rendering, and many other use cases.

If you don’t build your own PCs yet, I’m sure you’ll learn to love it too.

Do you assemble your PC yourself or buy Pre-Built?
  • I assemble myself 69%, 1419 votes
    1419 votes 69%
    1419 votes - 69% of all votes
  • I buy Pre-Built / Let others assemble my PC 31%, 650 votes
    650 votes 31%
    650 votes - 31% of all votes
Total Votes: 2069
10. Apr, 2019

Building your own computer teaches you the inner working of the various hardware components while allowing you to gradually upgrade parts if so required and helping you find potential problems easier.

But the best part? It’s a lot cheaper than buying pre-configured computers, and it only takes an hour or two to assemble!

If you want to learn how to assemble a PC and how a computer actually works, I have an excellent book for you. It blew my mind a few years ago. You might’ve already read it, but for those of you who haven’t: prepare to be leveled up 🙂!

But How Do It Know – J. Clark Scott

I can’t stress it enough: assembling your own computer is not difficult. You more or less just plug different parts needed to build a PC into one another and tighten some screws. The hardest part seems to be adding a bit of thermal paste to the CPU. That’s it!

Here’s a nice tutorial video for you to follow along as you build:

Whew! That was quite a lot of theory. Let’s actually take a look at some functional PC builds.

Here are some Pre-Selected Builds in different Price Tiers:

Best full PC-Build Recommendations at different Price points

Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering, AMD at roughly ~700$

Some Build notes:

This very low-budget Build can be made even cheaper if you use the CPU Cooler that comes with the CPU. It doesn’t have as great a Cooling Power as the CoolerMaster Hyper 212, but this is not entirely necessary with such a CPU.

Some CPU upgrades include the Ryzen 7 2700 or 2700X if you have some extra cash.

Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering, AMD at roughly ~2000$

Some Build notes:

This is a basic AMD build that you can begin with. The Case is professional, minimalistic and quiet. There is room for 3 Optical drives in case you want to add some DVD/CD Drives.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is the fastest of the third Generation Ryzen CPUs. It has excellent Multi-Core and great Single Core performance. Be sure to take a look at this article on the best motherboards for Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs, to see which one exactly you will need.

I added a Samsung 970 EVO PLUS M.2 NVMe Drive in this build that will give you extreme Storage Performance. The Nvidia RTX 2070 will get you great performance at a good price.

Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering, Intel at roughly ~2000$

Some Build notes:

Just like the AMD Build, this is a basic build that you can build upon. The Case is professional, minimalistic and quiet.

The Intel i9-9900K is the currently leading CPU in single-core performance, meaning your viewport and active-work speed will not get any faster than with this CPU.

If you are planning on some more extreme overclocking, you might want to consider an AiO CPU cooling solution.

Best Computer for CPU Rendering, AMD at roughly ~3000$

This is an excellent Build that leans towards CPU Rendering Performance and slightly less towards active-working performance in tasks such as 3D Modeling or Animating.

Some notes on this build:

As this build is focused on CPU Rendering, the other parts such as storage and GPU are proportionally low-end compared to the 32-Core Threadripper CPU. This build has an absolutely fantastic CPU Rendering Performance.

64GB of RAM is a lot. It should be more than enough for nearly all scenes. You can save some cash by downgrading to 32GB though.

Best Computer for GPU Rendering, AMD at roughly ~7100$

This is an excellent Build that will bring you the maximum plug & play GPU Rendering Performance (on a single Consumer Mainboard) combined with an excellent CPU for good Workstation performance. But it comes at a steep price.

Some notes on this Build:

4 GPUs need a Motherboard with 4 PCIE Slots that are spaced far enough from each other to allow for 4 dual-Slot GPUs. This is possible with the Gigabyte X399 Designare EX Motherboard.

At ~$1,200 each, RTX 2080TIs are expensive.  If you’re okay with slightly slower performance, but want to save a decent chunk of money, I recommend going with 4x RTX 2070, as these come in at around $550 each. You’ll only have 8GBs of VRAM per card, but the GPU rendering performance/price is much better.

The Case is big. It has room for 8 single-slot (or 4 dual slot) Cards. The Power Supply should provide at least 1250W and I added some headroom here with the excellent 1600W Corsair Titanium Power Supply.

Threadripper CPUs are excellent for multi-GPU setups, as these CPUs have 64 PCIE-Lanes to drive all of those GPUs in 16x and 8x Mode.

– All of these builds will of course need a Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor and Operating System to be complete, but I’ll let you figure those out on your own. –

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 Title Image

If you are not quite sure yet what general kind of Computer, Desktop, Workstation or Laptop you need and you are still looking for some beginners help, check out this Article on finding exactly what kind of Computer you need.

Best Laptop for 3D Modeling and Rendering

Just a quick reminder for anyone who would like to get a Laptop instead of a Desktop PC or Workstation.

I have written an Article about what’s important in a Laptop for Animation or Laptops for Video Editing, if that’s a direction that interests you too. Go check it out!

A lot of the specs from 3D Animation will be exactly the same as for 3D Modeling. For CPU rendering, this article on the best CPU for rendering can help you out.

What kind of Computer or Workstation are you building?

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!



Hello. And Bye.



I’m an architect and scenographer and I’m buying a new computer. Right now I work on a 5 years old MacBook pro, which has 16gb of ram and it was quite a powerhouse back then (for a laptop)…

I am aware that great performance at a reasonable price is only possible by buying a PC.
I’ll be using a lot of CAD programs (ArchiCAD, Revit …) with many polygons… and also cinema 4D, 3ds max for 3d modeling and rendering. I have read many of your articles and I’ve made a configuration.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900x
MB: ASROCK X570 Taichi AM4 ATX DDR4 WiFi
RAM: Corsair DIMM 64 GB DDR4-3200 Quad-Kit C16
Cooler: Be quiet! Dark rock pro 4
PSU: Be quiet! power zone 750W
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C

In Europe that all together cost around 2300€.

I have a question about the ram. Most of the similar configurations I’ve checked have only 32gb. My concerns are that maybe 64gb is a bit too much and I should go with 32GB? But I’m not sure how will it work if I import a complex terrain with a lot of polygons into a program (for example).

I’ve selected parts in a way that I have the possibility of adding an additional graphics card in the future. Will it be 750W PSU enough?

Any thoughts, concerns, suggestions?

Thank you very much in advance. I’ve learned a lot of new stuff because of you and your web page!!


Ryzen 7 3800x has the highest base clock of 3.9ghz, how come you didnt suggest this one for 3d modelling?

Abdul Ghafoor

Hi Alex,

Firstly, great website, great information!

My question:

Is it possible to get a 2-in-1 laptop for as-near-as-possible to £1000 (ideally less) that would be good for doing these two things: (i) modelling with heavy-duty rendering (lots of polygons, lots of subdivisions etc) using blender (animation is not required); & (ii) digital painting using photoshop?

Initially I was thinking of getting both a desktop PC (for blender) & a convertible laptop (for the digital painting) – but can I kill two birds with one stone?

Thanks in advance,


Hey Abdul,

Thanks for dropping a line and thank you for the kind words!

£1,000 is around $1,230 and for that amount, you can definitely get a 2-in1 laptop but be aware that the maxim “You get what you pay for” applies here. For example, you can get the Dell Inspiron 7000, a 2-in-1 laptop with a 17.3-inch display for around $1,139.

The Inspiron 7000 has an i7-8565U CPU and 16GB of RAM which should be able to deliver a decent performance for your modeling and digital painting tasks. However, the Inspiron 7000 is a bit lacking in the GPU department because it only has a GeForce MX150 graphics card which may not cut it in case you need to use the GPU render engines. Also, it only has a 1TB HDD, no SSD here, which may lessen the laptop’s snap factor, so to speak.

What do you think about building a desktop PC and getting a pen display for you digital painting?


Abdul Ghafoor

…many thanks for the reply Alex, some super advice there.

Ref getting a desktop with a pen display – the problem is that the digital painting is mainly of outdoor landscapes, and where the actual painting is done while outdoors. This is one of the main reasons I want a 2-in-1 laptop so I can take it with me on my outdoor trips.

A) What if I increase the budget to say between £1500-1800 (and then delay buying it for around 6-12 months in the hope that the desired laptop’s price would come down during that period)?

B) Alternatively, what about (i) building a desktop for doing the 3d modelling/rendering for sub £800 (no monitor, just the case and hardware); and then (ii) coupling that with a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet even for maybe £400-ish for the digital painting?

I would love to know what your recommendations would be for the above scenarios.

Thanks again in advance,



Hello Alex,
First, thanks for the great post, learn a lot here.
I was told by someone RTX 2060S has the same performs and cheap price than 2070.
Is that true? I am planning to build a computer around $1800.
Thank you.


Hey Alex,

Thanks for the in-depth post!
I currently have heat issues with the cpu of a newly built pc and was wondering if you have any advice – specs below:

CPU: Threadripper 3970x
MOBO: Asus Prime TRx40 Pro
RAM: 64gb ram gskill
Cooler: Asus Ryujin 240mm AIO
GPU: GTX 1660 S (No Budget)
PSU: Corsair HX1200

I mainly use 3dsmax and corona for archviz projects.

Current situation:

Ambient temp is around 22-24 Celsius

Idle temp – 45-55
Full load – 83-85 but during denoising in Corona it spikes to 94-98 just for a second and goes back down.

Rad placed in front – intake
2 case fans on top – exhaust
1 case fan rear – exhaust
I also keep my case open when rendering for maximum air flow

As there are not much write ups about the temperature of the 3970x, I wanted to know if you think these temps are normal/sustainable or should I take action in some way. I am personally not used to seeing these high temps in previous builds and a bit anxious about it since rendering involves long hours of being in full load.

If you have any suggestions or insight from AMD regarding their ideal temps for 3rd gen threadripper, would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!



Hello Alex!
I plan to build my first pc after long 15 years and i want to learn 3D modelling through Blender. I also work 2D design with adobe programs and I also have in plan to learn After Effects. This is the build i have in mind, considering the prices currently in my country:
CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X – 192$
MB: MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max – 107$
GPU: Asus TUF GeForce 1650S 4GB – 192$
PSU: BeQuet Power 9 500W bronze – 75$
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 3200mhz CL16 – 94$
SSD: EVO 860 250GB – 70$

I will skip on the hdd right now, but plan to buy one after few months, some 2TB 7200rpm for around 60$. From all parts above i bought so far only the ssd and cpu is ordered but not paid yet. Is this a good combination of components or should I change something? I have some doubts for the CPU, is it maybe better value to go with 2700 (168$) or 2600X (151$)? Also for the MB it is very limited number of b450 boards here. There are some boards from Asrock and MSI as cheaper solutions for around 70$. What about Asus boards like b450m Prime-a for 90$ or Gigabyte Aorus elite for 107$?


Hey Slobodan,

Thanks for dropping a line!

Your list of components actually look good! If you plan on using this build for work purposes, my suggestion is for you to stick with the Ryzen 7 2700X. For it’s price, it is a good combination of high core count (8 cores) and high clock speed (3.7 GHz base clock and Max Boost of up to 4.3 GHz). Along with your RAM (which by its price I assume is a 16GB kit), the CPU will deliver task responsiveness when working actively inside the software.

In terms of motherboard, the MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max is also a good option. B450 motherboards regardless of manufacturer use the same AM4 platform. When choosing a motherboard, it’s best if you look at the features they offer and which among these boards fit your budget. I do not tend to recommend getting very cheap motherboards because as always, the maxim “You get what you pay for” applies here. In my book, it’s better to spend more on a build that will be used for work because it is a worthy investment. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing in your list of components and I’m sure this build will serve you well!


louis ackaah

can anyone help me to use a system unit for Autocad 2019 and revit,sketchup, adobe aftereffect and lightroom

Hey Louis,

Thanks for asking!

If I may ask, how much are you willing to spend for a CAD-centric build?

Just so you’d have an idea, please take a look at a $1,000 build I put together for you:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($199.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 ($189.99)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce ($279.99)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($83.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($84.63)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.29)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99)

The total of the build comes up to around $997.87 but you can expect this build to be decent enough for your CAD and other design tasks. Alternatively, you can also use the site’s PC Builder Tool. Access the tool here: and input your budget and use case and the tool will automatically generate the best components based on your input.



Hi Alex,

I was looking for Render farm. I can’t find anything about it..
I already have an idea but your review and specification will be worth-full for me..
Because most of the hardware details I learnt here.
Thanks for your detailed input on topics which made me to built pc for myself as well as others which works well.

So, I would like to get some inputs and thoughts on GPU Render farm as well as CPU Render Farm.



Can you help me choose the other parts(Motherboard and Power Supply)?
-cpu: AMD AM4 Ryzen 7 3700X
-gpu: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti OC 6G
-ram: (probably corsair vengeance lpx) 2x16GB 3600mhz c15
-ssd: Samsung SATA III MZ-76E500B 860 EVO 500GB
soo i have about 250$ for motherboard and power supply.
This pc will be used for sculpting(zbrush), texture painting(substance painter), unreal,blender(eevee, not cycles).
If you have time i would like to hear your opinion on this build


Gigabyte B450 AORUS ELITE- 115.0 $
Gigabyte Aorus P850W -110.0 $ (future proof)