Building the best PC for 3D Animation in 2019

Building the best PC for 3D Animation in 2019

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   134 comments
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Building the best Computer for Animation requires some specific Hardware Components and just a tiny bit of insight into the inner workings of 2D & 3D Animation Software and how they use the hardware.

Browsing for new Computer Parts is always a lot of fun and in this article, you might find a few things that will make that process easier and even more interesting!

Now, this Article “Best Computer for Animation” is structured into three parts:

The first being how Animation Software utilizes the Hardware. The second being insight and recommendations on what Hardware Parts are important and best for a Computer for Animation.

And the last Part gives you finished Desktop Computer Builds in different Price Tiers if you would just like to see how a complete Computer Build for Animation would look like in your budget.

How do Animation Tasks use the Hardware

Before we take a look at what hardware we should put in our best Computer for Animation let’s see how Animation Tasks actually use the Hardware.

Now, when I animate I usually do some of the following:

I pose rigged characters, set Keyframes, adjust Animation Curves, Move objects around for Keying on new Frames, move my view and cameras around a lot or play back the animations to be able to check and revise them, among others.

All of these processes have one thing in common: I am actively tweaking things inside my Software and expect an immediate result.

I don’t push a button and wait for 2 minutes while walking around the office, no, I expect the Viewport or Menus or other User Interface Elements in my Software to update right away.

Seems obvious! But there are lots of other tasks in a Production Pipeline of an Animated Film that work very differently.

Think of Rendering,  Simulation, Texture Baking or Encoding to name a few. These would be Processes where you don’t actively interact with the Computer, but mainly let it run its tasks on its own until it is finished.

Why is this important?

Because we can now already say one very important thing and that is “Single-Core Performance“.

Let’s see what this means exactly:

Single-Core Performance dependent tasks are tasks that can not be parallelized. Modern Processors (CPU) that are responsible for calculating almost everything you do on the Computer usually have more than one so-called Cores.

Cores are individual parts of a CPU that can calculate a given task.

In a Computer for Animation, we will want a CPU with extremely fast Cores, as the tasks we are dealing with the most, are tasks that can only be calculated by one Core at a time.

So having a high Core-Count wouldn’t benefit us all that much.

The main reason why Animation can’t be parallelized that well is because the underlying Objects that are being animated usually are rigged, deformed, driven by scripts or otherwise dependent on a hierarchical order that has to be processed one after another, without being able to outsource some steps to others Cores.

Let’s make an example:

The 3D Character that you are animating usually consists of a single Mesh. This Mesh is deformed by a Rig.

The Rig is driven by Control Objects. The deformed/animated Mesh might also have Face Controls and some kind of soft body simulation for the jiggly parts such as the belly.

And this is a pretty ordinary Character. I haven’t even gotten into Hair Collisions, Dynamic IK Chains, Muscle Collisions and so on yet.

All of these Deformers and Rigs all have to be stepped through in a predefined order until the resulting final Mesh can be correctly displayed for that Frame.

I can’t tell some of my CPU cores to already calculate the Textures or Shading or Hair Collisions, if I haven’t yet calculated the basic body Animation Parts, such as the animation and movement of the extremities.

Best Computer for Animation - Hierarchy

This is why only a single Core has to painstakingly calculate all of these hierarchical steps on after another.

And this can only be accelerated if this CPU Core, that at this moment does all the work, is as fast as possible, has as high a clock as possible.

After all, it has to do this process for everything in your Scene, usually 25 times per second (or what your desired Framerate is) for you to have a fluid playback experience.

This can be applied to 2D animation as well. Even if the underlying rigs or object complexities might be somewhat simpler.

Having a slightly lower complexity in 2D usually just means you add more effects to your processing chain such as Motion Blur, and still want to have a realtime experience as much as possible, even with all the layer dependencies that are slowing the CPU down.

Now, lots of other tasks can be highly parallelized, such as Rendering.

For CPU Rendering for example, you would need a CPU that has as many Cores as possible because a Render task can be split into smaller parallelizable tasks almost indefinitely.

That was quite some theory behind it all.

As the CPU seems to be the most important part in the best Computer for Animation, let’s take a look at what Processors there are that we can choose from and what other kind of Hardware Components can speed up our Computer:

Best Hardware for Animation explained

The Best CPU (Processor) for Animation

As we now know, for animation we will need a very high clocking CPU and not as much a CPU that has many Cores.

Or couldn’t we just get a CPU that has a very high clock AND lots and lots of Cores?

That way we could work fast actively AND CPU Render fast?

Good thinking, but unfortunately this is not how it works. There is always a trade-off between core-clocks and core-counts.

Meaning, if you want a very high clocking CPU you will only get a few cores and if you want lots of cores, these cores will most certainly be clocked fairly low.

Why?

This is because a CPU has specific thermal and power regulations that it can not exceed. And since every core and every extra clock needs more power and makes the CPU hotter, it kind of makes sense there is this trade-off.

Now, fortunately, Intel and AMD have thought of a way to compensate for this, at least to a certain degree.

Both have a feature called Turbo-Boost or Turbo-Core.

This feature automatically overclocks the cores that are being used a long as the power and thermal limitations are not exceeded.

For Animation this means, you might have a CPU with 6 Cores but while animating you only need 1-2 Cores. The CPU now automatically overclocks these 1-2 Cores that are in use but downclocks or lets all other cores in a type of idle mode.

This happens so fast, that you won’t notice it at all. But you WILL notice that the Cores you are using (if you are using only a few) are faster.

So here they are, the CPU recommendations for our Best Computer for Animation:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X – 12 Cores / 24 Threads, 3.8GHz Base Clock, 4.6GHz Turbo Clock
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600X – 6 Cores / 12 Threads, 3.8GHz Base Clock, 4.4GHz Turbo Clock
  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X – 8 Cores / 16 Threads, 3.6GHz Base Clock, Turbo Boost 4.3GHz
  • Intel i9 9900K – 8 Cores / 16 Threads, 3.6GHz Base Clock, Turbo Boost 5GHz
  • Intel i7 8700K – 6 Cores / 12 Threads, 3.6GHz Base Clock, Turbo Boost 4.7GHz

These CPUs are all excellent for Animation. They have a high Turbo-Clock and will give you a snappy work experience.

AMD Ryzen vs i7 8700K

Image-Source: AMD/Intel

The AMD Ryzen 2700X is the Performance / Price winner in this case, as many of the higher end CPUs are still unproportionally more expensive.

To get an impression of how these CPUs perform in different workloads, especially in Rendering, go take a look at some of the Benchmark Comparisons such as Cinebench or VRAY Bench.

Best Graphics Card (GPU) for Animation

One would expect the Graphics Card to play a larger role in giving a smooth Viewport and Software Experience, but in the Animation stage, this is usually not the case.

This doesn’t mean the GPU can be ignored but it is seldom the bottleneck and usually has lots of headroom left over while waiting for the CPU to do its calculations before it displays the output.

This changes though when you depend on certain features, that only the GPU can calculate. This includes OpenGL features such as Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, SSAO, Realtime-Shadows and many more.

These type of features are also found in the Maya Viewport 2.0 and you will benefit from a strong GPU here.

If you don’t rely on a realistic Viewport that shows a near-final quality Scene, but animate mostly in shaded low-quality preview modes without any fancy effects, then you can make ends meet with a lower tier Graphics Card such as the Nvidia GTX 1060.

Let’s take a look at some of the currently most popular GPUs:

Both GPU Manufacturers, AMD and Nvidia, have some excellent Cards for our purposes, although Nvidia Cards seem to do better in some 3D Applications and should be your choice, especially if you also plan on GPU Rendering with these.

The process of GPU Rendering, of course, is much more demanding than Viewport Animation, but this topic is so complex, that I covered it in another article for you to read here: Best Graphics Cards for GPU Rendering.

As a minimum, I usually recommend an Nvidia GTX 1060 that already gives excellent performance in most of the 3D and 2D Animation Applications out there.

Best Computer for Animation - GPU

Image-Source: gamespot.com

If you need certain professional Features such as 10bit Color support you should consider an Nvidia Quadro GPU, as these come with drivers that support more features.

That said though, I have been in the 3D Industry for a decade now and have never needed a Quadro Card or wanted to pay the heavy premium to get one.

The GTX and RTX Cards have excellent Performance / Price Ratio, especially compared to the Quadro Cards and you can GPU Render on them extremely fast.

The AMD GPUs can perform well too, though many Software-vendors optimize for Nvidia Cards, and many GPU Render Engines support Nvidia GPUs only (CUDA Support), that is why you very rarely see an AMD GPU be recommended for a Computer or Workstation in Animation.

They are excellent GPUs, no questions asked, but the Industry support unfortunately just isn’t on the same level yet as it is with Nvidia.

How much and what type of RAM in a Desktop Computer for Animation

I hear this discussed often and it is quite true: RAM does not impact Speed all that much (if at all) UNLESS you have too little.

Sure there might be the 2% Speed gain in certain type of workloads, but getting extremely expensive or high-clocked Ram with great Timings, just isn’t worth it, especially if you are not planning on extreme Overclocking.

It is much better to get “normal” RAM for a normal price and spend the extra bucks on additional Gigabytes.

This will help you a lot more in the long run.

RAM (or Memory) is essentially just a storage part, that the CPU (and some other Hardware) uses to cache data so it can access it very quickly. If this RAM is full, there is nowhere else to go but the System Storage Devices such as the Hard Disk, or Solid State Disks.

These though are a multitude slower than RAM, and you will notice your System crawls to a halt if your RAM is full.

So you should make sure you have enough RAM, as full RAM is also a reason why Systems often crash.

Corsair RAM for Computer for Animation

Image-Source: gskill

That said, the baseline should be 16GB of RAM.

32GB though is much better already and 64GB will last you a long time unless you are working on very large projects with lots of Polygons, Displacements, Hires Textures or giant Particle Caches.

Having more RAM also benefits you when you have more than one Software open at a time. And that happens all the time.

If you are in Cinema 4D or Maya or 3ds Max, chances are you also have Photoshop, maybe After Effects, Google Chrome and an Email Program open, and of course all of these Applications need their own share of RAM.

Good brands to look out for usually are Corsair, G.Skill & OCZ but you might prefer others. Some particular RAM Kits I can recommend are Corsair 16GB LPX and the Corsair 32GB LPX Vengeance Kit.

One Important thing here: Buy your final RAM Size in a KIT (Bundle). If you want 32 Gbytes of RAM, buy 4*8GB in a KIT or 2*16GB in a KIT.

Don’t buy two or more individual RAMs.

Why?

Because bundled RAMs are pre-tested in the Factory and will work well together.

If you buy RAM Sticks individually, these might not work well together (even if they are of the exact same specifications and Brand) and can be a cause of crashes and Blue-Screens.

If you do like to optimize even your RAM as much as possible and have some more cash to spare, the general rule is to buy high Clocks and low CL Timings for best performance.

So a 32GB DDR4 3200MHz CL15 would be slightly better than a 32GB DDR4 2666MHz CL17.

Best Mainboard for Animation

As with RAM, the Mainboard too is nothing that will speed up this Computer all that much, but there are some things to consider before buying just any mainboard.

The Mainboard (or Motherboard) basically is the central HUB where all your other hardware is attached to.

It serves as a switchboard between these Hardware Components and any external devices you might want to plug into the Computer.

The CPU plugs into the Mainboard and requires the right Socket.

An Intel i7 8700K, for example, would need an LGA 1151 Socket and it only fits into this socket. An AMD Ryzen CPU needs a Motherboard that has an AM4 Socket.

Mainboards have PCI-Express Slots, where the GPU(s) are plugged into. Depending on how many GPUs you would like to get or are planning on upgrading to in the future, be sure to get a Mainboard that has enough PCI-Express Slots.

PCI-E Slots and PCI-E Lanes though are a Topic for itself and therefore have an Article for themselves.

Head over there if GPU Rendering in Redshift, VRAY-RT or Octane on Multi-GPU Setups is something you are planning on doing.

Best Computer for Animation - MSI Mainboard

Image-Source: tweakpc.de

In addition, you should make sure the Mainboard supports the amount of RAM you will be installing. Modern Motherboards usually support up to 64GB of RAM.

External USB Sticks, external Hard-Drives, Input Devices, Mouse, Keyboard and Tablet, and many more are also plugged into the Mainboard.

If you have a lot of external devices that you want to be able to use with this Computer for Animation, be sure the Mainboard has enough connectors to handle them.

Good Motherboard Brands to look out for usually include ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte & ASROCK but there are others that you might prefer.

If you find all of this a bit overwhelming, I have some finished Computer Builds that I put together for you down below with Hardware Components that work well together.

Best Storage Devices in a Computer for Animation

Storage is an easy one. There basically only are 3 Types of Storage Devices that you can get and I’ll list the benefits and use cases very briefly:

HDD or Hard Disc Drive

  • Kind of an old Storage Device that has been overtaken in terms of performance and speed
  • Good for archiving backing up lots of Data, not as good for an active Work Drive
  • Recommendations: Seagate Barracuda or Western Digital Blue in your desired Size (for example 2TB)

(Sata) SSD or Solid State Drive

  • About 5x faster than HDD
  • Good for working and OS Drive
  • Recommendations: Samsung 860 EVO in your desired size (for example 500GB)

M.2 PCI-E NVME SSD

  • Fancy long Name AND extreme Performance, 5x faster than even SSDs
  • Great for working Drive and OS /Applications Drive
  • More Expensive than SATA SSDs but in my experience worth it
  • Recommendations: Samsung 970 EVO in your desired Sizes (for example 512GB)
Best Computer for Animation - SSD vs NVMe

Image-Source: atpinc.com

Samsung 860 EVO Price Drop

Image-Source: geizhals.de

Especially SSD and NVME are coming down in price very fast currently as you can see in this price chart:

Highly recommended!

Best PSU & Case for our Animation PC Build

Both the Power Supply and the Case, of course, won’t do anything for your Animation performance at all, but here are some things to be aware of before choosing:

It is best to get a bit more Wattage in your PSU than necessary, so you have some headroom in case you upgrade to more or more power hungry components in the future.

This way you can keep your PSU when you upgrade your other components.

Good PSU Brands are Corsair, Seasonic & BeQuiet but you might prefer others or already have a PSU in your current/old computer that you can continue using if it is strong enough.

Check this wattage calculator here to determine how much Watts your PSU should have, depending on the Hardware Components that you are planning on having in your Computer for Animation.

The Case is what will be on display in your office or room. That is pretty much the only thing people or you get to see. (Unless you have a see-through Case)

Apart from having it fit all of the Hardware Components, this is one of the parts of Building a Computer for Animation, where you can let your taste decide what pleases you.

There are so many different Case styles, Colors, Materials, with or without See-through glass windows and various forms and sizes out there, you can browse for days and weeks 🙂

I have had excellent experience with Cases from Corsair, such as the Corsair Carbide 400C or the Obsidian 750D, but that is just my taste in having a professional minimalistic looking case, that also dampens the noise somewhat, so my Workstations run quietly.

Best Computer for Animation - Corsair Case

Image-Source: Corsair

Of course, you should make sure your hardware components fit into the case, so be sure to get at least ATX Midi Tower (or similar) Sizes for a standard build, or a bigger Tower if you plan on putting lots of GPUs or Watercooling inside.

Ability to Upgrade your Computer

This is one of the many reasons for carefully building a Computer with the right Hardware Parts: You can upgrade almost anything.

Want a faster CPU? Get a faster one and sell your old CPU on eBay. Usually, the Mainboard Sockets are good for a couple of CPU Generations.

More RAM? Just get more RAM. (Though beware of incompatibilities when using individual RAM Kits)

Want a faster GPU? Swap your GPU for a faster one. Or add more GPUs (if your Mainboard has enough PCIe Slots)

Storage can be added too, and most mainboards support a good number of internal devices.

You can even swap out your Mainboard for a better one, as long as the CPU socket and Chipset is compatible with all your other Components.

Best Monitor for Animation

Let me say this:

Size – Important

Resolution – Important

Color Display Quality – Usually not that important and this is the thing that drives Monitor prices up the most. But do read on:

Yes, you should get a Monitor that is large enough, or even two and more Monitors, so your Software User Interface, Viewport and previews and potential Image/Video References fit neatly without you having to change between different windows all the time.

Having a higher Resolution helps with fitting more on your Monitors, though beware that there are still some Applications out there that scale their Interfaces and on-screen Text with the Resolution of the Monitor.

So having a high res display (such as 4k) might make the UI Text extremely small. Usually, Windows compensates this by trying to scale it back up, but that doesn’t always work well and might result in a blurry UI.

Probably the most expensive feature in a Monitor is getting a high-quality IPS Panel instead of a TN Panel.

You might have already seen, that some Monitors cost around 200$ and some other with seemingly the exact same features are 600$ and up.

This is usually because the built-in Panel type is an IPS (In-Plane-Switching) Panel and not a lower quality TN Panel.

IPS Panels have better Contrast and Color Display.

You should get one if you are doing lots of Color Grading, Post-Production, Color-accurate Print, Web or Broadcasting Work.

If all you do is Animate or Model in your 3D Software and you usually just use the standard shaded or Wireframe view, you can save some money and get a regular TN-Panel Monitor.

I have had good experience with Asus IPS 24″ and 27″ Monitors that aren’t too expensive but you might prefer others.

If you would like to know more, definitely 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.

You should build your best PC yourself

I say this in all my Articles and I can’t stress it enough: Build your own Computer!

It’s much cheaper, it’s fun, you gain knowledge about how a Computer works and what parts it is made up of and with this knowledge, you can upgrade and fix most Problems that you might run into later on your own.

It’s not difficult and if you know how to follow instructions or how to put together a Lego Set, then you can build a Computer yourself.

Here’s a good Video that shows you how to:


Now that we know what individual Hardware Parts we should put into a Computer for Animation, let’s take a look at some Pre-Selected Builds in different Price-Tiers:

Finished Computer Builds in different Price Tiers

Best Computer for Animation, AMD at roughly ~700$

Some Build notes:

This is a lower end build, if you are a bit tight on budget. If you have some extra money to spend, you should consider the AMD Ryzen 2700X. If you want to save some money you could skip the extra CPU-Cooler and just use the Cooler that AMD ships with the CPU.

If you can spare some more cash, consider upgrading to an Nvidia GTX 1660Ti.

Best Computer for Animation, AMD at roughly ~1200$

Some Build notes:

This is a basic AMD build that you can build upon. The Case is professional looking, minimalistic and quiet. There is no room for Optical drives, you will need a different Case if you want to have DVD/CD Drives.

The AMD Ryzen 3600X is a CPU with a great value, excellent Multi-Core and Single Core performance. All AMD Ryzen CPUs usually come with included CPU coolers, so you wouldn’t necessarily need an extra cooler if you want to save some money.

I added a Samsung 970 EVO PLUS M.2 NVMe Drive in this build that will give you extreme Storage Performance.

Best Computer for Animation, AMD at roughly ~1500$

Some Build notes:

This is a basic build that you can build upon. The Case is professional looking, minimalistic and quiet.

The AMD Ryzen 3700X CPU comes with a boxed cooler, though I added the Cooler Master EVO 212 to the build for some additional cooling performance. Air Coolers are usually quieter than AIO or Water Cooling solutions, as they only have one Fan and no pumping noise.

A nice upgrade, if you have the extra cash, would be to go with the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, as it has 4 extra Cores for a total of 12 Cores and higher Core-Clocks.

Best Computer for Animation, Intel at roughly ~2200$

Some Build notes:

Although AMD does currently have the lead in providing CPUs for Animation tasks at better value and performance, Intel has some excellent CPUs with their own benefits.

The i9 9900K in this build has very high single core performance for smooth active work inside your 3D Viewport, and its 8, high-clocking, Cores grant you great performance when doing multi-core tasks such as CPU rendering.

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 Animation PC with part recommendations that will fit within your budget.

It also recommends Laptops for Animation, if you would like to be more mobile.

PC-Builder Facebook Title Image

That’s pretty much it!

What Computer for Animation 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!

134
Comments

Abhishek

Hello Alex,

Thank you so much for your post, it has excellent information.

I am Abhishek from Bhopal, M.P., (India)

I have a total working experience of 16 years in 2d Animator, Flash Animator and 3d Animator in production & pre-production ( Series, Movies and Gaming.). I want to do work in Animation series, Animation Gaming & Animation movies in future.

So I’m planing and want to taking a PC for Animation including Maya (3d Animator), Flash Animator (Adobe Animate CC ), Adobe Photoshop, Unity 2d/3d, Toon Boom Harmony. I don’t know which best processor, CPU , CPU Cooler, Graphics Card, RAM, Operating sytem, PCIE-SSD, HDD, Motherboard, Power Supply, Cooler master, Monitor size and anything to buy for better support…. AMD Ryzen9 3900X and Intel i9 9900k is not available in Bhopal (India) at this time…. Also I don’t know which best CPU Including AMD Ryzen7 3800X, AMD Ryzen7 3700X, AMD Ryzen7 2700X, AMD Ryzen5 3600X and intel (64-bit) i7 9700k , i9 9900k in 9th generation. so I could not decided to buy for better CPU in AMD or Intel.

(1). Can you tell me about AMD is best or intel is best for better working in Animation ( 3d Maya, Flash Animator (Adobe Animate CC ), Adobe Photoshop, Unity 2d/3d, Toon Boom Harmony).

(2). Can you please help me in details which one is best CPU, processor, CPU Cooler, Graphics Card, RAM, Operating sytem, PCIE-SSD, HDD, Motherboard, Power Supply, Cooler master, Monitor size for better support in AMD Ryzen7 3800X, AMD Ryzen7 3700X, AMD Ryzen7 2700X, AMD Ryzen5 3600X and intel (64-bit) i7 9700k, i9 9900k in 9th generation.

(3). Can you tell me that which one is best Wacom with pen tool.

Please Guide me…..

Thanks

Efe

Hello Alex,
Your write up is quite interesting and educative. Thanks for your guidance.
I am about to venture into the interesting world of animations and graphic designing.
I’d like to start with Adobe After Effects and then Maya 3D animation and any other you may want to recommend.
I currently have 2 systems – A MacBook Air (2014) and a Lenovo all-in-one system.

The spec of the MacBook Air is:
11-inch; 1.4Ghz; 4GB 1600MHz DDR3; Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536

Lenovo is:
Windows 10 Home 64-bit; AMD A9-9410 RADEON R5, 5 COMPUTE CORES 2C+3G (2 CPUs); 2.9 GHz; 8GB RAM

Just copied the above the way they are on the systems lol.

Will these systems be able to help me achieve my goal or do I need a faster one?

Secondly, if I am to get a system, I would most likely prefer a laptop so I can carry it around as I may need to travel once a while.

With the build of systems you mentioned in your write up, is there a laptop that has these specifications? If a laptop is possible, can the Apple Pro compete, as I really like their products?

Finally, I’m on a budget as well, can I achieve my goals with a budget in the neighborhood of $1,000?

Please guide and channel me to my dreams.

Efe, from Nigeria.

Hey Efe,

Thanks for dropping a comment!

Your Lenovo AIO or your MacBook Air may be able to handle Adobe After Effects and Maya 3D but the experience I’m sure will not be as smooth as you want it because After Effects requires a minimum of 16GB of RAM (32GB recommended) while Maya needs 8GB minimum (16GB or more is recommended).

It’s nice to have a MacBook Pro if you have the budget for it but the cheapest MacBook Pro at the moment costs around $1,199.99. With your budget of $1,000, you can already get a different laptop with better specs than the cheapest MacBook Pro but costs a lot less.

My recommendation is the MSI GL63 which costs around $899.95. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-8750H 2.20GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q 4GB
Memory(RAM) 8GB DDR4-2666
SSD 128GB M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive
HDD 1TB Hard Drive
Weight 1.86 kg (~4.09pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

The MSI GL63’s i7-8750H with its 2.20 GHz base clock and Turbo Boost of 4.10 GHz will be helpful especially if you will doing a lot of active work inside the software.

Also, you may want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool at https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/ for laptop recommendations based on your budget and use case scenario.

Cheers,
Alex

Efe

Thanks Alex.

Been hoping for a reply.

Thanks for pointing me to the right direction. #happy

abhishek

Hello Alex,

Thank you so much for your post, it has excellent information.

I am Abhishek from Bhopal, M.P., (India)

I have a total working experience of 16 years in 2d Animator, Flash Animator and 3d Animator in production & pre-production ( Series, Movies and Gaming.). I want to do work in Animation series, Animation Gaming & Animation movies in future.

So I’m planing and want to taking a PC for Animation including Maya (3d Animator), Flash Animator (Adobe Animate CC ), Adobe Photoshop, Unity 2d/3d, Toon Boom Harmony. I don’t know which best processor, CPU , CPU Cooler, Graphics Card, RAM, Operating sytem, PCIE-SSD, HDD, Motherboard, Power Supply, Cooler master, Monitor size and anything to buy for better support…. AMD Ryzen9 3900X and Intel i9 9900k is not available in Bhopal (India) at this time…. Also I don’t know which best CPU Including AMD Ryzen7 3800X, AMD Ryzen7 3700X, AMD Ryzen7 2700X, AMD Ryzen5 3600X and intel (64-bit) i7 9700k , i9 9900k in 9th generation. so I could not decided to buy for better CPU in AMD or Intel.

(1). Can you tell me about AMD is best or intel is best for better working in Animation ( 3d Maya, Flash Animator (Adobe Animate CC ), Adobe Photoshop, Unity 2d/3d, Toon Boom Harmony).

(2). Can you please help me in details which one is best CPU, processor, CPU Cooler, Graphics Card, RAM, Operating sytem, PCIE-SSD, HDD, Motherboard, Power Supply, Cooler master, Monitor size for better support in AMD Ryzen7 3800X, AMD Ryzen7 3700X, AMD Ryzen7 2700X, AMD Ryzen5 3600X and intel (64-bit) i7 9700k, i9 9900k in 9th generation.

(3). Can you tell me that which one is best Wacom with pen tool.

Please Guide me…..

Thanks

roman

Hi Alex, please how would you characterize this configuration? I want to buy a new PC.

I work on sketchup and vrey 4-6 3D renders per month (mostly 3D interior design images like rooms, small office..etc )

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.60GHz, RAM 16GB, 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD, nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB

thx, R

Hi Roman,

Thanks for asking!

If I may ask, what’s your budget?

The type of build you should put together will always depend on your budget and the type of work you do. If you mostly do active work inside the software, it would be best if you invest in a CPU with a high clock speed to help with task responsiveness. However, if you do a lot of rendering, a CPU with high core count and an NVIDIA-based GPU (if you plan on using the GPU render engines) should be at the heart of your system. The rest of the build will then follow once you’ve chosen your CPU and GPU.

Also, you may want to check out the site’s PC Builder Tool at https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/ for build recommendations based on your budget and use case scenario.

Cheers,
Alex

roman

Hi Alex, Thank you for your reply. I was thinking of spending about $ 1,100, this is how much this configuration costs (AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.60GHz, RAM 16GB, 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD, nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB). The prices of the same configuration are different depending on the country where you live. Prices in Europe are slightly higher than in the US.

I looked at the pc-builder that you sent me and about for the same budget is offered the same configuration.
The only difference is the CPU.

Do you think it pays off for my scope of work that I described to you earlier, take better Ryzem 7 3700x or AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X instead of Ryzen 5 3600x from my configuration and pay $ 150-200 more. Is there a significant difference between these CPUs?

thanks again, roman

Hey Roman,

The Ryzen 7 3700X is slightly more powerful with its 8 cores, 3.6 GHz base clock, and 4.4 GHz Max Boost clock compared to the 6 cores of the 3600X and 3.8 GHz base clock and Max Boost clock of 4.4 GHz.

The additional 2 cores of the 3700X will make a difference in the type of work you do but it won’t be a very significant difference to be game-changing, so to speak. Personally, I will always go for the more powerful CPU because a rig you build for work is an investment and the money you spend for your build will always be money well spent.

While having a Threadripper CPU at the heart of your system will the best case scenario for the type of work you do, it’s not advisable if you have certain budget constraints. While the 1920X is slightly cheaper nowadays, going for a Threadripper CPU requires that you also go for any of the TR4-compatible motherboards which are more expensive than your regular AM4-compatible X570 motherboard. So, if you go the Threadripper route, expect to pay more than just $200 for this change.

Cheers,
Alex

roman

alex, thank you very much for your help. br,R

Tyler

Hey Alex,
First off, thanks for what you do, this is a great article! Super informative. Secondly, I wanted to ask your advice for a build. I am looking to build a PC that will be a good all around video work station (After Effects, Premiere, C4D, Blender) for about $1200. I primarily work in After Effects, but am looking to expand into the realm of 3D animation, so I would like to have something that does both relatively well. Just wondering if you have any recommendations?

Hey Tyler,

Thank you for the kind words!

Since the applications you use such as After Effects and Premiere involve you working actively inside the software, you would need a CPU with a high clock speed. Cinema 4D and Blender on the other hand require an NVIDIA graphics card for CUDA core acceleration. That said, take a look at the build I put together for you given your $1200 budget:

Parts List:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($239.00)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition AM4 ($38.99)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite ATX AM4 ($199.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB – MSI Gaming ($349.99)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($82.98)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($109.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($64.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Mid Tower Case ($91.00)

Total: $1176.93

You may also want to check the site’s PC Builder Guide at https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/ for build recommendations based on different price points.

Cheers,
Alex

Kyle

Hey Alex,

I’m slowly working on putting together a build for my new computer. I was looking at an ASRock B450M Pro 4 for the motherboard. I’m trying to stay on the lower end, budget-wise, and I was just wondering if you had any thoughts about this model? Would it do okay for a budget build, or am I missing some weaknesses in it? Thanks for the help.

Robin

Hi Alex,
Thanks for all help, in finding the best workstation
May I ask what you think of this?

CPU: Amd Ryzen 9 3900x or amd ryzen threadripper 2950x
SSD: Samsung 970 EVO plus 500 gb
RAM: 64 gb (4*16) corsair vengeance lpx ddr4 3200
GRAPHICS CARD: Nvidia Rtx 2080 8gb
CPU COOLER: Be quiet! Dark rock pro 4 am4
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair rmx series rm650 650w atx 2.4
MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte x399 designare ex atx tr4
CASE: Fractal design Define xl titanium bigtower c

I have a few questions, if I may ask?
What brand of graphics card would be best to buy?
And what cpu would be better to buy of the 2?
Is the motherboard good or do you have a better one in mind?

Atripintime

I was looking at the High Speed Computing
Platinum 3D Workstation offered by NOVEDGE. Any suggestions or alternatives comparable?

Shubhu

Which NVMe m.2 drive is best in terms of performance and price for workstation like 3d modelling, video editing?

Lucia

Can you please answer me, is it good for 3ds max, v ray, maya? Thank you 🙂
MSI GP73 8RF-473 – Leopard 17,3″ Full HD matt + MSI Loot Box
43,90cm (17,3″) Full HD, Intel Core i7-8750H (6x 2,2GHz), 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1000GB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070, Windows 10 Home 64-Bit + MSI Loot Box

Luka

Hi Alex, i am from Georgia (country) and i found only this settings PC here.

Motherboard: ASUS TUF Z390-PLUS GAMING
Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K
Processor Frequency: Base: 3.6 GHz; Max turbo: 5.0 GHz
Processor Cooler: Deepcool liquid cpu cooler “Captain 240 EX” – DP-GS-H12L-CT240A4
Hard Disk: Silicon Power SSD A55 1TB – SP001TBSS3A55S25
RAM: Patriot V4 DDR4 32GB 3200MHz DUAL KIT – PV432G320C6K
Graphics Card: Zotac GAMING GeForce RTX2080 8GB
Optical drive reader: No
Case: AZZA Chroma 410B
Power supply: Deepcool DQ750ST 750W 80Plus Gold

Is this will be good for 3D animations? or something need to change here?
Thanks a lot!