Building the best PC for 3D Animation [2020 Guide]

CG Director Author Alex Glawion  by Alex Glawion   ⋮   ⋮   360 comments
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Building the best PC for 3D Animation [2020 Guide]

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:

  1. The first being how Animation Software utilizes the Hardware.
  2. The second being insight and recommendations on what Hardware Parts are important and best for a Computer for Animation.
  3. 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 within 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, independent from the 3D-Software, 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.

PC for Cinema 4D Viewport Animation Modeling

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.

Here’s an Image of the Windows Taskmanager, showing the CPU has 4 Cores.

Quad Core CPU - Best PC for Animation

Image-Source: Microsoft Windows

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. Rendering Images can be perfectly parallelized and you can make full use of all of your CPU Cores.

CPU Rendering CPU Cores Buckets

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?

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.

turboBoost

Image-Source: Intel, Intel’s Turbo Boost

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

This feature automatically overclocks the cores that are being used as long as the power draw 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 9 3700X – 8 Cores / 16 Threads, 3.6GHz Base Clock, 4.4GHz Turbo Clock
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600X – 6 Cores / 12 Threads, 3.8GHz Base Clock, 4.4GHz Turbo Clock
  • Intel i9 9900K – 8 Cores / 16 Threads, 3.6GHz Base Clock, Turbo Boost 5GHz
  • Intel i7 9700K – 8 Cores / 8 Threads, 3.6GHz Base Clock, Turbo Boost 4.9GHz

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 3700X is the Performance / Price winner in this case, as many of the higher end CPUs are still unproportionally more expensive – or have a lot of cores that don’t speed up Animation workloads per se (they do help in rendering of course).

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.

Autodesk Maya Viewport 2.0 Performance Animation PC

Image-Credit: Autodesk

If you don’t rely on a realistic Viewport that approaches 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 1660.

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

Nvidia GPUs for Animation

AMD GPUs for Animation

Both Lists in order of Performance – highest performance at the top.

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 1650 Super 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 either an Nvidia RTX  or AMD GPU, as these come with drivers that support more features.

The Nvidia 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.

AMD manufactures 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

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.

For Animation, it’s much better to get “normal” RAM Speeds for a normal price and spend the extra bucks on additional RAM size.

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 or crawl to a halt.

Corsair RAM for Computer for Animation

Image-Source: gskill

That said, the baseline amount of RAM for Animation 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 and G.Skill 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 RAM KITs that you will mix.

Why?

Because bundled RAM modules 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.

Here’s our RAM Guide for Ryzen CPUs that will give you some more excellent types of RAM recommendations.

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.

MSI MEG X570 Unify Hero

Image-Credit: MSI

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 Drive for Active Projects and OS /Applications
  • 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

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

Samsung 860 EVO Price Drop

Image-Source: geizhals.de

I highly recommend getting an NVMe SSD for Animation and other Content Creation Workloads. The Performance is just unbeatable. Do hop over to our NVMe Article to learn more about what NVMe Drive you’ll need exactly.

Highly recommended!

Best Power Supply 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.

Corsair AX760W PSU

Image-Credit: Corsair

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.

If you’d like to have less cables within your PC, I recommend buying a Modular Power Supply.

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.

Best Case for a PC targeted at 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 275Q 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 (for animation) 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.

Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation: Dell

Image-Source: Dell

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.

Definitely check out this in-depth Guide to buying the best Monitors for Content Creators, 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 our Web-Based PC-Builder Tool.

Select Animation as 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?

Find a new friend on the CGDirector Forum! Expert Advice & PC-Build Planning with a warm and friendly Community! :)

Alex Glawion - 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!

360
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Jared

Hey, What’s your thoughts if this build would be able to handle animated film projects along with film/editing work from short to feature-length projects.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM 75 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
Storage: Western Digital Blue 500 GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
Storage: Western Digital Blue 2 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
Storage: Western Digital Blue 4 TB 3.5″ 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 ti
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Cooler Master MWE Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Monitor: BenQ PD3200U 32.0″ 3840×2160 60 Hz Monitor

Samet

Hi Alex, I’ve a specific question for you. I’am a professional freelance 3D Animator this is the current build that i have:

CPU – INTEL Core i7-7700K Kaby lake 4.20GHz, 8MB, çift kanal DDR4, 14nm, LGA1151,

RAM – KINGSTON HX424C14SBK2/32 HyperX Savage Black DDR4-2400Mhz C14 32GB (2x16GB) DUAL

MOTHERBOARD – MSI Z270 GAMING M5 INTEL Z270, DDR4, LGA1151, SATA6Gb/s, M2,

GPU 1 – MSI Geforce 1080 TI

GPU 2 – MSI Geforce 1070

PSU – CORSAIR CP-9020082-EU RM Serisi RM750i 750W 80+

SSD – SAMSUNG MZ-V6E250BW 960 EVO 250GB SSD M.2 3200-1500MB/s

CPU COOLER – NZXT Kraken x62 (280mm) RGB RL-KRX62-01

I making my animations on that build and a lot of times i’m experiencing fps drop. For a 3d Short animated movie, i need an another build that capable to do both 3D animation and GPU rendering. As far as I understand from the above article, it is very difficult to make one computer that has both animation and rendering capabilities. Better to have two build for these two jobs.
Because of my budget I’m trying to make my own build for 3D animation and GPU rendering. So since i’ve research, i find myself in a CPU dilemma. My problem is: I dont wanna lose so much fps when I’am animating with heavy rigs then less core more Ghz (like your Intel build) would be better. On the other hand i’ll also use this computer for GPU rendering. So for dual or quad GPU, Amd Threadripper is a must!(I guess?) I was wondering, have you tried make animations on your Amd Threadripper build? Will I see any significant fps drop with Amd Threadripper compared to Intel i9 10900k? Will using dual GPU (Dual Gforce 3900x) with Intel i9 10900k reduce the animation performance of the computer?

I’m looking forward to the Redshift benchmarks of the Gerforce 3000 series ! Thanks again 🙂

Chris

Hello Alex, interesting article and conversation. I am interested to know which compilation is best for using an iClone bundle with Character Creator and some other programs, plug-ins and add-ins. What brings the best workflow? I already have two software licenses (still one license left for someone who wants to help me with my animation film project). Later on it will be filmmaking with DaVinci Resolve or something like that … But working and rendering my animation will be the hard part for the pc. I want to buy the hardware after September.

Ari

Hi!
Tysm for your informative site. I am currently studying animation in uni and was wondering how this set up looks? Any suggestions? Will this be enough to run cinema 4d, maya, aftereffects?
I wasn’t sure what video card to choose so I kinda chose randomly lol

My budget is ~$2000 CAD

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: MSI Z390-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB VENTUS GP Video Card
Power Supply: Corsair RM (2019) 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply

Charles Mitchell

Hi Alex – sorry to be a PITA – just one last question-
Have you heard anything about the NVIDA 3090? I saw that EVGA is about to release the 3’s. 9-21-20
21 Megaflops (woah) Overkill? Also – do you know if it would require different components?
Thanks again!

Charles Mitchell

Correction – not 3090 – just something from the 3000 line

Selilac

Hi Alex,

I’m completely new to PC building. I use Maya to animate and GPU render. I need a computer with a solid CPU for animation work and allows me to add another GPU down the road for faster rendering. With this setup below can I add another 2080Ti later down the road? And of course, if there cheaper options for the CPU and GPUs that do just as good of a job I’m all ears.

Thank you so much for your help!!

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Motherboard: MSI X570 Unify ATX AM4
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 TI 11GB – MSI Gaming X
64GB (4 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16
ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVME M.2 Solid State Drive
Seasonic Focus GM-650, 650W 80+ Gold Power Supply
be quiet! Pure Base 600 Black ATX Mid Tower Case

Jake

I am a character animator working mainly in Maya but would like something that can handle Unreal Engine as well. Also, looking to play some games with it too!
I’m looking to spend around 1,500 – 1,700. I’d be willing to up the budget if it would make a difference in performance.
Any tips on what components I should grab would be amazing.

Thanks in advance!

Ash

Hello Alex

Can you please recomend me the best parts for a PC for 2D and 3D animation on a budget of $1,700

I want it to be able to handle blender, toon boom harmony and possibly Adobe programs. What would you recommend?

Charles Mitchell

Thanks Alex – I wanted to send this out yesterday but got pulled away. I get what your saying – active work performance is the place to focus on – more than render speed. we’re going with your original ~$2200 config. We’ve been pricing it out – Amazon’s price is closer to $2900.
We’re going a la carte looking for best prices. We keep finding the Nvidia RTX 2080 8GB – EVGA XC Gaming as a “Super Gaming” Is that the same one? It’s going for about 1/2 to a 1/3 of the Amazon price.
Thank you Sir!

Charles Mitchell

HI Alex-
A true goldmine of info – well written and extremely helpful A couple of questions-
My daughter’s about to start college level animation (3D) We’re looking at the ~$2200 config. We’re looking for a good balance between rendering speed and animation So…

1. Given the core count vs. clock speed, what would you think of substituting an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X for the i9? Will the AMD work with the other components in the config?

2. It looks like if down the line she decides to go with a GPU based rendering software such as Octane, the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC will support it. Is that correct?

3. Amazon has the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC avail as used for $999. Is this the sort of component you would ever consider buying used?

Can’t thank you enough!