Best Computer for Blender (Workstation & PC-Build Guide)

Best Computer for Blender (Workstation & PC-Build Guide)

CG Director Author Alex  by Asher   ⋮   ⋮   45 comments
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Blender is a versatile digital content creation tool that has been used in a variety of high budget and low budget productions. It’s free, it’s open source, and it’s incredibly flexible — if you have the right workstation.

This guide will cover the ins and outs of building a computer tailored to fit Blender’s hardware requirements.

The end result won’t differ too much from your usual gaming or workstation setup, but there are a few factors we’ll cover that can have a big impact on Blender’s performance.

We’ll start out by taking a look at how Blender uses your computer hardware, and follow it up with a breakdown of what features you should look for when buying computer parts. After that, we’ll show you some finished builds that are great for Blender users with different budgets.

Finally, we’ll take a look at how Blender’s hardware requirements may change in the future, and the things you can do to make sure your build will be ready when those changes happen.

If you already know what you’re looking for, feel free to skip ahead to our hardware recommendations or finished Blender PC-Builds. Otherwise, read on!

How Blender Uses Your Hardware

Blender is a versatile program that has been used to make everything from movies to 3D printed dentures.  It has modes dedicated to 3D modeling, 3D animation, 3D sculpting, 2D animation, rendering, shader editing, video editing, compositing, and even text editing!

Blender Splash Screen

Image-Source: Software Blender

This versatility makes it hard to pick a single performance scenario that’s more important than the rest, but there are a few common categories that are important for every user.

3D Modeling

While it’s theoretically possible to use Blender without digging into its 3D modeling system, most users work with it extensively.

Blender tries to split modeling workloads between the CPU and GPU. Using the former for high-precision tasks — modifiers, shape keys, drivers, etc — and python modules, and the latter for things like geometry selection, viewport rendering, and overlays.

Blender Modeling 3d

This approach makes Blender a wonderfully undemanding tool for low-poly and mid-poly modeling, but you’ll still need a powerful workstation for high-poly work. You’ll need all the power you can get in order to take advantage of things like OpenSubdivision and parametric modeling.

3D Sculpting

Blender’s sculpting system was partially refactored for version 2.8, shedding a lot of unmaintainable code. The developers didn’t have time to implement all of the performance optimizations they wanted to before 2.8 hit release, but the features on the road map still show a lot of promise.

The current sculpting system is CPU-based, with decent multi-threading, and it relies on aggressive RAM caching to deliver consistent performance while working on high-poly models.

Best PC for Blender - Blender Sculpting

Image Source: Blender Software

Blender hits RAM capacity and CPU processing bottlenecks faster than other sculpting programs because of this, but it still delivers solid sculpting performance on the right hardware.

Cycles Rendering

Cycles is Blender’s production rendering engine. It’s been used in a variety of films and TV shows, like Next Gen and Man in the High Castle, as well as countless commercials.

Under the hood, Cycles is a cross-platform physically-based unidirectional path tracer that can run on CPU, GPU, and CPU+GPU hybrid mode in single-processor and multi-processor (CPU or GPU) configurations. In simple terms, it’s flexible, powerful, and surprisingly easy to work with.

Blender Cycles Settings

Like all production engines, though, Cycles is demanding. It takes full advantage of multithreading where it can and it’s a popular benchmark tool for both CPUs and GPUs.

Cycles renders faster on GPU by a fair margin, but it has a larger feature set (including OSL support) on CPU.

Eevee Rendering

Eevee can’t achieve the same fidelity as a production ray tracer like Cycles, but it isn’t meant to. Eevee’s built for real time rendering and look development, with a PBR feature set that parallels real time engines like Unreal and Lumberyard.

As you’d expect, Eevee is a GPU-only engine and that doesn’t run on multi-GPU configurations. Eevee supports bloom, ambient occlusion, depth of field, screen space reflections, motion blur, volumetrics, and indirect light baking.

Eevee Rendering

Eevee runs smoothly on mid-to-high-end consumer GPUs in most situations. It performs best when it has access to ample VRAM, and it can be bottlenecked by excessive draw calls. It performs a bit better on Nvidia cards than AMD, mostly due to the close relationship between Nvidia and the Blender development team.

Best Hardware for Blender Explained

Now that we’ve looked at Blender’s general hardware requirements, we can dig into the specific details that’ll influence how you’ll build your Blender workstation.

CPU

While Blender takes advantage of multithreading where it can, there are certain tasks that have to be handled on a single thread. You can usually predict what is or isn’t multi-threaded, though, and striking a good balance isn’t too much of a challenge.

If you’re interested in all of Blender’s features, or you’re building a generalist workstation that doesn’t target a particular pipeline, pick a processor with a balanced feature set.

Blender is well-optimized for multithreaded CPU rendering, but not to the point that it struggles on processors that prioritize single-core performance.

CPU NameCoresGhzScore (minutes)
CPU NameCoresGHzScore (minutes)
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.006.16
AMD Threadripper 2970WX243.007.40
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.510.32
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X123.810.55
AMD Threadripper 2920X123.513.02
AMD Threadripper 1920X123.514.05
Intel i9 9900X103.514.23
Intel i9 7900X103.315.02
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X83.915.30
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X83.616.18
Intel i9 9900KF83.616.45
Intel i9 9900K83.616.45
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X83.718.24
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X63.821.01
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X83.621.09
AMD Ryzen 7 270083.221.10
AMD Ryzen 5 360063.621.55
Intel i7 8700K63.722.04
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X63.624.27
AMD Ryzen 5 260063.426.26
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X63.327.12
Intel i7 7700K44.232.48
Intel i5 840062.835.18

The chart above is from our recent Blender Benchmarks article. The CPU’s we tested run the gamut from basic consumer processors to dedicated workstation chips, covering both ends of the budget range.

The benchmark tool we used was built by the Blender Foundation, and it’s a part of their open data platform. If you’re interested in seeing more rendering benchmarks, take a look at their Top 50 CPUs List.

If you aren’t specifically optimizing for CPU rendering, don’t worry too much about picking an expensive processor. You probably shouldn’t go for an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 1500x if you can afford something better, but there’s no need to break the bank here.

AMD Ryzen vs Intel CPU

Best CPUs for Blender – CPU Recommendations

If you’d like to stay on Intel’s side, the Intel i9 9900K is a good buy for Blender with fast active work performance, but it lacks behind in multi-core performance compared to AMD’s offerings.

GPU

Blender makes liberal use of GPU acceleration, which means that a good GPU can have an impact on just about everything you do in Blender. Not all GPUs are alike, however, and there are some important differences you should be aware of before you commit to a particular brand or price point.

Multiple Cores CPU vs GPU

CUDA vs. OpenCL

While CUDA and OpenCL are both programming architectures that can be used for general purpose computing on GPUs, it’s hard to compare them directly.

CUDA is a proprietary architecture, toolkit, and API from Nvidia that only works with Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia provides tons of resources and hands-on support for developers that use it, and it’s a powerful tool for users with the right hardware configuration.

OpenCL, meanwhile, is an open source architecture for heterogeneous computing that was originally created by Apple. It’s a general purpose toolkit for making different kinds of processors work together when they otherwise couldn’t, and it’s known for its flexibility.

CUDA GTX Nvidia - Best Blender PC

Image-Source: Gametech

Blender renders faster and runs smoother on CUDA GPUs for obvious reasons; CUDA is built to be used the way Blender uses it. OpenCL isn’t designed to compete with CUDA, instead catering towards bootstrapped processing networks that mix in non-consumer processors like DSPs and FPGAs.

What About RTX?

Does Blender use RTX raytracing?”, is a common question, and it deserves a thorough answer.

Nvidia’s ray tracing API isn’t called RTX. RTX cards have dedicated ray tracing hardware, but the API itself is called OptiX.

OptiX isn’t a driver and it can’t be used to accelerate ray tracing tasks automatically. OptiX is more comparable to architectures like CUDA and OpenCL, albeit with a narrower focus.

Nvidia RTX 2070

Blender’s development team is working with Nvidia to integrate OptiX features into Blender and OptiX accelerated CUDA rendering will eventually be available alongside the existing CUDA and OpenCL implementations.

Blender 2.8 did not ship with OptiX support.

So What GPU Should I Use?

Blender’s heavy use of GPU acceleration and its rock-solid CUDA implementation makes an Nvidia graphics card a safe choice for most users. Non-CUDA cards (read: AMD cards) aren’t the best choice for rendering, but they’re still a good choice for users interested in consistent viewport performance.

When it comes to looking at GPU specifications, pay attention to the number of compute cores (CUDA or OpenCL, depending on what brand you buy) and the amount of VRAM. Blender is just as hungry for VRAM as it for normal RAM, and a GPU with ample VRAM is worth paying extra for if you’re interested in sculpting, high poly modeling, or GPU rendering.

Best GPUs for Blender – GPU Recommendations

CUDA

OpenCL

  • Radeon RX 5700XT or RX 5700
  • Radeon Vega 56 / 64

RAM

While earlier versions of Blender were known to have a relatively modest memory footprint, the Blender 2.8 reverses that trend. While you can generally get by in Blender with mid-range processors and graphics cards, insufficient RAM is a show-stopper that can’t be circumvented.

So why does Blender use more RAM than other programs? 

Blender does a little bit of everything, and it isn’t optimized for narrow performance conditions like other modeling tools.

It has multiple data structures for meshes, operations that can run on both CPU and GPU, and a system for animating just about every object property you can imagine.

Blender juggles these operations and not-quite-identical data structures by caching and duplicating object data in your RAM, giving each system a clean instance to operate on. This limits data loss and improves Blender’s stability, but only by consuming a significant amount of RAM.

This RAM caching system has a notable impact on Blender’s modifier stack, as it repeatedly re-caches objects for each active modifier. It has a similar impact on sculpting, too, due to the differences between the sculpting and modeling mesh data structures.

Corsair RAM for Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering

Image-Source: Corsair

If you’re using Blender for anything beyond low-poly modeling and simple scenes, you’ll want at least 16-32gb of RAM. If you have a tendency to multitask and this isn’t your first workstation build, stepping up to 64gb isn’t a bad idea.

When it comes to RAM speed and how many sticks to get, check out this section of our general workstation guide. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Best RAM for Blender – RAM Recommendations

Storage

Data storage can have a surprisingly large impact on Blender’s performance, and investing in the right drives definitely pays off.

Blender is built with data preservation in mind, which means that it’s constantly writing temporary files and auto-saves to disk. This is great for most users, but it can lead to frustration I/O bottlenecks in large projects.

To get the best performance, you’ll need to distribute your workload across multiple drives, preventing software and operating system I/O from bottlenecking data cache and storage I/O.

A 3-drive configuration, with your OS and software on one SSD, your active project files and data caches on a second SSD, and your archived files on an HDD, will give you the best performance when you’re working on projects with cached lighting, physics, and/or animation data.

This kind of configuration is commonly used by video editors, which shouldn’t be too surprising. The Blender Foundation has a long history, and much of Blender’s feature set caters to open source short film production.

For SSDs, we strongly recommend choosing an NVMe SSD. The price difference between SATA and NVMe SSDs isn’t negligible, but the performance gains are significant.

Best PC for Blender - SSD vs NVMe

The size sweet spot will depend on how complex your projects are and how many of them you have going at once; if you tend to work on one project at a time, you can get away with using smaller SSDs and move your completed projects to an HDD as you go.

HDD prices are low enough that you should be able to get a high capacity drive for relatively cheap. If this is your first workstation build, you don’t need to worry about complex RAID configurations or NAS enclosures; you’ll know when you’ll need them.

samsung_970_evo

Storage Recommendations

Cases

I’m going to focus on ATX cases here, as the build process for Micro-ATX and ITX form-factors are involved enough to deserve their own article.

For ATX cases, though, the rubric is simple. Your case should be well-built, properly sized, and adequately vented, with mounting points for additional fans and a logical air-flow design. Tie-off points for cable management are always helpful, and front USB-C ports can be incredibly convenient.

Beyond those basics, though, choosing the right case is mostly a matter of aesthetics.

Case Airflow

Image-Source: Corsair

If you’re going for an industrial vibe check out Lian Li. The PC-A75 is a large and sturdy case that’s perfect case for an understated workstation build.

If you value air flow above all else, get a case from Cooler Master. My current workstation is in their HAF XB EVO, and, while it isn’t the prettiest case in the world, it’s a rock-solid test bench with excellent cooling.

For cases with more traditional aesthetics, I’ll defer to Alex. Here are a few of his recommendations:

Case Recommendations

Mid-Tower (Standard-Sized Build)

Big Tower (For lots of GPUs)

Power Supplies

Picking the right power supply is pretty simple. Grab an online calculator (like this one!) and add up your system’s power draw. If the average draw lines up with the peak of the PSU’s efficiency curve, and you still have some headroom for future upgrades, you’re good to go.

If you care about cable management (and you should care about cable management), get a modular power supply. These PSUs cost a smidgen more than non-modular power supplies, but the convenience of only having to deal with the cables you need in your case is worth the premium.

Cable-Management

Image-Source: Corsair

Beyond that, it’s mostly a matter of budgeting. With that, and energy efficiency, in mind, here are a few PSUs we’d recommend:

PSU

Motherboards

The importance of a high-quality motherboard is hard to quantify, as the associated costs tend to be tied up in materials and quality controls that provide stability rather than direct performance improvements.

You’ll feel the impact of those materials and controls once you start overclocking, though, and you’ll appreciate the additional PCI slots, rear I/O, M.2 capacity, and power stability when it comes time to upgrade.

Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite

Image-Source: Gigabyte

 

The specific motherboard you choose will, of course, depend on the CPU socket and form factor and amount of GPUs you are planning on using you’re interested in. Larger motherboards tend to have more internal expansion slots and rear I/O ports than smaller motherboards, and newer socket revisions tend to come with better features than older revisions (even when they’re compatible with the same hardware).

Check out this guide if you want to dive into the nitty-gritty details of buying the best AM4 motherboard; keep reading to see our current recommendations.

Motherboard Recommendations

Monitor Choices

Picking the right computer monitor for Blender is fairly straightforward, since Blender doesn’t require monitor features that other modeling programs don’t.

This lets you pick a monitor configuration that fits the overall workflow you like to use without worrying too much about how Blender will fit into it. Blender’s UI is functional on both small and large screens, with hiDPI support on all platforms, too.

We explore monitor choices in detail in this writeup, which is worth reading if you’re looking for a high-end screen. In general, though, you’ll probably want an IPS panel monitor with minimal light bleed and a broad color gamut. A 4k monitor isn’t mandatory, but the step from 1080p to 1440p is worth it if it fits your budget.

When it comes to screen size, number, and aspect ratio, it’s mostly a matter of personal preference. Your productivity won’t scale linearly with more and/or larger monitors, and you’ll benefit more from a single high-quality screen if you’re doing any sort of texturing, rendering, or color grading.

Best Monitor for Blender

Image-Source: Dell

Here are a few monitors that fit that description:

Monitor Recommendations

Future Proofing

The PC hardware market changes quickly, and some hardware configurations are more upgradable than others. If you want to build a PC for Blender that you can upgrade later on, there are a few factors that’ll affect your hardware choices.

Hardware Considerations

The biggest factor is your motherboard’s CPU socket type. Some sockets are designed to be forward-compatible (with bios updates), while others aren’t.

Depending on when you build your computer, relative to hardware release cycles, a newer low-end CPU can be a smarter choice than an older high-end CPU if you’re intending to upgrade later on.

Intel changes socket designs frequently, which gives AMD an edge for users interested in future-proofing. AMD’s AM4 socket won’t go away any time soon, either, which makes it an especially solid choice.

On the practical side of the equation, picking the right case can make upgrading a lot easier. I specifically chose my ugly brick of a case for its horizontally mounted motherboard, which makes upgrading a breeze. I can pop the top panel off and swap hardware out in minutes

The form factor of your build can also make upgrading harder; small cases don’t have a lot of wiggle room for longer GPUs and larger coolers, and compact motherboards have a limited number of PCI lanes and RAM slots.

Piecemeal upgrades in tight cases are challenging, and you’ll end up spending more time planning and installing hardware upgrades than you would in a larger case. PSUs should be strong enough from the start if you plan on getting more hardware later on, especially with multi-gpu setups that are planned to be expanded.

Building Your Workstation

This is a site for PC building enthusiasts, which means we really like the part where we get to put our workstations together. It’s fun, it’s amazingly easy, and it’s a great way to save money.

If you don’t know where to start, though, don’t worry; there are tons of guides online. We’ve found this video from Bitwit to be particularly helpful for first-time builders:

Putting your workstation together should only take a few hours; less, if you set up your workspace properly beforehand.

Best PC-Builds for Blender at different Price Points

Best Computer for Blender, 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. Of course the 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs are an option too, but will increase the money you have to spend some more.

Best Computer for Blender, AMD at roughly ~2000$

Some Build notes:

This is a great “all-rounder” AMD build that will make Blender run fast in all kinds of workloads – multi- and single-threaded. The Case is professional, minimalistic and quiet and 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 want to get.

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 offers great CUDA GPU Rendering Performance at a reasonable price, but can be interchanged with the 2060 Super if you’d like to save some more money.

Best Computer for Blender, Intel at roughly ~2000$

Some Build notes:

This is a solid Intel build with an extremely well-performing Processor in Blender. 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 extreme overclocking or sustained high-workload, you might want to consider an AiO CPU cooling solution.

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

This is an excellent Build that leans towards CPU Rendering Performance and 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 in Blender, 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 our Web-Based PC-Builder Tool.

CGDirector PC-Builder Tool

CGDirector.com 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 in Blender

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?


Asher Stephenson - post author

Hi, I’m Asher. I’m a technical writer, a tech journalist, and CG Director's resident Blender nerd. If I’m not up a mountain somewhere, I’m probably tinkering with my PC setup.

Need help with a build? Let me know! I’ve been building workstations and gaming rigs for over ten years and I love troubleshooting.

Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help out!

45
Comments

Kasper

I used your pc-builder and this is what I got. I will mostly sculpt and 3d modeling in blender. The biggest problem I have with my current build is that when doing nodes it start lagging when trying to do some procedural texturing, is that a limitation by blender or my setup?
Should I go with the gtx 1650 with 4gb or the gtx 1060 with 6gb?

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($148.38)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: MSI B450-A Pro ATX AM4 ($95.95)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB – EVGA XC Gaming ($159.00)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 CL15 ($64.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 250GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($70.82)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($59.99)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($82.40)
Total: $681.53

Kasper

One thing I see now is the storage. Should I go with more storage and try to save somewhere else? And should I wait for black Friday to buy the part.

Hey Kasper,
The build is pretty solid, though if you were to upgrade something I’d go with a slightly improved GPU first and foremost before upgrading anything else. 250GB of SSD is not huge, but good to start out with. The GPU though could really use a bit more VRAM as you already noticed, so a 1660 or 1660Ti will do the trick.

The node lagging mostly depends on your single core cpu speeds, so depending on what kind of build you currently have this might be the issue.

Cheers,
Alex

Jaber

What about HDR Monitor ?

Hey Jaber,

In terms of monitors, the site has an article dedicated to the best monitor recommendations. You can go ahead and check that out at https://www.cgdirector.com/best-monitor-graphic-design-video-editing-3d/.

Cheers,
Alex

Emman

Hi,
I want to build a new PC
Will be using Blender a lot
What should i get? My budget is around 1800$
Thank you.

Hey Emman,
Her is a solid build to get you started:

Parts List:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($369.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock 4 AM4 ($74.90)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 ($199.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB – MSI Gaming ($525.00)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($154.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($169.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($64.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($102.90)

Total: $1662.75

If you’d like more options, feel free to check out the pc-builder tool, that lets you play around with your budget and use case a bit:

https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/

Cheers!
Alex

Clint

hi need your suggestion/recomendations
i want to build a computer but my budget is a bit limited
can you check my build and see if this is good
i will use redshift a lot

Parts List:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($234.39)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Pure Rock AM4 ($36.90)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 ($199.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB – MSI Gaming ($491.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($159.99)
Storage SSD: Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($107.50)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($64.99)
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case ($166.55)

used your pc builder tool and that’s what i got
is there something i need to change or is that good enough thanks

Hi Clint,

Thanks for dropping a line!

The build you put together looks good! Since you will be using Redshift a lot, your choice of RTX 2070 for your GPU makes a lot of sense. The RTX 2070 brings the best price to performance ratio among GPUs at the moment but more importantly, this particular graphics card supports CUDA core acceleration which will help a lot whenever you use the GPU render engines. All in all, your build looks good and I wouldn’t change anything in there!

Cheers,
Alex

simon

hey i hope you have the time to give me a bit a feedback – first i want to get the best bang for the buck ps – and i plan to upgrade to 3900x and two gpu after a new generation comes out (maybe in 12-18 months) and the prices drop.

till then i would get a configuration which is scaleable (focus on dual gpu, power supply, chipset)

i use mostly blender, maya, 3dsmax, houdini redshift, rhino and vray for architecture.

i found this setup so far, and wait for the cyber monday sale 2019:
AMD 2700x (best bang for the buck cpu i think)
2x16gb corsair lpx 3200 (prices are pretty low and will not fall further)
nVidia 2060 super 8gb (i want to add another 2060 super in a year)

and for those two i’m not sure:
msi b450 pro max (is the pcie 2.0 16x fast enough??)
gigabyte g750h 750w (could be enough for the future 3900x and 2x 2060 super?)

i hope you can help me a bit. thanks in advance
simon

Hey Simon,
750W would be enough, but I’ll recommend 850w just in case you want to get higher-tier GPUs like the 2080 Ti instead of 2060 Supers.

You can have 2x GPUs running on B450 or x570 and AM4 with 3900X or 2700X, yes. They will both run at x8 pcie-lanes, which is as fast as x16, as the 2060 Super GPUs don’t saturate the pcie bandwidth so no issues there.

We often recommend the MSI Tomahawk MAX B450, as this one comes with a bigger BIOS fpr 3rd gen Ryzen Support and has 3rd gen ryzen bios already applied in the Factory. Other b450 Boards might need a Bios upgrade to support 3rd gen ryzen. But this, of course, you can easily do with your 2700X.

Other than that, the build looks excellent, go for it! 😀

Cheers,
Alex

simon

Thanks! I’m actually super surprised and happy about your feedback. Thanks a lot!!!

Depending on your feedback i think about a 3-way-crossfire board with an x470 and a 1000w power supply to make it easier to upgrade to an 16 core AM4 Ryzen and some more gpu power for cycles.

What do you think of the MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max and the Enermax Triathlor ECO 1000W ATX 2.4 in this context?

Hey Simon, Both the x470 Gaming Plus Max and the 1000w Enermax PSU are a good fit. The only thing cannot yet be guaranteed is that it will support the power-needs of a 16-core 3950X as we don’t have any reviews of that cpu yet until it gets released. If you want to be absolutely sure the VRMs will handle that monster of a CPU, I’d go with a x570 Motherboard as they have much sturdier VRMs.

Cheers,
Alex

Piers

Hi guys,

I would like to thank you for this well thought out site. Fantastically informative and extremely useful. Your knowledge shines through in full force and inspires confidence in newbies such as myself. Also the amount of effort you have and are putting into it is amazing. Thank you!

I have used your ‘pc build tool’ and will be building the pc for 3d modelling and animation for 2455 dollars as you recommend.

1. Are there any tips before I start, (I have never built a PC before but I am quite handy with a screw driver), or is it very straight forward?

2. Can I upgrade this make or will I have to start from the beginning again?

3. Also is there a link to the ‘paste’ which is used between the cooler and the cpu or a name to the paste somewhere?

Thank you again for all of the work you have put into this fantastic site . It is very much appreciated by me and I can see also by dozens of others.

Piers

Having given it a day or two I am wondering if the recommendation by your tool would be the best solution for me. I want to make short animation films using blender but at the same time don’t want to wait days for them to render. So perhaps This solution which you also recommend would be a better one than the first?

Parts List:
CPU: AMD Threadripper 2990WX 3.0GHz 32-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4
Motherboard: Gigabyte X399 Designare EX ATX TR4
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Power Supply: Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 650W ATX 2.4 Power Supply
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case

The first solution by the tool looked like this by the way.

CGDirector.com PC-Builder:

Parts List:
CPU: AMD Threadripper 1900X 3.8GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4
Motherboard: Gigabyte X399 Designare EX ATX TR4
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080TI 11GB – Asus Turbo
GPU #2: NVIDIA RTX 2080TI 11GB – Asus Turbo
GPU #3: NVIDIA RTX 2080TI 11GB – Asus Turbo
GPU #4: NVIDIA RTX 2080TI 11GB – Asus Turbo
Memory: 128GB (8 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Power Supply: Corsair AX1600i 1600W ATX 2.4 Power Supply
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case

Generated by CG Director PC Builder on 30/9/2019 @ 10:1:10

What would you recommend? Thank you!

Hey Piers,
The Thermal Paste which is applied between the cpu cooler and the cpu comes with the CPU cooler or is pre-applied to a boxed cpu cooler, so you don’t have to get anything extra.

There are two possibilities in Blender (Cycles): Render on your CPU or GPU or Hybrid. I’d recommend rendering on your GPUs as this is faster than just the CPU, and Hybrid can slow down your work while you render.

A good built for both fast active work speed and good GPU render performance would consist of the AMD Ryzen 3700X or 3900X and 2x Nvidia RTX 2080Tis. On x570 Mainboard unfortunately you can’t add more than two GPUs or you will have some bandwidth throttling.

If you say you’d like to render on your CPU only, then yes the Threadripper 2990WX is a great choice, though it does not clock as high, making your active work a bit slower, if that is something you’d like to avoid.

The other components are pretty straight forward after you’v chosen your cpu and motherboard combo.

Concerning the builds you listed: The first is a CPU Render build and the second is a specialized GPU render build, which can handle up to 4 GPUs

Hope this helps,
Alex

Piers

Hi Alex and thank you so much for your reply. So before I start ordering, and to check I have got this right, in the first list I would need to replace Thread Ripper with a Ryzen 3900X and also replace NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce with 2x2x Nvidia RTX 2080Ti 11 GB. Further replacing the mother board with an x570. So the list of components would look like this:-

Ryzen 3900x
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Gaming X
2x Nvidia RTX 2080Ti 11 GB
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Power Supply: Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 650W ATX 2.4 Power Supply
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case

Sorry to carry on but as a complete newbie I am fumbling in the dark and really do need all the help I can get 🙂

Hey Piers,
You’ve almost got it:
Ryzen 3900x

-> CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4 <- See below

Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Gaming X

2x Nvidia RTX 2080Ti 11 GB

-> Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 CL16 <- see below

Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive

-> Power Supply: Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 650W ATX 2.4 Power Supply <- see below

Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case

CPU-Cooler: You can either use the boxed cooler that comes with the CPU or use a stronger one such as the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 !!NON-TR4!!.

If you don’t plan on overclocking though, the boxed cooler is usally more than enough.

RAM: Go with higher clocking RAM for some extra performance. Corsair Vengeance 3200MHz or 3600MHz are the sweet spot for a great performing 3900X.

PSU: You should probably get a slightly higher wattage if you want to run 2x 2080Ti GPUs. I’d suggest a 750+ W PSU.

Cheers,
Alex

Piers

You are an absolute hero Alex. I will look into it immediately. Many thanks indeed!

erinchan

I’ve been trying to build a pc for blender for weeks! Just the kind of article I need and it’s very well written. Thank you!!
Some models you mentioned in the article aren’t available in Indonesian market especially the monitors and casings (Phantex and Fractal). Wondering if I should go for this config for 1500-1700 usd budget (note: prices are 10%-20% higher here in Indonesia):

CPU : AMD Ryzen 5 3600x
CPU Cooler : Cooler Master HYPER 212 RGB
Motherboard : Gigabyte X570 Aourus Elite
Graphic Card : Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC
Memory : COrsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX C16 3200 PC25600 32GB
SSD : Adata SX6000 Lite 512 M.2 NVME (for project files)
SSD : Samsung 860 EVO M.2 SATA 250GB (for OS)
HDD : Seagate BarraCuda SATA3 (Storage)
Power Supply : Cooler Master MWE 650 80 Gold – Full Modular
Case : NZXT H500 or Corsair Carbide 275R

Hey Erinchan,
Good build! I’d skip the extra CPU-Cooler, as the 3600X already comes with a boxed cooler that is comparable to the Cooler Master Hyper 212.
If you don’t need PCIE4, you can go ahead and get a b450 Motherboard for example and save some money! The MSI Tomahawk MAX comes to mind which also does not need a bios upgrade.

The rest of the build looks great!

Cheers,
Alex

erinchan

Hi Alex,
Awesome! Will go for MSI Tomahawk MAX. Really appreciate it! Can’t wait to build 🙂

Cheers,
Irene

Christian

Hi,

Great article with various computer configurations, so anyone can see what’s good go get also on a budget.
There is one thing i’m missing, or can’t find.
Is this test done on Windows 10 or which other OS, as i’ve recently seen a good performance boost on Linux.

Hey Christian,
Thanks for your input! Indeed we have not done specific tests on OSX or Linux, but this is something we should look into. I too have heard not just from the Blender Community, but the Redshift GPU render community too for example, that running Linux often times gives you a good boost compared to Win or OSX.

Will look into it.

Cheers,
Alex

Warcos

My PC is currently made up of:
Asus Rog Maximus X Code
Intel Core i7 8700K
Asus GTX 980
Gskill Ripjaws V 3200 Mhz, 4 x 16Gb – 64Gb RAM
Cooler Master MA410 – Air Cooler
Cooler Master K500- Case
Cooler Master G 750M – powersupply
Samsung EVO 860 SSD 512Gb
HDD 2TB

I know the video card is something old but it still has a good performance
I hope to have a RTX 2080 in the future

excellent work
there are things I did not know

saludos

Hey Warcos

Thanks for dropping a line!

You are right – the GTX 980 is a bit old having been released back in 2015 but if it still gives you a good performance, then it’s still worth keeping. An RTX 2080 is a good replacement should you plan on ditching your GTX 980 but if you want the best price to performance ratio in a graphics card, you might want to take a look at the RTX 2070 as well.

Cheers,
Alex

FRM

I just have a general question about the RTX 2080 super. Is it really worth the extra money in terms of performance for primarily using Blender? Should I just get a 2070 Super and invest in faster RAM or something? I just want to know if the extra ~$200 is worth it or should I put it towards other hardware to speed up productivity in general. Thanks in advance.

The 2080 RTX SUPER won’t speed up your active work or responsiveness of the Software itself all that much (in comparison to the 2070 Super), but will render a bit faster when using Cycles CUDA in GPU render mode. If you’d like your active work ot perform more smoothly, investing in a high-clocking CPU is the way to go 🙂 Also, two 2070 or 2x 2060 Super often have higher render power and value than a single high-tier GPU. (If you have the room and power for it)

Cheers,
Alex