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

CG Director Author Asher Stephenson  by Asher Stephenson   ⋮   ⋮   211 comments
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Best Computer for Blender (Workstation & PC-Build Guide)

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)
AMD Threadripper 3970X323.704.24
AMD Threadripper 3960X243.805.43
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.006.16
AMD Threadripper 2970WX243.007.40
AMD Ryzen 3950X163.508.17
Intel i9 10980XE183.008.51
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 9900K83.616.45
Intel i9 9900KF83.616.45
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
CPU NameCoresGHzScore (minutes)

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 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.

GPU Conclusion: Blender can use both CUDA and OpenCL for Rendering, and other Creative Software like the Adobe Creative Cloud, too, has both CUDA and OpenCL support. That said though, the CUDA implementation in these Applications usually supports more features and performs better, so if you are undecided between AMD and Nvidia, go the Nvidia Route.

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?


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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!

211
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Bob

Thanks for a really great and interesting article. I have actually recently started using Blender, I also like to program in Unity and I use photoshop ( all as a hobby ) .
(I suppose somewhat unconnected to this article in certain respects) I also want to get the new MSFS 2020. (Flight Sim)
Would you have any recommendations for a system (roughly $2000), which would cover all the bases. Blender, Photoshop, Unity and MSFS 2020.
Thanks in advance

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Bob,
Here’s a build that would run your workloads really well. Keep in mind that the 2080 Super would optimally be swapped with a RTX 3080 if you can get your hands on one, as they are currently hard to get by, stock-wise.

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=Nc1Fm0c0ypg

CPU: Intel i7 10700k 3.7GHz 8-Core Processor ($399.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock 4 ($74.90)
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming ATX LGA1200 ($295.41)
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X Trio ($672.49)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16 ($159.89)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($167.78)
Power Supply: Seasonic Focus GM-650, 650W 80+ Gold Power Supply ($99.99)
Case: Fractal Design Define R5 Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($128.99)
Total: $1999.44

Cheers,
Alex

Michael

Hi,
What are your thoughts on the Nvidia 3000 series? I’ve heard that the 3070 is about as fast as the 2080ti for $500 although I think it has 8g of Vram. The 3080 is about double the speed with 10g of VRAM and the 3090 has 24g and over 10,000 cuda cores. I’ve also heard that down the road there will be a 3080ti (or whatever it will be called) with 20g of VRam. Also, I’ve heard that only the 3090 has SLI capabilities, but down the road a 3080ti will also have that capability as well (speculation). The other 3000 series GPUs do not have SLI capabilities.

So I’m wondering how any of that changes your recommendations for a Blender PC built for both animations and rendering? (Especially with multiple GPUs). Also, does that change any other spec recommendations like the CPU? I know, it’s a lot of questions, and I might be confused with some of my info. But whatever advice or direction you can give is much appreciated. I will be researching as well. Thanks in advance!
-Michael

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Michael,
The new GPUs are looking quite good, we have yet to see any blower style or dual slot designs yet though. Without those, it will be difficult to build quad gpu rendering machines. I am expecting some of the AIBs to announce those soon though. Asus for example usually has good options with the Turbo Series.

Apart from that we will have to wait for real world benchmarks, as the cuda core count seems to be reported differently than before. I am hearing rumors of about a 65% render performance increase of the 3080 vs the 2080. Let’s see what some reviews tell us once we get our hands on them 🙂

The cpu recommends will stay the same pretty much. You might need pcie4, depending on the bandwidth of the new gpus, but if you are on a 3rd gen threadripper or ryzen or lga1200 platform, that is not a problem.

Cheers,
Alex

Muzz

Hi.
I want to build a PC for Blender. I have iMac 27″ 2017 and it’s not good for Blender so – I looking for a new computer.

I have one Radeon RX 570, 4GB now which my brother used a few years ago. Is it GPU which I can still use for Blender? If yes, which other components I have to buy?

I’m thinking about AMD Ryzen 7 3700X as CPU. Is it possible to combine it with that GPU?

Thank you for your advice.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Muzz,
Sure you can use that GPU with Blender. It’s not the fastest in the world, but functional 🙂

Here’s a build that would fit your needs (you can just ignore the GPU):

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=Aq1Ch0y0nqp

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor ($289.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX ATX AM4 ($124.99)
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB – MSI Gaming ($305.09)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 C16 ($66.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVME M.2 Solid State Drive ($69.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX450M 450W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($85.44)
Case: Lian Li LANCOOL 205 Mid Tower Case ($89.99)
Total: $1032.48

Cheers,
Alex

s h r e k

i am currently rendering a detailed liquid simulation on blender with a three year old laptop.

s h r e k

lol its on frame 30 and its been rendering for over a day

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

😀

Jeroen

Hi,
I am an amateur 3D artist and for well over a year, I use a system with 4 powerful GPU’s.
Only two weeks ago I learned about a ridicilously easy trick to render a scene in eevee, using all four GPU’s.
This works fine in windows, provided you use a geforce driver and your system has enough resources to be able to handle four instances of blender running at the same time.
You can just rightclick the blender.exe in explorer and select a specific GPU, do this four times (obviously using different GPU’s), open thesame blendfile on everyone and give each a different framerange to render.

That’s all! And I can confirm that it works just fine and scales almost perfectly, even with complex scenes and maximum quality settings in eevee.

Weird that the folks at blender say that multiple GPU support for eevee is not possible, when this simple trick works just fine!

Perhaps it would help to get better support from the Blender institute when the community makes more noise about this.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Jeroen,
How do you assign a specific GPU to each of the instances? In the preferences?

With a Rendermanager such as Thinkbox deadline, this type of Rendering should be straightforward. Running multi instances simultaneously is standard practice with such tools. Doesn’t Blender have a Render Manager too? I wonder if it works with this.

Thanks for the heads-up, interesting indeed!

Cheers,
Alex

Jeroen Bomer

Hello Alex,

There is no need to make changes in Blender preferences or anywhere else at all.
If you have a Windows pc with multiple Geforce GPU’s, everything is ready for it.

You do not need to do anything else than;

Richtclick the blender.exe in windows explorer, a dialogue will show up.
One of the options is “Render OpenGL on”, if you leftclick on this, another dialogue opens that shows every Geforce GPU in your system, in my case numbered from 1 to 4.
Clicking on one of these will open an instance of Blender that will use the selected GPU for rendering eevee scenes.

Now you open the blendfile you like to render on every blender instance and give each a different framerange (or a different startframe if you use framestepping for rendering)

It is really a ridicilously simple thing to do and it can save an obscene amount of time.
Recently I worked on a complex animation requiring 1200 frames and I like to render eevee with maximum quality and very high resolution.
In this case, it can take up to a minute for a single frame to render, that’s 20 hours in total.
After I learned about this trick, it will take about 51/2 hours for thesame job!

Greetings,
Jeroen

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Awesome! 🙂

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Actually, you might want to post this in the forums here, so it can be easily found by search engines too: https://www.cgdirector.com/forum/forums/3d-modeling-animation-rendering.11/

Or I can copy it over if you want. Have you told people in the blenderartists.org forum yet?

Jeroen

If you could create a topic in your forum, I can add comments (with a few screenshots) that could help others to make it work really good and easy.

I actually learned about this trick from the blenderartist forum, but I think it does not recieve the amount of attention that it should get.

Perhaps CGDirector could help getting the folks at the blender institute to start working on supporting multiple GPU rendering for eevee, who knows?

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Here you go: Any screenshots or how-to would be much appreciated 🙂

https://www.cgdirector.com/forum/threads/multi-gpu-support-in-blenders-eevee-render-engine.63/

Brian

Thank you so much for this resource! I’ve gone with the ~$3,000 option and am hoping the GTX 1660Ti can provide what I need – solid, fluid viewport performance with high polygon count scenes… I like that the build is scalable. If the performance isn’t what I expect, I can throw some more/different hardware at it. Fingers crossed!

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Brian,
Glad we could help! Let us know how it goes 🙂

Cheers,
Alex

Eric

Thanks so much for this. I pretty much ordered everything from the “Best Computer for Blender, AMD at roughly ~2000$” list last week. Could only find the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X WITH the Wraith Prism LED Cooler. I’m still waiting for all of the components to arrive before I open anything. Dumb(?) question… will the quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 perform better than the Wraith Prism LED Cooler?

Eric

Just watched a couple respective reviews of them. I think I may have answered my own question. …but would love to get your take. Thanks again!

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Eric,
The 3900X always comes with a boxed cooler, you can just ignore that cooler and use a third party cooler like the bequiet dark rock pro 4, which will perform a bit better than the stock cooler, especially under sustained workloads.

Cheers,
Alex

Eric

Thanks Alex!

Robert

So I want to start on the low end for a blender workstation (I’ve just started getting into it, and my laptop is having issues with Bigger layouts now) what are some of better options for future proofing? Like I’ll Try to upgrade stuff every 2 years probably if I can.

Hey Robert,

Thanks for asking!

If I may ask, how much are you willing to spend for a new workstation?

Just so you’d have an idea, $1,000 can get you a decent Blender workstation with specs like the below:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=Br1vh0y0Jmj

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($223.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASRock B450 Gaming K4 ATX AM4 ($155.06)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce ($211.59)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 C16 ($66.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVME M.2 Solid State Drive ($74.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550M 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($114.99)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 100R Silent ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.90)

This build will set you back around $937.51but you can expect decent performance from this build when you’re doing your Blender tasks. More importantly and since this build is based on the Ryzen platform, I don’t think you’d have issues upgrading its parts if you need more power under the hood.

Cheers,
Alex

Robert

This is what I’m looking for. Totally in my budget. Thanks Alex!

Robert

Following up. Lots of peeps have talked about starting in blender then moving to Unreal. Would this setup still work well working in Unreal? Not doing full virtual production just yet, thigh I would be curious to ask what specs would be a good base to start doing virtual production with unreal.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Yes Unreal need similar Hardware as Blender does. It’s a game engine, so a high clocking cpu and a fast gpu is optimal. Of course if you have some more money left over, you might want to get an even stronger gpu like a 1660 super or 1660Ti.

But apart from that, all of the above listed components will work great in unreal!

Cheers,
Alex

Mauro

Hello!

your article was really helpful for me! You cleared up many doubts I had about assembling a new wokstation for Blender! Unfortunately for now I have no possibility to update my old PC, I could only replace the GPU and in fact I would like to ask you for an opinion on this. My old configuration is this:
CPU Core 2 Quad Q9400 (overclocked at 3.6 GHz)
Motherboard Asus P5Q
RAM DDR2 800 MHz 6GB
GPU Asus 9800 GT 1024 MB

I would like to replace the GPU with a more powerful one, but I have a doubt about the fact of the motherboard BIOS. The P5Q has an older AMI BIOS, while more modern GPUs have EFI.
Can I install for example a GTX 1050 Ti or an RX 570 on my system? Will there be incompatibilities between BIOS?
What other GPUs, besides these mentioned, would be compatible with my P5Q?

Thank you!

Max

I love this website! So much useful information.

I have a question about overclocking. I hear it pretty much everywhere and I actually don’t really know what it means? Is it when the computer is pushed to its limits? And what is the best way to control the fans in the computer and see that the temperature is ok?

Thanks!
Max

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Max,
Overclocking is when you forcefully increase the clock speed of a given component (usually the CPU) above it’s stock speeds. This usually makes it perform slightly better, with the drawback that it gets much hotter and draws more power. It increases the risk of the CPU dying early too. So really only do this if you have sufficient cooling and know what you are doing. It’s usually just not worth the downsides.

Go download HWMonitor which will let you check the temps of all of the sensors you have in the system, that should get you started! 🙂

Cheers,
Alex

Max

Thank you so much for your answer!

I’ll go download HWMonitor right away 🙂

Best,
Max