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

CG Director Author Alex  by Asher   ⋮   ⋮   138 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 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!

138
Comments

Mickey gee

Hi, I’ve been following your post for a long time now and they are awesome… I just wanna ask, can you recommend any pre-built desktop? Assuming I’m on 2k to 3k USD budget.

Hey Mickey,
The thing with pre-builts of course is, they are a good bit more expensive than assembling your own. If you’d want to go pre-built I’d go look for some gaming pcs, as they consist of the parts that we are usually looking for in these articles.
Don’t buy a workstation pc, as they usually have components like quadro gpus or xeon cpus, which are unnecessary and crazy expensive.

On amazon this means you can go look for brands such as cyberpower or ibuypower and usually get pretty good prices for a pre-built. Here are two examples:

https://amzn.to/33Tr3ni
https://amzn.to/39vxmi6

Because they are targeted at gamers, they look quite colorful, but will work in blender or other 3d software and content creation software just as well.

Cheers,
Alex

Mickey gee

Oh, I so much appreciate for your response.

Miguel

Hello Alex,
Very good article. I’ve been using Mac for over 10 years now I use Final Cut Pro for a lot of video editing. I’ve been getting into the Blender lately and I’m looking to build a work station. I’m more of a laptop guy but I feel that if I’m going to take this seriously I need a serious rig. My budget is $4K but if like you have the option to expand and I want to have the Keyboard and monitor included in the budget. I’ve never build a computer but I’m a DIY kind of guy. I’ve been told that CUDA and two 2080 TIs is the way to go. What are your thoughts?

Hey Miguel,
Yes absolutely. CUDA will give you higher performance in both blender rendering and also video editing (though mostly in premiere pro, not sure about final cut).

So your build would look something like this:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3000X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor (~$450)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 AM4 ($86.46)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro ATX AM4 ($199.99)
GPU: Asus RTX 2080 TI 11GB – Turbo ($1249.00)
GPU #2: Asus RTX 2080 TI 11GB – Turbo ($1249.00)
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($319.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($219.99)
Power Supply: Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($200.82)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99)

Hope this helps,
Alex

Kelly Epperson

Hi Alex,

If we upped the CPU to 2990/3960? would the motherboard work or would it be better with the Gigabyte X399 Designare EX ATX TR4

Hey Kelly,
For both 2990wx and 3960x you’d need a different Motherboard. The 2nd gen Threadripper (2990WX) needs a x399 board like the Designare Ex, and the 3rd gen TR 3960X needs a TRX40 Motherboard like the ASRock TRX40 Creator.

Edit: The CPU cooler too would have to be Threadripper compatible. So e.g. Bequiet Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4.

Cheers,
Alex

Kelly

Thanks Alex,

Main use is video editing and blender shorts: With a bit of data analytics for work. Think the final looks like:

Motherboard: ASRock TRX40 CREATOR sTRX4 AMD TRX40 SATA 6Gb/s ATX
CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-Core 3.8 GHz Socket sTRX4
CPU be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 for AMD, high-end CPU Cooler, 250W TDP,
GPU: 2 X – Asus RTX 2080 Super’s
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2.6
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung – 970 EVO Plus 1TB Internal PCI Express 3.0 x4 (NVMe)
Power Supply: CORSAIR – RMx Series 850W ATX12V 2.4/EPS12V 2.92 80 Plus
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case

Depending on remaining $ will see about SSD for storage storage.

Suggestions?

Hey Kelly,

Your list of components look great! A couple of things though – I’m not sure what the speed of your RAM is but my suggestion is for you to get RAM kits with a speed of at least 3200 MHz. If you can get something with speeds of 3600 MHz for a little extra, it would be better. In terms of GPU, the RTX 2080 Super from Asus is a great choice. Now, if you plan on sticking to just two (2) GPUs, the regular version of the RTX 2080 Super will do. However, if you plan on adding another graphics card in the future, I suggest that you get the Turbo variant of the RTX 2080 Super from Asus (ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8G Turbo Edition). This variant has a two-slot height and a blower type design that will ensure you encounter no issues when stacking your GPUs on top of each other. Other than that, you’re good to go!

Cheers,
Alex

Ozan Uygan

Thank you for this amazing guide!!! both this and other wider guide.

I am planning to build a pc myself. I guess it is like entry level, because of currency of my country and taxes. Here is my build plan.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/WJcByk

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8 GB VENTUS OC Video Card
Corsair Carbide Series 275R ATX Mid Tower Case
FSP Group Hyper M85+ 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply

Is there any issues you may find ? Its price is around 1100 USD. I wanted to get the CPU, GPU, and motherboard first. I am planning to upgrade the ssd, ram, or power suply later.

Currently i have an old Lenovo y510p with gt755m sli and a dell m4800 with quadro k2100m laptops so basicly anything i buy will make me happy these days.

Hey Ozan,

Thanks for asking!

I see no issues with your choice of components although you might need to have the BIOS of your MSI B450 Tomahawk Max updated to the latest version so you won’t have issues with later on. Although the “MAX” variants of the MSI B450 motherboards (like your choice of the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max) are said to be Ryzen 3rd gen-ready, it would still be best to check if you have the latest BIOS version and have it updated if you don’t. Other than that, all’s good with your choice of components.

Cheers,
Alex

Ozan Uygan

Thanks Alex!!! I was thinking to buy Ryzen 7 2700 X to save some money but 3700X seems better and up to date choice for me. And Is RTX2060 Super OC is really better than RTX2060 Super or RTX2060 regular for the money?

Hey Ozan,
The Super variant is definitely better than the non super, as it has more cuda cores, more vram and better overall clocks. The OC variant again has slightly higher clocks than non-OC variants, so yes, go with a Super OC 🙂

Cheers,
Alex

Avi Rozenboim

Hi Alex , I can’t thank you enough for this! outstanding work you are doing here

Just finished assembling my pc. All the components are from the AMD 2k setup you have listed . all is great just one think I have noticed which I do hope its my mistake , There seem to be no wifi / bluetooth support in GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite, is this correct or am I missing something
how do I fix this ?

Thanks Again
Avi

Hey Avi,
Yes you are right, the Aorus Elite does not come with built-in wifi. You can either get a wifi usb stick (usually around ~20$) or run a LAN cable to your motherboard to hook it up to your router (around 10$ or less). USB Wifi probably is the easiest, the cable though has the highest perofrmance 🙂

Cheers,
Alex

Linda

Thank you so much for this great article and all of the detailed information! Currently I am working with blender 2.82.
I have a
N750Ti graphics card,
Asus B75M-A motherboard and 8GB RAM DDR3
Intel core i3-3220
I am modeling high poly models and interior scenes which I render througout a Renderfarm.
My big frustration is to work in the viewport and check my models in render view.
The system is so slow and most of the time I am waiting until its done thinking.

My question here is: I saw the 2000 euro build and was wondering if this is a way to go.
When I (first) only buy the

ASUS Prime Z390-A ATX 1151
Intel i9 9900k 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor
32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16

First of all, is this possible with my current machine, and would it solve my problems the way I am working with blender at the moment.

Hey Linda,
Yes it should be possible. You’ll have to check though if your case fits the new motherboard and if your PSU is strong enough (should be around or above 500w).

The gpu of course is quite weak compared to your new parts, so it might very well throttle your performance somewhat.

Cheers,
Alex

Mike Pilcher

Thanks for this article. This has been really helpful for a guy like me working on his first build! I’ve been using A Mac for more than 10 years but now I want more control over my hardware and the ability to expand slowly instead of a whole new system every time.

I’m mostly looking for render performance but obviously want good viewport performance too (also want realtime performance for UE4) so I have a couple questions:

First, I just got a threadripper 1920x for just over $200. I thought it would help a lot on the gpu end of my budget but now I’m a little concerned. Everyone seems to be going with 3rd gen Ryzens for viewport performance and I’m not sure what my future options will be if I’m tied into a motherboard with a tr4 socket. Did I make a mistake already here?

Second, am I better of putting out the money now to get a RTX Titan or will two 2080 Ti’s (possibly 3-4 later on) be comprabable so I can spread out the cost?

Here’s what I have so far:

1920x threadripper

Thermaltake view 71 TG RGB case –
I want this bad boy to have some presence so at least I think I got that right!

And here’s what I’m planning:

AsRock x399 Taichi motherboard

1200-1300w PSU – either Corsair hx1200i,
Seasonic Prime 1300 Platinum, or EVGA super nova 1300g… any thoughts? Right now you can get the EVGA from their website for $160!

1 – 1TB m.2 ssd
1 – 500Gb m.2 ssd

AOI for the CPU

Either 1 – rtx Titan or 2 – rtx 2080 ti

Thanks again for the article,

Mike

Hey Mike,
Threadrippers give you the possibility of driving more than 2 gpus. If you are doing lots of gpu rendering in blender or with other programs, then having more gpus is a necessity. It is usually better to go with multiple lower-than-highend cards which will perform better than getting a single highend card. So think 4x 2070 super. Or if you have the means of course you can go with 4x 2080ti.

The Threadripper 1920x is a solid cpu with decent viewport performance and single core speeds. If you’d want to stay with threadripper (and keep the ability of driving 4 gpus) but have higher viewport performance, the only solution would be the current 3rd gen threadripper cpus, though those start at around 1200$ and are targeted at people who need lots of multi-core performance. Threadripper 3rd gen cpus come in 24, 32 and 64 cores.

If you don’t need all that multi-core-performance, first or 2nd gen threadripper is your best bet. The 2950X is a great allrounder with a good number of cores, good single core speeds and the ability of driving 4 gpus. The 1920x is first gen threadripper and of course a steal for that price, but also does not quite reach 2nd gen threadripper cpu’s performance.

With the x399 chipset you can upgrade to any first or second gen threadripper cpu that is available today. 3rd gen will need a different motherboard, namely a trx40 chipset motherboard.

Cheers,
Alex

Jan

Hi, thanks a lot for this and your others articles. They have been very useful to build my new Pc.

I was skeptick about Rtx vs Gtx, but i have to say that now in the new version of Blender 2.82 Optix is implemented and very much faster then Cuda. The benchmark rendering “bmw” or “classroom” needs around HALF of the time using Optix instead of Cuda.
Altough is true that at the moment, with Cuda you can use Gpu+Cpu, with Optix only Gpu so the difference may be not so big.

Cheers

jan

Hey Jan,
The Blender devs are absolutely phenomenal. They are working on lots of different new features continuously and it is not surprising that the optix implementation performs so well!

Cheers,
Alex

Paul

Hi thanks for this great article ! It’s really nice of you to answer all of the comments.

I’m learning Blender in my free time and I’d like to have a new PC with better performance. Could you tell me your opinion on my build ? For a budget of 1200 euros:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
CPU cooler: AMD Wraith Spire Cooler (Included with CPU)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB – MSI Gaming
RAM: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16
SSD: Samsung 970 Evo plus 500GB M.2
Power supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4

Thanks a lot.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for dropping a line!

The build you put together looks good but we can make it still better. For the same budget, you can get something like the below:

Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=zq1Ch0h0lke

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($339.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: MSI MPG x570 Gaming Plus ATX AM4 ($159.37)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB – MSI Gaming ($359.99)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($81.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($115.80)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($67.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($110.44)

The total of the build comes up to around $1,235.57 which is approximately €1,150. When using Blender, we want to invest in a CPU with a balanced feature set and the Ryzen 7 3800X with its 8 cores and base clock of 3.9GHz and Max Boost of up to 4.5GHz. When combined with the build’s 16GB of RAM, you can expect a faster and smoother workflow.

We had to change the GPU a bit and get a slightly lower-tiered one so as to make room for the additional cost of the 3800X but no worries on this because the RTX 2060 is not too far behind in terms of performance compared to the RTX 2070. All in all, you can expect this build to deliver a better performance overall and still be within your budget!

Cheers,
Alex

Paul

Thanks for your answer, I appreciate it a lot. I’m probably gonna go for this build then.

Chris Haynes

Dear Asher,

This is a brilliant article. Thank you! I’m almost overwhelmed at all the options. Money plays a part as a hobbyist-beginner, and when I look at the performance of my current desktop compared to those featured, I inevitably know a bigger spend is coming…
I am also considering Photoshop and Video-editing as part of the creative studio, so here’s (possible) silly questions: Should I:
1. Try and afford an all-in-one machine, if yes,.. please advise
2. Go more affordably on separate machines, then I’ll also refer to the other article.

Lastly, do you advertise, list or recommend PC builders who simply build a suggested machine from your article and then ship it, completed overseas? Time (like money) and expertise in construction is not on my side, given that learning the software is involving enough…

I look forward to hearing from you and or others, at your convenience.
Thank you again, sincerely.

Chris

Hey Chris,

Thanks for asking!

You are right – performance when it comes to workstations is often directly related to price where as the price goes up, the performance goes up as well. In your case, I think it would be best if you pool all your resources and go for a more powerful all-in-one build that will handle all your requirements (Blender, Photoshop, video editing, etc) as opposed to building separate affordable machines for each task, which of course, will not be as powerful as the all-in-one. In this case, please let me know how much you’re willing to spend so we can put together a build that’s within your budget and optimized for our use case scenario.

Now, we don’t really have a list of recommended PC builders but you can go ahead and look into prebuilt PCs. There are several vendors like iBUYPOWER and Puget Systems who offer this but of course it’s a lot more expensive. If building a PC from the ground up is a challenge for you, we can come up with a list of components for your build and you can try talking to either iBUYPOWER or Puget Systems and see if they can configure a build based on my recommendation. Let me know if that works for you.

Cheers,
Alex

Starman

Hey! Thank you so much for this excellent article, it is very rare that one can get into all this detail 😀 I’m thinking of getting a new build and am a bit torn with the options for cpu, I’m mainly aiming for geometry (high poly count) and physics simulation performance and am wondering if the extra megahertz of clock speed from i7 will be more beneficial, or will maybe a 3700x be close enough. Thanks again! – Starman
(PS I’ll be using optix for rendering so cpu will only be used to calculate geometry, mostly adaptive subdiv)

Hi Starman,

Thanks for asking and thank you for the kind words!

You didn’t specify which specific model of the i7 we’re talking about here but since most of the i7 CPUs have a higher clock speed than the Ryzen 7 3700X, let’s work on that assumption. True, the i7 CPUs may have the extra megahertz of clock speed over the 3700X but the performance of the Ryzen 7 CPU is not far behind. In fact, there is a possibility that the increase in performance associated with an i7 CPU may not be felt in real-world application and wouldn’t be a game-changer, so to speak.

Cheers,
Alex