Best CPU For Rendering (Updated)

Last updated on June 10th, 2018,

Researching what Processor (CPU) is best for 3D rendering and especially, what CPU has the best Performance / Dollar ($) ratio, is something you will want to do before building a new Computer or a Renderfarm.

3ds max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender and many other 3D Software packages have in-built and external CPU Render Engines that all rely on maximum CPU multi Core Performance.

Since there are so many different CPU types concerning clock-speeds, core-count, hyperthreading and brand, it can be difficult to select the right platform to go with. AMD Ryzen, Threadripper, Intel i5, i7,i9 XEON, Pentium, some Multi-Cored, some Multi-Threaded.

In the End it all comes down to raw CPU rendering performance, that I will be measuring with Cinebench R15, the currently leading Benchmarking Software for CPU Rendering Performance.

Of course there are lots of lists online to check cinebench points, but what is most important is how well the Performance / Dollar ($) ratio is.

This is why I have generated a Performance/Dollar ($) Table that you can sort to your liking and will show you the best CPU for the Money:

Best CPU for 3D Rendering

Performance / Dollar ($): Higher is better.

CPU Name# CoresGHzCinebench MultiPrice $Performance/Dollar
CPU Name# CoresGHzCinebench MultiPrice $Performance/Dollar
AMD Ryzen R5 260063.413071896.91
AMD Ryzen R5 2600X63.613732096.57
AMD Ryzen R5 160063.211471896.06
AMD Ryzen R5 1600X63.312502195.71
Intel i5 840062.89661795.39
AMD Ryzen R7 270083.215263005.08
AMD Ryzen R7 1700X83.415403094.98
AMD Ryzen R7 2700X83.717833694.83
AMD Ryzen R7 170083.014262994.76
AMD Ryzen R5 140043.27871694.65
AMD Ryzen R7 1800X83.616133494.62
AMD Ryzen R5 1500X43.58031744.61
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X83.817114503.80
Intel i7 8700K63.714283593.79
Intel i7 7800X63.513333893.42
Intel i7 8086K63.713864253.26
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X163.430629993.06
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X123.524317993.04
Intel i7 7740X44.39863292.99
Intel i5 7600K43.87012392.93
Intel i7 7820X83.617345992.89
Intel i7 7820X83.617345992.89
Intel i7 7700K44.29963492.85
Intel i7 6800K63.410964192.61
Intel XEON E5-2620 v482.110964202.60
Intel i9 7900X103.321699992.17
Intel i7 6850K63.612355702.16
Intel i9 7920X122.9243812002.03
Intel i9 7940X143.1284914501.96
Intel i9 7960X162.8316117001.89
Intel i9 7980XE182.6345519001.81
Intel i7 6900K83.2156210491.48
Intel XEON E5-2650 v4122.2158912001.32
Intel i7 5960X83.0132410691.23
Intel i7 6950X103.0178816491.08
Intel XEON E5-2687W v4123.0186024440.76
Intel XEON E5-2699 v4222.2246045000.54

 

Now you know the best Performance / Price ratio of different CPUs. Keep in mind, to truly find not just the best CPU, but the best overall system for your rendering needs, you will have to consider:

  • power consumption
  • overall system price per CPU (the Xeons for example are 2 socket systems, that might make overall system price per CPU cheaper)
  • heat generation and acceptable cooling noise needed to have a stable system.
  • Cooling Solution
  • Mainboard price

What other CPUs would you like to see in this List? Share your Thoughts in the Comments!

Alex - post author

Hi, I am Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist / Motion Designer and Compositor.

I have built a multitude of Workstations and Renderfarms for all kinds of 3D related use cases and love to optimize them as much as possible.

After working in the 3D/VFX Industry on-staff for several years, I have recently gone freelance and am having a blast!

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I'll do my best to help out!

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Mario
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Mario

What you think about xeon 2620 ,where it would fit into this list

Sajid
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Sajid

Hi
im working as motion graphic artist.. Software is 3d s max 15.,with v ray rendering.. C4d. And after effects cc…(, element 3d)
I want to built new pc.
Im want to with. Ryzen 7 1700 or ryzen 5 1600x
Gpu zotac 1070 80gb ,mini
16,gb ram..
Want your advice on this..
Specially Ryzen 5 1600x or 7 1700
Thusus in my budget..

David Custom 3D MOdels
Guest

Many thanks for the great info…

Francisco
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Francisco

Great read! Thanks for this.

I’m in process of starting a PC Build.
I do motion graphics in After Effects and C4D – and building my Nuke compositing skills. I will do the occasional editing in Premiere, and coloring in Resolve — finishing in 1080 mostly.

The main purpose of my new system is to work on C4D + Redshift.

I was thinking of the Intel i9 7940X at first but have switched my decision to build a Threadripper 1950X on x399 instead w/ 2 x 1080 TI’s (with room to expand later) and PCIe M2 SSD’s. Any thoughts on that?

I know that viewport performance for animation is helped by faster single clock speeds, so sometimes lower core counts are best… but I feel having a strong CPU can’t be bad.

Galih
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Galih

Hi

i need to build new pc
i7 8700k or ryzen 7 1700x for rendering in 3dsmax + vray, after effect, premiere?, i need better value, so i can get other component such as bigger SSD or better ram. thank you,

sorry for my bad english 😀

Ivan
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Ivan

Hi, I’m new on building own pc, I used to buy it. But now I need a strong pc. I work with 3d modelling and rendering, I saw a computer with these specs.

AMD RYZEN Threadriper 1950X (3.8GHz, 40MB Cache, 32x Cores, Turbo 4.0GHz) CPU
MSI X399 SLI PLUS TR4 DDR4 USB3.1 RYZEN Threapripper Gaming Motherboard
MSI GEFORCE GT 1030 2GB OC EDITION DirectX12 Graphics Card
500W 80+ High Performance Power Supply
16GB QUAD Channel DDR4 2400MHz High Performance Gaming RAM with Heat Spreader
250GB SSD Upto 500MB/s + Speed Ultra-Fast Solid State Drive (OS DRIVE)
EVETECH RUSH RGB Tempered Glass GAMING CASE
6x 120mm RGB Fans + Dual Tempered Glass
Corsair Hydro H100i V2 240mm High

Please, tell me if it is good for me… I work in Achviz and interior design. Sorry my bad English.

Best regards

kostas kas
Guest
kostas kas

Goodmonrning. I am planning to built a new pc. I mostly work on 3dsmax with Vray, autocad, Photoshop and Maya. I am between ryzen 1800x and i7-8700. Which one you think is better for me?

kostas kas
Guest
kostas kas

ryzen 1700/1700x/1800x and i7-8700 i wanted to write 🙂 Sorry for my bad english

Ben
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Ben

Ive had the ryzen 1700 Palles with a 1080 ti for 6 months now and Its pretty Good. Its gonna run even better if you overclock it too 3,7 GHz. So Ill defenitley go with the ryzen for 3D tasks and rendering.

Nachit
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Nachit

Hello, i have computre Hp z800 , 24G Ram, – intel (R) Xeon(R) CPU E5640 @2.6GHZ 16 Cores – qraphic card INVIDIA Quadro 2000, and any version of 3ds max work slowly and always the software close, I want advice please, if i should to change the configuration tell me what i must to buy, Thnks ,
Best Regards

Leonard
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Leonard

Hi Alex,

I was wondering which is better, to upgrade to quadro or upgrade my processor to i7 / AMD?

Current spec i3-6100, GTX 1030 D5 2GB, RAM 8 gb DDR4 kingston hyper x
Seems just not enough to work with 3dsmax 2017, it crashed so often.

As for the best bang for buck “upgrade”, what would you recommend?
I was thinking about the Ryzen R5 1600 though.

Eddy
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Eddy

What do you think of the E5-2650 V4, where would it fit in the list?

Andy
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Andy

Hello Alex,
I was asked by my friend to help her with upgrading her PC.

She is now using:

P5Q SE PLUS motherboard
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT graphic card
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz CPU
2x2GB RAM PC2-6400

Her day to day software are:
Artlantis
AutoCAD
Photoshop
SketchUp

The goal is to decrease rendering with Artlantis as low as we can for a sensible price. Right now it takes up to 20 hours as a maximum.

The budget we have for our “shopping” is 1500-2000 dollars. Cheaper is better but we are looking long term. We can save some by decreasing RAM for a year lets say and buy some more next year but for rendering,
I assume RAM is not the most important.

Any help would be highly appreciated.

bogdan
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bogdan

Hy, I want to know what system I would i need for editing video in after efects or premier pro in 4k. Tnx

Fred Laruccia
Guest

Hey Alex, thanks for this amazing post. Iv been doing a research about a build im planning on doing soon. I work as a 3D artist more focused in the Lighting and Rendering stage of the production. But sometimes I need to do a bit of simulation (fur) and occasionally composite animated scenes. Anyway, here is what im planning on building:

Processor – Rayzen Threadripper 1950x (16 core)
Motherboard – ASUS Prime X399 (im not going for the Zenith Extreme coz of the high cost and im not sure if I would need such board)
Ram – G.Skill TridentZ 4×8 (32gb) 3000mHz
HD – 2x SSD MP500 120gb (240gb)
Cooling system – Master cooler 240 (water cooling)
Power supply – Cooler Master V750
Graphic Card – 1x 1080ti Black Edition (cheaper than the Zotac)
Casing – Corsair 780t

Im not sure about the casing. Since im still trying to find a good measure of price and quality. Please give me your thoughts regarding this build.

BTW im not going for double Xeon or i7 coz form my research the Threadripper is a good price over power option.

Cheers

anthony
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anthony

Hi Alex,

Very nice review I m actually looking around for the best itx workstation possible with water cooling. I m mainly using AutoCAD, Blender, SketchUp and 3D Rendering with V-Ray or Artlantis + a lot of photoshop too.
I have been seeing a lot of different articles but I really don t know if I should go R7 2700X or i7 8700k.
Not sure it exists or will exist a threadripper or Xeon or i9 for mini Itx.
What would you recommend and being future proof? (No budget minimum required).

Thanks a lot for this awesome article

Malik
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Malik

Hi Alex…love your Post……need some help here, i wanna build my workstation. Softwares to use are Unreal engine, 3Dmax, lumion, Adobe Suite,4K video editing,after effect, PBR rendering, Iray, redshift. I owned already GTX 1080ti, PSU 1500 Watt,SSD nvme Evo 960 1 TB, 10 TB spnning HDd, So which processor is the best to choose, I7 7820x (equals ) or Threadripper ? And for gpu render engine (redshift/vray etc) is that possible to use mining rig? Maybe 8x GTX 1080Ti ? The target is to render complex scene 1 to 5 second perframe ( FHD quality)
Thanks

Harris Mantzouranis
Guest

Hello every one

I am trying to build a new PC for work (architecture and interior design)

Mainly i use the following Software

Autocad
Sketcup Pro 2018
Vray for sketchup 3.60
Photoshop
Illustrator

First Proposal

AMD CPU Ryzen 7 2700X Wraith Prism (AM4/3.70 GHz/20 MB)
Gigabyte Motherboard Aorus X470 Gaming 7 WiFi (X470/AM4/DDR4)
Ram Corsair 32GB 3333MHz
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
SSD Samsung 960 EVO NVMe 250GB
SSD Samsung 860 EVO 500GB

Second Proposal
AMD CPU Threadripper 1900X (sTR4/4.00 GHz/20 MB)
Gigabyte Motherboard X399 Aorus Gaming 7 (X399/sTR4/DDR4)
Ram Corsair 32GB 3333MHz
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
SSD Samsung 960 EVO NVMe 250GB
SSD Samsung 860 EVO 500GB

Third Propasal
Intel CPU Core i7 8700K (1151/4.7 GHz/12 MB)
Gigabyte Motherboard Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 (Z370/1151/DDR4)
Ram Corsair 32GB 3333MHz
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
SSD Samsung 960 EVO NVMe 250GB
SSD Samsung 860 EVO 500GB

please let me know witch one should i choose

Ad Funkey
Guest
Ad Funkey

is this setup good for my purpose:
my requirements is : Thunderbolt 3 + 8 dims memory + more than 3 pcie
i will use it like :
unraid os that host vms . vm for transcode videos to mp4 in 1080p, vm for plex server due the big library, vm for a gaming machine that i will pass through the 1080ti to it which will play full max settings in 1080. 8 vms for lab(active directory, xenapp, firewall vm, 5 client os’s).
the backbone network is 10G but for my direct access to the storage i will be using the Thunderbolt 3 cable for speed.

1- Intel – Core i9-7940X 3.1GHz 14-Core Processor
2- Noctua – NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler
3- Gigabyte – X299 DESIGNARE EX ATX LGA2066 Motherboard
4- Intel – X540
5- asus strix 1080 ti oc 11g
6- G.Skill – Trident Z 32GB (8 x 16GB) DDR4-3733 Memory
7- Corsair – AX1500i 1500W 80+ Titanium Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
8- 16-PORT Int, 6GB/S Sata+sas, Pcie 2.0; In The Box: Lsi Sas 9201-16I, Qig, Driver
9- CableCreation Mini SAS 36Pin (SFF-8087) Male to 4x Angle SATA 7Pin female Cable, Mini SAS Host/Controller to 4 SATA Target/Backplane Cable, 3.3FT
10- 2 nvme
11- 20 hdd wd red(will start with 16 first)

if there is any advice to bring the cost down i am open to any advice, only if there is no compromise of the performance. also can you recommend me an ecc ram for the X299 DESIGNARE EX . it says it support ecc.

Ad Funkey
Guest
Ad Funkey

i forget to mention two main things, nas for most of the storage and second is that i will be transcoding through plex.

Animator
Guest
Animator

Hello 🙂

I am a freelancer and using adobe products
for 2d animation/compositing/rendering etc.
I just wanna ask if ryzen 5 is good enough or ill go with i5?

James
Guest
James

What processor do you recommend for using Nuke,AE and C4D on a daily basis. Xeon or Intel i9?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Hey Alex, congrats for the great article.
I want to ask you for advice what type of configuration do I need if I use the following software (sorted by importance):
Zbrush
3dsmax and vray
Maya
After Effects
Photoshop

I need it mostly for modelling/rendering animations.
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work 🙂

Feroz
Guest
Feroz

We are planing on building a new pc. we are on a really tight budget, the system will be basically used for 3ds max vray rendering (interior designing), Photoshop, illustrator.
Which one will be better i3 7100 or Ryzen 3 2200G.
if we go with ryzen we can upgrade our processor in future without buying a newer motherboard. With intel 7th gen we have to buy a new motherboard for upgrading to new gen.

Please suggest. Sorry for bad English.
(and suggest a budget motherboard for ryzen for future upgrades)

Name
Guest
Name

i3 7100? with only 2 cores , while 8100 has 4?

Name
Guest
Name

But i dont know if hyperthreading works better/worse in soft you listed.

Only say that number of cores may variate in different intel cpus . As example pentium g4560 has
2 cores 4 threads – but lower frequency. From 7 gen, If im not mistaken .
And if im not mistaken it supports the same motherboard as i3 7100.

Dont know, how true is this site , but it i think it may help http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i3-7100-vs-Intel-Core-i3-8100/3891vs3942

sorry for english, too

Name
Guest
Name

And i dont know enough about other differents between i3 7100 and pentium g4560. If im not mistaken, as example, smartcache. And how dedicated cpu will work with listed soft . So i dont give any advice.

Pedro
Guest
Pedro

Hi Alex, first of all, nice article.
I’m an amateur 3D modeler and recently I’m planning on changing my CPU since my old Quad Core Q9400 is not strong enough for my future projects.

My thoughs are between Intel Core i7 – 8700 (with or without K) and AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (with or without X)

And the software I’m using is:
Blender (mainly)
Substance Painter
Photoshop
After Effects
Premiere
And in a future I would like to use Maya and Zbrush

Based on other sites I think the Intel choice could be better as some of the software I mentioned seems to be more optimized for Intel and uses one single core while editing, also I hope the prize to drop due to the refresh coming out soon.

Ryzen seems to get pretty close with this new generation but I have some issues looking up for tests for some of the softwares, mainly found for the previous generation and on pugetsystems (i.e) seems to recommend Intel almost everytime.

I know both would be good choices but I would.like to hear some advice from more experienced users.

Regards and thanks 🙂

Princess Ann
Guest
Princess Ann

Hi! I was wondering what processor is the best for rendering, Intel or AMD Ryzen?

The programs that I would be using are:
AutoCad
SketchUp and Vray
Lumion
Photoshop

Thank you.

Naresh
Guest
Naresh

hi.
i am going to bye new pc for 3ds max, maya, af and nuke.
advice me configuration…..

Igor
Guest
Igor

Hello. please forgive my google translator, I’m Ukrainian
I’m trying to build my first computer to work in 3d (architecture and interior design)
I will use the CPU rendering.
Dispersal is not expected
In search of an optimal package of prices.

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
GPU: MSI PCI-Ex GeForce GTX 1060 OC 6GB GDDR (192 bit) (1544/8008)
RAM: Kingston DDR4-2400 PC4-19200 HyperX Fury 16 GB in the future upgrade to 64 GB (4-16 GB)
SSD: Samsung 960 EVO series 250gb M.2. ????
CPU cooler: be careful! Shadow rock thin
Motherboard: Gigabyte – GA-AX370-Gaming K5 ???
Power supply: Aerocool KCAS-700 700W. ????

Question 1 Motherboard
Which motherboard is best for Ryzen 7 2700x?
I’ve heard about problems with updating BIOS for Pinnacle Ridge processors. (Does the problem solve x470?)

Question 2 SSD
Should I take the Samsung 960 EVO? Or can I manage the white ssd budget?

Question 3 BP
Which power supply should I choose?