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PC Workstation for Cinema 4D Simulations (X-Particles & TurbulenceFD) & Houdini

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kerim

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Hello,

First of all, thank you for this unique community that offering a vast knowledge and experience.

I am planning to buy a new PC workstation.
My main work is on Cinema 4D with lots of simulation works by X-Particles and TurbulenceFD.
And I am planning to immigrate to Houdini and to get deep in it with computational designs and simulations.
Also I am planning to render with GPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X/5950X series get my interest. But 5950X is not available, all out-of-stock in my region, which is Turkey. But there is 5900X available now.
- Would you suggest 5900X for my aim? or shall I wait for 5950X to be in stocks? What would be the difference for simulation workflow?
- Do you have any information, when 5950X will be available again worldwide? It seems out-of-stock almost everywhere.
- For GPU Rendering, I am thinking a RTX 3080. Would you approve this choice?
- Can you suggest me a PC built at last?

Warmest regards.
 
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Jerry James

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Yeah, availability has been a pain for a while with everything that launched in the last quarter of 2020 :/.

To answer your question, the 5900X will do just fine unless your work involves a very heavy use of solvers like Pyro or Grain. But you can always drop-in an upgrade a year or so down the line. When it comes to computing performance, a 5900X reaches pretty close to a 16-core 3950X. You shouldn't have too much of an issue here. @Alex Glawion might have additional insight.

As for availability, no clue. If I had to guess, I'd say somewhere around Jan-Feb unless you get lucky and land one.

Yep, a 3080 is a solid choice. No issues there. If you're planning to stack multiple GPUs, might be a better idea to wait for blower models to be in stock. If a single card will work, then go for whatever seems best and is available.

Here's the build I would recommend:
CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LTgv

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor ($697.00)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($219.99)
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB - MSI Gaming X Trio ($1097.66)
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 ($259.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVME M.2 Solid State Drive ($229.99)
Power Supply: Seasonic Focus GM-650, 650W 80+ Gold Power Supply ($99.99)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.99)
Total: $2834.51

Swap out the CPU, GPU, and Power Supply (upgrade to 850W). That should do it :)
If the ASUS X570 TUF Gaming is a lot cheaper in your region, I'd swap the motherboard out as well.
 
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@Jerry James , so you recommend me a 16-core 3950X over 12-core 5900X.
In Cinebench R32 results, single core performance of 5900X is %18,7 faster than 3950X (1406 / 1670)
In contrary, Multi core peformance of 3950X is %19,6 faster than 5900X (22046 / 26375)
Also in my region, 5900X is %33 cheaper than 3950X.
As I learn from your articles, single core is also important too.
I am very indifferent know to what to choice, waiting for @Alex Glawion 's insight too :)

Also, you recommended Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB over a RTX 3080.
What is the reason for this swap? I am also planning to play latest high-end graph games, still not sure if I can find time for it though :)

And another new question,
for G.Skill brand Rams, it seems there is only 2x32 offer available here (not 4x16). And there are 4000 / 3600 / 3200 MHz options. Is 2x32 not good or not different? and preferring 4000 MHz is better or meaningless?
 
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Jerry James

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@Jerry James , so you recommend me a 16-core 3950X over 12-core 5900X.
In Cinebench R32 results, single core performance of 5900X is %18,7 faster than 3950X (1406 / 1670)
In contrary, Multi core peformance of 3950X is %19,6 faster than 5900X (22046 / 26375)
Also in my region, 5900X is %33 cheaper than 3950X.
As I learn from your articles, single core is also important too.
I am very indifferent know to what to choice, waiting for @Alex Glawion 's insight too :)

Also, you recommended Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB over a RTX 3080.
What is the reason for this swap? I am also planning to play latest high-end graph games, still not sure if I can find time for it though :)

And another new question,
for G.Skill brand Rams, it seems there is only 2x32 offer available here (not 4x16). And there are 4000 / 3600 / 3200 MHz options. Is 2x32 not good or not different? and preferring 4000 MHz is better or meaningless?
no, no. I recommend the 5900x. I was just saying that its multithreaded perf is already pretty close to a 3950x so you shouldn’t have too much of an issue with it being 12 cores.

Nope, as I said, swap out the cpu, GPU, and power supply from that build :) I’m recommending the RTX 3080, a 5900x and an 850W PSU.

As for 4000, yeah meaningless for Ryzen. For workstations, stability is paramount. Go 3200 or 3600 of a kit with a capacity you need.
 
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Oh thanks for clarifying. I got wrong at first 😅

So if I consider to buy a second GPU in the future to improve rendering power, are those additional parts (motherboard, power supply etc.) still be enough?

And do you suggest me also adding a liquid cooler kit?

And lastly, MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 and Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus seems same priced here. So which one is good to go?
 
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Hi,

My first post here. I was looking for a configuration for my next PC and I stumbled upon this thread.

I only wanted to add one thing which I don't see being mentioned around.

@kerim, If you're planning to do X-Particles sims forget AMD. Until Insydium will come up with GPU support, AMD simply sucks for this particular task. I'm saying this because I went with a Threadripper myself and I regret my choice. I was watching X-Particles videos where Mario Tran Phuc was showing his process on a laptop and his sims' time was much faster than my Threadripper which, for more complex sims, it reaches a point where it simply chokes.

Then, I got a confirmation on the Insydium forum (not the Discord one) that Intel is what gives the best results. But not the Xeon, I tried that one too and, same issue (much worse than Threadripper actually).

For the other things you mentioned, I couldn't say as I don't use Turbulence nor Houdini myself. Just wanted to share my 2 c and give you a heads up.
 
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Alex Glawion

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Hi,

My first post here. I was looking for a configuration for my next PC and I stumbled upon this thread.

I only wanted to add one thing which I don't see being mentioned around.

@kerim, If you're planning to do X-Particles sims forget AMD. Until Insydium will come up with GPU support, AMD simply sucks for this particular task. I'm saying this because I went with a Threadripper myself and I regret my choice. I was watching X-Particles videos where Mario Tran Phuc was showing his process on a laptop and his sims' time was much faster than my Threadripper which, for more complex sims, it reaches a point where it simply chokes.

Then, I got a confirmation on the Insydium forum (not the Discord one) that Intel is what gives the best results. But not the Xeon, I tried that one too and, same issue (much worse than Threadripper actually).

For the other things you mentioned, I couldn't say as I don't use Turbulence nor Houdini myself. Just wanted to share my 2 c and give you a heads up.
This sounds like it's not necessarily AMD, but rather single core performance that is the fault here. Xeons are rather slow too in single core performance. If this is the fact, then the newest Ryzen 5xxx series CPU should be pretty good for these workloads.
 
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kerim

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This sounds like it's not necessarily AMD, but rather single core performance that is the fault here. Xeons are rather slow too in single core performance. If this is the fact, then the newest Ryzen 5xxx series CPU should be pretty good for these workloads.

Thanks @Alex Glawion . I decided on AMD 9 Ryzen 5900.

So, would you please also help to clarify my latest issues? Then I will be planning to by the workstation in a couple of days.

- If I consider to buy a second GPU in the future to improve rendering power, are those additional parts (motherboard, power supply etc.) still be enough?
- Do you suggest me also adding a liquid cooler kit?
- MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 and Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus seems same priced here. So which one is good to go?
- For 850W Power Supply, can you suggest a model? I guess "being silent" is also an issue here. Asus, Corsair and Thermaltake models looks available here but which model?
- Most important !!, can I connect Apple 27" Cinema Display monitor and get it work to this workstation? My Apple Display uses Thunderbolt 2, so maybe via a convertor?
 
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Alex Glawion

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If you add a second RTX 3xxx series GPU I'd make sure to have at least a 1000W PSU to be on the safe side. Corsair and Seasonic are good picks for PSUs. Take a look at this one: Corsair Professional Series HX1000i

For the second GPU to run at higher pcie bandwidths you should also consider another motherboard such as the Asus WS ACE x570 or the MSI Unify x570.

The 5900 doesn't really need a liquid cooler. We found sub 360mm AIOs to perform worse than good air coolers, so unless you want to add a high-end 360mm aio, I'd stick with the beQuiet Dark Rock Pro 4, which will easily cool the 5900.

I am no expert on Apple Monitors, maybe this will help? https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250427057
 
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Thanks Alex!

There is a noob question I will ask now. I am converting to PC from Mac. This will be my first PC. I was a life-long time Mac user.
Really, I searched the internet whole day and read a lot of posts. No clear explanations.
I am planning to use my Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display monitor with this current workstation.
- As I know, I will be plugging my display to my RTX 3080 card right? not to the motherboard?
- And there is also an info I found "There is no way to use a Thunderbolt display with a computer with no Thunderbolt port."
- So with this information, should I search the compatibility between RTX and Thunderbolt-display? or should I search a Thunderbold support in motherboard?
I am very clueless now.
 
Alex Glawion

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Hey Kerim,
Sorry for the wait. I was asking around, though I am still not entirely sure if it's possible to hook up your Mac Monitor.

Here's another Video I found

It seems like you'll need a thunderbolt 3 Motherboard to make it work. What connections do you have on both ends?
 
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Thank you @Alex Glawion for the magnificent support and feel of responsibility!

I also read lots of forums, comments, and watched videos. But I did not encounter this video and it explains the situation better than the most.
It is so weird that this Thunderbolt Display thing is like a best kept secret and you have to join pieces of the puzzle from many sources to understand the situation.

But at this point, I believe your know-how would be adequate to reach a solution.

1) To get a Thunderbolt Display work on PC, there must be a thunderbolt port. No converter will make it work.
2) Almost all of the X570 motherboards drop support of TB. Except the models of ASRock. ASRock X570 models still have TB header support.
3) There are add-on TB expansion cards available to purchase, but they don’t support every motherboard. The motherboard should have thunderbolt headers (as mentioned above).
4) Also not all TB expansion cards work with Apple Thunderbolt Display flawlessly. The most review-verified, most confirmed add-on expansion card that works with Apple Thunderbolt Display is Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge.

So first of all I have to go with Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge add-on expansion card, as I figure it out.

Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge
Compatible Models:
Unfortunately it only shows it's own compatible Gigabyte mobo models. But I know that it works with most of the ASRock mobo models too, from many reviews.

So I have to buy a mobo, both supports Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge card with a TB header, and Ryzen 5900x, and RTX 3080.

(I am dropping idea of buying a second GPU in future, so to support Ryzen 5900x and RTX 3080 would be enough)

1) Is there any Gigabyte mobo model that is compatible with GC-Alpine-Ridge card, you would suggest for my aim? (There aren't x570 ones on the list)

2) As far as I know from the reviews, GC-Alpine-Ridge card works flawlessly with most of the ASRock mobo models. So the safest choice looks like an ASRock X570 mobo + Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge card, so which models of ASRock mobo will be suitable for my aim?

3) And at this scenario, I will be plugging my display to motherboard, not to GPU. I believe this is OK for Cinema 4D workflows but not for gaming. How can I play games with GPU? Is there a way when you plug your monitor to motherboard?
 
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I have optimized and updated my question above, after lots of research, reading and findings.
So my questions are optimized and changed.
Can you please evaluate again my post above?

@Alex Glawion @Jerry James
 
Jerry James

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So I have to buy a mobo, both supports Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge card with a TB header, and Ryzen 5900x, and RTX 3080.

(I am dropping idea of buying a second GPU in future, so to support Ryzen 5900x and RTX 3080 would be enough)

1) Is there any Gigabyte mobo model that is compatible with GC-Alpine-Ridge card, you would suggest for my aim? (There aren't x570 ones on the list)

2) As far as I know from the reviews, GC-Alpine-Ridge card works flawlessly with most of the ASRock mobo models. So the safest choice looks like an ASRock X570 mobo + Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge card, so which models of ASRock mobo will be suitable for my aim?

3) And at this scenario, I will be plugging my display to motherboard, not to GPU. I believe this is OK for Cinema 4D workflows but not for gaming. How can I play games with GPU? Is there a way when you plug your monitor to motherboard?

1) The B550 AORUS PRO V2 (rev. 1.0) and the B550 VISION D (rev. 1.0) have Thunderbolt support but the B550 chipset does have a few downsides (More info here - https://www.cgdirector.com/best-b550-motherboards/#B550_vs_X570_How_Much_of_a_Downgrade). It looks like the B550 Vision D comes with an Integrated Thunderbolt 3 Controller so it doesn't seem like you'll need an Add-in card if you go this route. For the Aorus Pro V2, you'll need an add-in card. ASRock > X570 Creator also seems to feature an Integrated THB Controller.

If you plan to run more than 2 GPUs in the future, I'd go X570. The ASRock X570 Taichi also features a Thunderbolt header but the additional cost of an add-in card might amount to grabbing an ASRock X570 Creator. Look into all options in your region I'd say :)

2) Covered above.

3) It'll still be using your GPU. Also in the video, you can see the guy's system using his GTX 1070 in that setup.
 
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@Jerry James thanks again for clarifying the issue.

ASRock X570 Creator is not supporting Apple Thunderbolt Display (T2), as I read from this thread.
It says X570 Creator only supports T3, drops the legacy T1-T2 support. And T3 to T2 converter doesn't work at this point.

On the other hand, ASRock X570 Taichi, with Alpinde Ridge card add-on, supports Apple Thunderbolt Display, regarding to this thread.

So I will go with ASRock X570 Taichi.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080
Memory: 64GB (2 x 32GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3600 C18
SSD: Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus
Power Supply: Asus Rog Strix 1000W

** Am I good to go now with this config?

** I preferred 1000W for future possibility of adding a second GPU. There are also Corsair 1000W models with AX, HX, RMX series. Do you suggest Corsair over Asus? Is "being more silent" an issue to care?

** There is a ASRock X570 Taichi Razer Blade Edition. Comparison Here. And there is a huge price difference. Also I have no clue if this one also supports Gigabyte-GC-Alpine-Ridge card. Because it seems there are lots of differences. What is your opinion about this edition?
 
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Jerry James

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@Jerry James thanks again for clarifying the issue.

ASRock X570 Creator is not supporting Apple Thunderbolt Display (T2), as I read from this thread.
It says X570 Creator only supports T3, drops the legacy T1-T2 support. And T3 to T2 converter works at this point.

On the other hand, ASRock X570 Taichi, with Alpinde Ridge card add-on, supports Apple Thunderbolt Display, regarding to this thread.

So I will go with ASRock X570 Taichi.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080
Memory: 64GB (2 x 32GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3600 C18
SSD: Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus
Power Supply: Asus Rog Strix 1000W

** Am I good to go now with this config?

** I preferred 1000W for future possibility of adding a second GPU. There are also Corsair 1000W models with AX, HX, RMX series. Do you suggest Corsair over Asus? Is "being more silent" an issue to care?

** There is a ASRock X570 Taichi Razer Blade Edition. Comparison Here. And there is a huge price difference. Also I have no clue if this one also supports Gigabyte-GC-Alpine-Ridge card. Because it seems there are lots of differences. What is your opinion about this edition?

Man, Thunderbolt specifications are a complete shitshow, aren't they?
But good to know. And yep, that build looks like it covers everything.

I've never used an ASUS Power supply, so not too sure how they'll do at high loads. Corsair AX, HX, and RMx are all excellent. Look into beQuiet! Dark Power Pro or Straight Power 11 as well. I'd go, beQuiet! > Corsair > ASUS in order of preference since I feel more comfortable with established power supply manufacturers. But that's just me and my paranoia :D

PS. No clue what's different on that Razer board. Might have to check with ASRock support to be sure because their product page is mostly just marketing fluff targeting gamers.
 
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@Jerry James thanks man! thanks a million times.

btw I have purchased CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 64GB (2 x 32GB) 288-Pin DDR4 DDR4 3600 instead of G.Skill Ripjaws, because I catch an online deal.
They look identical in every spec. So it will be OK right?
I am asking though, I am a %100 PC noob yet.
 
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@Jerry James @Alex Glawion
I gathered all the pieces except the case. Some pieces were out of stock in my country so I have to wait for international shipping, but finally all are here.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 EVGA XC3 Ultra Gaming
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 64GB (2 x 32GB) 288-Pin DDR4 DDR4 3600
SSD: Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus
Power Supply: Corsair RM1000x 1000W
Thunderbolt Expansion Card: Gigabyte Alpine Ridge

I want to have one of the Fractal Design Define series as the case.

Which size would be OK for this setup? And I also want to be able to add second GPU in the future.
 
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Alex Glawion

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You should check 3 things:
1. Does the case fit the Motherboard? (ATX)
2. Is it wide enough for the CPU Cooler (I think Dark Rock Pro 4 needs at least 165mm)
3. Is it deep enough for the GPU
 
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