The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

04 december 2020 year

Is there a computer for rendering or 3D modeling?

When rendering on the processor, all cores of your CPU are loaded at 100% during the entire process. In practical aspect, this means that when choosing a computer exclusively for 3D rendering of images and videos, we always prefer a computer with the highest number of cores, even if the frequency of the processor cores is relatively small.

During the rendering process, the render system divides the image into parts and assigns a specific region to each core. Each core processes its task in parallel and then receives a new one, and so on, until the rendering of the entire image is completed. Some modern render systems render the whole picture at once, with all available cores.

What is the difference between 3d modeling?

When we work with 3d modeling it is an active workflow that uses the capabilities of our PC in a different way than when rendering. For example, we create a car model that consists of polygons with modifiers, deformers, reflections, cloning, bends, etc. The computer also does a lot of calculations during this process, but almost all of them are carried out exclusively on one processor core.

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

Why is that? Because the scene is built with a certain hierarchy and the processor needs to process this entire structure step by step. The CPU cannot parallelize these stages across different cores, as almost all of the stages are linked and dependent on each other.

In a practical aspect, this means that even if you have a top processor with a bunch of cores, 3d modeling will not go faster and the viewport will not work faster. For the best performance in 3d modeling and active work with the scene, a processor with the highest clock frequency (power) of a separate core will be preferable, and not their number.

The best processor – maximum cores with maximum clock speed?

Quite a logical conclusion because then we will be able to render and work as quickly as possible, thanks to such a processor. In general, yes, but practically it does not happen.

Due to high power consumption and, as a result, heat generation, there are a number of limitations that prevent you from creating a miracle processor that is equally good in both aspects. There is a relationship between the number of processor cores and its maximum clock speed, and the more cores a particular processor has, the lower the limit values for the clock frequency of these cores. Conversely, if the processor has fewer cores, they can be made more powerful.

However, technology does not stand still, and processor manufacturers Intel and AMD have found a solution to this problem – turbo boost.

Turbo Boost and Turbo Cores

Imagine that we again use the computer for 3d modeling and load 1-2 cores, the rest are idle. Turbo Boost technology overclocks these cores within safe power and heat limits for maximum performance. Technology from the manufacturer, there is nothing to be afraid of. After the temperature limit is reached, the clock frequency will be lowered to the standard so as not to harm the processor itself.

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

Thus, in fact, we get a multi-core processor with average frequencies, which, however, can give great performance on 1-2 cores when it is needed when the rest are idle.

This concludes the review part and proceed to the selection of components for the best computer for 3D modeling and rendering.

The best processor (CPU) for 3d modeling and rendering for 2022

For active work

As we discussed above, you need to proceed from the main scenario for using a computer. If most of the time we are modeling, sculpting, texturing or animating, i.e. we are actively working at the computer, and rendering a smaller part, then we need a processor with a maximum clock speed:

  • Intel® Core™ i9-10885H Processor - 8 cores 5.30 GHz
  • Intel® Core™ i9-10900K Processor - 10 cores 5.30 GHz
  • Intel® Core™ i9-10900E Processor - 10 cores 4.70 GHz
  • Intel® Core™ i9-10850K Processor - 10 cores 5.20 GHz
  • Intel® Core™ i9-10900KF Processor - 10 cores 5.30 GHz

Processors from the Intel® Core™ i9 series are the best option for 3d modeling.

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

Of the cheaper options, the I9-9900 is notable for 3.1 Ghz standard frequency, up to 5.0 Ghz in turbo boost. We cannot consider all processors for all budgets, but when choosing within the limits of the money that you have, you can rely on the approach itself – you need the maximum frequency of cores, and not their number.

For Rendering

If your situation is the opposite and more time is spent on rendering on a computer, and not on active work with 3d graphics, or if we are talking about assembling a separate machine that will be used only for rendering projects, we are looking for processors with the maximum number of cores. In 2022, we advise you to pay attention to AMD processors

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

  • AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ PRO 3995WX - 64 cores 2.7 GHz
  • AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 3970X - 32 cores 3.7 GHz
  • AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 3960X - 24 cores 3.8 GHz
  • AMD Ryzen™ AMD Ryzen 9 5950X - 16 cores 3.4 GHz

There are also Intel processors with 10-18 cores, but the price will be unreasonably high with comparable or even lower performance.

Graphics card for viewport

Since it is usually the processor that is the bottleneck in viewport performance, the choice of graphics card, as a rule, will not make much difference, provided that you choose from up-to-date and sufficiently powerful graphics cards.

It rarely happens in 3d applications that the graphics card processes data more slowly than the CPU updates meshes, deformers and other elements. Simply put, it's usually the graphics card that has to wait for the processor, not the other way around. Exceptions include projects with heavy reflections, anti-alliance and similar things in the viewport - then you should take a more powerful GPU. Or if you have high-poly RAW meshes of 50 million polygons with a minimum of modifiers – then yes, the system will hit the maximum performance of the graphics card before the processor.

How much and what random access memory (RAM) is needed for 3D modeling and rendering

As with choosing a CPU, the amount and type of RAM memory is largely determined by the main use cases and is quite individual. There can be small and light scenes that require very little memory and huge projects with a bunch of high-poly models, which, on the contrary, require significant investments in RAM for comfortable work.

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

On average, at the moment it is good to have 64 Gb of RAM for working with 3d graphics. This covers the needs of the vast majority of 3d visualizers. If you are working with high poly meshes, using large textures, and working with complex scenes with thousands of objects, then 124 Gb RAM is probably worth considering.

For beginners and amateurs, 32 Gb RAM will be enough at the start, but if you deal with graphics professionally, it will very quickly turn out that this amount of memory is no longer enough.

You should not pay much attention to the frequency and timings of RAM, in our tasks the choice between different options does not give a significant increase in performance. And even buying more expensive memory will not make a noticeable difference compared to the budget one.

A minor difference does exist, but for the current review, we will omit the increase by a couple of percent so as not to complicate the article. I will only note that for AMD Threadripper, a high memory frequency is much more important than for Intel processors. If you have a Threadripper, then buying four-channel memory with a high frequency will really give a few percent performance.

Should I take RAM kits?

In my opinion, this is the preferred option and it is better that the entire amount of memory be purchased in one set. The RAM kits have already been factory tested and are guaranteed to work together perfectly.

Often, 3d visualizers save on buying enough memory in order to buy more memory later, which leads to the appearance of different memory modules in the system and even from different manufacturers, which can cause a performance drop.

In general, if you need, for example, 32 Gb RAM – take a set of 4x8Gb or 2x16, but not two DIFFERENT sets of 2x8 Gb RAM. Why is it important? Different modules, even under the same brand and model, can be produced at different factories, different lines, from different silicon, at different times, and timings may differ. Take a single set – there such a scenario is excluded, everything is tested by the manufacturer.

Excellent reviews on RAM from ADATA, G.Skill, Crucial and Corsair – choose any of the manufacturers, you won't miss.

The best motherboard for 3d modeling and rendering

The motherboard has a much smaller impact on the final performance of the computer when rendering and working in 3d applications, but it is important to make sure that the chosen mother supports everything you need:

•Correct CPU socket support: different processors have different sockets (sockets) for connection, so it is important to make sure that the selected motherboard has the required processor slot.

•Support for the maximum amount of memory: different motherboards have limits on the amount of total RAM that can be in the system and the number of slots for it. It is worth making sure that there are enough slots for the set of RAM you are going to install.

•Support for M.2 (NVME drives): if you are going to install an M.2 hard drive, the motherboard must support this type of drive.

•Motherboard Size: Motherboards come in different sizes and it's worth making sure the form factor of the motherboard and case are compatible.

A good processor power is played an important role, too.

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

Look for motherboards with lots of mosfets and a good VRM (Voltage Regulation Module). The overclocking potential of your processor will depend on this. The minimum number of mosfets can be 9-10, and good boards have 12 or more.

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

The best hard drive for 3d modeling and rendering

The performance of the drive when working with graphics affects the following points:

•Saving and loading scene files;

•Storage and loading of textures, assets and other things;

•Swap file (swap file) if there is not enough RAM;

•Launching the software itself

The Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2022

Everything is quite simple: if you want scenes to load and save scenes quickly, we take a fast drive.

For most visualizers, the option with a productive SSD or M.2 is suitable for the operating system and the installation of graphics software, storing the current scene at work. For this option, choose a 500 Gb – 1 Tb SSD, since the prices for high-capacity SSDs and M.2 have dropped significantly recently. And for storing assets, archives, backups and other goodness, you can take an additional HDD hard drive for 2-8 Tb.

So, we've just talked about all main components that determine the performance of the best computer for 3d graphics and rendering.

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