Be it products, architectural, medical, or any other field, 3D rendering has come as a godsend to get things done more effectively and in a fraction of the time and money. 3D rendering allows you to create photorealistic and lifelike images while preserving even the tiniest of details in a breeze using your PC.
However, with all this overwhelming power and extreme versatility, 3D rendering demands a capable system configuration to work effectively. That being said, let’s talk over what PC specs you should have for 3D rendering.
Know Your Needs
Not all PCs are the same, know your needs and expectations before purchasing expensive components. You might end up spending too much money on components you don’t require, or you might end up with a PC not even capable of getting you through your 3D rendering tasks.
In any case, we assure you that any modern PC (including yours) can handle the basic 3D rendering tasks. However, if rendering complex 3D models for your clients is what you aim for, you have to consider getting an expensive and more capable PC.
For your convenience, here are the minimum, balanced, and high-end system requirements for 3D rendering:
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- A capable and powerful CPU is vital for 3D rendering. Unlike GPU-based rendering, CPU-based rendering utilises multiple cores of the CPU to get things done with extreme precision. Intel CPUs typically offer the best single-threaded performance while AMD CPUs excel in multi-threaded performance.
- Investing in a good GPU is essential if you don’t want to bottleneck your high-end CPU. Nvidia provides the best and the most powerful GPUs ever.
- Contradictory to popular belief, having good-quality storage can increase your 3D rendering speeds dramatically. SSDs can skyrocket your computer’s read/write speed. Programs will load faster, caches will be processed instantly, applications will install faster if you choose to install an SSD.
Minimum System Requirements for 3D Rendering
This type of PC will easily fall in your budget and will get you through your daily 3D rendering tasks. However, don’t raise your expectations, these PC specs are sufficient only if you’re in the learning phase and not a veteran 3D artist. The PC builds with these or similar configurations typically start from around $700.
Minimum System Requirements:
CPU: Intel Pentium G4620
Motherboard: Gigabyte Ga-B250M
GPU: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 2070
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Computer Case: Vivo V00
Storage: 120GB PNY SSD, and 1TB HDD
Balanced System Requirements for 3D Rendering
A balanced PC is a bang for your buck, providing you with immense value for your money. A PC with these configurations will get you through most of your 3D rendering tasks without breaking the bank. This system configuration involves a slightly higher-end CPU, more RAM, and a higher capacity SSD storage for blazing-fast performance. The PC with this or similar configuration costs around $1200.
Balanced System Requirements:
CPU: Intel i5-9600k
Motherboard: MSI Z390-A
GPU: GTX 3070 6GB version
RAM: 32GB DDR4
Computer Case: NZXT S340
Storage: MX500 250GB SSD, and 2TB HDD
High-Performance System Configuration for 3D Rendering
This high-end spec-loaded PC is ideal if you’re pursuing 3D rendering as a full-time career option. The components powering this PC will get you through all your complex 3D rendering tasks in a breeze. With top-notch specifications like the best and overpowered CPU, GPU, along with 1TB of SSD storage, these system configurations does pack a punch. You should only get these higher-end PCs as they will cost you around $2000 or more.
Note: Please take these prices with a grain of salt. The pandemic has restricted the manufacturing and supply of semiconductors around the world, causing the prices of GPUs and CPUs to fluctuate.
High-Performance System Requirements:
CPU: Intel i9-9900K
Motherboard: Z390 Aorus Pro
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 4080
RAM: 64 GB DDR4-3200 Quad Channel RAM
Computer Case: Enthoo Evolv Case
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB SSD, and 2x HGST 4TB HDD
Understanding Individual Components
Depending upon your budget, requirements, and expectations, a little bit of flexibility goes a long way. That said, depending upon your goals, you can modify the configurations accordingly to get the best out of your thousand-dollar investment.
Needless to say, having a capable and powerful CPU in your PC is vitally important. Even though GPU-based rendering is receiving all the hype these days, you just can’t ignore the main component of a PC. Or, your underpowered CPU might become a bottleneck for your expensive GPU. Unlike GPU-based rendering, CPU-based rendering utilizes multiple cores of the CPU to get things done with extreme precision.
The two main players in CPU manufacturing are Intel and AMD. While both companies overall offer almost the same level of performance in their CPUs, Intel CPUs typically offers the best single-threaded performance while AMD CPUs excel in multi-threaded performance. In that case, carefully identifying your needs will clarify the choice of your CPU.
- Graphics Card (GPU)
Investing in a good GPU is essential if you don’t want to bottleneck your high-end CPU. That said, the power and strength of your graphics card will determine the time your PC will take to render something. It also directly lessens the strain on your CPU as most of the power requirements while rendering will be covered by the GPU of your computer. Meanwhile, make sure to install a powerful fan for your CPU and GPU to avoid overheating and the meltdown of transistors.
In the GPU world, Nvidia is the ultimate conqueror, providing the best and the most powerful GPUs ever. However, extreme power does come with an extreme price tag. In contrast with the shortage of semiconductors due to the current pandemic situation, be ready to pay a handsome amount of over $1000 for top-of-the-line GPUs.
RAM has comparatively little involvement in 3D rendering. As long as you have an 8GB DDR4 RAM stick, you’re good to go (in most cases). However, even though 8GB is the minimum requirement for 3D rendering, consider having a 16GB or a 32GB one for a better multitasking experience.
Your choice of 3D rendering software also comes into play when considering the minimum RAM capacity. 3D software like Cinema 4D is very RAM-hungry, along with Google Chrome (another RAM-hungry software), can overpower your small 8GB stick. Also, make sure to leave an empty slot for an extra stick of RAM.
Contradictory to popular belief, having good-quality storage can increase your 3D rendering speeds dramatically. However, while choosing the storage for your PC, it’s not the capacity you should go for, but the type of the storage drive.
Hard Disk Drives (HDDs): If loads of higher-fps animation are your primary goal, consider having an HDD storage drive. You can go for HDDs if read/write speed is not your primary concern. These are affordable and provide you with a ton of storage space. Typically, an HDD of 1TB of capacity and an SSD of just 256GB costs the same.
Solid Disk Drives (SSDs): SSDs can skyrocket your computer’s read/write speed. Programs will load faster, caches will be processed instantly, applications will install faster if you choose to install an SSD. However, you should go for an SSD only if you have extra money to spare. If your budget is very tight, consider putting in more money to the CPU or GPU of your PC. Fortunately, upgrading your storage is one of the easiest tasks in PC-building. You can replace or install an additional SSD in your system if you ever feel like it.
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Not installing a capable PSU is one of the most common mistakes that no one talks about. A cheaper PSU can cause catastrophic failures to your thousand-dollar system. It’s better to avoid risking your expensive PC to save a couple of hundred dollars. Also, you should consult an expert before purchasing a power supply unit for your system or your system can go haywire if you accidentally install an incompatible PSU.
3D rendering is one of the most trending topics these days and it’s not going to lose that hype anytime soon. With such immense popularity, 3D rendering attracts a giant flock of aesthetes from all across the globe each year. And, if you’re also one of them, we’ve created a detailed guide that will help you get a capable system configuration for 3D rendering purposes.