Best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2020

Best PC Build for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2021

Rendering requires lots of processor power, and you should have this at the back of your mind. Perhaps you are planning to build a mini-render farm for a studio, or you’re a freelance artist and you want to build a render PC for your projects, then follow along. In this guide, we show you how to build the best PC for 3D Modeling and Rendering in 2021, together with information on the best 3D rendering software you can get right now.

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Table Of Contents

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AMD BUILDS

3 categories – BUDGET, MID-RANGE, AND HIGH-END builds.
Each selection of components are hand-picked
with no compatibility issues whatsoever.

best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021

AMD BUDGET RENDER PC BUILD

Last update on 2021-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

NB: The CPU Cooler is bundled with the processor.

Alternative Budget Hardware – AMD Render PC Build

PART BRAND/MODEL
Processor Options AMD Ryzen 5 1600
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
AMD Ryzen 5 2600
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
AMD Ryzen 5 3600
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
Graphics Card Options NVIDIA Quadro M4000 8GB
Radeon Pro WX 3100
Radeon Pro WX 3200
AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100
GeForce GTX 1660 Super
NVIDIA Quadro K1200
NVIDIA Quadro P1000
NVIDIA Quadro P600
GeForce RTX 2060
Storage Drive Options Seagate Barracuda 6TB
Seagate BarraCuda 8TB 
Boot Drive Options Samsung SSD 860 EVO 250GB
Crucial MX500 250GB 3D NAND SATA M.2
Samsung 970 EVO SSD 500GB M.2 NVMe
XPG Pro 512GB 3D NAND NVMe
Memory Options Crucial Ballistix 3200 MHz DDR4 16GB
XPG Z1 DDR4 3000MHz 16GB
HyperX Fury 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
G.Skill RipJaws V Series 16GB DDR4
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB DDR4
TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 16GB 3200MHz
CPU Cooler Bundled
Power Supply Options Thermaltake Smart 500W
Thermaltake Smart 430W 80+
EVGA 450 BR, 80+ BRONZE 450W
Corsair CX Series 450 Watt 80 Plus
SilverStone Technology 450W 80 PLUS Bronze
Rosewill Arc Series 450 Watt 80 Plus Bronze
EVGA 500 80+ Bronze 500W
GIGABYTE 80 Plus Bronze 500W
ROSEWILL Modular Power Supply, 80 Plus Gold 500w 
Cooler Master MWE 500 Bronze, 80+ 
Corsair CX Series 500 Watt 80 Plus Bronze 
Corsair CX Series 550 Watt 80 Plus Bronze
Cougar VTX450 Power Supply 80+ Bronze Certified 450W
Apevia Astro 500W ATX Power Supply
Motherboard Options GIGABYTE B450M
MSI ProSeries AMD A320
ASRock AM4 MicroATX
Asus Prime B450M-A
Keyboard/Mouse Options Logitech MK710 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo
Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo
Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
AmazonBasics USB Wired Computer Keyboard Mouse 
Case Options NZXT H210 Mini-ITX PC Gaming Case
Enermax LL30 RGB Mid Tower
darkFlash Micro ATX
Cooler Master MasterBox MB511
Zalman T7 ATX Mid Tower
Cooler Master MCB ATX
Display Options BenQ 24 Inch IPS Monitor
ASUS 23.8” Monitor, 1080P
Philips 32″ Curved Frameless Monitor
Asus Eye Care Monitor Full HD 27″ Frameless
ASUS 24″ ProArt Professional
HP 23.8-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor

best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021

AMD MID-RANGE RENDER PC BUILD

Last update on 2021-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternative Mid-Range Hardware – AMD Render PC Build

PART BRAND/MODEL
Processor Options Ryzen 7 1700X
Ryzen 7 2700X
Ryzen 7 2700
Ryzen 7 2700X
Ryzen 9 3900X
Ryzen 7 1800X
Ryzen 7 3700X
Ryzen 7 3800X
Graphics Card Options AMD Radeon Pro W5500
AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
AMD Firepro W7100
PNY QUADRO RTX 4000
Nvidia Quadro P4000
GeForce RTX 2070 Super
GeForce RTX 2080
Storage Drive Options Seagate Barracuda 3TB
Seagate BarraCuda 8TB 
Boot Drive Options Samsung 860 PRO 512GB SSD
XPG Pro 512GB 3D NAND NVMe
Samsung 970 EVO 1TB – NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
Memory Options Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
CPU Cooler Option NZXT Kraken X53
Power Supply Options Power Supply 850 Watts 80 Plus Gold
Thermaltake Smart 600Watts
Corsair CX Series 750 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified 

EVGA 850 80+ Bronze 850W
GAMEMAX Rainbow 750W Fully Modular 80+ Gold  
GAMEMAX Rainbow 850W Fully Modular 80+ Gold  
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2, 80+ PLATINUM 850W

Rosewill Gaming 80 Plus Bronze 1000W PSU

Motherboard Options Gigabyte B450 AORUS Elite
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F
ASUS PRIME A320M-K AMD Ryzen AM4
GIGABYTE GA-A320M-S2H AMD Ryzen AM4
Keyboard/Mouse Options Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo
AmazonBasics USB Wired Computer Keyboard Mouse
Case Options darkFlash Darwin Black ATX Mid-Tower
MSI Premium Mid-Tower PC Case
Cooler Master MasterCase ATX Mid-Tower
MSI MPG 500P Full Tower
Thermaltake Commander C36
Cooler Master MasterBox TD500
Display Options BenQ PhotoVue 27 inch QHD Photography Monitor
ViewSonic VP2771 Professional 27″
Philips Brilliance 27″ Monitor, 4K UHD IPS, 122% sRGB,
BenQ 27 inch 4K Monitor for Designers
LG 27″ 4K UHD IPS Monitor with HDR10
LG 34″21:9 Curved UltraWide WQHD IPS sRGB 99%

best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021

AMD HIGH-END RENDER PC BUILD

Last update on 2021-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternative High-End Hardware – AMD Render PC Build

PART BRAND/MODEL
Processor Options
(The Ryzen 9 3950X must be paired with an AM4 motherboard like the Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite)
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 32-Threads 
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-Core, 48-Thread
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X 32-Core, 64-Thread
Graphics Card Options Quadro RTX 5000
NVIDIA Titan RTX
NVIDIA Quadro P6000
Quadro RTX 6000
Radeon Pro WX 9100
Storage Drive Options Seagate Barracuda 6TB
Seagate Barracuda 3TB
Boot Drive Options Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB – M.2 NVMe
XPG Pro 2TB 3D NAND NVMe
WD Blue 1TB NVMe
Memory Option Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB
CPU Cooler Options

NZXT Kraken X53 240mm AIO

DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX WH, RGB AIO 

Power Supply Options 1200W 80 Plus Platinum Modular PSU 
Corsair CX Series 750 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified 
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 850W 80+
EVGA 850 80+ Bronze 850W
GAMEMAX Rainbow 750W Fully Modular 80+ Gold  

EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2, 80+ PLATINUM 850W

Motherboard Options Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite (Must be paired with Ryzen 9 3950X)

For Threadripper CPUs
Asus ROG Strix AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper ATX Motherboard
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Gaming AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper
Asus Prime AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper ATX Motherboard

Keyboard/Mouse Options Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Case Options ASUS TUF Gaming Mid-Tower
Cooler Master Cosmos C700P
Display Options BenQ PhotoVue 27 inch QHD Photography Monitor
EIZO ColorEdge CG2730 27″

BenQ 27 inch 4K Monitor Photo Editing IPS
EIZO ColorEdge Professional Graphics Monitor
LG 27″ 5K IPS LED Monitor
ViewSonic 34″ UWQ 14-bit 3D LUT & Color Calibration

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INTEL BUILDS

3 categories – BUDGET, MID-RANGE, AND HIGH-END builds.
Each selection of components are hand-picked
with no compatibility issues whatsoever.

best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021

BUDGET INTEL RENDER PC BUILD

Last update on 2021-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternative Budget Hardware – Intel Render PC Build

PART BRAND/MODEL
Processor Options
(Must be paired with 1151 motherboards)
Intel Core i7-9700K
Intel Core i7-8700K
Graphics Card Options Radeon Pro WX 3100
Radeon Pro WX 3200
AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100
NVIDIA Quadro M4000 8GB
GeForce GTX 1660 Super
NVIDIA Quadro K1200
NVIDIA Quadro P1000
NVIDIA Quadro P600
GeForce RTX 2060
Motherboard Options Gigabyte B365M LGA1151 Micro ATX
ASUS PRIME LGA1151 B360M-A
MSI B360 LGA 1151 GAMING PLUS
GIGABYTE H310M LGA 1151
RAM Options Crucial Ballistix 3200 MHz DDR4 16GB
XPG Z1 DDR4 3000MHz 16GB
HyperX Fury 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
G.Skill RipJaws V Series 16GB DDR4
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB DDR4
TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB DDR4 16GB 3200MHz
CPU Cooler Option Noctua NH-U12A Premium CPU Cooler
NZXT Kraken X63AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
Storage Drive Option Seagate Barracuda 6TB
WD Blue 6TB
WD Black 6TB
SSD Option Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB – M.2 NVMe
XPG Pro 2TB 3D NAND NVMe
WD Blue 1TB NVMe
Power Supply Options Thermaltake Smart 500W
Thermaltake Smart 430W 80+
EVGA 450 BR, 80+ BRONZE 450W
Corsair CX Series 450 Watt 80 Plus
SilverStone Technology 450W 80 PLUS Bronze
Rosewill Arc Series 450 Watt 80 Plus Bronze
EVGA 500 80+ Bronze 500W
GIGABYTE 80 Plus Bronze 500W
ROSEWILL Modular Power Supply, 80 Plus Gold 500w 
Cooler Master MWE 500 Bronze, 80+ 
Corsair CX Series 500 Watt 80 Plus Bronze 
Corsair CX Series 550 Watt 80 Plus Bronze
Cougar VTX450 Power Supply 80+ Bronze Certified 450W
Apevia Astro 500W ATX Power Supply
Case Options NZXT H210 Mini-ITX PC Gaming Case
CORSAIR 110Q Mid-Tower Quiet ATX
darkFlash Micro ATX
Cooler Master MasterBox MB511
Zalman T7 ATX Mid Tower
Cooler Master MCB ATX
Keyboard/Mouse Options Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo
Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
AmazonBasics USB Wired Computer Keyboard Mouse
Display Options BenQ 24 Inch IPS Monitor
ASUS 23.8” Monitor, 1080P
Philips 32″ Curved Frameless Monitor
Asus Eye Care Monitor Full HD 27″ Frameless
ASUS 24″ ProArt Professional
HP 23.8-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor

best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021

MID-RANGE INTEL RENDER PC BUILD

Last update on 2021-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternative Mid-Range Hardware – Intel Render PC Build

PART BRAND/MODEL
Processor Options
(Must be paired with 1151 motherboard)
Intel Core i9-9900K
Intel Core i9-9900KF
Intel Core i9-9900
Graphics Card Options PNY QUADRO RTX 4000
Nvidia Quadro P4000
GeForce RTX 2070 Super
GeForce RTX 2080
Motherboard Options ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero
ASUS Prime Z390-A
MSI MEG Z390
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ULTRA
RAM Options Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
CPU Cooler Options Cooler Master ML240R Liquid Cooler
NZXT Kraken X53 240mm AIO
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R Addressable RGB Close-Loop AIO
DEEP COOL Castle 240EX, Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX, Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX WH, Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
Storage Drive Options Seagate Barracuda 3TB
Seagate BarraCuda 8TB 
SSD Options Samsung 970 EVO SSD 500GB M.2 NVMe
XPG Pro 512GB 3D NAND NVMe
Samsung 970 EVO 1TB – NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
Power Supply Options Thermaltake Smart 600Watts
Corsair CX Series 750 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified 
EVGA 850 80+ Bronze 850W
GAMEMAX Rainbow 750W Fully Modular 80+ Gold  
GAMEMAX Rainbow 850W Fully Modular 80+ Gold  
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2, 80+ PLATINUM 850W
Rosewill Gaming 80 Plus Bronze 1000W PSU
Case Options darkFlash Darwin Black ATX Mid-Tower
Cooler Master MasterCase ATX Mid-Tower
MSI MPG 500P Full Tower
Thermaltake Commander C36
Cooler Master MasterBox TD500
Keyboard/Mouse Options Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
AmazonBasics USB Wired Computer Keyboard Mouse 
Display Options BenQ PhotoVue 27 inch QHD Photography Monitor
ViewSonic VP2771 Professional 27″
Philips Brilliance 27″ Monitor, 4K UHD IPS, 122% sRGB,
BenQ 27 inch 4K Monitor for Designers
LG 27″ 4K UHD IPS Monitor with HDR10
LG 34″21:9 Curved UltraWide WQHD IPS sRGB 99%

High-end Intel 3D Render PC build

HIGH-END INTEL RENDER PC BUILD

Last update on 2021-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternative High-End Hardware – Intel Render PC Build

PART BRAND/MODEL
Processor Options
(Must be paired with LGA 2066 motherboard)
Intel Core i9-10900X
Intel Core i9-7940X
Intel Core i9-7920X
Intel Core i9-9820X
Graphics Card Options Quadro RTX 5000
NVIDIA Titan RTX
NVIDIA Quadro P6000
Quadro RTX 6000
Radeon Pro WX 9100
Motherboard Options ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II X299 LGA 2066
ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme
ASUS ROG Strix X299-E
RAM Options OLOy Memory DDR4 RAM 64GB
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64GB
HyperX Fury 64GB 2666MHz DDR4
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 64GB
CPU Cooler Options Cooler Master ML240R Liquid Cooler
NZXT Kraken X53 240mm AIO
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R Addressable RGB Close-Loop AIO
DEEP COOL Castle 240EX, Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX, Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
Storage Drive Options Seagate Barracuda 6TB
Seagate Barracuda 3TB
SSD Options Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB – M.2 NVMe
XPG Pro 2TB 3D NAND NVMe
WD Blue 1TB NVMe
Power Supply Options 1200W 80 Plus Platinum Modular PSU 
CORSAIR HX1200, 1200 Watt, 80+ Platinum Certified
EVGA Supernova P2 80+ Platinum 1200W
ROSEWILL Gaming 80 Plus Gold Certified 1600W Full Modular
Keyboard/Mouse Options Havit Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard Mouse Combo
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
AmazonBasics USB Wired Computer Keyboard Mouse
Case Options ASUS TUF Gaming Mid-Tower
Cooler Master Cosmos C700P
CORSAIR Carbide SPEC-Omega RGB Mid-Tower Gaming Case
Display Options BenQ PhotoVue 27 inch QHD Photography Monitor
EIZO ColorEdge CG2730 27″
BenQ 27 inch 4K Monitor Photo Editing IPS
EIZO ColorEdge Professional Graphics Monitor
LG 27″ 5K IPS LED Monitor
ViewSonic 34″ UWQ 14-bit 3D LUT & Color Calibration

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3D Modeling

3D Modeling is the act of utilizing special apps to produce models inside the software using mathematical polygons and quads. The art of 3D modeling has really evolved from the early days of computer graphics and has become mainstream on the PC.

Most 3D Modeling apps offer complete solutions, from modeling to rendering to compositing. Also, some are paid, while there are free ones. Some of the apps include the Autodesk Entertainment Suite which comprises 3D Studio Max, Maya, and Mudbox. Others include Houdini, Lightwave, Cinema 4D, Rhino, Blender, Zbrush, Modo, Sculptris, MakeHuman, and others.

3D modeling apps also allow you to texture and in most cases render out your images. In recent years, hardware manufacturers have had to keep up with new implementations in software, which places great demands on the processing power of hardware components.

If you intend to set up the best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021, it is recommended to go for the latest components, albeit on your budget. This is because after a few years, the trends in technology would have moved on. It is always better to future-proof your PC build for modeling and rendering, by getting the best available right now.

3D Modeling involves creating, modifying, and manipulating 3-dimensional polygonal mesh objects in real-time using 3D apps like Maya, Blender, or Houdini. This operation actively engages the system CPU, which processes the commands you issue while you work. It doesn’t matter how many cores your CPU has, much of the processing is carried out on a single core or at most 2 cores, while the rest of the cores lie idle.

Your best bet is to go for a higher clocked processor with fewer cores, like a quad-core, if you are mainly going to be modeling on your PC. If you go for a processor with a lot of cores, like a 16-core chip, then you’re not getting value for your money because most of the time those cores are going to be lying around doing nothing.

3D Rendering

This is the final output of computer-generated imagery, either in picture format or video. Rendering is a compute-intensive process which usually brings the under-powered computer to its knees. Most rendering techniques utilize the bucket rendering technique, whereby a core is assigned an area in the image to render. Once that core finishes the task, it is assigned another bucket, and so on, until the whole render job is done.

Rendering is usually performed exclusively on the CPU of the PC, but recently, developers of rendering apps have begun coding their solutions to rely on the graphics card of the PC, to render images. This is known as GPU rendering.

GPU 3D Rendering with RTX Quadro cards

This is possible due to the fact that GPUs have become increasingly powerful, and can perform computational tasks as even better than a single CPU. Modern GPUs such as the Quadro RTX have thousands of cores (miniature compute units) which speeds up the rendering procedure significantly. These cards also have great prospects in the future because of their Tensor cores and RT cores.

However, not all render engines are designed to take advantage of the GPU for rendering. Below is a table of the most popular render solutions.

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The best Render Solutions available

Below is a table of the most popular render solutions available with details of supported render hardware.

RENDER APP PLATFORM PRICE HOST APP OS
3Delight CPU Free/$720 3ds Max, Katana, Maya Windows, macOS, Linux
Arnold CPU $360/year Maya, Houdini, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Katana and Softimage Windows, macOS, Linux
Artlantis CPU $650 Standalone Windows, macOS,
Blender CPU/GPU Free Amarath, Ragdoll Tools, Magic UV, Ragdoll Tools Windows, macOS, Linux
Clarisse CPU/GPU Free / $999 Standalone Windows, macOS, Linux
Corona CPU $30/month 3ds Max, Cinema4D Windows
Enscape GPU $469/year Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, ArchiCAD Windows
FelixRender CPU $160/month 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros Windows
FluidRay GPU $14.99 / month Standalone / SketchUp, Modo, Shade 3D, Rhino Windows, macOS
FurryBall GPU $110 Standalone / Maya, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max Windows
Guerilla Render CPU Free/$2,000 Maya Windows, Linux
Indigo Render GPU $835 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, iClone, Maya, Revit, SketchUp Windows, macOS, Linux
Iray GPU $279/year 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Maya, Rhinoceros Windows, macOS
Keyshot GPU $1,995 Standalone Windows, macOS
Lumion GPU $1,499 SketchUp, Autodesk Revit, ArchiCAD, Bentley, Allplan, Vectorworks, Rhinoceros, 3ds Max Windows
LuxRender GPU Free 3ds Max, Blender, Carrara, Cinema 4D, DAZ Studio, Maya, Poser, SketchUp, XSI Windows, macOS, Linux
Marmoset Toolbag GPU $189 Standalone Windows, macOS
Maxwell Render CPU/GPU $520 3ds Max, ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D, formZ, Maya, Modo, Revit, Rhinoceros, SketchUp, SolidWorks Windows, macOS, Linux
Octane Render GPU $699 3ds Max, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Blender, Carrara, Cinema 4D, DAZ Studio,
Houdini, Inventor, Lightwave, Maya, Modo, Nuke, Poser, Revit, Rhinoceros, SketchUp, Softimage
Windows, macOS, Linux
Redshift GPU $500 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, Softimage Windows, macOS, Linux
RenderMan CPU $595 Blender, Houdini, Katana, Maya Windows, macOS, Linux
Solidworks Visualize CPU/GPU $1,830 Standalone Windows
Thea Render CPU/GPU $270 SketchUp, Cinema 4D, Rhino Windows, macOS, Linux
V-Ray CPU/GPU $350/year 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, Modo, Nuke, Revit, Rhinoceros, SketchUp, Unreal Windows, macOS, Linux

GTX vs RTX vs RTX Quadros, which is best for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021?

Now we hear so much about Quadros, with the latest iteration being RTX Quadros. We all know that GTX cards are best for gaming. However, NVIDIA’s latest series of GPUs, the Geforce RTX, offers improved performance in gaming, video editing, and content creation. If budget isn’t a problem, it’s quite tempting to go get a Quadro card and decide to use it for gaming. This is not a wise decision. Quadro cards are quite expensive, designed for high-end GPU computing. In the long run, you’re better off with just a GTX or RTX graphics card for gaming.

So here are a few differences between Quadros and Geforce RTX/GTX cards.

Consumer vs Professional

The new RTX Quadros are designed for professionals in the content creation, media and entertainment industries. They are designed for super-precision computing, handling high volume render workloads, simulation workloads, engineering visualization, and AI/machine learning environments and applications. These kinds of applications demand the kind of precision and output that Quadro cards provide.

On the other hand, RTX and GTX cards are designed for consumers who do everyday computing tasks such as gaming, video editing, compositing, 3D modeling and rendering, and graphic design. These kinds of applications do not demand super-precision professional graphics cards like the Quadros.

Support for Ray Tracing

RTX aka real time ray-tracing, is the latest technology innovation that NVIDIA came up with, targeting the media/entertainment, content creation and engineering visualization industries. Ray tracing is natively supported in RTX Quadros and Geforce RTX cards. However, the GTX cards don’t have native support for ray tracing. The Quadro RTX and Geforce RTX cards are built on the Turing architecture.

Accuracy vs Performance

Quadros are engineered for precision and accuracy in computations. On the other hand, Geforce GTX graphics cards are more commercially inclined, and are most popular for gaming applications. This is because they are designed for higher performance, with higher clock speeds, unlike Quadros which are relatively clocked lower, but excel in sheer computational horsepower.

In terms of computational muscle, Quadros are much more powerful, compared to GTX or RTX cards. The architecture of all of them is just the same, but the difference is in their computation power. Quadros are much more powerful than RTX cards, while RTX cards are more powerful than GTX cards, all things being equal. So if you’re going to build a render PC for massive render jobs, then by all means go for a Quadro, or if your budget isn’t up to it, you can make do with a Geforce RTX card.

More VRAM

Another difference is in the amount of VRAM. Quadros have much more VRAM than RTX cards or GTX cards. This is because such large amounts of RAM are needed for the massive data that Quadros handle. So a Quadro card can come with 24GB of RAM, compared to just 8GB or at most 12GB of RAM for some RTX cards. So, if you are just using your PC for gaming or regular video editing work, then you don’t need 24 or 48GB of RAM offered by the Quadro RTX 8000 or RTX 3090 GPU.

Another advantage is that Quadro cards have ECC (error correction code) incorporated into its VRAM. ECC enables the GPU to detect and correct errors caused by random interference. Regular GTX and RTX cards don’t have ECC memory.

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Warranty

NVIDIA manufactures the Quadros by itself, whereas GTX and RTX cards are manufactured by third party companies like Asus, Gigabyte, Sapphire, PNY, EVGA, etc. NVIDIA simply supplies them the GPU core. Because of this, NVIDIA is able to offer extended warranty on their Quadro cards, unlike the GTX/RTX cards with shorter warranty from OEM’s.

ISV Certification

Quadro cards are tuned and optimized to work better with professional applications. This is because these ISVs run routine tests on Quadros to ensure they perform optimally with their software apps. This ensures the Quadros are certified by ISVs, unlike GTX/RTX cards.

New Processing Cores

The RTX graphics cards are equipped with new features which give them a distinctive edge – RT cores and Tensor cores. Tensor cores are designed for machine learning workflows (running already created and trained machine learning models), and it is reported that Tensor cores drastically speed up AI inferencing for graphics enhancement in Davinci Resolve 15, thereby improving the workflow. However, Adobe has not announced how it will utilize Tensor cores in their mainstream video editing applications such as Premiere, though its Adobe Dimension and Lightroom take advantage of these features.

RT cores are designed to improve ray tracing requirements in 3D rendering and FX applications. While it may not be applicable in Premiere Pro, professionals running ray tracing in rendering apps and compositing apps will find it much useful. RT/Tensor cores hold a lot of promise which will benefit these industries if they are eventually taken advantage of in upcoming updates of major 3D render/content creation apps.

We also think that you should go for an RTX Quadro card because you’re simply future-proofing your 3D rendering workstation. RTX Quadros hold a lot of promise for the architectural and media/entertainment industries. For instance, their latest innovation, native support for ray tracing, drastically improves 3D render workflows.

Actually, many 3D render and content creation apps already support RTX Quadros, though some are in beta development. However, many apps are still not there yet, though this might likely change in a few months.

Here’s a list of Quadro RTX supported apps

COMPANY/PUBLISHER APP
Adobe Dimension
Photoshop Lightroom
Substance Designer
Substance Painter
51VR 51VR
Altair Thea Render
ANSYS Speos
Autodesk Arnold
FLAME
MAYA
VRED
Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve
Blender Cycles
Cebas finalRender
Chaos Group Lavina
V-Ray
D5 Innovation D5 Fusion
Dassault Systèmes CATIA/Stellar
Visualize
Daz Daz Studio
Enscape Enscape3D
Epic Games Unreal Engine
ESI Group IC.IDO
Esri ArcGIS Pro
ArcGIS Enterprise
Foundry Modo
Isotropix Clarisse
Kitware Paraview
Luxion Keyshot
Maxon Redshift
Otoy OctaneRender
Pixar Renderman
PocketStudio PocketStudio 3D
SideFX Mantra
Siemens NX RT Studio
Unity Unity
University of Illinois VMD
Wisp Renderer Wisp Renderer

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Most important components for 3D Render PC

Processor

As we stated earlier, rendering places a great demand on the PC processor. In fact, rendering time is dictated by the number of cores doing the rendering of individual frames. Most rendering software process render jobs in what is called ‘buckets’, where each core is assigned a bucket to render. Once the core finishes the bucket, it is assigned another bucket to render, and so on.

Just like in video editing, your processor must be a multi-core processor, as many cores as you can afford. Though most renderers are GPU optimized, that is, depend on the GPU, like Octane Render, Furryball, and V-Ray RT, rendering still depends to a large extent on the raw power of your CPU. So, get a powerful processor with as many cores as possible. You won’t regret it.

Boot Drive

Your boot drive is an essential part of your PC build for rendering and animation. This is because your operating system needs a fast drive to operate on. After all, your OS houses all your applications, including your 3D apps such as Max or Maya. Now, when making a choice of the boot drive, it is recommended to go for the fastest SSD, or better still go for an NVME M.2 SSD.

Typical NVME drives can push data in the region of 4,000 – 5,000MB/s, which of course is a great advantage when handling rendering or related operations.

Storage Drive

Just like video editing, you need lots of storage for your rendered files. Get the largest hard drive you can afford.

RAM

You need lots of RAM. At least 16GB of RAM is decent for handling large 3D models and rendering. If you can get 32GB, 64 or 128GB of RAM, great. Of course, that would depend on the amount of RAM your motherboard can comfortably accommodate.

Graphics Card

As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t go for a GeForce card for 3D rendering, simply because GeForce cards are not engineered to deliver high-precision graphics performance, like the Quadro or AMD FirePro professional graphics cards. GeForce cards excel in churning out high-frame rates in games and 2D applications. Quadros, on the other hand, are engineered for precision in 3D image processing and computations.

For the best performance, you need a high-end professional graphics card such as the new RTX series or a Quadro on your 3D rendering PC. If you can afford it, go for Nvidia’s Quadro RTX Cards, such as the RTX 3090 Graphics card. This is a premium card from Nvidia featuring 24GB GDDR6X graphics RAM and a 384-bit memory interface for high performance. With a card this good, your rendering will fly. Right now, this card is hands-down the best-performing consumer GPU on the planet.

EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming, 24GB GDDR6X, iCX3...
  • Real boost clock: 1800 MHz; Memory detail: 24576 MB GDDR6X.
  • Real-time ray tracing in games for cutting-edge, hyper-realistic graphics.
  • Triple HDB fans + 9 iCX3 thermal sensors offer higher performance cooling and much quieter acoustic noise.
  • All-metal backplate & adjustable ARGB
  • 3 year warranty & EVGA's top notch technical support.

Last update on 2021-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternatively, you can go for an Nvidia Quadro Card, such as the Quadro P4000, although you have the choice of other graphics boards. When you click through to Amazon (see build recommendations above), you are free to pick a Quadro card of your choice by doing a search or looking through similar products.

You absolutely need a professional graphics card to build the best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021.

Monitor

3D rendering requires a good color-accurate monitor for keeping track of your work, making sure the colors match. For budget builds, we recommend the 24-Inch Viewsonic Professional Monitor. If you are going to build a high-end animation and rendering PC, then go for the BenQ 27-Inch Photoview Photography Monitor.

For a full list of components for an AMD Threadripper 3D Animation and Render PC build, check out our best 3D Animation and Render Desktop PC Build. Otherwise, follow the recommendations above for other options. Click here to move to the step-by-step guide on how to build your own PC.

Conclusion

It can be quite a herculean task trying to figure out what components for the best PC build for 3D modeling and rendering in 2021 will give you the best performance for your money, and of course that’s the purpose of this article. I hope you were able to find just what you need, or something close. If you like this article, share it using the buttons below.

Meanwhile, you can check out other build guides, or reviews such as the best laptop for Solidworks 2021. This might appeal to you if you want to pick up a mobile workstation for rendering.

Let us know your thoughts. Did we miss something you wanted to know? Use the comment section below.

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My passion for PC hardware is my greatest motivation. I love technology and how it can make life easier and less complicated! When I’m not tinkering with hardware, I’m reading. I love to travel and I usually can’t wait to sit down on my PC to work.

I’m also a copywriter, designer, video editor, and writer. I also do some 3D with 3DS Max. Do you want to reach me? Use the Social Media buttons, or shoot me an email. I’ll be glad to hear from you!

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