Best config/computer for Cycles fast rendering + big viewport load?

I regulary see the ressources used for active work on scenes and Cycles rendering are different, but i need both of them to be the best in one configuration.
I need the best computer as possible for these two things : Ccan work without lag on really big scenes (more than 5Go sometimes), and after it render them in high quality Cycles animation, without taking too much time.
What would you recommand to combine in one computer / one config the best Cycles rendering speed/power and the best fluidity on very big loaded scenes ?
My budget is around 3000usd.

$3000 is certainly something which gives you options. I doubt though, that working fluidly on large scenes. I think it is just not possible, considering that viewport won’t scale well to many cores.

Multi-socket should be out of budget, considering you also want a serious GPU (and would probably not really make sense). So you should go with the fastest single-socket workstation setup possible, I’d say. My preference would be (might get a bit over budget, would have to check):

  • CPU: i9-9920X (has 4 memory channels and full bandwidth to 2 GPUs, which is totally awesome)
  • Memory: 128 GB, 8 x 16 DDR4-3200
  • GPU 2 x RTX 2080

Alternatively, something like:

  • CPU: Xeon E-2288G or Ryzen 3800X/3900X (the latter is probably not worth the premium) or (if you can wait a month or so, until you can actually buy it) a i9-9900KS
  • Memory: 128 GB of DDR4-3000, e.g. 4 x 32 GB Corsair Vengeance CMK64GX4M2D3000C16 (Unfortunately these CPUs take only 4 DIMMs, and fast 32GB DIMMs are scarce)
  • GPU: 2 x RTX 2080
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thanks you omgold
The first config you propose me is very interesting but after check, maybe too much in term of budget (considering i buy a 4K screen too)
What do you think of :
-CPU i9-9900K, 8 core 306 to 5.0Ghz
-Memory of 64 GB, 4 x 16 GB of DDR4 CRUCIAL 2666MHz

  • GPU Nvidia GEFORCE RTX2070 8go

It seems near of what you proposed but cheaper, do you think it can already handle very good renders and relativly big scenes ? Considering i will use turbo boost
Or is the 128 GB a must have for big works ?

I plan to buy it in the coming hours, so if you can answer fast it would be highly useful and appreciated.

Good renders isn’t the problem. It depends on how fast you want them. For scene size… Well they have to fit into memory.

For your time constrains. Maybe you want to give yourself some more time to think this through and understand what you buy, or you might be disappointed. Also please don’t expect to rush out and configure your dream machine right now

Edit what about storage psu cooling case os?

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  • CPU should be good
  • I would go with a RTX2080 instead of a RTX2070, the premium should be worth it
  • Memory, yeah, well, you can certainly fill 64 GB, depending on your definition of large scene. And didn’t you findegood option for faster RAM? 3200 should give you a bit of boost, at least for sims

Altogether you can certainly do a lot with such a system. I doubt that many people have something significantly better.


Yes you’re right chalybeum, it’s better to wait 3 days more and don’t be disappointed so i will take the time needed

Ok ty omgold, nice to know it’s already a very good config here. I will probably go for the RTX2080 and same for the RAM even if it add some USD, it’s long term investment.

About ram, currently i’m lagging a lot in viewport with blender projects that size around 300Mo.
More than 1Go is praticly impossible to work on. (i have 12go installed)
I do my best to optimize scenes already and don’t have lot of possibilites more on it, so my goal would be to make these scenes usable with fluid viewport, without risks of lag, and even add some Go to it in ideal. (5 is the ideal). Do you think it’s possible to handle with 64GO of 3200DDR4 ?

i don’t understand what it mean sorry (i’m french and not very familiar with PC :smile:) can develop ?

About fluid working, just no. I don’t think there exists a hardware config which could achieve that. There might be other software, though, which can deal with stuff more efficiently. E.g. it seems zbrush is much more fluid at sculping than blender sculpt.

chalybeum is talking about power supply, hard drive, case and fans and operating system. Not the most important of stuff, but of course you need a power supply which can deal with the load (not that difficult for the planned setup), and good cooling makes your cpu faster under continuous load.

Storage are the hard drives, PSU power supply unit, your CPU needs a cooler and the casing should have some airflow, operating system. Although I have a strong impression you want to use Windows, am I right?
Next thing: How about telling what’s your hardware now. Maybe you can reuse some stuff and invest more in other places. We can also maybe put the improvement to be expected into perspective, so you can somewhat imagine what will be. I know for a fact a lot of people have wrong expectations of speed ups when buying a new computer.
Unfortunately it won’t be until tonight that I can come back to you. Real life and stuff… But you already did great with putting a bit more time into it.

i see ! Thanks again
for the moment my power supply will be :
-CORSAIR VS650 80 Plus
-hard drive SSD KINGSTON - SSDNOW A2000 - 500go - Format M.2
1 To SEAGATE - Barracuda - Format 3" 1/2
-Spirit of Gamer Deathmatch 7 (for the computer box)
and for case fans, seems it’s not in the quote, what is recommended ?

So about fluid working, i don’t understand how do people who create photorealistic animations / films with heavy textures, or big landscapes with amounts of details… It seems impossible to handle without can getting over 1Go of file without working efficiency

Not in terms of operation, you are right. Although I’d argue when it comes to M.2 drives, they are a treat. But one have to keep an eye on it when constrained to a budget.
Edit: Off till the evening, cu

Yes i plan to use Windows 10. Unfortunatly my current computer is a laptop so i don’t think any component will be re usable. (i answered to the rest in my precedent post)
it’s a i7 - 4710HQ, 2.50GHz
Geforce GTX 850M
64 bits and Windows 10
12GB RAM (initially 4, 8 installed after)
No problem, thanks you ! I’m already really better informed but still need some confirmations yes

Just a qucki before I go. Yes, with laptops we can’t reuse stuff. Hard drives yes. But that isn’t ba bad machine. I’d keep it around for couch surfing and travel.

NVMes are fun, I know. When installing/upgrading software it’s clearly noticable.

@Okinage: a lot faster than on that laptop will working on the new system certainly be. About reusable, in the EU it totally legal to move Windows licences to other machines (moving, not having them installed on both at the same, time, ouf course).

Yes it’s still a really good computer so i will keep it and also use it as render farm too, so will not transfer windows 10, but good idea.
Are you thinking a 4K screen is a really good idea, considering i’m going to do principally 3D animation with Cycles, or it’s just a gadget at this stade ? I don’t really realise the potential utility, and it’s expensive.

I think i have most of the infos i needed here, but also : @omgold omgold you say working fluidly with big files like this will not be possible, i feel a bit stuck with it because this is at least 50% of the reason i’m getting an excellent PC…
Considering i’m already optimizing these scenes and really need to accomplish these type of big project with highpoly/textured characters and scenes for my portfolio, what you would recommand me in this situation ?
config or not, any advice to optimize this continous fight against lag can be helpful

4K, well, it certainly isn’t a must. Good color accuracy is more important for graphics work, I’d say. If you find a moderately-priced 27’’ WQHD screen with a good IPS panel, it’s totally fine. Large hi-res screens just allow you to see more stuff at the same time large enough to work with, be it larger parts of a model, quad view, more frames with different editors side-by-side or whatever.

About fluid, I would assume what people are doing is to reduce visible/active geometry as far as possible, meaning: reducing subdiv level in viewport, splitting large objects (if possible) and disabling everything from view except the object currently working on.

I’m not sure why I read some exaggerated specs here about your workflow. You’re getting by with 12gb of RAM right now, and I read things about 64gb or 128gb of RAM in this thread.

You can build a well balanced 32gb RAM system with 3k$, with which you can manage most of your scenes, if I understood your demands correctly. If you need more RAM, then adding a 2nd RAM kit with 170-180$ won’t be an issue I think.

This is a list of parts that I think will suit you well
PCPartPicker Part List

Roughly above 2900$. If you still think you need more RAM, then double it and you’ll be settling around 3100$.


Yep, that’s a very fine list @birdnamnam posted there.

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Thanks a lot to you three for this help and good advices, I looked at your list birdnamnam and finally went for something really near of it. I got globally same components / cooler and :
same RTX2080
Considering the evolution of my needs in future projects and the big difficulties i have currently, I prefered go directly for 64GB of RAM, to be sure, (DDR4 3200)
About the processor, i took the i9 9900X that is a bit lower than the AMD your propose for Cycles render, but also cheaper and will already be very good i think, and i still can module my workstation for a better CPU if i need later.
Thanks again for these advices/infos that permitted me to get a trully better config !

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The 9900X isn’t cheaper. It costs around 1K$.
I guess you are referring to the 9900K.
Never mind. What motherboard did you pick?

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