Best CPU for 3D animation.

Hi you all, I’m about to upgrade my machine. I use software like AE, Premier, Blender, PS, Illustrator, Flash, and such.

I have a budget of $2000 to $3000. Could I get some advises about Video Card. Sound Card, Mother card, Ram, Processor, and such?

I’ve heard to go for the Intel’s i7 and 4core with NVidia card, but I really want to invest my money considering the opinion from people that know about this things.

If there is something more expensive, please let me know cause I can get some extra budget since I really want to go in the 3D production with a good machine.

Thanks for any advice on this one.


i’m using a phenom x6 … the six cores are great for rendering times because each core means you get an additional rendering thread.
but i heard that the i7 and i5 x4 processors are faster for things that don’t make use of the extra 2 cores.
and the 4 rendering threads will likely be faster than the 6 i have.
i’ve heard that with these processors, you get about 25% more performance, so it probably evens out.
since you seem to have quite a budget for this you might wanna go with those…
however they are 3-4 times more pricey and you don’t get THAT much more performance out of them. so it might be better to go for a cheaper system and save some of your money for later.

the thing is… you know when it comes to crazy setups you can really spend an unlimited amount of money to get better performance… but the higher you go, the more you have to pay for that extra performance.

after all you could get almost 2 of my pcs for the price of one i5 or i7 … rendering farms are nice =D
it all depends on what kind of work you’re planning to do with it, and whether money is an issue or not.

my system cost me about 1000$ (using my old case, hds and monitors…) and i can’t say i’m displeased with the performance i’m getting out of it.

you can get a better system for 2000$, but you won’t get twice the performance out of it… more like 25%-50%.

so if you need to render complex scenes with insane physics and lots of polies and effects…
you would be much better off buying lots of 3.2 dualcores, which are the most cost effective pcs right now and build a small render farm.

the software thats not getting a huge boost compared to my old 3.2ghz dualcore are for example older games which only make use of 1 or two cores. but you’d be surprised how many of the newer games still don’t really make much use of additional cores. most dual core optimized games for example only use about 15-20% of the second core, if at all.
blender rendering will make full use of all your cores tho.

i was hoping to be able to go a little higher with my hi poly meshes… right now 2.5 million seems to be the max my machine can handle.
waiting for an extra 8gb of ddr3 ram to be delivered to my doorstep for a total of 16gb… i hope that’ll further increase the limit.

also loading 4k textures still takes quite a while. i’m considering to get an SSD … the prices for these are insane tho… and saving often might shorten their lifetime considerably, so i’m not sure.

if money is not an issue you might wanna look at those hybrid SSD drives which supposedly have a longer lifespan.

anyway to make my point: if you have lots of money to spend thats great, but keep in mind that the way the computer industry works right now (and has for a long while) if you want the latest and greatest and want it now, you will always get ripped off. always wait a little for the next wave to be released… make sure you read alot about the stuff you’re planning to get and find out if it really makes a big difference and is really worth the money, or just the next new hype created by advertising.

just my 2 cents.

Hi MoreDread, Thanks for your great reply. As you said i7 could be expensive, but seems to be a good direction. You said $2.000, I would get this systems for that: What would you think about it? Is there something better to change, improve, or something related with blender or 3D applications that could be better to add or buy?. This is going to be my work station and in a near future I’m going to build a render farm, but this is my first step. What would you think?

     <i>1 </i>
     Hsi ATX Twr P4 (STEP-307)Blk 
     <b><i>Case </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     ITL   i7 Core 3.06GHz (950) 4.8GT/sec 8M processor LGA 
         <i>1 </i>
     ITL MBoard DX58SO 3PCIex 16X i7 ATX FCPA-1366 
     <b><i>MotherBoard </i></b>
         <i>2 </i>
     KVR   4GB 1333MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM KVR1333D3N9/4G 
     <b><i>Memory </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     WD WD10EARS 1000gb SATA2 64mb IntelliPower 
     <b><i>Hard Drive </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     Samsung. DVD-RW 22X Sata SH-223B/BEBE BULK Black 
     <b><i>Optic unit </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     <b><i>Reader </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     AOC   LED 22" e2243Fws 1920x1080 
     <b><i>Monitor </i></b>
         <i>2 </i>
     <b><i>VideoCard </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     <b><i>SoundBoard </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     MS Keyboard Natural Ergo Keybrd 4000 Spa 
     <b><i>Keyboard </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     Logitech Cordless Opt Mouse M215 Dark Silver ntbks U   
     <b><i>Mouse </i></b>
         <i>1 </i>
     P4 Power Supply 580W 20+4 pin ATX 12V PG-580 
     <b><i>Power supply </i></b>

If you are spending that much money I would consider buying twice as much RAM, maybe even more.

Yup. And a chunkier power supply.

And a lot of dedicated graphics memory. Might also help if you run blender on a lighter OS (such as linux). Saves me about 250MB of RAM on my machine over windows.


In the form of a laptop, what cpu, memory, graphics card, etc. could anyone reccomend for use with Blender and the paint programs required to support it? I’d like to say that money was no object but alas I cannot. I now have a [email protected] cpu(whatever that means) 4gig of DDR2 ram and a Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express graphics chip with 1807 MBytes of memory. Being new to computers as well as Blender I dont know what any of that means, I only know that the .blend files I’m working on have begun to jerk around in 3d view and take many minutes to render a single frame. Even trying to save uv images to disk causes Blender to stop responding momentarilly.