Computer Recommendations?

I’m thinking about getting a new computer & monitor and could use some recommendations.

For work, my company-owned workstation is a 2x 3.46 GHz 6-Core Mac Pro with 56 GB RAM & a 27-inch LED Cinema Display. It’s overall great for my needs. But the current-day equivalent is outrageously expensive and I also worry about future updatability. (Our work mac’s can’t be updated to the latest OS and adobe software)

For home, I run a windows computer but it is not a high-end computer graphics machine (i7 Core 3.4 GHz; 8 GB current ram with 16 GB max ram; graphics card - NVIDIA GeForce GT 640).

It has been a REALLY LONG time since I’ve bought a windows machine built specifically for computer graphics.

I do 3D work mostly as a hobby and to supplement my 2D illustration. So I don’t need massive rendering ability at this point.

I work as a professional retoucher. In order to do this work I need a good deal of RAM (the files can sometimes get huge) and the ability to run more-or-less current versions of Adobe software. I also need a good monitor capable of relatively strong color accuracy.

So I am wondering what do you all have that you like? What do you like or not like about the systems you have? What would you recommend? What should I stay way from?

Cheers!

What I like most? Everything… Plenty of RAM, a powerful cpu with good single threaded performance, a beefy gpu to help with my viewports and renders, and of course, nvme’s. As many and as large I can.

So, in your case what’s the budget available? That’s the first and most determining factor. Around this factor one can suggest parts in order to have a balanced system.
You won’t be needing a multicore processor for Adobe apps, especially 2d vector illustrations. But single core performance is paramount. It could be the new 12600K, or AMD’s 5600X. Or even a previous generation 11000 series Intel. It depends on the budget.
As for RAM, get the most your money can buy. It’s never enough.
You’ll also need a mid-range gpu, something like the 1660 or the 1660ti. No need for expensive stuff on the high-end side.
And at least two nvme’s. What I did in my rig, was to get a 1TB drive for OS and apps and a 2TB nvme for fast storage, assets, textures etc. That’s what I suggest you do too.
The rest are fully dependant on the budget and some on your taste too (like the chassis, for instance).

Give us a budget and I could get more specific if you like.

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Thanks for the input. It’s definitely helpful.

My budget is undetermined right now. It will depend on my near future employment (I may be switching jobs). I’m thinking maybe $5,000 - $7,000.
I know I will need a good main monitor that is color accurate, a lot of ram and a decent graphics card. Most of the 2D work that I do is raster, not vector, so working the files can get pretty demanding on the system at times.
I might need to start on the smaller side and build up, so being able to upgrade is real important.

This is enough for virtually anything. In my opinion you won’t be needing this high a budget for your needs. I’ll post a rig that’s going to be the best you can get for the use. I’ll post a couple of monitors too with colour accuracy in mind of course.
PCPartPicker Part List

I went expensive but high-quality in monitors. You can get decent monitors for much less. Get two of them. That’s paramount when working with graphics.
Also, ddr5 is on a shortage due to high demand and you must wait a little bit for availability.
GPU prices are… all over the place. 3070’s are more expensive than 3070ti’s (thanks to miners) and 3060ti are… nowhere. 3060’s are too expensive for their performance. For your budget the 3070ti is the most decent choice, even though you could get by with a 1660ti easily.
I hope this helps.

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well yeah its pretty hard to spend that much money if you custom build your pc … with that big budget maybe you just wanna wait for the mac pros with m1/m2 processor.

or get the macbook pro with m1 pro or max … both are better than my brand new workstation with 5900x , 64gb ram , gtx 3060

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Andrew recommends the RTX

For anyone participating, keep in mind that the TS works mainly with 2d illustrations. There’s no demand for high-end GPUs, nor high core count CPUs. What is paramount is high STP and lots of RAM.

This is interesting: “or get the macbook pro with m1 pro or max … both are better than my brand new workstation with 5900x , 64gb ram , gtx 3060” I am considering a Mac for online use + blender because I have the idea they are much more secure for online use.

Macs make it easy to clone hard drives at least in the past. For windows Macrium is the best investment because of “image guardian” - if you want to save on misery and be able to diagnose problems with any certainty - CLONE OR IMAGE YOUR DRIVES.
Anyway ulf3000, when you say better, do you mean the macbook pro with m1 will do renderings with cycles faster than your system with a GTX 3060 ?

2TB nvme for fast storage --for sure these little “hard drives” not only are very fast but they also have direct access to memory and they do not have to go through the sata cables - They plug directly into the motherboard. This means you can quickly sift though thousands of photos and quickly see the thumbnail previews and find what you need.

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no i dont mean that, a system with an nvidia card will always be the fastest in rendering cycles. but the single core performance is higher than on a new amd system , which means you get better brush performance in a painting app … and you can paint when you are sleeping over at your girlfriend. no need to get back to your big as workstation. Of course its cool to have a station but its also cool if you dont necessarily have to be at home or at least not in your pc room , you can easily just do your next character scribbles while you wife and kids are watching tv and still be with them.

well ill get me a macbook with m processor next year or maybe the new ipad with pen … lets see how much i even touch my pc from there on, if the animation performance in the viewport is the same as on my workstation then im probably done with it … the macbook saves me up to 200 dollars per year with the difference in electricity on top of the performance and you can still attach 3 monitors and your favourite keyboard and mouse to it when back in the home office

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Thanks a bunch. That’s very helpful!

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Maybe the macbook is around $5,000 - $7,000 (I did not check)? But the mac pro is more expensive. The starting price is $5,999 - that is without the RAM I want, only one 256 GB hard drive and without the monitor I need.

If you are in a hurry we can make a rig with ddr4 memory. There are some compatible z690 motherboards for this purpose

mac mini will be as strong as expensive pc workstation at lower price , i payed 2500 for 5900x 64gb ram and rtx3060 + case etc.