Recommended PC Specs For Blender? (Cartoon Style 3D, and Other. See Below)

Edit: Feel free to say your own computer’s specs, how many verts your 3d model(s) has, do you animate? What kind of shading do you do? (e.g. cartoon? Photorealistic? low-poly? Triple AAA game assets?) Does it lag? etc

Note: I’ll be focusing on 3D models and animations that look like cartoons. Not to be confused with grease pencil animation (since I can’t draw that well).

I’d like something more specfic than Blender’s recommended and optimal requirements, please.

Edit: No budget for various reasons (I’m gonna buy mostly used parts. I might only buy a few good parts now, upgrade later. I don’t absolutely need a new pc right now so if it costs more, I might save money instead of buying a $500 pC now, only to learn that it’s not what I wanted, if that makes sense.).

So here’s what I want:

  • Not lagging when I edit or pose a character that has… let’s say… 150,000 to 400,000 verts (150k to 400k) (after subsurf is turned on. Original Mesh has 2.4k to 6k verts).

  • Playing animations in viewport at a minimum 20fps (without freestyle lines) would be great. Min 24fps even better. With cartoon outlines would be even better.

  • Preview-render freestyle lines (or line-art or etc) almost-instantly in 1-3 extra windows while editing mesh, or posing rig.

  • toon shading where the different shades distinctly don’t blend into each other. (e.g. Preferably a method that’s quick and easy to set up.

  • animate with around 5-10 characters in a cartoon-sitcom setting (e.g. Simpsons) (with lower subsurf)

  • modern OpenGL so I can use new Blender.

What PCIe x16 generation should I aim for? Gen2? Gen 3? I’m assuming Gen4 is overkill. I’ll buy most of the parts used.

Can I get only the CPU now, only get some of the above, and then add a GPU later when I have more money? I know Intel CPUs have integrated graphics, but what about AMD? And where would I plug in the monitor without a GPU?

And how much more powerful would my pc need to be if I wanna:

  • do the animations with 150k-400k verts per character?
  • do all the above while recording video/audio?

Possible Future Upgrades (Maybe):

    • Maybe I wanna do textures, nodes, eevee or cycles, etc.
    • Maybe livestream but that’s more down the road.

Also, which AMD GPUs are good? (But also what drawbacks are there, if any?) Even tho I heard that Nvidia GPUs are a better choice for Blender. Not sure which I’ll go with.

Current Laptop Specs:
i3-370M @ 2.40GHz (2 cores, 4 threads. CPU Mark score: 1120)
6GB RAM, max 8GB :frowning:
HDD (opening apps isn’t an issue for me, tho).


  • lags when editing or posing a subsurf’d mesh with 300k-600k verts
  • Old OpenGL can’t use Blender 2.8 or newer.

I might use BodhiLinux (since it’s faster than Windows 10 for everything except blender, even after using windows debloater).

Please let me know!

It is important that you mention your available budget.

Edit mode is not hardware problem, it is Blender problem. You will still have problems in Edit mode even with the best CPU.

Play animation in viewport… Performance can depend on many factors. For example even in Solid mode (and even with a good PC) you could have problems if your scene is not well optimized in subdivisions levels (OpenSubdiv does not yet have GPU acceleration in Blender 2.8+). In Material preview (Eevee) it is very important to have a good GPU (the best nvidia RTX or GTX gaming card you can buy, with as much vRAM as you can).

Regarding Freestyle, for now it is a single thread process. You buy a CPU with good Single Thread performance. EDIT: I’m not sure about LANPR. I think it could also be Single Thread process for the moment, it’s faster than Freestyle anyway.

32GB of RAM would be nice, but you could start with 16GB if your budget is limited. For AMD CPU it is good that you acquire memory with the highest speed that you can buy.

Intel iGPUs are not good. AMD APUs have a better integrated GPU than Intel, but the CPU performance is not very good compared to an AMD CPU without integrated graphics. If you’re not going to buy a graphics card at the moment, you go for a good intel CPU with iGPU, but don’t expect much from that iGPU. You will soon have to buy that graphics card.

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Thanks. I didn’t know OpenSubdiv isn’t GPU accelerated.

Yeah, it sounds like I should focus on single thread CPU. I might want an i5-9600K since it has a pretty high single-thread score for a good price (OpenGL is nice, too. I know you said it won’t go far without a GPU, but I might get a cpu like this, with or without a GPU). But I still don’t know whether that would be over-spending or not.

Maybe I should wait to see where LANPR or lineart or freestyle or whatever other options go before buying. I don’t absolutely need to upgrade now.
I might just use Outline Helper Add-on for real-time previewing, and then use freestyle for final render (because I want to make outlines slightly squiggly and other stuff).

PCIe 3 or 4, no point going for something below that.

You can, but it only makes sense if you are going to be using that system as is right from the point of acquisition. No point buying parts for them to just sit in the closet or what ever.

In the later case, just keep saving and buy something better later.

Yes, there are AMD cpus with integrated graphics. But be careful that you actually buy one of those then and not one without.

The motherboard would have a display output connector or two. Once you get a dedicated GPU you just plug the cable into that instead(and do a clean driver install, that is clear the old drivers out with DDU first).

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Thanks. Now I understand the iGPU monitor thing.

To clarify, I’m not gonna let them sit in the closet. Let me try and clarify:
Example Scenario: I buy a good CPU with integrated graphics but not a dedicated GPU.
1-2 years later, I feel like I need a dGPU. So that’s when I buy one.
Something like that.
By “some of the above” i meant, only get some of the above improvements in blender. I should’ve been more clearer there, i guess.

In that case yes buying now might be fine. Do consider that you don’t necessarily have to stick with the CPU you chose now either.

So long as the socket on the motherboard you get is compatible, once you have bought and installed a discreet GPU you can start saving for a CPU upgrade too.

Also I forgot to mention before that intel also has CPUs with no iGPU so be careful of that too, though most of their consumer grade SKUs do feature one. The ones with KF in the name would be among the ones to avoid for an example.

Yeah I read about the KF. e.g. i5-9600KF has no igpu. i5-9600K does.

Generally speaking, will it be easy for me to sell a CPU when replacing it with a better one?

Depends on where you are located I guess.

I’m from a fairly small EU state with a very tech savvy population and a very extensive and well known tech forum with an active marketplace for used parts where, depending on how flexible you are on the price you can sell very quickly.

But your mileage may well vary.

Generally speaking though I think its a reasonably good chance that you will manage to find a buyer if the CPU you will be selling is reasonably recent one or you are selling it reasonably cheap.

Or if both, but you shouldn’t need to do that. The laborious part is researching the active market value to get the best price you can without waiting too long.

But then depending on where you are located maybe simply listing it as an auction on ebay is a valid choice. I wouldn’t since I’ve better options local to me.