Are you looking for the best workstation or laptop for 3D modeling and rendering? The 2021 Guide to Choosing the Best Computer for 3D Modeling and Rendering.
You likely want to go ahead and buy the newest laptop. But not any computer could handle 3D tasks since 3D modeling and rendering are some of the most intensive tasks for your computer.
Before buying a workstation or a laptop, you must understand that 3D modeling and rendering use computers differently. Having the best and latest 3D software won’t cut it if you don’t have the right hardware to run it.
To learn which computer works best for you, you need to understand the difference between each task. That will help you pick the best computer, improve the quality of your 3D work, and get you the most bang for your buck!
What is 3D Modeling?
Modeling is the base level in any successful 3D design. It’s mainly used for drawing 3D shapes and converting them into models that could be used to showcase graphics or represent a certain object.
It’s used in architecture, real estate, home decor, and many other industries to provide a prototype that would present ideas and bring them to life. A designer will use software to create a 3D Model for showcasing designs effectively.
See also – Best 3D Modeling Software
What is 3D Rendering?
Rendering takes the data from 3D modeling and further tweaks it and processes it with advanced 3D Rendering software.
3D rendering is mostly useful to add specifications and detailed design enhancement, creating a smooth presentation since a model can have different color varieties and finishing options.
To process the rendering, you need a strong computer with enough processing data to models quickly; otherwise, rendering will take ages!
Difference Between CPU and GPU Rendering
There are currently two main methods of Rendering in 3D Softwares:
- CPU Rendering utilizes the Processor.
- It requires using all of the CPU cores 100% of the time during rendering.
- CPU rendering is very slow compared to what is possible with GPU rendering.
- Opt for a CPU with as many cores as possible if you need a PC for rendering. As opposed to modeling, processing can be done on a single CPU core.
- Keep in mind that the more cores the CPU has, the more power the PC consumes and the more heat it produces, which could affect the PC’s efficiency.
- GPU rendering utilizes the Graphics Card.
- GPU gained recent popularity in the 3D world because of the detailed 3D images and good results.
- GPU render engines are much faster in many cases.
- Factoring in the GPU when budgeting makes a lot of sense.
- GPU takes some stress off the CPU and allows your computer to run smoothly.
What are the Main Components for a 3D Modeling and Rendering Computer?
- Computer Case
- Processor or CPU
- RAM / Memory
- Graphics Card
- Power Supply Unit ( PSU)
- Storage Device: SSD, NVE, HDD
- Input Devices: Mouse Keyboard, Tablet, etc.
Approximate Budget Ranges:
When choosing a computer for 3D rendering, you need to invest in making sure your PC handles the meticulous process of 3D modeling and rendering.
If you wonder how much it will cost you to have a graphic build, here is an approximate estimate of how much it will cost.
Best Cost-Effective PC Build for 3D Modeling and Rendering ($650-1000)
An affordable build will utilize:
- AMD’s budget processors
- An inexpensive case
- 16 DDR4 RAM
- Mid-tier graphics card
- Decent SSD storage
- Operating system: Windows 10
Mid-Range PC Build for 3D Modeling and Rendering ($1100-1500)
At this level, you get:
- AMD 6-core CPU
- Higher-quality case
- A better GPU
- Larger SSD storage
- Efficient power supply
- Quieter cooling unit
- Operating system: Windows 10
High-end PC Rendering Build ($1800-2500)
If you’re doing 3D design work professionally and want exceptional performance, this is an excellent build for you:
- AMD Ryzen 5 CPU
- Efficient and quiet CPU cooler
- Graphics card made for rendering
- 1TB of extremely fast SSD storage
- High-quality power supply.
- Operating system: Windows 10
The BEST Rendering PC Build ($7400)
If cash isn’t an issue and you want the best tools available, this is for you:
- AMD Threadripper 3970X – 32 cores and 64 threads.
- Two monstrous RTX 3090 cards
- 64GB of RAM
- 1TB fastest SSD storage available
- Extremely stable power supply
- Quiet and sleek, with enormous computational capability
- Operating system: Windows 10
Form Factor: High - End Gaming Laptop or Workstation?
If you work with 3D modeling and rendering software, you need a computer with a robust CPU to handle these demanding tasks.
What is the Best PC for 3D Modeling and Rendering? Is it better to get a laptop or a workstation?
Laptops have improved a lot recently, releasing some powerful models.
- Portability: allowing you to work anywhere, meet with clients or become a digital nomad.
- Lightweight: Compact and portable.
- Not so affordable: to get the specs necessary for 3D rendering, you’ll have to spend a lot on a laptop.
- Overheating: laptops often don’t have a built-in cooling system, so it’s susceptible to overheating.
Often work out for advanced tasks as demanding as 3D modeling and rendering.
- Versatility: you can create a self-build computer that meets your needs.
- Powerful: These builds are designed to provide the most power for 3D rendering.
- Cooling: cooling units prevent overheating issues.
- More storage space: with the option to add extra storage if necessary
- Cheaper: customized desktops can be economical, faster, and more powerful.
- Portability: workstations are not portable like laptops
- High power usage: uses more power than other devices.
- Size: they tend to be bulky in size
The Top Best 5 Laptops Suitable for 3D Modeling and Rendering
There are some excellent models with superior performance if you want a top-range laptop for 3D modeling and rendering.
1. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
- Premium workstation laptop for all your rendering and modeling needs
- Super-fast, robust, and will help in producing outstanding animations.
- 4K UHD screen makes gorgeous visuals.
- One of the most expensive laptops but a wise investment in your business
Image Credit: bhphotovideo.com
CPU: 2.4 GHz (clock speed up to 5.0GHz) Intel Core i9 9980HK
GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 15.6 inch 4K (3840 x 2160)
2. MSI GL65 Leopard
- A gaming laptop that is also a powerful 3D modeling laptop
- The powerful GPU handles intensive rendering
- Great cooler ensures it won’t overheat
- An affordable option
- Bulky and heavy, weighing almost 5 lbs — best suited as an office laptop.
- Short battery life with a maximum of 4 hours
Image Credit: msi.com
CPU: 2.6GHZ Intel Core i7 10750H
GPU:8GB NVIDIA RTX 2070
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
3. ASUS ROG Strix
- A gaming laptop that is also great for 3D designers.
- The larger screen allows you to see all the details in your design.
- Renders animations quickly
- Smart cooling prevents overheating
Image Credit: notebookcheck.net
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 17.3-inch (1920 x 1080)
4. Acer (Acer Helios 500 PH517)
- Top-end performance laptop with impressive specs
- Massive and beautiful display
- Excellent cooling system
Image Credit: Amazon.in
CPU: i7-8950HK (6 cores)
GPU: GTX 1070 with 8GB of video memory
RAM: 32GB RAM
Storage: 512G NVMe SSD
Display: 17.3-inch FullHD 144 Hz
5. Gigabyte (Ultra-Thin Gigabyte Aero 15X V8-BK4)
- Another great laptop
- Higher-end graphics card–best laptop for Maya.
- Ultra-thin and lightweight
Image Credit: Amazon.com
GPU: GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB
RAM: 16GB RAM
SSD: 512GB PCIE SSD
Display: 15.6-inch FullHD IPS Screen
Best Components for a 3D Modeling and Rendering Workstation
A faster CPU will always mean better performance, but it’s not everything.
When picking a CPU in your build, keep the following in mind:
- Many cores are better for 3D modeling and rendering
- You’ll want a CPU that is clocked as high as possible
- it should be compatible with motherboard, RAM, and CPU cooler
GPU Rendering is likely to overtake CPU Rendering in the near future.
NVIDIA GPUs are the best choice. They will give you excellent rendering speed, as they tend to perform better in different workloads, and it doesn’t cause conflict or compatibility concerns.
The best GPU for 3D Modeling and Rendering is NVIDIA RTX 2080 ($1,999)
Best Cooling Unit
There are tons of choices when it comes to cooling units, but the best cooling unit is:
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB ($109.99)
The best compact liquid cooler system
- Compatible with Intel LGA 775 – LGA 2066; AMD AM2 – AM4, FM1 – FM2+, FM2.
- Rotation frequency: Up to 2000 RPM
- Noise volume: 30 decibels
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.2 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches
- Luminous RGB lighting – Color can be personalized
- Premium design
- features an oxidation free pump and an efficient radiator
- Easily installed
A PSU (Power Supply unit) should support a sufficient wattage for your build. Typically, you’ll need 400-500 Watt for a regular build, with an additional 250W for every GPU.
The best PSU: Corsair RM550x ($129.79)
- Up to 550 Watts
- Cooling: 135mm Rifle Bearing Fan (NR135L)
- Warranty: 10 years
- Full power at 48°C
- highly efficient
- Silent even under load
- Fully modular
- High-quality components
Computers for graphic design, 3D modeling, or rendering don’t need a ton of storage. But if you want to store high-resolution and high frame rate data, then an HDD would be a great addition to your workstation.
SSD storage is one of the main components of a 3D design workstation. It makes everything faster, increases productivity and performance.
The best Storage: Samsung 980 Pro ($321.04)
- Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
- Warranty: 5 Years
- The most responsive SSD
- Comes with all the features you could expect from a high-end SSD hard drive
Modern systems all use DDR4 RAM.
While 3D design programs tend to need a lot of memory, we recommend having at least 16GB to 32 GB of RAM for a professional 3D design. The more RAM you have, the smoother your computer will run. Especially if you’re running heavy programs or several apps at once, you’ll need all the RAM you can get.
Best RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 ($672.58)
Best Graphics Card
Unlike other graphic work, for rendering, you need a strong graphics card to speed things up since GPU rendering is much faster – up to 10x as fast.
When picking a graphics card, opt for NVIDIA CUDA graphics card. Between the two most developed GPU rendering available, CUDA (which is available with NVIDIA cards) provides better performance than OpenCL, which could be compatible with any graphics card but not as good as CUDA.
Best Graphics Card: PNY NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 ($1,399.99)
- The premium graphics card tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but it offers great value for your buck.
- 8GB of VRAM to store files that are needed quickly
- 2304 CUDA cores for fast speed rendering
- GPU clocks at 1005MHZ core speed and up to 1545MHZ with heavy processing.
- Optimized for CAD applications such as AutoCAD
- Low power consumption
When it comes to 3D modeling and rendering, a monitor with an IPS panel (instead of a TN panel) is what you’re looking for. IPS panels have better visuals, better color, and better contrast.
You’ll also need a non-glare monitor if you’re going to stare at your screen for long. and a minimum of Full HD 1920 x 1080.
Most designers use a multi-monitor setup, which gives them a large area to work with.
Best Monitor: Dell 27 4K UHD Monitor ($500.00)
- 27” lifestyle-inspired 4K UHD monitor
- Panel Type: IPS
- Resolution: 4K 3840 x 2160 – 60 Hz
Best Mouse and Keyboard
Best Mouse: Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse ($79.00)
- Ergonomic design ensures a comfortable hand and wrist.
- The fast scroll wheel allows for quicker and simpler navigation.
- Controls up to 3 computers at the same time while moving content between connected devices.
- Rechargeable. It can last for months fully charged. While 3 minutes of charging can last the mouse an entire day, allowing for convenient usage.
Best keyboard: Arteck Wireless Keyboard ($27.99)
- Professional wireless keyboard for 3D modeling
- Ergonomic design
- Convenient, quiet, and comfortable typing
- Rechargeable battery that works up to six months on a single charge
- Slim and compact number pad
- Media controls
There are many computers for you to choose from for a great 3D experience. However, buying the best PC is expensive, but higher specifications ensure smoother work when dealing with intensive software like Autodesk.
For creatives who need to run graphics software on a small laptop, Foyr Neo came to your rescue!
Foyr Neo is online interior design software that can convert ideas to beautiful designs within minutes, utilizing AI technology. You can design 2D plans, create 3S models, bring your ideas to life and get 4K photorealistic renders in minutes – all online.
All you need is a minimum of 8GB RAM, Core i5 or higher, integrated GPU or basic Graphics card, and high-speed internet.
It’s fast, easy to use, creates quality renders and realistic images, and most of all affordable. Sign up our 14-day free trial to create 3D modeling and renderings.