Autodesk 3DS Max is a great rendering software for design visualization, game design and animation. Programs like this can be quite heavy on your computer, so it would be a great idea to build a fully optimized 3DS Max workstation.
CPU – Single-Thread or Multi-Thread?
Different software makes use of the CPU in different ways. To elaborate, certain software has tasks that use multiple cores, but other programs only really use 1 or 2 cores.
Frequency is often conflated with this kind of performance, but this is not always the case. IPC (Instructions per Clock) is another important factor, and benchmark comparisons are more important than comparing GHz.
This makes it important to have the latest generation processor and platform in your system. Each new generation of processor will have increased single-threaded performance over the previous.
The benchmarks above show how CPU performance can very between generations and platforms.
Intel’s new Alder Lake platform is a huge leap forward in CPU architecture, and their power is pushed even further with DDR5 RAM compatibility.
A Threadripper is better for multi-threaded tasks, but is outperformed by the much more affordable i7 in single-threaded processes.
A previous generation i9 costs more than the new i7, but is outperformed in both areas.
CPU – Frequency
Although this program is used for 3D modelling, which is undoubtedly a visual application, the GPU should not be the main priority. Instead, a high CPU frequency is the most important feature in a 3DS Max workstation.
Tasks like modelling are single threaded applications, which means it’s important that the thread being used is able to run quickly.
CPU – Core Count
Rendering in 3DS Max will be where more threads would come in handy. A few years ago, this would have meant that an Intel Xeon CPU would be the only option for a 3DS Max workstation, but this is no longer the case.
As we’ve noted above, a strong GPU is not necessary for a 3DS Maxworkstation. We should also point out that it is not necessary to use a Nvidia Quadro graphics card for this application. We have found greater performance from regular Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, and these cards also have the benefit of being more affordable than Quadro cards with similar specifications. As such, a GTX1650 will have you covered, and also makes working with multiple monitors a lot easier.
A powerful GPU does have its uses, however. Stronger GPUs will give you higher framerates in your viewport. This will give you a smoother experience when manipulating models. Keep in mind though, that this will not affect the quality of the output.
Another point to note is that certain addons make use of GPU power. One such addon is Arnold Renderer, which is included with 3DS Max by default.
Autodesk recommends at least 16GB RAM for 3DS Max. This is great as a starting point, but larger projects tend to use a lot more RAM. For that reason, we would recommend opting for 32GB if it is within your budget. This will allow for optimal performance even on projects like airports and hospitals, and will also leave enough headroom for other applications. It will also make the computer a lot more future proof.
Storage technology has come a long way over the past decade. Solid State Drives are known to be much faster than mechanical hard drives, but they’re also seen as pretty expensive.
Adobe Creative Cloud can be quite demanding on your storage as it needs to constantly load and save media and projects while you work on them so we would say that a SSD is a no-brainer.
Recently it’s become more viable to just use a larger SSD, from around 500GB to 1TB, and this is exactly our approach with our PCs. Having everything stored on SSDs means you’ll be able to save and load programs, and also transfer data, at incredible speeds. The SSDs we use are M.2 form factor and use the NVMe protocol, which means they take up no additional space in your case, and are much faster than standard 2.5” SATA SSDs.
Our Apollo systems currently feature PCIe 3.0 SSDs, and our Vulcan and Hydra system include even faster PCIe 4.0 SSDs.
You also still have the option of adding in some HDDs if you need to store projects and media you are not actively working on. We would recommend adding these in at a later stage so you can prioritize parts like the CPU.
Why choose us?
Often when you purchase a prebuilt system, it hasn’t even been switched on. If you’ve taken a look at our “Why Us?” page, you’ll already be aware of our unmatched assembly and testing processes, our swift and effective customer support, and our extensive technical knowledge and expertise.
Our team is comprised of lifelong computing enthusiasts with backgrounds in computer hardware and software, and we’re able to spot and resolve errors before the system is even shipped. By the time you receive your system, the likelihood of any kind of failure is as close to zero as possible. If you do encounter any issues, we’ll most likely be able to sort it out for you remotely, and in that rare case you’ll need to send the system in, you’ll be covered by our 3-Year (or 4-Year) warranty and lifetime hardware support.
Our systems combine the performance of enthusiast grade components and the stability of professional workstations. Yes, there are other places you can spend your money, but in terms of actual performance and quality, we simply have no competition.
With each Modena Computers Workstation being custom built for its user, it’s important to consider other programs it may be used for.
During our consultation process, you can let us know exactly which programs you want to use with your machine, and we’ll be happy to help you understand what you need.
Keep in mind that opting for higher performance right out of the gate offers much greater value than getting exactly what you need right now. A higher performance PC won’t need downtime to upgrade any time soon, and will also allow you to complete more work in less time. It could pay itself off a lot sooner than a more affordable option.