Most processes in 3ds Max work on a single CPU core. CPU core is generally determined by frequency (GHz), so we recommend getting the fastest CPU possible.
Some plug-ins (Arnold, V-Ray etc.) can make use of additional cores with virtually linear gains in performance per core. If you use these types of plug-ins, a CPU with a higher core count is an important consideration.
The amount of memory you will need depends on how many programs you will have open at any given time alongside 3ds Max, how large the files are that you will be working with, as well as the complexity of your scenes.
A good starting point in deciding how much RAM you should go for would be to check your current usage via Windows Task Manager.
A more powerful GPU will produce higher frame rates in the viewport. This means that you’ll have a smoother experience working in 3ds Max with a stronger graphics card. There is a point of diminishing returns, and a mid-range card would be optimal for most users. There is also no need or benefit going for a “workstation” GPU, like Nvidia’s “Quadro” and AMD’s “Pro” cards. You should also consider other programs you may be using in order to select the ideal GPU for your workflow.
In the past, computers were held back by slow mechanical hard drives. Unless you are storing files which are not accessed too often, in which case mechanical hard drives might be a better choice, Solid State drives should be used for everything else. Having everything stored on SSDs means you’ll be able to copy, move, open and save files quickly and PC and program start times will be reduced.
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