Best Computer For Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is 3D computer animation software with powerful modeling, rendering, simulation, texturing, and animation tools for artists, modelers, and animators. If your workflow involves these processes, it would be worth it to consider a purpose-built Maya workstation.

In this article, we’ll be talking about the components you need to build the best workstation PC for Autodesk Maya.

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 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.

The Intel’s thrive in single-threaded workloads, but AMD’s Ryzen platform still has the upper hand in multi-threaded tasks.

CPU – Frequency

Although this program is used for 3D modelling, which is undoubtedly a visual application, you may be surprised to know that it is not very intensive on a system’s GPU.

Tasks like modelling are single threaded applications. If your workflow primarily involves modelling, we’d recommend an Intel Alder Lake CPU for your Maya workstation.

CPU – Core Count

Rendering in Maya will be where more threads would come in handy. Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs have high core counts to go with their excellent single-thread performance, but AMD Ryzen CPUs still have the edge in multi-threaded workloads.

This can make it difficult to decide on a CPU since both sides have advantages in different areas. If you plan on doing a lot of rendering in Maya, an AMD Ryzen 9 would be your best choice. 

Your budget is also an important consideration. At the time of writing, DDR5 costs about twice as much as DDR4 of the same capacity, and the CPUs and motherboards can be pretty expensive as well. 

If Intel is out of your budget, an AMD Ryzen system will give you a great experience. 

GPU

As we’ve noted above, a strong GPU is not necessary for a Maya workstation. 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.

RAM

Autodesk recommends at least 16GB RAM for Maya 2020. 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 to 64GB 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.

Also keep in mind that Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs support DDR5 memory which runs much faster than DDR4. Apart from the higher speed, DDR5 features a lot of architectural differences that widen the gap in performance over DDR4.

Storage

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.

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. 

SATA vs PCIe

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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Preferred Software Vendors

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