Best Computer For SideFX Houdini

Houdini is a 3D animation package with a specialized focus on procedural generation. It’s been used on some highly acclaimed animated movies, and for good reason. Putting together a PC for Houdini means a high performance CPU, as well as some other powerful parts to get the most out of that CPU.

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

Why choose us?

Parts like CPU cooler, Power Supply Unit, and chassis are often glossed over when putting together a system like this. Surprisingly, these parts have a massive effect on the lifespan and performance optimisation of the CPU, GPU and RAM. We only use parts that guarantee excellent cooling, airflow, and power delivery.

We’ve also got a lot of experience in putting these systems together, and our cable management is flawless. This not only means dust will be a lot less of an issue, but it will be much easier to work with when you eventually need an upgrade. This will only happen several years down the line, of course. Not to mention our cases just look fantastic.

Each Modena Computers Workstation is tailored to the personal needs of the user, but the features below would make for a great starting point for a PC for Houdini.

CPU – Frequency

CPU frequency is not as important as cores for Houdini. Thankfully most consumer grade CPUs currently on the market are capable of very respectable frequencies, while also boasting high core counts.

CPU – Core Count

The core count of the CPU is the most important factor in a PC for Houdini. You should aim for the highest core count CPU available in your price range (when combined with a compatible motherboard, of course).

As mentioned above, consumer grade CPUs feature high core counts, with our favourite being the 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. It’s quite likely that you will want even more cores than that, however, in which case you would do well to opt for a workstation grade Xeon or Threadripper CPU, or even a matching pair of such CPUs.


Since the bulk of the work in this program is done by the CPU, a mid-range graphics card would be a good decision.

Keep in mind that other programs you may be using may require a stronger GPU. You should always do your research when it comes to the particular requirements of each program you plan on working with. (Of course you could always contact us for a consultation, and we’ll do all the work for you.)


Houdini doesn’t need a lot of RAM either, and 16GB would be more than enough for smooth performance.

This is a great starting point, but moving up to 32GB would provide a lot of headroom for other programs and multitasking. It will also help to make your system more futureproof.  



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.

It was pretty common to install the OS on a 120GB SSD, and everything else on a 1TB HDD, so that you could at least start up your PC super quickly.   

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 even faster than standard 2.5” SATA drives.

These drives save a lot of time, and that means the PC will pay itself off a lot faster. You also still have the option of adding in some HDDs if you need to.


As we said before, each Modena Computers Vulcan Workstation is custom built to the workflow and budget requirements of its user. It’s important to consider other programs you may want to use with this workstation.

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.  

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