[GLLUG] Machine spec for 3d art

DL Neil GLLUG at GetAroundToIt.co.uk
Mon Jul 29 05:33:14 UTC 2013

[second attempt: first seemed to have mangled hdr. Apologies if repeat]


On 07/26/2013 09:24 AM, Dylan wrote:
> I'm helping a friend replace his old Windows Vista machine which died in
> the heatwave. He does a lot of 3d art with blender (which has been
> terminally slow under vista.) I've provided a temporary Linux box
> (actually my testbed machine: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ with 2G ram, which
> is already faster than his old quad core with 4G) and I'm hoping that by
> the time he gets a new machine he won't want Windows on it...
> The 3d art is a hobby and the budget is limited. I'll be using his
> existing graphics card and 'on-board' sound will be more than adequate.
> So, which aspects of the spec are likely to have the most impact? I'm
> assuming more cores and more memory, but which would have the most
> impact for cost? Is there an appreciable difference between AMD and
> Intel chips? Are there any other aspects of the motherboard that might
> have a bearing on rendering speeds?

Have consulted a 3D-Animation professional from one of the New Zealand
studios, on your behalf - but he may not have paid much attention to
your cost concerns:

For any 3D work, it's mostly necessary to go above 8gb ram.
That sounds like a lot, for a consumer machine it probably is as they
are still selling around 4gb base.
But many 3D workstations are pumped up to 32gb ram nowadays.
Nvidia graphics cards tend to support 3D software best if you're into
rendering as many renderers are based on CUDA (by Nvidia).
I use an i5 cpu laptop with 8gb and it is certainly sufficient most of
the time.

For motherboard, heat is a concern while rendering 3D - sometimes the
cpu fan is not enough in a consumer machine to dissipate heat and you'll
get quite a lot of hangs as the fan ages.  Getting a bigger one isn't
expensive, so long as it fits the case.

plus Linux and nVidia don't always enjoy each other's company (but YMMV)

Hope this helps,


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