Choice of CPU and GPU for 3D modelling and rendering

In a broad sense, GPU rendering makes it possible to simultaneously run a large number of parallel operations. This increases the speed of execution, but the rendering of voluminous detailed scenes with a large number of components is not very good in this case.

The CPU does not allow scaling the performance level linearly in process parallelization, but it can perform many more heterogeneous tasks. This solution allows you to get the most detailed result.

Let’s take a closer look at the CPU and GPU selection options for rendering and 3D modelling in today’s article.

What are rendering and 3D modelling?

If we are talking about rendering, then this means that we mean the process of 3D modelling. That is, it’s the final and most difficult stage when working with graphics. This procedure creates 2D images from 3D models (eg for a PC monitor). In other words, rendering allows you to get a three-dimensional image in a flat form. The picture is generated on the basis of certain data that establishes the colour shades, structure and material of a particular object in the image.

Rendering is performed by the CPU of the computer or the GPU of the video card. In practice, there are also hybrid configurations like the V-Ray application, where the central and graphics processors work together.

CPU selection

A powerful CPU is critical and is responsible for the smoothness of 3D modelling. But before choosing it, you need to decide on the platform on which it will function.

Both AMD and INTEL offer models that deliver high single-thread performance with advanced boost algorithms. They are able to automatically overclock the CPU and carry an impressive number of cores. This solution is quite efficient and reduces rendering time. In this case, the best option is AMD Ryzen 5950X with 16 cores, 32 threads, or i9-12900 also with 16 cores, but with 24 threads.

In single-core performance, INTEL takes the lead with its Alder Lake processor lineup. But the combination of powerful and energy-efficient cores on a single CPU die causes a lack of multi-threading. The main model is considered to be the INTEL Core-i9 12900K, which has a maximum frequency with a turbo boost of 5.2 GHz together with productive and energy-efficient 8 cores. Also has support for DDR5 RAM, which provides more capacity and speed compared to DDR4.

GPU Selection

In this case, Nvidia clearly has the advantage, as there is extensive support in renderers. In this case, priority CUDA and RT cores are used. If OpenCL software is used, then this solution will be the most optimal.

When performing normal work with previewing, the video card is not heavily loaded, medium models like RTX 2060, RTX 3060, etc. are quite suitable. But for a more efficient final stage of rendering, powerful parallelization capabilities should be used, depending on the type of GPU used.

The individual elements of rendering are handled by the CPU, so having a powerful GPU with enough cores is almost always a must. In turn, the processor requires a large amount of VRAM to process all the required assets. In this case, the Nvidia RTX 3080, RTX 3080Ti, and RTX 3090 would be great options. Professional GPUs like Nvidia Quadro and AMD Pro also do a good job in this direction, as they have optimal software and driver support to ensure smooth and comfortable conditions.

Motherboard

As for the motherboard, it should be equipped with all the necessary ports for storing and connecting various digital devices. Also, the motherboard must have enough PCle X16 slots for the number of GPUs that will be used on the workstation.

Note that the boards of the INTEL Z690 and AMD X570 chipsets provide the ability to install up to 2 video cards. If more is required, then the Intel C422 and AMD TRX40 platforms will do.

It should be noted that although the motherboard supports two or more GPUs, the existing power supply may not be able to cope with the additional load, and the required connectors may not be enough.

Summarizing

When rendering and 3D modelling, the CPU and GPU work at the maximum level throughout the entire process. Therefore, it is necessary to choose reliable devices that meet all technical requirements.

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