Best Computer Workstation For Autodesk 3DS Max

Autodesk’s highly advanced 3DS Max visualization design software complexity offers a conundrum when choosing the best workstation configuration for this software. With its demanding 3D modelling functionality and need to output renders means the user requires both a highly fast GHz performance and many cores. Also with all the novel technologies coming up the ranks each day, it is tough to choose the perfect combination of components, such as: what capacity of ram do I need? Pro vs Consumer graphics cards? What type and how much storage will be sufficient for my 3D workstation?

So with all these complexities what is the very best workstation configuration for Autodesk 3DS Max?

CPU Cores Vs GHz

This is probably the hardest aspect to choose from when configuring your hardware for 3DS Max. In each of the CPUs, the frequency affects the number of operations a CPU core can complete in a second. This is something that modelling workflows rely heavily upon, therefore a higher clock speed is essential. On the other hand, the number of cores determines how many parallel computations can be completed at the same time. This is something that rendering workflows are massively accelerated by, however the tradeoff is usually with more cores means slower frequency and therefore lower modelling capabilities.

This produces a conundrum, how do I have good rendering capabilities whilst maintaining decent modelling capabilities? To resolve several issues, it can be achieved with a single machine and we recommended that you opt for professionally overclocked system with an Intel Core i9 processor. This gives the user as many as 18 Cores and 36 Threads with an optimized frequency which is fantastic for both modelling and rendering. Alternatively you could choose a high frequency Intel Dual Xeon Workstation with more Cores and Threads that will be better at rendering but will fall shortly behind the Professionally Overclocked system for modelling performance.

The ideal solution however is to opt for a multi system approach. Choosing a low core count WS-X professionally overclocked system for your modelling tasks and a separate, dedicated rackmount or deskside rendering solution means you no longer have to choose between the two processes. Model on your workstation and simply submit the rendering job over your network for incredibly quick results. With this solution you can easily add additional render nodes in the future to further increase your rendering performance in a cost-effective manner.

System Memory/ RAM

It is very important whenever someone needs to build or buy a custom 3D workstation to get the RAM configuration correct. The amount of RAM you have directly affects your system’s performance either positively or negatively. However, all this depends on the size and complexity of the 3D scenes you are working with.

In some instances, the data sets require an enormous amount of system memory. If you do not have enough then the system will use the much slower mass storage (Hard Drive or SSD Drive) to compensate, which dramatically reduces performance. Thus, in such cases, a system with higher capacity RAM can deliver proven results with maximum benefits. Therefore on the one hand it is recommended to have plenty of RAM to avoid this without going too far, as unused RAM offers no performance gains.

We recommend that a 16-64GB of RAM will be quite sufficient for handling most 3D Studio Max user’s workflows. If you have opted to get 2 independent systems for modelling and rendering them we suggest both your modelling workstation and render node should have the same amount of memory to avoid any unnecessary performance problems.

Graphics Card/ GPU

Deciding which graphics card will be the most suitable for you is also an important factor in Workstations for 3D Studio Max. There are many graphics card options out there with two major giants producing professional graphical options, namely, the NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro WX graphics card ranges. The same 2 companies further complicate things by offering their consumer ranges, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX and AMD Radeon Cards. Applications such as 3DS Max, among many others, require crisp, high fidelity graphics output that does not produce 'glitches', which the AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards cannot provide.

A mid to high-end NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro WX graphics card will not suffer from these issues and are therefore both great choices. This is because they have been through an incredibly stringent Independent Software Vendor certification process by Autodesk themselves, the drivers have been optimized for maximum performance within 3D Studio Max, the cards themselves have a considerable amount of onboard memory & in the unlikely event you do have an issue both NVIDIA/AMD and Autodesk will directly support you in finding a solution.


We all know the SSDs are more expensive than a normal hard disk drive. But with this additional cost, SSDs bring many performance benefits to the storage of your data. For the opening and saving of scenes, replacing a normal hard disk with a SSD will dramatically reduce the time incurred while performing any operation. For a faster performance rate, you can use the M.2 NVMe SSD such as the Samsung 960 EVO or Samsung 960 PRO series. Hard disks will take considerably longer to perform operations such as reading and writing data while SSD (Solid State Drives) will perform it several times faster.

When choosing the very best hardware configuration for Autodesk 3D Studio Max there are many factors to consider. Whether it’s choosing a dedicated modelling system accompanied by render farm or an all in one workstation solution. Following the principles of this guide will deliver you a well-rounded hardware solution. Alternatively why not contact us here at Workstation Specialists today to get a quote for your perfect workstation specification, tailored around you today?

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