Best Workstation For 3ds Max
The complexity of Autodesk’s highly advanced 3DS Max visualisation design software provides us with a conundrum when choosing the best workstation configuration for this software. With its demanding 3D modelling functionality and need to output CPU renders, users require both a highly fast GHz performance and many cores.
New novel technologies are also regularly released, making it even more challenging to choose the perfect combination of components to get the most from Autodesk 3D Studio Max. You may be asking yourself, what capacity of RAM do I need? Do I need a professional or consumer-grade graphics card? What type of storage drive will be sufficient for my 3D workstation? We have the answers you are looking for, and in the post, we will give you all the information you need to get the very best workstation for 3DS Max.
So with all these complexities, what is the very best workstation configuration for Autodesk 3DS Max?
CPU Cores Vs GHz
Choosing the right processor for a 3DS Max workstation is probably the most challenging aspect to decide on when configuring your hardware. Having a strong understanding of how a CPU works can help us make this decision, for example, frequency or the GHz is an essential aspect that affects the number of operations a CPU core can complete in a second.
Modelling workflows rely heavily upon CPU frequency; therefore, higher clock speeds are essential. Additionally, the number of cores a processor has determines how many parallel computations are possible at the same time. Multicore parallel processing significantly accelerates rendering tasks. However, the tradeoff is processors with high quantities of cores often means slower frequencies and therefore reduced modelling capabilities.
So how do you have excellent rendering capabilities while maintaining decent modelling capabilities? One solution would be to have multiple machines tailored to each task, but this approach has the downside of additional costs.
For single system solutions, we recommended that you opt for an AMD Ryzen Threadripper Workstation. This Workstation platform gives the user as many as 64 Cores and 128 Threads while maintaining impressive core clock speeds. It is currently the best multi-purpose Workstation solution, fantastic for both modelling and rendering.
Alternatively, you could choose a higher frequency option such as the AMD Ryzen range of Workstations which would have superior modelling performance but will fall short behind an AMD Ryzen Threadripper system when CPU rendering.
The highest performance solution, however, is to opt for a multi-system approach. Choosing a low core count, high clock speed Workstation for 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 submit the rendering jobs 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.
System Memory/ RAM
It is essential 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 your 3D scenes.
In some instances, the data sets require an enormous amount of system memory (RAM). If you do not have enough, then the system will use the much slower mass storage (Hard Disk Drive or Solid State Drive) to compensate, which will dramatically reduce performance. A workstation with higher capacity RAM can deliver stable results while maintaining maximum performance. Therefore it is recommended to have plenty of RAM to avoid performance drops without going too far. Unused RAM offers no performance gains and additional costs, so it is important to find a balance.
We recommend that 16-64GB of RAM will be quite sufficient for handling most 3D Studio Max user’s workflows. When opting to get two independent systems for modelling and rendering, we suggest both your modelling workstation and render node should have the same amount of memory. By doing so, this avoids any unnecessary performance problems.
Graphics Card/ GPU
Deciding which graphics card will be the most suitable for your 3D Studio Max Workstation is also an essential factor to consider. There are many graphics card options out there but we recommend the professional ranges from NVIDIA and AMD. NVIDIA has its Quadro range, and AMD produces its Radeon Pro WX graphics card ranges respectively. To further complicate things AMD And NVIDIA offer their consumer ranges, known as, NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon. Professional applications such as 3DS Max require crisp, high fidelity graphics output that does not suffer from ‘glitches’. The AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards cannot guarantee this.
A mid to high-end NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro WX graphics card will not suffer from these issues, and therefore both are excellent choices. Professional graphics cards go through an incredibly stringent Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification by Autodesk themselves. This process enables AMD and NVIDIA to optimise drivers to maximise performance and stability within 3D Studio Max. Professional graphics cards have the advantages of considerably more of onboard memory compared to their consumer counterparts, and in the unlikely event you do have a graphical issue within 3DS Max, NVIDIA, AMD and Autodesk will directly support you in finding a solution.
Solid State Drives (SSD) are more expensive than a standard hard disk drive. But with this additional cost, SSD storage brings many performance benefits to your workstation. By replacing a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) with an SSD, general responsiveness of your system, as well as opening and saving scenes, will be dramatically improved. For even faster performance, you can use an M.2 NVMe SSD.
When choosing the very best hardware configuration for Autodesk 3D Studio Max, there are many factors to consider. Whether you decide you want a dedicated modelling system accompanied by a render farm or an all in one workstation solution, following the principles of this guide will ensure you have an excellent hardware solution for the job. Alternatively, why not contact our consultancy team today to get a quote for your perfect solution, tailored around your needs?