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I would like to buy a computer to start 3D animating, where do I start? 


Start by looking at what software you’ll be using. With all the different apps that are available at the moment, it could be worthwhile checking to see if the software you’re using benefits from a better cpu, gpu or makes use of both. Minimum system requirements and recommended system requirements from the software publishers would always be a good place to start.



Is a laptop good enough for 3D design and rendering? 


Generally speaking, laptops are a good starting point for basic work but can become limited really quickly, depending on the kind of work you’ll be doing. This can be due to multiple factors; battery optimised cpu with average to low performance, low-end gpu or on-board graphics, poor cooling and air circulation, and limited or no upgradeability for better components. 



What 3D software should I use?


There’s so many to choose from; Cinema 4D, Blender, and Houdini are some of the more widely used ones. A lot of them will have trial versions so you can see which one you like the look of. Watching tutorial videos to help you figure out whether you like the user interface and general application workflows can be helpful too.



What are the main advantages/ disadvantages of a PC vs iOS system?


The main advantages of using a PC over a Mac OS system are that you can have multi-gpu setups, you have the freedom to choose what components you want in your build and from which manufacturer, the cooling options are overall more adequate allowing your hardware to be used to their fullest potential. Some 3D softwares also benefit from running on Windows with Nvidia GPUs to take advantage of the CUDA cores allowing fro faster render times.



How much storage and RAM is enough for 3D workflow? 


Depending on the complexity of your project, the amount of RAM you have can vary drastically. A middle ground would be around 32GB to 64GB of RAM, however this can also be upgraded in the future should you desire or need more. Most full-size motherboards can handle up to 128GB of RAM.


Why do I need more than one graphics card? 


The more complex the 3D scene is, the more power you’ll need to get the renders done fast. In basic terms, more cards equals more speed is most modern rendering engines. Redshift, Octane and Vray are good examples of Rendering plug ins that benefit from multiple GPUs. 



What are the differences between graphics card models and brands? 


From brand to brand, there isn’t much of a difference in the GPUs in terms of performance. The only difference between brands is the cooler that is attached to it; some may be larger, some may be optimised for silence or performance. The hardest part about selecting a GPU for your system is determining which one is the right choice for you; with Nvidia, for example, their current range consists of 9 different graphics cards, each one offering better performance than the last, at a more premium price.



What CPU do I need for my software? 


While it could be important to know what software you’re going to use and whether it favours CPU or GPU rendering, a general rule of thumb would be to get what you can afford but also what’s suitable for you and your workload without being overkill.



What kind of hardware do I need to speed up workflow?


Sometimes upgrading your storage drives from traditional spinning disk drives (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD) could show a significant performance increase. A good CPU and GPU



How can I make 3D renders faster?


If the main thing slowing you down is render times, upgrading your CPU or GPU will benefit greatly. Keep in mind that you may also need to get better cooling solutions in case your components run hotter than usual. 



What power supply is recommended with a multi GPU setup? 


Anything upwards from a high quality 850 watt PSU for (1x high end CPU + GPU) or 1200w+ (1 x high end CPU + 2 x GPU), depending on the GPUs you’ve got in your system; The higher performance cards demand more power.



Does software affect what specs I should require in a PC?


If you know what software you’re going to use, then it would be beneficial to choose specs that would allow you to get the most out of your software. If the software primarily uses the CPU, then it would make sense getting a cpu with more cores. If it’s GPU based, then getting a graphics card with more CUDA cored (for render speeds) and more VRAM (to handle more complex scenes) would help more. If you’re unsure, doing a bit of research can clear up some of the questions you may have about the hardware recommendations and requirements for the software.


If you need a Naarm/ Melbourne based business to build your systems I highly recommend the team at SMOOSH WORK STATIONS.

You can find them here:


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