Some FAQ’s that we get asked a lot about builds needing suitable configuration for Modeling and Animation performance in Maya and 3DS Max –
What is the requirement for the best animation and modeling performance in Maya and 3DS Max?
Animation & Modeling are both single thread dependent – what you should be looking for is the highest possible clock speed in your budget; However core count shouldn’t really be given extra emphasis (core count really matters in rendering – see next question)
Do these software require additional hardware to do rendering effectively ?
Both 3DS Max (from 2018) and Maya (since 2017) use “Arnold” as their default renderer – this is a CPU based rendering engine which benefits greatly from a higher number of cores – in CPU comparisons it is found that performance scales well with more number of cores. Therefore configuration with high CPU core count help in rendering faster through Arnold – HOWEVER – you will need a decent to good graphic card if you are looking to use different rendering engines like Furryball, V-Ray, Octane etc.
What about RAM?
How much RAM you need is decided by the complexity of your scene & the resolution – higher RAM leaves headroom for more complex scenes. Regular users will find that 16 to 32 GB of RAM to be more than sufficient, for those who need more 64 GB is also an option.
Core Counts ? So do i need a Xeon processor ?
Not exactly – higher core counts mean lower clock speeds. So what you really need is a processor boosting to higher clock speeds when fewer cores are working (for modeling and animation ) AND still have decent clock speeds when more cores work together for rendering.
In previous generation CPU’s, the XEON line up was much more robust than their core series counterparts. HOWEVER in the current generation line ups, there is very little functional difference left between the CORE and XEON product families. We would recommend i7 and i9 CPUs for a Maya and 3DS workstation with a balanced performance across animation, modeling and rendering. For some specific rendering engines you may still need dual Xeon builds.
Does a SSD help?
Yes! SSD will help loading times across the board – right from booting up windows and launching these software as well.
So – Quadro GPU or Geforce GPU works fine ?
Maya & 3DS Max need a decently fairly powerful video card, unless you are exclusively rendering only. Officially Autodesk sates that Quadro cards are certified for these applications – however they do test Geforce cards too – so these will work fine for most users. However Quadro cards are purpose build AND optimized by Nvidia to be more reliable in the long term.
To Summarize –
CPU – High Clock Speed for modeling & animation and Higher core count for rendering
Graphic Cards – A decent graphic card (GTX 1060 6GB and above ) will let you see the viewport in 60 fps and above for a smoother performance – Quadro cards are certified with these software , so selecting Quadro if your budget allows is a good idea.
RAM – 16 GB and above is sufficient for most users – however the complexity of your use case may need 32 or even 64GB of RAM
SSD – Yes for the loading times! With a secondary drive for storage; SSD should be used for Windows and software installations