Graphics Workstations for 3DS Max
Understand the parameters that make an ideal 3DS Max workstation
What is 3DS Max?
3DS Max is a Digital Content Creation (DCC) package that offers a rich and flexible toolset to create premium designs with full artistic control including the ability to create massive worlds in games, visualise high-quality architectural renderings, model finely detailed interiors and objects and bring characters and features to life with animation and VFX.
What makes the best system for 3DS Max?
There is no one ideal system configuration for 3DS Max, as users will make different use of software - however, most systems will fall into one of two scenarios. The most common scenario is an all-purpose workstation that will be used to create and render a scene from start to finish, in which case you need to carefully balance the two most important components, the CPU and one or two GPUs in order to get good responsive content creation and rapid rendering.
Moving up from this is an organisation that requires faster rendering, such as a dedicated system in the corner of the office or a workstation that will left on overnight rendering. In this scenario a workstation with a single CPU and up to four GPUs will provide much faster rendering while still retaining the ability to create models and animations.
What CPU should I choose for 3DS Max?
As explained above, a system that will be used for a mixture of content creation and rendering needs to strike a good balance between CPU and GPU(s). Like most DCC applications 3DS Max performs best on a CPU with a high frequency and around eight cores, although more cores can be beneficial in some processes. We recommend starting with an AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i7, upgrading to Ryzen 9 or Core i9 if budget allows. If you’re also going to doing heavy renders then an AMD Threadripper is a good choice as these have more PCIe lanes, enabling the system to support up to four GPUs.
What GPU do I need for 3DS Max?
A fast GPU is crucial for a responsive DCC experience in 3DS Max, with more powerful models providing a more noticeable benefit when working with complex 3D models and high resolution textures. We recommend the NVIDIA RTX GPUs as a good starting point in the NVIDIA range, adding in more GPUs if budget allows if you’re also going to be rendering.
If you are considering a dedicated workstation for 3DS Max then we recommend consumer-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards thanks to their outstanding value for money. However, if you’re also planning on modelling on the same workstation then it’s worth considering a professional-grade NVIDIA RTX GPU thanks to their larger memory buffer and certified drivers.
How much RAM is recommended for 3DS Max?
The minimum RAM that we recommend for 3DS Max is 32GB, upgrading to more memory if you’re working with large projects or multiple applications at once.
What storage does 3DS Max need?
We always recommend using an SSD for the boot drive that will host your OS, 3DS Max itself, and any active projects you are working on. The high speed of SSDs allows your system to boot, launch applications, and load files many times faster than any traditional hard drive. Alternatively, as your work projects increase you may want to consider a second SSD or higher capacity HDD - depending on your budget - so your OS, 3DS Max and live projects benefit from SSD speed, but your archived work uses the HDD where speed isn’t a necessity and costs can be lowered. Another archive solution could be to employ an external NAS device allowing sharing and RAID protection.
When it comes to deciding on drive capacity, this will very much depend on your number of files and the model sizes. You should also consider the space required by other applications and their associated files too.
Recommended 3DS Max Workstation Specifications
|CPU||AMD Ryzen Threadripper||AMD Ryzen 9 / Intel Core i9||AMD Ryzen 7 / Intel Core i7|
|GPU||Up to four NVIDIA RTX||NVIDIA RTX||NVIDIA RTX|
|Storage||SSD + SSD||SSD + HDD||SSD|
The Best Workstations for 3DS Max
Click the links below to view the range of graphics systems. We offer pre-configured systems that are ready to go or can
custom build a system to your preferred specification.