Understand the parameters that make an ideal Nuke workstation
What is Nuke?
Nuke, from The Foundry, is a node-based 2D and 3D compositing and visual effects, editorial and reviewing application that is used for television and film post-production.
What makes the best system for Nuke?
There is no one ideal system configuration for Nuke, as users will have different video resolutions to edit and make different use of the software. Nuke makes use of CPU cores, but a higher clock speed is more important as many tasks are single threaded. For many tasks a fast GPUs is required, but ultimately it depends on whether you are working with HD, 4K, 6K or 8K video content.
What CPU should I choose for Nuke?
As explained above, a system that will be used for a mixture of Nuke functions needs to strike a good balance between CPU and GPU(s). Like most digital content creation (DCC) applications Nuke performs best on a CPU with a high frequency, although in most cases 8 CPU cores will be sufficient as most 3D modelling, animation and rendering tasks only use a single core. 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 be generating higher resolution video content then an AMD Threadripper is a good choice as these have more PCIe lanes, enabling the system to support multiple GPUs and other devices such as capture cards and faster network interfaces.
What GPU(s) do I need for Nuke?
A fast GPU is crucial for a responsive DCC experience in Nuke, with more powerful models providing a more noticeable benefit when working with complex and high resolution video. We recommend the NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs as a good starting point in the NVIDIA range, adding in more GPUs if budget allows and your workloads scale well. If not, choose a single GeForce RTX GPU, but with larger memory
If you are considering a dedicated workstation for Nuke then we recommend consumer-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards thanks to their outstanding value for money. However, if you’re also planning other intensive workloads 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 Nuke?
The minimum RAM that we recommend for Nuke is 32GB for HD content, upgrading to 64GB, 128GB and 256GB respectively for 4K, 6K and 8K projects.
What storage does Nuke need?
We always recommend using an SSD for the boot drive that will host your OS, Nuke 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. We would also recommend a second SSD or even an NVMe SSD - depending on your budget - for active Nuke projects files. If files are large or numerous several secondary SSDs can be added in RAID configurations to protect data integrity. An alternative solution for high capacity SSD active storage or cheaper HDD archiving could be to employ an external NAS device allowing both sharing and RAID protection.
When it comes to deciding on drive capacity, this will very much depend on your number of files and the project sizes. You should also consider the space required by other applications and their associated files too.
Recommended Nuke Workstation Specifications
|High-End (8K)||Mid-Range (4K)||Entry-Level (HD)|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen Threadripper||AMD Ryzen 9 / Intel Core i9||AMD Ryzen 7 / Intel Core i7|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX||NVIDIA GeForce RTX||NVIDIA GeForce RTX|
|Storage||SSD + SSD||SSD + SSD||SSD + SSD|
The Best Workstations for Nuke
Click the link below to view the range of Pro Video desktop and laptop workstations. We offer pre-configured systems that are ready to go or can custom build a system to your preferred specification.