Disclaimer | This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Architecture is a field that requires a lot of processing power for a plethora of different tasks and this translates into a variety of configurations built for task-specific computers around the world, all aimed at architects.
It goes without saying that Jack of all trades configurations exist, but as architects, especially architecture students, are met with multiple tasks during both studies and career, are they a solution?
The short answer is: it depends, more of everything is always a valid answer but more often than not it’s also a waste of resources, as processing power for creatives is extraordinary expensive, hence the great length of the article ahead.
QUICK COMPARISON: Our Top 3 Picks For Prebuilt Computer Desktops for Architects
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
In this article we will describe prebuilt systems aimed at creatives, we will cover technical details and we will also describe two different configurations that we have built in our studio in the attempt to answer this question, a best budget computer desktop for architects and the best custom high-end desktop for architects; both are Jack of all trades, naturally, and both are extraordinarily potent, regardless of task. Depending on what you actually use the computer for, small changes here and there could benefit you and our buyer’s guide will explain how different components influence the result.
Without further ado, let’s discuss the best possible desktop for architects today!
Best Computer [Desktop] for Architects
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
Dell Precision Workstation
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
Microsoft Surface Studio
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
Apple iMac Pro
|VIEW LATEST PRICE →SEE CUSTOMER REVIEWS →|
- Best Computer [Desktop] for Architects
- Custom Budget Computer Desktop for Architects
- Custom High-End Desktop for Architects
- Best Prebuilt Computer Desktops for Architects
- Desktop for Architects Buyer’s Guide
- Best Hardware Parts for 3D Modeling and Rendering
- Best Processor [CPU] for 3D Rendering and Modelling
- Best Graphics Card [GPU] for 3D Rendering and Modeling
- Best Motherboard for 3D Rendering and Modelling
- Best Storage for 3D Rendering and Modelling
- Best Monitor for 3D Rendering and Modelling
- Best Power Supply [PSU] for 3D Modeling and Rendering
The Small Form Factor Asterisk
Creatives everywhere will see the benefits of using a small form factor case, a mini-ITX case can punch well above its weight today and in the right configuration it will sacrifice little to nothing on thermals, allowing you to assemble an extraordinary workstation albeit with one GPU only and without stacks of HDDs.
Building a pocket-rocket workstation is no easy task as your cable management skills will be pushed beyond your limits but one earns great satisfaction from nestling a 12-core Ryzen 3900X and a Quadro RTX 5000 into something that can fit in your backpack comfortably.
Budget workstations and Photoshop editing stations can also make use of these small form factor cases despite their petite volumes and more often than not, the builds are not more expensive than an ATX build but they will pose more challenges as you need to diligently double-check what components you will use as space becomes a premium.
That being said, for our builds, aesthetics weighted heavily and thus we have used some quite particular cases, we would love to hear your thoughts on these and your favorite small form factor cases.
Custom Budget Computer Desktop for Architects
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
- Asetek 645LT 92mm SFF AIO Liquid Cooler / Noctua NH-D15 / Fractal Design Celsius S24
- Asus ROG STRIX X470-I GAMING Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard / ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming *
- Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3333 Memory
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB
- NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 8 GB Video Card
- Corsair SF600 Fully Modular 80+ Gold PSU
- Nouvolo Steck Mini-ITX / Fractal Design Node 304 **
- Logitech K780 + Logitech M720
- Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 4K IPS Monitor
The first *asterix in the budget built is crucial, the X470 Asus ROG STRIX and the ROG Strix B450-I Gaming are legendary boards but they’re Ryzen 2 boards at base and thus, not compatible out of the box with Ryzen 3 processors, with a simple BIOS update though, they become Ryzen 3 compatible and you can request this from your retailer as a service or you can do this yourself, case in which you would need an extra CPU which is compatible with the board to perform the update.
**Fractal’s Node 304 is a great solution that comes with some compromises, yes, but the spectacular thing is that one can fit the almighty Noctua NH-D15 in it, and with a bit of modding it can fit Noctua’s 2x 140mm fans, the Quadro RTX 4000 or 5000 and between 4-6 drives depending on your motherboard. If you need extraordinary storage or you simply don’t want water moving around your precious, Fractal and Noctua are on your side!
Despite it’s small form factor, the budget computer we built tackled everything we threw at it and greatly out performed prebuilt systems that cost twice as much even during long work sessions in the hands of our architects that use it on a day to day basis for Revit modelling and Corona rendering.
It is worth mentioning that the best setup for the Steck is with a 240mm AIO and the optional top hat extension.
It all comes down to how you use your desktop, if you are rendering more than you are modelling and you want to make sure that thermals will never be an issue, a bigger case with a bigger AIO that can sustain that 100% load throughout the day may be required.
Custom High-End Desktop for Architects
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor*
- Fractal Design Celsius S24 / Asetek 645LT 92mm SFF AIO Liquid Cooler
- Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro WiFi
- Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2 X 32GB) DDR4 3000
- Samsung 970 Pro Series – 1TB PCIe NVMe
- NVIDIA QUADRO RTX 5000 – 16 GB GDDR6
- CORSAIR SF Series, SF750
- Loque Ghost S1 / DAN Cases A4-SFX** / Fractal Design Node 304
- Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM + NF-A12x15 PWM
- Logitech Craft + Logitech Master 2S
- ASUS 32 ” PA328Q ProArt / Asus ProArt PA32UC 32″ ProArt
*3900X is AMD’s cavalry, considering the price and target market it demolishes the competition, for the first time in years Intel is playing catch-up and this beautiful game is to our advantage, the consumers rejoice, yet there is a but in our case. As in everything, with great power comes great responsibility and we were responsible not only to replace the stock cooler that came with the unit but also to find the best AIO that can cool this beast down in our small form factor cases. Attempting to cool down the 3900X with the stock cooler in heavy load for prolonged periods will certainly negatively affect its performance and diminish its life span.
**Enter petite epic designer cases that can fit a 3900X and the monstrous Quadro RTX 5000: Loque Ghost S1 & DAN Cases A4-SFX. These two, unlike the Node 304, have no chance of fitting the Noctua NH-D15 and although Noctua and other vendors have designed tailored air-cooling solutions for these two, we chose not to listen and go for the harder, bit more expensive and far cooler solution: liquid AIO.
In our experience the best 240mm AIO thermal wise has been the Fractal Design Celsius S24*** fitted with 2 x Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM for the Loque Ghost S1 while for the DAN Cases A4-SFX the small Asetek 645LT 92mm SFF AIO Liquid Cooler is certainly the best possible variant and without a doubt, the hardest to fit so brace-yourself, wire management challenges are coming!
*** Fractal’s Celsius S24 is cool, literally, but the fitting is extraordinarily difficult and may rise a multitude of problems as the tubing is not as flexible as one would like for SFF cases. A simpler solution would be to go for the NZXT X52 as it has highly flexible tubing and arguably better aesthetics if you like RGB LEDs; you are however sacrificing on wire management as Fractal has a far cleaner solution and a bit of thermal advantage from our tests, ~ 1°C.
With a Cinebench R20 [R20.0.4] score or 7251 it’s hard to imagine how one can get a more powerful machine in a prettier package at this price point. As with all DIY projects, building something with your bare hands brings you more than the satisfaction of work, it brings forward a solution that is, supposedly, tailored for your needs and infused with part of your struggles and experiences, a unique solution with a unique set of challenges.
Below we will follow up with the prebuilt desktops for architects, solutions out of the box that come with warranties, support and theoretically, no compromises in terms of performance, they offer a more seamless experience and more often than not, older and under-performing technology at a heftier price, question is whether you and your firm are ready to take on more newer technology in the DIY approach or ease of use at a cost in the prebuilt department.
A very important thing to consider is also scalability; while maintenance on 4-8 units in a small practice may seem doable, as you grow, more and more units will be added and with them, the maintenance cost will grow too.
Best Prebuilt Computer Desktops for Architects
Asus opens up our list with a modern sleek alternative to the Apple’s Mac Pro, the ProArt PA90, a solid contender for its competitors considering its price to performance factor, especially for the Corsair’s One Pro to which it responds with a professional oriented Quadro GPU.
The ProArt is one swift desktop for architects being equipped with Intel’s latest 9th-gen processor, a prospect that paired with NVIDIA’s Quadro, smiles at creatives everywhere.
As it is with all pocket rockets, the PA90 is limited in terms of upgradability and sadly it does not hold the latest Quadro RTX GPUs yet which translates into a potential bottleneck in the future as you are buying a previous generation GPU, at a hefty price tag.
The ProArt as a result acts more as a laptop due to the limited internal upgrade potential but it opens up opportunities with Thunderbolt 3 support, offering you the chance to use an eGPU and get a solid, swift upgrade in performance at the cost of desktop space occupied by the external GPU enclosure thus somehow contradicting the space benefits of this PC.
However, if your performance needs are in the range of the ProArt, the splendid computer is well-priced and it should certainly be on your shortlist.
Thinkstations are more than a cool name from Lenovo’s line up as the latest tower workstation is designed for the most resource intensive applications out there, a couple of which revolve around the architecture sphere naturally. Lenovo made the tower workstation easy to setup and deploy and we would just like to mention that it can be delivered with 2TB of DDR4 2666 RAM and up to 3, yes, three Quadro P6000. The T920 will also be available with the NVIDIA Quadro RTX GPUs thus forming part of the company’s AI research oriented workstations.
The Lenovo ThinkStation P920 is simply a state of the art tower workstation with incredible performance that can run almost any workload, if you were to rapidly change the GPUs for the new NVDIA Quadro RTX GPUs it would double as a powerful AI workstation in an instant.
Dell Precision workstations are world renowned for a reason and the 7000 series desktop workstation line-up stands up for the range, by offering extraordinary customization options, featuring professional high end graphics from both AMD and NVIDIA in combination with dual processor setups. Imagine two Intel Xeon processors, each with 28 cores, 56 cores going all forward with a “mere” 384GB 2666MHz of DDR4 ECC memory to animate a possible 24TB of storage via M.2 NVMe PCIe SSDs in the 6 available PCIe Gen 3 slots. Needless to say that usual connectivity options are all covered.
It is clear that the T7820 is a extraordinarily powerful desktop workstation with its storage, compute and graphic output it can tackle extraordinary resource-intensive workloads with ease, especially with the high end components that we put to the test; keep in mind that as with all customisable desktop workstations, they get expensive really fast, tailor a workstation for your computing needs and keep in mind that later upgrades are possible.
One, Corsair One is the name, a name that rapidly became popular around the word as it stands for the most impressive gaming desktops ever made in a really small case that packs a serious punch. The “only” problem being that your CPU will stay blazing hot due to the small form factor.
A warm CPU is certainly not an immense problem while gaming as it will not hit peak load often but while rendering, the story is different, reason for which this is not recommended for all use cases.
Also worth noting, is that Corsair One i160 is quite pricey even though it is not oriented towards professionals, this is mainly due to the amount of liquid-cooled components contained in such a small package. The One is an option that should certainly be on your prebuilt desktop for architects shortlist if the performance output matches your use case.
The Surface Studio made a name for itself rapidly when it launched a couple of years back and if you’ve heard about it previously then you have certainly also heard about its price tag, albeit for a reason.
Surface Studio is Microsoft’s way of differentiating itself from the XPS AIO, HP Envy AIO and iMac . Microsoft positioned its product in a world dominated by Wacom as the Surface Studio you invites you to the drawing board, literally. It is worth mentioning that the visual quality of the PixelSense display shines when compared to Dell’s 27-inch Canvas or Wacom’s Cintiq display.
Illustrators therefore rejoice as the Surface Studio has been envisioned for you entirely. If you are an architect doing post-processing rendering, this might be the tool for you!
Until the Mac Pro will become available later in 2021, the iMac Pro is the crowned king of Apple’s computing lineup being undoubtedly the most powerful computer ever created by the company.
A slim design and astonishing build quality are what iMacs are famous for yet due to its performance, and thus, price, it is not aimed at the average consumer as the immense power would be utter overkill for mundane tasks and even easy photo or video editing.
The iMac Pro is an ideal choice for many creatives everywhere but its use cases are rather specific so make sure it is the right fit for you as with this strikingly beautiful machine you will not get the ballistic specs of the Thinkstation Tower or Dell’s Precision Workstation nor will you get the the options to upgrade it or customize it.
Desktop for Architects Buyer’s Guide
CPU Rendering | What is it?
Rendering is creating an image with a particular 3D model. The process involves adding layers of photo-realistic effects like the positioning of the camera, its orientation, realistic lighting setting as well as backgrounds.
After creating the final model, rendering starts. Rendering utilizes all the cores of the processor to their full capacities. The bigger the number of cores, the more efficient your workflow becomes. Even at lower clock speeds, given enough cores, the performance remains unaffected as long as there are enough cores to divide the total workflow efficiently.
This happens as the render engine denotes a ‘bucket’ for every core in the CPU. In essence, the entire task is divided into minuscule buckets according to the number of cores. Once a bucket is finished rendering, the engine assigns another bucket to the core.
This process continues until we finish creating the entire image.
3D Modelling | What is it?
In a way, we can say that it is a virtual skeleton of real-world objects. The graphic 3-dimensional representation of objects as they would exist in the real world. It is done by modelling software, which the computer interprets as equations and graphs of pixels and colors.
For instance, one wants to reproduce a vast shopping mall using 3D CAD before finalizing the project. This virtual representation replicates the potential design, which is supposed to be built sometime in the future.
In this case, it doesn’t matter how many cores your processor has. The main point of difference in terms of work done for the two processes is: For 3D modelling, there is a constant interaction between the software and the computer, while with rendering the software assigns a new task (bucket) to a core only after it finished it’s previous one.
Let’s get back to the example of the shopping mall again. The virtual model must include each element of the potential real-world model. This means working with and modifying shapes, applying deformers to them, such as cloning, mirroring, and blending objects.
So, your CPU needs to make space for a lot of heavy calculations, as you go on tweaking the various aspects of building a design from scratch. Due to the fact that all this math needs to be executed in a specific hierarchical order, most of it is executed on a single core of the processor.
The computer follows the order of execution meticulously to give you your desired results. Therefore, to have a speedy 3D modelling process, you need to have a processor with the highest single core performance and not the highest number of cores.
If you want to know more about the CPUs with highest single core overclocking capacities, click here. For computer animations and CAD workstations, high clocking CPUs are always preferred over multi-core CPUs, since not many cores are used for modelling.
Large number of cores and high clocks is the perfect combination: Right? Wrong!
Well, it may be tempting and quite logical to think that a multi-core and high clock CPU will be a versatile one. But unfortunately, technology doesn’t work that way. Let us explain. Due to heating and power consumption limits, there is a proportion to follow between the clocking speeds and CPU-cores.
In other words, the more the number of cores, the lower the clocks and vice-versa.
More cores mean more power, which translates into higher temperatures. All CPUs need to follow thermal regulations and guidelines. Higher clocked cores aren’t an exception to the rule, of course. The higher you clock your processor, the more heat it will produce. But not to worry. Both Intel and AMD seem to have found a way around this problem.
Tweaking one’s way around the problem of overheating is done by what is called turbo-boost or turbo core. It is a feature that clocks the cores by just the right amount, i.e. to their power and thermal thresholds. This process scales according to your cooling solution. More efficient cooling means better results.
Depending on its quality, the turbo boost time varies. During modelling, let’s say two cores come to use, and 2 are sitting idle. The boosting mechanism will overclock the two idle cores until the power and temperature controls reach their limits. Once it does, the turbo boost will underclock the two cores right away.
Understanding GPU and CPU Rendering
There are two well-known methods of rendering animations and images in 3D software: CPU and GPU rendering. It is essential to learn the basics of these two kinds of rendering if you’re thinking of investing in any one of them. It’s not just the money, but your workflow demands also need to be taken into account.
The first point of difference is the way CPU, and GPU microprocessors handle any given task. A CPU performs various calculations systematically to process any given task. A GPU is very good at processing large numbers of identical smaller tasks, like generating millions of triangles for example.
Graphically intense programs tend to overburden a CPU. A modern GPU offers far superior processing power and memory bandwidth for this task. It is tailored for processing tasks that comprise many parallel processes. It makes GPU rendering more efficient than CPU rendering.
Then again, despite the time taken, the traditional CPU rendering provides a quality that is still unattainable with GPUs. So, let’s weigh in on both sides of the debate.
Advantages of CPU Rendering
- Ability to handle more complex tasks
- Larger memory
- Performance is more stable than GPUs
Advantages of GPU Rendering
- Faster rendering
- Best suited for graphically intense rendering
- It is evolving with each passing day
To expand just a bit on the evolution of the technology in rendering, we can look at developments like the in-built Cycles GPU Render Engine of Blender for example. The software includes the render engines, and they do not rely on any third-party plugin which means that as opposed to not long ago, beginners in 3D rendering can benefit from the added power of their GPU without extra effort.
Best Hardware Parts for 3D Modeling and Rendering
That’s enough of technical jargon; let’s move on to what really matters. Each individual hardware part goes on to determine how powerful your workstation is. Thus, focus on every single part, before you invest in designing a lasting workstation for 3D rendering and modelling.
Best Processor [CPU] for 3D Rendering and Modelling
The CPU is the most critical aspect of your machine. The performance of your processor determines the overall quality of your workstation. Here you have to think along the lines explained above. What would you be using your computer for? If you want to Sculpt, Texture, Light, Animate, and Model, it means you are doing more active interaction with your workstation.
This demands a high clock CPU. Here are some of the right choices of processors for effective work procedures:
Some of the good options are:
The Cinebench Single-Core Benchmark is an excellent way to find the snappiest CPUs.
Have a glance at this page of Cinebench R20 Benchmarks. Arrange the table on the “Cinebench Single” column to gauge the perfect workstation CPU that can support you when you are actively interacting with your project, during modelling.
Our recommendation among processors is the beast that is AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. It comes with 12 cores and excellent overclocking speeds. It is perfect for active rendering work like Animation and Modelling.
Graphic designers must take note of this processor too since painting 3D Models, texturing, and sculpting also demand a powerful CPU.
If you are into video editing, encoding, working on processed 3D models, it means you are doing less interactive work and spending more hours on rendering. That demands multi-core processors.
Here are some of the best choices of processors for 3D rendering:
Fans of VRAY, take a look at this page. It will give you a detailed idea of what you should expect from the processor. The VRAY CPU Benchmark Results will help you with the same.
Best Graphics Card [GPU] for 3D Rendering and Modeling
The comparison between GPU and CPU rendering is much like the comparison of quality between the film and digital camera. The film has become outdated, although its quality is unmatched to date.
Digital camera, on the other hand, is here to stay and evolve. But unlike a film camera, CPU rendering hasn’t become obsolete. This being said, GPUs will only get better with time and might surpass CPU’s at rendering tasks very soon.
Some well-known modern GPU Render Engines are VRAY-RT(compatible with AMD OpenCL GPUs), Redshift or Octane(NVIDIA compatibility only). Our personal preference is installing a GPU that works with all the Render Engines mentioned above. So, listed here are a few NVIDIA GPUs that are flexible while offering superb rendering speeds.
The Nvidia Graphics Card List could go on forever. The higher the rank or the number, the faster and costlier they get.
Click here to find a great GPU Render Benchmark Overview. It will give you a good idea of the cost/performance ratio. The VRAY-RT, Redshift, and Octane benchmarks are also great information sources to gather a general idea about cost, functionality, and efficiency of GPU Render Engines.
What are the best GPUs for Viewport performance?
First things first, Viewport performance matters a lot. In the case of rendering, you can at least walk away if it is slow. A slow viewport is a pain as you are actively building the very skeleton of a virtual structure.
A graphics card does not hinder or make much of a difference for Viewport performance. Processors are the primary engines responsible for an active viewport. The GPUs listed above will work approximately the same regarding Viewport’s performance.
The reason behind it is the GPU rarely takes more time to perform the complex calculations that 3D software implies. The CPU takes much more time to update Deformers, Meshes, etc. A GPU usually finishes its tasks before the CPU and resumes working only when the latter is done.
If you depend on Reflections, AO, Anti-Aliasing, and In-Viewport SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) make the first few graphics cards in the list your priority. But, for overall excellent performance, go for a high-clocked CPU for a snappy Viewport.
An important point to note:
If one uses a couple of very high-poly RAW meshes (a CAD-Converted model of forty million Polygons for example), and you lack modifiers for this mesh, the GPU speed will matter here.
This is because the computer doesn’t have to update the underlying structure of the meshes but only the viewing angle of the Car.
What is the type of RAM [Memory] do you need for 3D Rendering and Modelling?
Much like the processor, the type and amount of RAM you would optimally require depends on your usage type. If you are working on lightweight 3D work with less complex scenes, you would require less RAM than for models with extremely high polygon counts.
For 3D artists, 32 GB RAM is a decent amount of memory to start with. If you are working on high-poly meshes, and have complex visuals with a multitude of objects, having 64 GB RAM is advisable.
And for those starting, 16 GB will serve your purpose, but very soon, you will outgrow it. You can ignore the RAM speeds and timing, as they don’t really make a difference in performance.
Getting DDR4-4166 RAM won’t be notably faster than DDR4-2666 RAM
CPUs from Intel do not benefit as much as AMD processors from overclocked RAMs. It is because some components of the Threadripper and Ryzen CPUs are directly connected to the Memory Clock Speed.
A Quad Channel Memory clocked at 2933Mhz will give you slightly better performance on an AMD 3rd gen CPU’s.
If you are a fan of optimizing your hardware to it’s extreme limits, remember, the lower your CL, and the higher the clock speed, the better the results. Therefore, a DDR4-3200 CL15 would be a bit faster than a DDR4-2800 CL16. Get the point?
An important note on RAM Kits
Choosing RAM kits is a slippery ground. When you are buying RAM, go for the full amount in a single kit. Kits are RAM Modules packaged together. They are pre-tested and have excellent compatibility.
We are on the side of a single kit because often different RAM modules aren’t compatible together. So, if you are aiming for a brand new RAM, get a 4×8 GB in a single kit instead of two 2×8 GB kits.
Why do RAMs in different kits vary from each other?
RAMs in different kits vary in performance, compatibility, and stability. One of the primary reasons for this to happen is that they could have been produced in different plants. They use silicon of slightly different composition, or the RAM modules may have been designed a year apart.
We can never be sure that the RAM timing will match for the two modules manufactured in different places or different dates. Thus, we advise getting a kit which is pre-tested.
Best Motherboard for 3D Rendering and Modelling
A motherboard is simply the connecting board of all the various parts and devices you plan to assemble for your super workstation. It wouldn’t hurt performances, but it is essential to make sure that you take a few factors into account when choosing your motherboard:
CPU Socket Type: Each CPU requires it’s own socket. Ensure your motherboard supports the socket type of your CPU. Maximum memory: Some chipsets are compatible only with certain types and amounts of RAM. So, make sure you have a match between the motherboard you choose and the type and amount of RAM you want.
Maximum count of GPUs: GPUs require PCI lanes and PCIe slots that are limited in specific motherboard models. Make sure your motherboard supports the necessary amount of GPUs and meets the threshold count of PCIe lanes that your GPU’s will need.
Support for NVME Drives (M.2): If you want an NVME PCIe drive, you need to make sure your motherboard supports this kind of drive (the motherboard’s manual is your friend). Size of the Motherboard: The computer case needs to be able to contain the motherboard. So, check your motherboard size.
Best Storage for 3D Rendering and Modelling
The storage speed is responsible for a few things:
- Saving and loading the scene files
- Rendering the video files during an edit
- Storing and executing Textures, Assets, and References
- Launching software
- Swapping from RAM to disk when the RAM gets full
Autosave is a beautiful feature in any multimedia setup. A faster HDD will help you save your work faster. But once the scene is loaded into the RAM, even a superfast disk won’t help you much. It must be kept in mind that a fast HDD does NOT affect performance.
We recommend a SATA SSD like the Samsung 860 EVO for your Scene and OS files. With a few more extra bucks, you could also go for the Samsung 970 EVO, which is a PCI-E M.2 SSD. Today, flash-based SSDs have become quite cheap, and their prices keep dropping.
It’s always better to have a larger hard disk drive to backup your data periodically so that nothing is lost if your computer drives fail you.
Best Monitor for 3D Rendering and Modelling
Always go for a monitor that has an IPS panel and not a TN panel. The IPS panel gives you better contrast and colour. Its output is closer to actual colours. If you spend over 5 hours each day looking at the monitor, it is best to go for a anti-glare variant. Hard reflections bug you when you are working for long hours every day.
While Full HD (1920×1080) is a must nowadays, you would be better off with a 4k display. Higher resolutions nicely fit the Viewport, and it gets effortless to organise your workspace.
The details on photos, footage, renders, you name it, are more precise with a larger resolution display. This is particularly true for 4K monitors (3840×2160) and above. See more of your software windows, references and videos. Our experience with working on the Asus IPS monitors was simply great, such as the Asus ProArt PA329Q, but you might choose a different brand.
Best Power Supply [PSU] for 3D Modeling and Rendering
Again, a good power supply won’t enhance your performance. Yet, it’s advisable to get enough wattage for the heavy 3D rendering and modelling tasks, that will push your hardware to use more energy. A moderate workstation would demand 400-500 W of power plus an additional 250 W for every other graphical processing unit.
Research is the answer.
Only you know how you use your computer and thus researching your exact use case will help you save resources across the board.
Always keep in mind that technology advances rapidly so attempt to plan ahead and consider future upgrades into your builds.
How does your current setup looks like? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below!