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The Best Rendering CPU In The Market Right Now

3D modeling or rendering is a very demanding process. Without a good CPU, you’re not going to be able to maximize your 3D modeling program. This is why you need the best rendering CPU that the market can give you.

In this article, we’ll give you the best CPUs for rendering computer graphics and more.

What Is Rendering?

Rendering is a process that generates a final image, either a 2D or 3D model, using a program. Think of the rendering process as adding final touches to an artwork.

On a program, you’re basically just putting things together, from the rough sketch to the textures to the lighting and effects and more. This is called the raw model or raw file. To make it viewable by others, you’d have to render it to get the final output.

For computers, rendering is carried out by either the GPU (graphics cards) or CPU (central processing unit). Some setups will have both CPU and GPU working together for the rendering process.

What Is CPU Rendering?

CPU rendering is made possible with a modern processor’s multiple CPU cores running at high frequency, allowing them to carry out tasks at a faster rate than normal. When you have more cores, the better the rendering performance.

Modern CPUs carry up to 64 cores that provide the best rendering performance. When combined with the RAM, users can render images or scenes carrying large amounts of data easily. Architects make use of CPU rendering engines to generate their designs as it allows them to showcase complex details and geometries.

What Is GPU Rendering?

Much like a CPU, a GPU or graphics card carries thousands of small cores running at low clock speed. The number of cores within a graphics card makes up for the low clock speed, allowing for a great rendering performance.

Unlike CPUs, GPUs are designed to run tasks simultaneously. This kind of gives them an edge over CPU rendering as the process involves numerous elements. To put it simply, GPU rendering is faster compared to CPU rendering, so you’re able to process or generate graphics in real-time. Video games are a good example of products from GPU rendering.

What Are The Notable Differences Between CPU and GPU Rendering?

Between CPU and GPU rendering, which exactly has an edge over the other? Let’s go over some of the nuances between outputs from both forms of rendering:

Design and Quality

Powerful CPUs like the Threadripper carry almost 64 cores, which is what you need for quality rendering. The higher your core count the better. An average CPU would carry about 4 to 8 cores, but even then, they have higher clock speeds compared to that of a graphics card.

For GPUs, the number of their cores make up for the lack of clock speed that CPUs have. For example, an RTX 3090 carries 10,496 cores, but the card has a lower frequency compared to a CPU. The number of cores can compensate for the low frequency.

Because CPUs have a higher frequency, they’re able to provide better quality from rendering images or modeling. GPUs can barely match the output quality of a CPU rendering.

Complicated Tasks

CPUs are built to process different tasks, even with different levels of complexity. They’re able to manage workloads of different consistency, whether it’s just a quick task or even if it’s too much for them.

GPUs are only limited to their hardware capability, and they’re designed with only a single purpose. The majority of their tasks are similar, to the point that they just run them repeatedly.

Speed

As mentioned earlier, GPUs are capable of running tasks in parallel, as opposed to CPUs running tasks sequentially. GPUs are capable of rendering at a faster turnaround thanks to their speed, and is mostly used for projects that need real-time rendering (such as video games).

Costs

Performance-class CPUs like the Threadripper 3990x carry a $5,000 price tag whereas GPUs are on the lower price spectrum. A brand new RTX 3090 can cost you anywhere between $1000 and $1,500.

You’re also able to upscale easily with GPUs because you’re not too worried about compatibility with existing hardware. On the other hand, upgrading your CPU might require you to invest in newer hardware like a motherboard and RAM.

Which Is Better?

It boils down to what you really need. If you’re after quality rendering and if you have a large budget, CPU rendering is your best option. This option is ideal for people working with architectural projects, engineering projects, and various design projects.

On the other hand, if you’re just getting started with rendering but want more consistency in terms of work output and complexity, then GPU rendering is the way to go. The lower costs for hardware components makes this option a bit more enticing than CPU rendering.

What Are The Best CPUs for Modeling and Rendering?

Each of the items here is considered the best CPU for modeling and rendering, but there will always be that one powerful CPU that’s up for everyone’s consideration.

This list is not arranged in any particular order. Whether you need something for graphic design, video editing, 3D modeling and rendering, and even gaming, any of the best CPU on this list will suffice.

Intel Core-i9 9900K

Intel Core-i9 9900K Best Rendering CPU

Specs

  • CPU Speed – 5 GHz
  • CPU Socket – LGA 1151
  • Item Dimensions – ‎2.91 x 4.41 x 4.61 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.018 ounces

Why Buy It?

  • Fastest processor in the market (one of)
  • Cooling capability is off the charts

Why Avoid It?

  • Expensive

If you’ve already assembled a PC capable of modeling and rendering but want to upgrade your CPU, then consider this beast: the Intel Core-i9 9900K. After all, you shouldn’t be holding out on getting the best computer components money can buy, right?

The Intel Core-i9 9900K is one of the fastest desktop CPUs in the market right now, but it’s also one of the most expensive. You’re looking at a price tag of about $700 or more, so if you have the budget, go for this beast.

The Intel Core-i9 9900K makes use of Solder TIM, which helps improve therma transfer beatween the CPU body and the heat spreader. In simpler terms, the Intel Core-i9 9900K does a great job at keeping cool even when under immense workloads. This makes it one of the best CPUs for heavy duty modeling and rendering.

Now, the base frequency of the Intel Core-i9 9900K is 3.6GHz, which is less than the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, but the overclock speed easily hits 5GHz thanks to the extra cores.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Best Rendering CPU

Specs

  • CPU Speed – 4.3 GHz
  • CPU Socket – Socket AM4
  • Item Dimensions – 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Item Weight – 1.60 ounces

Why Buy It?

  • Best value processor
  • Big generational leap amongst the AMD processors

Why Shouldn’t You Buy It?

  • A lot of newer AMD processors are out there

AMD Ryzen’s line of processors are considered to be the best in the industry. Their individual processors are capable and powerful for what you need, and they’re affordable compared to other brands.

While it’s not the latest from AMD Ryzen, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is considered a great processor for 3D modeling and rendering, on top of other things. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X was launched in 2019, so it’s a bit outdated. But don’t let that fool you.

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X comes with 8-cores and 16-threads, similar to the previous AMD prcoessors, but it’s way faster. You’re getting a base frequency of 3.7GHz and can be overclocked up to 4.3GHz.

Affordable but powerful, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is a great CPU to kickstart your journey to building a workstation computer for 3D animation, rendering, and more.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Best Rendering CPU

Specs

  • CPU Speed – 4.7 GHz
  • CPU Socket – Socket AM4
  • Item Dimensions – 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 inches
  • Item Weight – 6.1 ounces

Why Buy It?

  • Can be overclocked
  • Excellent CPU for 3D Modeling and more

Why Shouldn’t You Buy It?

  • Needs a decent cooling system.
  • Expensive

Another CPU from the AMD Ryzen 9 line of processors is the 3950X. This is a CPU that’s in a league of its own and has one of the best performances out there from any AMD CPU. The price tag is a bit on the higher end, but not nearly as expensive as some CPUs on this list.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X comes with a base frequency of 3.5 GHz (unlocked for overclocking at 4.7GHz), 16-cores, and 32-thread count, which is already a faster CPU compared to the ones on this list. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X easily competes with the likes of the i7-6800K, with the former carrying a lower price tag than the latter.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is one of the best choices for computer builds used for 3d modeling and rendering.

But with better performance comes a terrible downside. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X struggles with heat dissipation, so you’ll need a powerful cooling system to prevent overheating. This is mostly because it’s already unlocked for overclocking.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Best Rendering CPU

Specs

  • CPU Speed – 4.6 GHz
  • CPU Socket – Socket AM4
  • Item Dimensions – 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 inches
  • Item Weight – 1.6 ounces

Why Buy It?

  • Higher core count
  • New from AMD Ryzen 9 series
  • Fast and efficient

Why Shouldn’t You Buy It?

  • Too powerful CPU for use outside of doing rendering work

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is a powerful CPU. If you’re not doing any 3d modeling and rendering projects, this might be considered an overkill to use. And that’s a good thing.

It’s one of the best processors that AMD has in the market right now for gaming, video editing, and more. It’s got a base clock speed of 4.6GHz, which is way more than some of the CPUs on this list.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X uses an improved L2 TAGE branch predictor, which is a large micro-op cache and is bigger than what the other AMD Ryzen CPUs have. It also uses multiplication latency to help improve its bandwidth.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is the professional animator, modeler, or graphic artist’s choice of CPU. It’s just too powerful that it’s shameful to use the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X for minimal tasks such as browsing the net.

Intel Core i7-6800K

Intel Core i7-6800K Best Rendering CPU

Specs

  • CPU Speed – 3.4 GHz
  • CPU Socket – LGA 2011-3
  • Item Dimensions – 4.48 x 4.01 x 3.19 inches
  • Item Weight – 6.4 ounces

Why Buy It?

  • A powerful but affordable option from Intel
  • Great performance
  • Best bang for the buck

Why Shouldn’t You Buy It?

  • Not really a decent upgrade option

Intel isn’t exactly known for its affordability, but they do try its hardest to get its CPUs out to its users. One of the better and more affordable options from their lineup is the Intel Core i7-6800K.

The price tag is on the low spectrum, as you’ll probably get it for less than $300 or so. The Intel Core i7-6800K is a formidable and powerful processor without forcing you to break your budget.

The Intel Core i7-6800K succeeds the i7-5280K, both of which come with 6 cores and Hyper-Threading. The Intel Core i7-6800K comes with 28 PCIe Gen3 Lanes, resulting in greater performance compared to its predecessor.

But the downside is that it’s not as powerful as its other competitors in the market. The Intel Core i7-6800K is a solid choice for those who’re just about to start building their workstations.

The Wrap Up

There are other options out there for CPUs best for 3D modeling and rendering, but these are just some of the best choices you could make. With multiple cores, guaranteed multi threaded performance, and some with Turbo Boost feature, any one of these CPUs can get you started with rendering.

But of course, it goes without saying that your other PC components should be as powerful as your CPU to prevent bottlenecking and limiting performances.

James Stephenson

james stephenson profile picJames is a gaming and tech enthusiast. He has been playing computer games since the Commodore 64 days in the 80s. He has worked as a Broadcast Engineer with BBC News and knows a thing or two about building, fixing, and playing with PCs.