Best New Computer Specifications for Rendering


I have a Mac shop and am looking at the new iMac Pros to use in C4D developing and rendering. The new iMac Pros have lots of options including processor speed, graphics card, number of cores, and amount of ram. If you include all the bells and whistles you’re looking at about $10K for a machine -

Any suggestions on what may be more critical in terms of rendering? Ram vs. number of cores vs. processor speed vs. graphics card?

The higher end graphic card available is -
Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of HBM2 memory

Please let me know what you would advise. Thanks!


They’re all important, the only advice I can give you is to max out on everything.

Hold the phone

I just maxed out their configurator and it would cost me 12k for a desktop machine.
Not even a true workstation. Lol.

An 18 processor is not too bad, 2 cores can overclock to 4.3ghz, but the max turbo boost on them used all at once is far less. Great for your single core operations. (i.e everything other than rendering)

I’m building a new 40 core machine and currently my end cost should be 14k.
But keep in mind, that’s 2x(+) more cores, it’ll have 2x more ram (than available @ apple) and easily 6x more GPU rendering power with only 4 GTX 2080ti’s…

Why does your shop, have to be a Mac shop? I just don’t get it.


Just think that with 10k$ you could build a top notch WS for your main tasks and a separate very powerful rendet node at the same time. Giving 10k and having a 18c/32t cpu for final product rendering is a total waste of money imo.
Why does it have to be a mac?


The funny thing is that if somebody ask me about buying a new Windows PC I try to give advice about building the best hardware for their needs, I do not tell him: hey, just buy a Mac instead! On the other end as soon as someone ask about a Mac every PC user come in advising to get a PC because of this and that(carefully avoiding to tell the downside). I own both MacOS and Windows system(more PC than Mac actually) and I still think that having a MacOS machine/OS as main workstation represent an additional value beside the hardware cost(unless you have specific needs).
As a matter of fact PC requires more management than Mac, I can do that by my self but If I have to factor in the cost of my time for building and managing my machines over the years, probably PC will end up cost as much or more than my Mac(that has needed zero maintenance in the same period of time).
So, if you have specific software needs(like running CUDA only renderer or running 3DSMax for example) then buy a PC(you can do that on Mac too but is not the best solution), if you enjoy MacOS then buy a Mac regardless what PC folks says.
To be more specific about your question, IMO the best bang for the buck is to buy a 10core model, and add a Windows render slave to bring additional render power when/if needed, but before advising about what iMacPro to buy, you should provide some more info about your job, like what renderer you use, how big are the scene you work with ecc.


Thanks for your replies. I appreciate it. Regarding the Mac/Windows issue, I’ve worked with both. As we know, this is a very personal issue in our work. But, I never felt as comfortable with Windows as I do with Macs - even after years of working with Windows machines. I run a small shop and am my own techie, so I depend on myself for all tech related issues.

I still consider myself a C4D newbie and found one of the response entry questions very intriguing and related to my original question. The entry was what renderer do I use? I simply use the renderer included with C4D (R19). Should I be considering another? If so, any suggestions? I have several machines where I use Team Render Client, but the rendering still takes a lot of time. So, I’m looking for ways to improve rendering and a new machine with lots of cores and ram appears to be one option.

Any other renderers you would recommend I consider?


The thing is you can still have a mac workstation for front end, and a windows renderslave.

Cinema 4D internal renderers can do a great job, but they’re not the fastest around, that is why some people choose other third party renderers. But not all of them work great on a Mac with an AMD card (because of CUDA).

Another option is to keep your cash and use a renderfarm when you have a big animation job. It’s easier to bill to the clients and you have access to thousands of cores at once.


I would seriously consider one of the top gpu renderers, like Octane or Redshift. Especially with Nvlink (which is officially supported by the new 2080 (-ti) , you can add the Vram of all gpus with only a small penalty in rendering times, but a huge Vram bucket of 4x8 (32) or 4x11 (44)gb. Most of the modern renderers (Redshift for sure) supports out of core rendering, so even if your Vram isn’t enough it can bypass it through the system’s RAM.

You can achieve such a configuration with a fraction of the 10K$ you mentioned.
Here are some interesting links you can study a bit about the new RTX technologies:


It doesn’t work like that using consumer cards, you can add the VRAM from just two cards and actually no renderer beside Vray can take advantage of this feature. So even with 4 or more GPUs you will still be limited to 16 or 22GB depending on your choice.


I guess you’re right. And thanks for correcting me. I had this in mind but it’s with gpgpu tesla or quadro cards

Still, it’s possible to have 2 pairs of RTX Quadro gpus (2x2 nvlinks) like this configuration.
So, it can be done with lets say 4 RTX5000, but with two pairs with 32gb Vram each.


I started going through some youtube reviews of the iMac Pro to get a sense of user experiences. Although people seemed to like it, especially Final Cut Pro users, they also started off talking about the upcoming release of the Modular Mac Pros. I have an older Mac Pro which I use as part of my Team Render Client, but it is not modular. The release of the upcoming Modular Mac Pros will mean that all the key components of the new Mac Pros will be upgradable similar to how the earlier Mac Pro Towers used to be. Very interesting.


There is no funny. thing, It is quite simple, Windows systems have more performance for the cost. If the inverse was true many would advice Mac.


100% true**, it’s also true that a 50K$ Corvette is much faster than a 200K $ Bentley, for many people the comfort is equally or more important than pure performance and in many ways comfort results in more productivity and less stress. I would never advise a Mac for a render node because for that purpose you basically need just pure performance, but as a workstation I still recommend a Mac, of course if you enjoy the OS, if it will fit your needs, and you can afford it. Since the OP specifically ask for a Mac I can’t see why somebody would advice otherwise, I’m sure he/she is not stupid and have valued other option before posting.

**While it’s true that you can build a faster system using desktop parts, as soon as you use 1:1 the same workstation component(same Xeon, same ECC RAM, same GPU, same storage, comparable screen ecc), the price will be nearly identical to a PC.


Quote :**While it’s true that you can build a faster system using desktop parts, as soon as you use 1:1 the same workstation component(same Xeon, same ECC RAM, same GPU, same storage, comparable screen ecc), the price will be nearly identical to a PC.


We do this on here once in a while, this Mac vs PC shite. I’ve got nothing to say anymore about people’s choices. Hell the fact that half of the industry is running on either antiquated or slower hardware than me, works great for my line of work and regularly lines my pockets. ‘I’ get the productivity boost you speak of - Not you! Here renders are 2.5. faster… I don’t spend any time diagnosing hardware issues or running into problems that people assume are inherent with Windowz - End of story.

I draw a line though when people make unfounded claims that prices would be identical, if we PC users just trade up and stop buying components from the bargain bin. Newsflash: Many of us are using equally capable quality components, some go out of their way to buy the best of the best. I can assure you that if I were to price up every single part of a new Mac, that the price would be marked up by 200%.

So have fun with Apple swindling you, while you’re convinced you’re using the Bentley of computers and we PC users are stuck with something lesser. If you want to believe that, I say in this age of misinformation, where facts are few and experts are many. Good with all of that…


Maybe we poor Mac user(in my case Mac/PC user) do not like to deal with stuff like this(you can guess by your self who wrote this :wink: and those are just the first two example I’ve founded but there are tons of it):

"My mobo has 3 bios’ in total, so if one fails, you have two more chances.
With the current bios and the 980 ti installed, my machine wouldn’t boot.

So I flashed the bios, put the card back in and everything seemed fine.

To answer your question. The 980ti flies in Octane and made a noticeable difference to viewport performance.

Sadly though. I noticed a critical error with the new bios. Instead of the CPU’s reducing voltage and under-clocking automatically during an idle period. All 16 of them we’re being throttled and running at max voltage all the time. Increasing my temps, my electricity bill and decreasing the life of the CPU’s.

I contacted EVGA and they couldn’t help. So now I have a wonderful GPU collecting dust until a new bios is released."

or this:
“Figured it was high time I did a re-format on my machine”

I even remember the same user;) writing that a crappy 2013 MP was faster than his super duper Windows workstation when it came to material editing in Vray.

That’s what I call the comfort to be on a Mac, and about pricing and maintenance there are opinion and statistic far more significant than mine:

And congratulation, yet another time PC users turned a Mac related question in to a Mac VS PC childish thread. Leaving the thread since I’m too old for this.


The only sensible option imho is to pick whichever system you like as your workstation, then throw cheap windows machines in a cupboard for rendering. Buying a mac to just sit there and donate it’s cpu power is a terrible waste of money. You’re either throwing away a chunk of money on a screen if you pick an imac pro, or buying horribly outdated and overpriced hardware with a trashcan mac pro.

If it absolutely has to be a mac, at least wait out their new pro machine which has a moderate chance of being modern and wont force you to waste half the budget on screens, keyboards, mice and gpus.


So old and mature, you went digging around the web for my old hardware posts.


If you must stay on a Mac, like me, look at building a thread ripper render slave if you are using The C4d standard or physical renderer.

AMD has amazing bang for buck. You can get a decent deal on a thread ripper machine building it yourself, or ordering one with a bare bones GPU from a shop.

If you are using a CPU bound 3rd party solution like Corona, also get a thread ripper as a slave and stay on your Mac.

If you re going the GPU route and must stay on a Mac, the regular iMac with 2x 1080TI in eGPU enclosures, but do not upgrade to Mac OS Mojave. CUDA does not work there yet and nVidia is supposedly working on it.

If you are going to use something like Cycles 4d, that also works with team render. You can put 2x GPU on your Mac, and throw some GPUs in a PC render slave and do the same thing. At that point, get the cheapest thread ripper board for the PCI lanes and throw 3-4 GPUs in it and keep it as a slave.

The nice thing about the slave is having a backup C4d machine if anything goes wrong. :slight_smile:

As for Mac/PC, I know this hurts… I’m a Mac guy. But there are so many reasons I regret buying my Mac. uRender is PC only. The full Quixel suite is PC only (Mac version announced in March, but no news since then). Apple dropping support of Open GL, Open CL, etc. The new nVidia 20XX series only works on PC for now. nVidia cards don’t work with C4d Pro Render on Mac, making them useless for anything but 3rd party renderers. Apple eGPU solutions don’t work in bootcamp. Apple doesn’t have AMD as an option for cheap multithreaded machines. The list is growing.

I do not like windows after my experience building my own PC and having tons of motherboard/bios problems. But I freely admit that PC offers so many benefits that I am considering selling my iMac.

EDIT - why does my name say “pro” best to it? I’m no pro. I’m a hobbyist at best!


How can a motherboard problem be anything to do with the operating system? Take it up with Asus, Gigabyte etc not Microsoft.


Thanks for the tip, but I did. There was much more to my PC issues than just the motherboard. Perhaps with my next PC I can message you with any troubles that pop up! I’m sure I’ll get a few showstoppers just like my last one. :hugs:


I started this thread requesting feedback about my interest in the iMac Pro. After reading the posts and doing additional research, I’ve decided to put that idea on hold. The thing that is intriguing me now is the upcoming release of the Modular Mac Pro and Mac Pro Display. My equipment needs to support C4D, Final Cut Pro and Digital Performer digital audio workstation (DAW) including Vienna Ensemble Pro. This involves the networked use of multiple computers.

Years ago I started out using Windows and Mac and found my personal choice is to use Macs. Although Macs started out being the personal choice for many professionals, since then, Apple has put much of its resources in consumer products and not professional products.

The upcoming release of the Modular Mac Pro and Mac Pro Display are some of the first products being released by Apple to possibly resume their interest in professional products. The iMac Pro is also a step in that direction, but has obvious built in limitations. From what I’ve read, Apple has consulted with professional developers to help assess their needs to know what we need to do our work. I would assume that Apple wants to support Final Cut Pro users. But, I’m hoping they will also tap into the needs of DAW and 3D users. The upcoming Apple event on October 30th may give a glimpse into more. We’ll see.

Thanks again for all of the great ideas generated on this helpful site!