Best Machines for Rhino + GH

Hi All,

I’ve returned to school and am an architectural design student. I’ve been digging into grasshopper modeling and parametric design on my 2014 MacBook Air (1.4 GHz Intel core i5, 4GB 1600 MHz DDR3, Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB), but as my programs grow my computer has started to crash on me and its clear I need a new machine for my modeling and rendering. Thinking I want a dedicated machine for all of my design software:

Rhino 6 + Grasshopper (firefly, weaverbird, lunchbox, mesh+, kangaroo, +)
Adobe (Ai, Ps, Id)
Arduino IDE
TwinMotion / Unreal Engine

I’m probably going to go with a non-mac for access to all of the foodforrhino plug ins - but have no idea what to look for in terms of hardware specs as I’ve been a mac guy since the old school iMac G3.

Whats a good brand to look at? Is linux idiot friendly? Should I get a gaming PC? what are the specs I should look for on graphics, memory and processing to best support large models and renders?

Many thanks!

It depends, but I doublt you’ll get Rhino running under Linux.

If you plan to play games, sure :slight_smile:

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Nothing is “idiot friendly”. :rofl:
An opinion from my direct experience: linux is not even just “friendly”…
Anyway this question if off topic and can easily lead useless discussions.

Modern games are averagely speaking “heavy”. If a PC can handle modern games decently, it will probably also handle well Rhino+Grasshopper.

Probably the best machine to work with rhino is a Windows-running PC with a CPU that performs well in single threaded tasks… but sure, having at least 4 cores today is a must.

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GH is primarily a single threaded application, so the overall speed of calculation depends almost exclusively on the CPU cycle time (GHz), not the number of “cores”. For serious design work you’re best benefit will come from having 2 monitors. I run GH on a 4K primary screen and put Rhino on a 2080x1080 secondary screen. I only use Rhino for viewing, exporting, screenshots, etc.

My system has no video card, and for non-gaming use I see no need for one. My Intel i7-8700 (and all i7’s) have built-in graphics support for 2 monitors. All you have to do is plug them in and specify which is primary and which is secondary.

Assuming you don’t want to build your system yourself I think your best bet for a pre-built system is Dell (although they have become somewhat proprietary over the years.) Before I started building my own systems I had good results from configuring a system at a custom builder like CyberPower - just Google “custom system builder” and find one near you that you can go talk to.

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Don’t forget RAM, hitting RAM limits is easy now a days. At least 16gb is recommended, I suggest 32-64 if you want to be able to use other software / do other tasks as gh computes.

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