CAD Workstation Build For Rhino and Grasshopper

Its time for me to build another CAD workstation. What are the computer parts that are most important for working with large models in Rhino and Grasshopper? I will also be doing lots of work in Revit, and rendering with V-Ray for Rhino / 3DS Max and Twin Motion with VR.

CPU: Single Core Clock Speed or Multi Core Total?
AMD - 3970X
INTC - 11900KF
AMD - 5950X
INTC - 10980X

RAM: 64 GB / MAYBE 128

GPU: RTX 3080 / 3090


Where is the money best spent for performance building a PC for Grasshopper?

For modelling in Rhino and most GH work, single-core speed is more important, but since AMD Ryzen 5xxx series seems to be the overall winner in both single and multicore workload anyways its a no-brainer. For GPU, due to the market prices right now its hard to recommend anything really, but if you have the budget the 3090 might be cheaper relativly than a 3080(judging msrp and current price markup). 64GB/128GB and 1/2tb depending on budget, bigger is better but might not be fully necessary - really depends on your workload. You can always add RAM.

In general the higher the price, the better the component. However, we talk about 10 or 15 % under ideal conditions. GPU Rendering is such an edge case. In fact, Rhino and GH are computing many things single-threaded, so single core performance is the key metric here.

But in general, the question is more related to questions like: “I need a new car to commute to work, half of my route is on the Autobahn, so which car is the fastest?”
Of course owning a fast car, doesn’t necessarily mean you will arrive faster at work!

So also plan to spend money on knowledge, because very often the user is the bottleneck.


It depends upon the task at hand. I know for me a Ryzen 9 5950 would be a good choice; it’s MSRP is well under $1K and it has good speed for a 16 core processor. Why multi-core? I want to use CFD on all my new boat designs and for CFD, the more cores the merrier (there is actually a limit) and for rendering under V5 the more cores the merrier as the older Flamingo render engine is CPU core intensive. What do you need to do? Check software requirements outside of Rhino to assure your decision as to speed vs. core count.

Where can I upgrade the user? Maybe Newegg? :grinning:

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Isn’t Elon Musk trying to sell neuro-implants? I mean you could ask me… But if people talk about “upgrading” they usually mean the “best for no money”. I guess platforms like Discount.McNeel, Fiverr and Upwork, deliver many slaves to create the next voronoi cheese grater ;).

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From observations here it seems like a huge number of Rhino users are on some 2015-vintage laptop. Anything that’s not that will be good.

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