Computer for Rhino + Flamingo


I’m in the process of buying a stationary computer for work and would like some input on my components. My work consists of (apart from all ordinary office stuff) mainly building medium-ish sized models of kitchen interiors in Rhino + Grasshopper, and then rendering different angles in Flamingo (I’m architect at a kitchen/interior carpentry). The models are not at all too heavy, but rendering takes way too long at the laptop (:confounded:) I’m working on right now. So while I’m not doing the most detailed/complex/large models, I still want them to flow smoothly while working, and then render quickly as I normally want to produce ~5 angles in short time.

I’ve been working on a component list at a Swedish (where I live) computer website where I can change configuration starting from a standard setup. A word here and there is in Swedish, but the component names are ofc the same as anywhere:

Link to the site where I can make the different choices (this is their standard configuration):

So, a few questions:

  • The 6-core CPU that is standard in this configuration should be more than enough right? They have an 8-core as second option, but it adds some 900 USD or so to the price…
  • Is 32 Gb RAM overkill, is 16 enough? On my current laptop I only use 4 of 8 Gb when the CPU is maxed out, but maybe this CPU will perform well enough to allow full use of 16 Gb RAM?
  • I guess the GPU listed above should be well enough for my needs?
  • Is there any “weak link” in my setup that I should upgrade to optimize the setup?
  • Is there any “overkill” component that never will use it’s full potential?

Any comments on the list above would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been trying to read up on this but it’s quite a jungle for a beginner… Feel free to ask questions if you need a better picture of my needs.


Hi Josua,

If the computer is for rendering with Flamingo and you want to speed things up, then I’d recommend as many cores and as many RAM as you can get your hands on. My 2 cents…

  • vanessa

Thanks for your input Vanessa. Obviously, more is always better when it comes to computers, but the question is how much time it saves me and to what cost?

Thing is, my renders are not hour long processes even now with my 2 cores @ 1,4 GHz, they’re more like 5-10 min each… But as they slow down any other applications (by using 100% CPU), I’m stuck wasting a lot of time if I do many renders in a day (including test renders). But the question is not “how do I make the time as short as possible?” but rather “how do I make 5-10 min into 1-2 min?”. If 6 cores and 16 Gb RAM gets me down to 1 min, I won’t spend 1000 USD more to get to 30 sec…

Obviously the times above are just examples, but hopefully it illustrates what I’m looking for. :smile:

It’s been a while, but I think @scottd has some statistics on diminishing returns on more cores and more RAM with Flamingo.
My guess it needs to be updated to be relevant but I’ll check with him.

Is this Flamingo nXt running under 64-bit Rhino V5?

Sounds interesting! And yes, I’m running Rhino 5 on 64 bit with Flamingo nXt…

After reading up a bit more, I’m leaning towards the better CPU after all, and then overclocking it to a “safe” level… That could give me something really good for both render and model work.

Something more like this:

Not sure if power supply and cooler will be enough though…

I was asked on another forum why I’ve listed a Quadro GPU when neither Rhino nor Flamingo would need it, and this person recommended a GTX card instead. Is this a good advice? Most sites seem to recommend Quadro cards for CAD, but perhaps Rhino don’t need that?

Quadros are intended for high-end, high specification OpenGL requirements. Rhino uses OpenGL 2.0. V6 will take advantage of higher OpenGL specs. eventually but I doubt that will translate into speeds fast enough to justify the price difference.
Personally, I’d go for a GTX, but that’s me.

OK… And I will probably be sticking to v5 for quite some time, plus my models are (at least for now) not all that heavy to work with. I recently got a list of components from a user at another forum, which looks really great for my needs, so I’m probably gonna end up with something like this:

I have just gone down this path and have a different suggestion to make. I am currently running Rhino 5 and Flamingo nXt on a custom built box of the latest and greatest hardware - I-7 5820K 6 core CPU with 128 GB ram on Asus X-99-A with GTX-970 4GB video and SSD boot + data drives. It is a really good performer…
BUT for $250 total, I also bought two refurbished HP Elite 8000 Desktop - Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD, DVDROM, Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit and set them up as a render farm using the software included in the Flamingo license. This allows me to set up the view in Rhino - send the view out to the render farm for processing - and immediately get back to work in Rhino. I can stack as many views into the que as I like and let them run for how ever long it takes. I am currently rendering a number of views of a commercial passenger aircraft interior with many lights and highly detailed textures. Some of these views take 20+ hours at 3200 x 2040 pix for 100 passes.
If I needed more speed I could buy the farm license and throw more boxes into the mix. For the cost of a good new desktop I could have a 10 box render farm and an unlimited nXt Farm license.
You could continue to work with your laptop as is and set up the farm for your renders. It is rather like taking pictures with a film camera and sending to film out for development. The other feature I REALLY like is the ability to post process the render using the nXt editor to get the lighting and other effects as I want them.

Hope that helps,

This is indeed an interesting option as well, but I’m leaning towards keeping the system a bit more simple - simple but powerful… Plus, my renders are never 20+ hours, but rather a minute or two each, and I usually want to watch the results to make sure settings are ok. In other words, I WANT to wait for the render - just as short time as possible :wink:

:no_mouth: Can you post an example of one of your renderings?
It does sound like you could benefit from another render engine.