CPU and GPU upgrade suggestions


My employee has a Lenovo P520 with these specs :

  • Xeon E5-1620v4 (4 cores/8 threads, 3.5 GHz - 3.8 GHz)
  • 32 go DDR4
  • Quadro M2000 (770 CUDA Cores, 4 go)
  • 490W power supply

She uses Rhino 6 with Vray (GPU rendering) for architectural modelling.

The performance on Rhino is pretty bad since I bought the PC ~2.5 years ago ; the pc lags a lot when rendering on GPU, the real-time view has a OK performance only, the rendering is slow, …

We tried the GTX 1650 Super (from another pc) and the performance is WAY better in a lot of ways, but I want more. I particularly find the CPU frequencies quite low compared with today’s standards.

So I have 2 options :

Option a)
GPU upgrade to a RTX 2070 Super (the price is ok) or RTX 2080 Super (only if it’s really worth it…). About 800-1100 $CAN.

Option b)
A new custom built pc with 32 go ram and the same GPU as option a. For the CPU I am hesitant between a i7-9700k (539$CAN), Ryzen 7 3800X (480$CAN) or i7-10700k (630$CAN). I know it’s the single core performance that matters… It would be about 2200 - 2400$CAN.

Thanks a lot for any suggestions :wink:

Get a graphics card and see how things run for awhile. Before considering a new custom build. I’d look for a used 1080 ti. You won’t regret having the extra 3 GB of vram.

thanks. I need reliable hardware so a used GPU is out of the question. 8 go of VRAM is enough for my usage. The real problem is that the E5-1620v4 is rated at 140W and the RTX 2070 Super at 215W but the PSU is only 490W… I will check how much would cost a Lenovo 650W PSU (they are not standard), but it would be a dead weight since it can’t be transferred to a new pc in the future.

If you’re doing GPU rendering you need all the CUDA cores you can get, and the next best thing to a 2080ti is a 1080ti…depending on how much benefit there is from RTX support. Also the prices of the current-gen cards has always been kind of stupidly high and it’s long past time for the next-gen to come out.


I would get the most vram possible. The new GPU rendering is using a lot. Normally being one model down from Nvidias’s top model is best bang for your buck. For instance the 2070 instead of the 2080.


Thanks. A 2070S is 800$CAN and a 2080S 1100$CAN. I could maybe find a used 1080Ti for 850-950 $CAN. And it has a lot more CUDA Cores. But buying used hardware always comes with uncertainties… Also, there is a RTX optimized Vray option for rendering that could potentially cancel the benefits of having more CUDA Cores vs not having RTX enabled.

Yes, but time is money also. at 1100$CAN a RTX 2080S just starts becoming expensive.

There are deals out there. I bought a Titan xp in Vancouver for $500. I see the 1080 ti for $700 all the time. There are lots of people with full time jobs and a family. That sell them because they don’t have the time to game anymore. Those cards have been barely used and never overclocked.

yes, I checked on Kijiji and Ebay and I could have one easily for 770$CAN including shipping. Il’ think about it

Don’t you have craigslist in Quebec?

People use Craigslist in Vancouver? It’s mostly Facebook and Kijiji out East. Kijiji(though some sections seem to be taken over by garbage ads,) is an interesting story as a spin-off from eBay tailored to the preferences of the Canadian market, you don’t see a lot of that regional specialization from the big tech companies…but I digress.

Craigslist is huge in Vancouver and almost no where else in BC or Canada. I can’t explain it.

CPU benchmarks: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/

GPU (graphics card) benchmarks: https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/

the most powerful GPUs (graphics cards, 2020-6-3): https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-hierarchy,4388.html

I looked a bit more at benchmarks and yes the 1080 Ti has way more cores than the RTX 2070 Super, but it’s a 3 years old card on a different architecture ; in benchmarks the performance is pretty similar. The only big difference is the 11 gb of VRAM compared to the 8 go of the 2070S, but the day Il’ need that much VRAM, I will probably need a new GPU anyway.

You’ll need it for vray fur/grass or big models with complex HD textures. Vray will still render an image just without the textures. Simple small product renders you’ll be fine.

We have 1080Tis and 2080TIs, so in both cases there is an 11GB limit. We hit it regularly when doing complex product scenes, especially if heavy textures and/or displacements are being used.

The rendering speed difference between 2070S and 1080TI might not be that much, but the ram different might be what allows to to render at all, or it doesn’t.


So we finally decided to build a new PC.

Specs :

  • Ryzen 7 3700X (415$CAN)
  • aftermarket CPU cooler
  • 32 go ram
  • RTX 2070 Super Palit JS (740$CAN)

Would it be worth it to buy the 3800X (+60$ CAN) or the 3900X (+225$CAN) for a bit of future proofing in Rhino? The single core performance is a bit better, but I’m not sure if 12 cores will be useful in the future (> 3-4 years)