Getting into Rhino for jewelry

Hello everyone!

So… I’ve always sketched jewelry as a hobby. My SO is encouraging me in pursuing this further.

One problem… I am brand new to this. I don’t own a PC capable of running Rhino 8 (let alone a Rhino license).

On the other hand, i would only use it to learn to design jewelry, not… buildings, or boats, engines, or whatever. I don’t know if my use case would make it worth investing in a pricey workstation, feeling like I would exploit 10% of its capabilitles.

So, does a “Rhino 8 for jewelry” version exist? Is it a plug-in, a module, a library? Can i get it with the student version?

On the hardware side of things, given my use case:

  1. Windows PC or Mac (M3)?
  2. Would I be better off with a high-core-count CPU? On one hand, I’ve read around that rhino only takes advantage of only 2 CPU cores is it true? OTOH, I’ve read people recommending crazy Xeon workstations just for running Rhino… Why?
  3. Do i need a discrete graphics card in my case?
  4. If so, would having an Nvidia rather than an AMD GPU make a difference when running Rhino?
  5. If so, in my case, what generation(s)? What series? What’s the rationale? What technologies or drivers am I supposed to look for?
  6. Are there any laptop series you would recommend?

I’m not on a tight budget, but I am surely not spending 4k on a workstation either.
I can build my own PC or just buy a mac mini or a laptop.
I don’t need to be lighting fast, just to get by without any hiccups.


start here-

Hardware side, for Desktop:

  1. Either should be fine, but I have never had an Apple product.

  2. Rhino is mostly single core. Generally, you would want an Intel 12600K or an AMD 5800X(3D, but the X3D is really for gaming). 8(x2)/12 cores and 16 threads will give you a good and balanced build that should last you many years. The only reason for higher core counts is for CPU-based rendering using something like Cycles.

  3. Yes, a discrete card should always be specified, even in mobile solutions.

  4. Rhino works best with with Nvidia GPUs (Viewport works with all 3 vendors, but Cycles raytracing only has CUDA/OptiX). Blender Cycles, which is used by some here for final rendering, generally adopts all 3 vendors (Nvidia, AMD, Intel). Most people here, and I, would recommend sticking to Nvidia.

  5. Generally the latest generation you can get is better, especially regards Nvidia OptiX hardware acceleration. If you wish to purchase now, then I would recommend the RTX 4070 Super. It has 12 GB of VRAM, and is probably the most “reasonable” mid-range GPU of the RTX range.

  6. There are many laptop series that exist, generally, as laptop GPUs are lesser specifications by nature, at the same naming level, you may want to go as far as an RTX 4080 Mobile GPU. Again, 8 cores and 16 threads is fine here. If you want an RTX 4080 Mobile, then you are of the order $2000 for a gaming class laptop/mobile workstation.

For jewellery, consider your choice of renderer as well. You may want features that are good for gem rendering. Some renderers are still CPU only, some are hybrid (CPU and/or GPU), and some are GPU only, with limited support for specific GPU vendors (usually Nvidia).

Hello Edward,

If SO is senior advisor then- I imagine- being a student and not yet having a PC for running Rhino then maybe in conjunction with the Learn to use Rhino link material there is a computer lab where you could use Rhino and learn / explore some. Hopefully, this will give you a start as to the computer configuration you need. Taking a look at both the Rendering and Hardware sections of this website will help and last a technique I have found useful for configuring a Workstation is here:

Thank you,


Plugins for rhino do exist. Here area a few described: