Good build (PC/Workstation) for Rhino 6.0 + GH


I am looking for PC’s (bang for my buck) which can run Rhino 6 and Grasshopper smoothly. To give you a bit of context: We are a young team which is developing a grasshopper script to make designing and CNC production of houses automated based on our self-engineerd building system. This means that we have an R&D team which makes Grasshopper scripts and tests them in Rhino 6 and a Design-team which works in the Rhino+Grasshopper environment to make designs for clients. Our script works mostly by creating Databases with meshes in blocks. When designers work in our script the blocks are called from their databases onto the 3D environment. [Edit: We don’t render in our office, so take that in mind as well]
Beside Rhino, we also sometimes use a bit of Autocad and some Adobe Suite software like Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. If you need any more information from me to help me decide, please let me know.

Budget is around 800-1200 euro’s per PC and I also made already 3 candidates (See below). What I’m not so sure of is:
-What type of processor do I need? (I believe Quadcore is sufficient right?)
-How much RAM is enough? 16GB is minimum I believe, is more really necessary?
-What type of videocard is needed (fast performace for low price is what I’m looking for, the Quadro card seems kinda low in price/quality regarding speed, so I’m inclined to go GeForce, but unsure)

Option 1:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3400G - Quad Core
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB
  • GeIL ValueRAM 24GB DDR4-2133
  • 2x SSD 240GB Kingston A400
  • Price: 889

Option 2:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-7740X - Quad Core
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB
  • GeIL ValueRAM 32GB DDR4-2133
  • 2x SSD 240GB Kingston A400
  • Price: 1678

Option 3:

  • Intel Core i7-9700, 8 cores, 12 MB cache, 3,0 Ghz, 4,7 Ghz Turbo met UHD Graphics 630
  • NVIDIA® Quadro® P620, 2 GB, 4 mDP naar DP-adapter
  • 16 GB 2 x 8 GB DDR4 2666 MHz UDIMM Non-ECC
  • M.2 256 GB PCIe NVMe klasse 40 Solid State-schijf
  • Price: 1341

Option 4: (Refurbished model)

  • Core i7 - 4770
  • NVIDIA Geforce 1050 TI (4GB)
  • 32GB Ram
  • 500GB SSD
  • Price: 850

If you know a build which suits better, please post it!

Thank you!

Hi @eldin

I’ll start of this and hopefully you’ll get lots of other responses as well.
Both Rhino and Grasshopper are highly single thread dependent as I’m sure you’re aware.

Personally I think Option 2 is the best looking on here.

  • i7 7740x has the highest base clock of all the cpu here + like you said if you’re not doing rendering or intend on doing ‘in house’ final renders in the future you’ll be fine.
  • GPU, GTX 1660 is solid for your price point with a bit of future proofing, and RTX/Quadros at this price would offer no benefits I could see.
  • RAM, I’m assuming for this that most of these are pre-builds? So you don’t have to worry about upgrading in the near future.
    — I would check what your current RAM usage is, but 32gb is future proofing.

Reasons I don’t like the other options as much

  • Option 1
    — 24gb RAM sounds like 2x8gb + 2x4gb, terrible if you find you want to upgrade to 32gb in the future.
    — Lower base clock and boost on CPU
  • Option 3
    — Basically the Quadro, I’ve never considered anything below the P4000 unless I was using Siemens NX which is a quadro only zone.
  • Option 4
    — 4th gen intel, only supports ddr3 RAM which on average is slower (though it does depend)
    — 1050ti, had one, didn’t think it was amazing just meh and it’s a little under powered for future proofing

I’ll do this as a separate reply.

You said you use Photoshop and other adobe softwares, but how much?
The reason I ask is most people that use photoshop do and should have a scratch disk, that is a drive with nothing on it, only dedicated to temporary photoshop cache; which can wear down a drive quicker than standard use.

Also do you work of a network storage device or is all the date stored on individual machines? Because if you are just saving and loading data from the individual machines, I would recommend at least 1 HDD or backing up your machines religiously (would recommend backing up regardless obviously :joy:).


Photoshop: Not a lot at all, it’s mostly just occasionally but it is nowhere near a weekly task. Probably once a month.
Illustrator: Once or twice a month maybe?
Indesign: One day a week.

We work from Gsuite, so we don’t use local storage.

Thanks for your reply!

Option 2 is ofcourse the best one yes, but the price is also quite high. I was wondering if I could go with a NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB instead (85 euro’s less in price), or would that be a dumb move?

Concerning the price, and the builds being not pre-made, what if I changed option 1 to the following:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600x - 6 Cores (3.8-4.4 GHz)
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB
  • GeIL ValueRAM 32GB DDR4-2133
  • 2x SSD 240GB Kingston A400
  • Price: 1024

So it becomes around 150,- more, but improved clockspeed and 32gb ram. Or is option 2 for 650 euro more better, because it’s quite the price difference.

Hmm, this is an interesting one.
Personally I’ve never been able to validate the performance impact if various GPUs on Rhino or Grasshopper Viewports and I’m not sure anyone else has.

That being said what I would not go below a base 1660.
3600x is a little better option over the 3400G at a small price increase (but worth it).

A lot of people also forget that CPUs haven’t improved a whole lot in clock speed, as much as they have in power consumption and cores.

I would like to hear peoples opinions on 2133mhz ram, some people condsider 2666-3200 to be a good base but with only a few % extra performance and that’s mainly when running all cores and threads. So I wouldn’t be worried as it’s only Rhino.

You’re new configuration is fine in my opinion. See if you can swap out one of the SSDs for an NVME.
A good point of going for Ryzen is the AM4 socket compatibility over Intels.

Just to give you an idea my oldest machine is a i7-4790, 32gb ddr3 1666mhz, GTX 1070, with a lot of drives, and she can still keep up fine in Rhino with my new beefier Intel and Ryzen PCs. That being said ddr3 only supports 32gb ram and my work can go beyond that.
And for buying new PCs I wouldn’t recommend going that far back.

I hope this helps and please do ask more questions if necessary.

As you don’t use photoshop too much, I would simply recommend partitioning one of your drives, then assigning the scratch disk to that partition; so it only wears down that portion of the drive.

I’m going to add this because someones going to read it and make a fuss.
3600x vs 3600, some people say it’s worthless to pay the extra.
I can’t really make this decision for anyone, however 3600x vs 3700x in this case, yes 3600x if only because it has a higher base clock per core which is what you’re interested in.

3600x vs 3600, I believe you get a better stock cooler, please check though; and yes the 3600x has a higher TDP, but when have you ever seen the modelling viewport (not rendering) pulling 100% CPU

[Edit] Most people say not worth the money because they’re willing to overclock the 3600 themselves, but hey goodbye warranty in most situations and most companies would rather pay the extra for the security.

Gunna throw another curveball into the mix 1660 vs 1660 super, if the price is the same and there should be no decrease on performance (just what out for OC) the super could be better.
I don’t actually know too much about the improved performance of GDDR5 vs GDDR6, so you would have to look it up.
Chances are it might only have an effect on gaming for a card in this range, but not something I have cared about personally.

If it’s more don’t bother though, from the reviews which are all aimed at gaming benchmarks, you’d be better downloading RAM :joy:.

Well let me think :thinking: Just from the pricetag Option 2 is the best. For 100% more money you get better hardware. This rare statement is still true for some industries,for pc hardware it definitely is.
Do you need it? Buy Option 1 and 2 and after a year you tell us if its worth. That would actually be the first useful reply to a hardware thread.:wink:

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I’m looking for the ‘best bang for my buck’, so it isn’t perse that a twice more expensive machine is what best for me.

I’m thinking now of getting this machine, what’s your opinion?

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600x - 6 Cores (3.8-4.4 GHz)
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660 6GB
  • GeIL ValueRAM 32GB DDR4-2133
  • 2x SSD 240GB Kingston A400
  • Price: 1024

I mean you can have two workstations for the price of one. And seriously I really believe you can do alot with an intermediate Hardware in terms of Rhino and Grasshopper. If you need high performance then its almost because of processing heavy data or rendering purposes. The first is almost always the result of bad work and bad workflows.The second is a very specialized task and can also be dealed by using Renderfarms or by owning only one High-End Pc.

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@TomTom I agree that you could get 2 workstations for the price of one, but I never believe in buying a minimum spec machine for what you want to do, especially in the case of future proofing.

The real truth is that there is not a lot of helpful guides out there for the basic work stations, so most people end up going over kill; which is not always bad, as most people end up learning or using other software. Plus I know maybe 1 person who only uses their PC professionally for 3D modelling and nothing else.

@eldin, I think Ryzen would be the best way to go. If you wanted reduce cost more you could even step the CPU down to 2nd Gen Ryzen, the 2600x is still a good processor and is compatible with the same motherboards as the 3600x (thank you AM4).

Like I said in an earlier post I would check what your current RAM usage is for the biggest file you currently handle, if it’s below 10gb you might be fine with 2x8gb for now, then stick another 2x8gb in later. Though if your motherboard only has 2 RAM slots 2x16gb would be better for upgrade sake.
Note: For Ryzen, 2 RAM sticks performs better than 1 (e.g. 2x8gb is better than 1x16gb and 2x16gb is better than 1x32gb)

I don’t usually give specific help on generic PCs because of all the guides, but when it comes to the workstation not for rendering, there’s not much out there.

Please do keep responding with your opinions, I think these threads are really good for the community.

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Ryzen 7 2700 + GTX 2060 is a option?
2x 8gb 3000mhz.

@tiagopontelli, the only reason I haven’t mentioned the 2700 was the base clock of 3.2 and the extra cores not making any difference in Rhino or Grasshopper.

I have a spare Athlon 200ge lying around with a 3.2 base clock. I could install it and see how it compares against other CPUs


basically from what I gather you are between the 7740x and the 3600x.

Firstly, I would recommend against the 7740x, especially not for a “best bang for my buck” build. Why? The reason is the socket, and by extension the price of the motherboard. The 7740x has the LGA2066 socket, which is designed for workstations. as such the motherboards tend to be much more expensive.

In terms of AMD processors, the performance difference between the 3600 and the 3600x is often negligable, with the 3600 being quite a bit cheaper (source). Beyond that, it is true that the 3600x has a higher clock speed, and the same can probably be achieved by overclocking the 3600, but that is up to the user. And yes, as has been mentioned, if you mess up the overclock you can lose your warranty, so unless you know what you’re doing I wouldn’t recommend it.
Of course the performance in Rhino might be differently affected than their benchmarks, but that’s all we can go by.

Graphics card

In my experience Rhino is not particularly demanding, so I agree that th 1660 is probably the best choice.


Here I think it might be worth it to spend a little more, as the performance could actually be affected. If you check out this source you can see that memory speed actually can matter (they tested with RAM from 2400MHz to 4200MHz) for the performance, which is especially true for Ryzen processors. Whether the 10-or-so percent performance improvement is worth the investment is your choice.

Everything else

I think 2 SSDs are perfectly fine and I don’t think you would notice a significant difference from moving to a NVME SSD. The stock cooler should be good enough for the Ryzen processors, but could be an upgrade later down the line.


How many are you buying?
if >1 -
a. buy the cheapest and test it.
1. If it works - buy more.
2. if not - give the machine to an admin
b. buy the #2 machine and test it.
1. etc…
You’ll have the cheapest solution and the bang for your buck.

You have bigger issues to deal with if you are a true development group. Domain/Network management and security, OS upgrades, driver upgrades, license management, etc.

But - Regarding a PC selection -

  1. Rhino rarely needs extensive amounts of RAM (not more than >32Gb - 16Gb works fine, less than 16Gb does not make economic sense)
  2. Processor speed is less of an issue with today’s i7 series. Don’t buy an i5 machine.
  3. Your OS and other programs are the true RAM users. What programs are you running in the background the OS will swap out?
  4. Rendering will go faster on a better GPU. Quadro’s are a waste of $$. Buy MORE CUDA cores per euro or dollar. You won’t be disappointed.
    a. GPU renderers make more sense today - but if you are running a CPU renderer then you better buy a fast CPU.
  5. You’re going to need more NAS in a development environment.
  6. Local storage minimum should be 1Tb - 500Gb SSD for your programs and at least a 1Tb for user storage.
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