New PC Build 2021! Is Threadripper a good choice? Or the traditional CPU route?

Hey everyone!

I’m building a new PC. I’ve seen some threads on this here and there, but nothing too definitive.

Put simply, does Rhino benefit from a Threadripper build, or is the something like an i9 or Ryzen 5950X better suited?

Also, how does it work or not work on Rhino 5, Rhino 6, and Rhino 7? I have 5 but sometimes have to use the others depending on the client.

Thank you everyone!

I’m just about done building my new machine, and imho a Threadripper would likely be way overkill, even the 5950x as well. I went with the 3900x personally. There are very few ways you can use multi-threading with Rhino, especially if you’re on 5 (where I believe there’s no way to use multi-threading, but could be wrong). If you have other programs that you use that can utilize the higher core counts (CPU based rendering, video encoding etc) of those processors, then you might be able to make the case for buying them, but if you shell out all that $$ expecting Rhino to utilize them to the max, you’ll be disappointed.

A threadripper build would be overkill for rhino. you only really want a threadripper build if you need:

  • lots of pci-e lanes
  • huge amounts of memory
  • your render engine only supports cpu rendering, not gpu

there are more scenarios of course but these obvious ones probably don’t reflect the needs of even the more demanding rhino users.

an am4 build with a 5950X would be a much better choice. the saved money (on the motherboard, ram, cpu) can be put into a higher end GPU. which will be a problem in the current situation anyway. an i9 from the latest rocket lake / 11th gen would also be very good, though this would draw noticeably more power in order to achieve the same single core performance, while still being way slower in multi threaded.

even with the currently highest end 5950X, there is still an upgrade path for the am4 platform, since amd will stack a layer of extra L3 cache on top of the die. already announced, expected to arrive by the end of this year. not sure though what performance impact this might have for rhino.

if you want to utilize any modern hardware well, you should just use rhino 7, not any of the previous versions. I don’t see any point in using the old versions.

So I currently have a 3900x, and in models where there are upwards of 800x block instances of gems, a fair amount of geometry, and/or imported meshes I have to work with that have high poly counts, all of these it runs extremely slow on unless I lower the render res way way down and turn off a bunch of things which help me see what’s going on better. Would this be an instance where a Threadripper would help?

My build right now is a 3900x, an rtx 3080, and tons of ram. But my models are still previewing very slow. I have a 4k monitor, 800x block instances of gems, a fair amount of geometry, and/or imported meshes I have to work with that have high poly counts, all of these it runs extremely slow. I have to hide a bunch of layers to get it to run snappy again. This might be a call for Threadripper, I think no?

not sure, but I think this is more a viewport performance issue? so this would be more related to your gpu, I assume? would like to know for sure as well.

ok, you say you have a 3080, so this should not be the issue. though huge models can also bring this card to its knees - especially because it only has 10GB of vram. I have this card as well, but since my models are usually not that huge, I haven’t ever run into similar issues.

Just for more clarification - I have models where there are lots of geometry and block instances nearing 1000, I work with imported meshes a bunch that I have to meshboolean sometimes and edit. Clayoo/Tsplines. I have a 3900x and an rtx 3080 right now and it’s still slow on that unless I turn off a bunch of layers. Matrix is running over Rhino in a lot of these cases. Many operations involving a lot of geometry also will turn the screen white and take FOREVER to complete. It’s rough. Hence why I thought TR would work better.

Would a 3090 or 3080ti and the higher amount of vram really help here? I was under the impression most of that rendering was done by cpu. At least that’s what a Rhino person told me a couple years ago. It’s set to GPU in my rhino 5 settings, but that never really seemed to make much of a difference in performance in many cases.

well, I don’t know enough about how rhino works in order to really say if this scenario with lots if blocks and imported geometry etc, is limited by your cpu, ram or gpu. I think some devs would need to give some advice here.

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I would only get a threadripper if you plan to use CPU rendering a lot. Personally i still use CPU for rendering, since i still get subtle differences with GPU and i dont have time to fiddle around (vray).

you can use a tool like GPU-Z to monitor your VRAM utilization. this way you can know for sure if your model is really filling up the VRAM or not.

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Nice. That might be best. Thanks for the input. Are the devs on here at all, or would I go to their customer support?

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Rhino developers participate in this forum but it is currently the three day Labor Day weekend holiday in the US so some developers may be taking a break.

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Hi Jonathan,

if the PC is for modeling, I would take a look at the Single Thread speed of these Intel/AMD-processors:

Good luck


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There’s not much need for a Threadripper unless you really need all those cores or the massive number of PCI lanes. The truth is, no upgrade you can do at this point is actually going to make things all that much faster. I upgraded a 5-year-old Intel to a much faster Ryzen this year, and the main difference I notice most of the time is that it’s quieter.

There’s a test command that lets you use multiple cores to generate your display meshes. That might actually get you more speed with the system you already have - like you have some very large (~5 gig) sessions that come from OEM CAD data, and those are currently very slow and difficult to use on my old gaming laptop. My plan is to use that test command with my 3900x, compare to my current system and see if I get any performance boost. Since test commands don’t autocomplete in the command line, I totally forget what it is, but maybe @pascal can chime in? Related - is there a complete list of test commands anywhere?


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Thanks Pascal! Is it possible this doesn’t work with Rhino 5?

Correct, V7 only, as far as I know.


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Rhino 7 is going to make far better use of your 3080 than Rhino 5. Upgrading to try to make Rhino 5 faster is a bit ridiculous. Rhino 5 was optimized for mid-range video cards that predate Windows 10, it has no idea what to do with a 3080.