McNeel Forum

Hi there!

I’m interested in building my own PC to model with Rhinoceros V6. I find it very hard since the system requirements aren’t very clear in the web page provided by McNeel. I need my PC to run well, to be optimized for Rhino V6 Windows and future versions. Could you be so kind to suggest any idea related to the selection of components? I’ve already chosen some (see below):

Cabinet Thermaltake P3 snow Edition

Microsoft Surface Bluetooth Mouse

Apple Magic Keyboard English

But what about the:

Intel Processor?


Hard Drive?


Video Card?

Power Supply?

Thank you!

Hi @oliver.jans
Your requirements really depends on your needs. Are you doing product design, architecture, mechanical design, boats, jewelry, shoes or [insert own field of 3D]? What are your rendering requirements and what engine? Do you use Grasshopper? What other software (if any) are you using? And perhaps most important: What is your budget?

On a more general note, Rhino will run on almost any newer PC, but a decent graphics card is a good idea. Not many processes are multi-threaded, so go for faster, but fewer, cores. As for future versions of Rhino, I doubt that there will be any guarantees given in terms of future proofing - but if you buy a great computer now, it should last you more than just a few years. We are replacing our work stations right now, and our 7 year old HP work stations actually still work just fine. We are replacing them with an updated version, HP Z6 with dual Xeons, Quadro RTX 4000 cards and 96 gigs of RAM - and count on them to last another 5-7 years… But no guarantees :smiley:

That’s quite a system Jakob has lined up.
That said, even an expensive behemoth system like that can be brought to it’s knees with poor modeling techniques and strategies.

Keep in mind that Rhino users were producing some amazing designs in 32-bit Rhino 4 while limited to 4GB RAM that was shared with Windows XP.

As a friend used to tell me, “You gotta be smarter than the problem”.

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Yeah, @John_Brock - we do a lot of product (including a lot if lamps) and interior renderings (restaurants, bars, shops etc.) in Keyshot, so we need the power for that. As for Rhino only, V6 runs just fine on my Asus laptop (i7, 16 GB RAM and some old GTX card. Again, it all depends on what you do with Rhino.

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Hi! Thanks for your reply!
Mi budget is around the USD 2k. I’m interested in having Rhino and DelftShip Professional for boat design. They are both compatible with windows 10. I’m glad to hear that @Normand & @John_Brock . Every computer will run well. My idea is to build a PC from different components assembled together. This selection of components should make the computer perform at its best. What I call a “formulated computer.” I really dislike the idea of purchasing a “standard computer” (whose components had been selected by default with a totally different criteria) since it would be relatively more expensive and it’ll never perform as well as a “formulated computer” whose components had been chosen carefully.

I don’t know that your theory is sound.

Computer makers like Dell try to maximize performance with cost.
Your best deal is not the state-of-the-art.
It will be the previous state-of-the-art they’ve been building and selling for the last couple months. Now they’re discounted to clear them out of the channel and make way for the new model.

Isn’t that what you’re trying to do?

@John_Brock good point! I’m just trying to build like a “homemade” PC for 3D modeling. I got some partners that did the same but for gaming, “gaming PC” and they’ve built very powerful PC’s at a very low cost. It’s worth mentioning that these homemade computers aren’t branded and they also lack fancy design features that may raise costs. That’s at least what I want to achieve for boat design. Thanks!

Currently, IMHO, AMD has the best bang for the buck on the desktop, but things likely will swing again once Intel gets their fab under control.

For many people an 8-core 3800x or even a 3700x would do. A similar Intel part might have a bit better single-core speed, but expect to pay for that privilege. In the higher core-count processors, it doesn’t seem like Intel can compete on price, performance, or security.

Many things in Rhino and in CAD in general is single or lightly-threaded, though modern processors “turbo” for single-threaded work, giving a boost.

[ I just ordered a 12-core 3900x, motherboard, and 32GB of RAM. because I need the additional cores for video editing, and the memory science crap, and for renders which exceed my video card RAM. ]

If you build a system, I recommend a good power supply. There are power calculators to factor in the hardware. Check first, but a 750-Watt supply is often fine–unless you are going dual-GPU, or if you will overclock. I feel that for a reliable system, I don’t want your power supply operating at its full rating.

Some of the virtues of a good power supply are efficiency, nice stable and clean power, and parts such as high-quality capacitors that will take the heat, and a fan that won’t seize after a year. (Some modern power supplies do not run the fan at low power draws.)

[I may try to pick up a 2nd video card used for Cycles, so after much deliberation and outright fear, I ordered a new HX850 watt supply to replace my trusty but 8-year old Corsair HX1050 supply. There are power supply sites such as https://www.jonnyguru.com/, but he just got hired by Corsair; so much for that, but his older reviews are good. At least you can learn what the issues and terms are.]

For video cards, if you are going to spend under $1000 on a card, it seems that AMD and nVidia are on similar footing. I have preferred nVidia because I’ve felt that their drivers had fewer issues, though perhaps some current AMD video card owners could chime in. The RTX 1080TI seems to rule the roost, this month, anyway.

While there are both workstation-cards and gaming cards, usually both are made from the same GPUs. Some have ECC, some do not. nVidia appears to hobble the gaming cards for compute but AMD does not seem to. Historically, some applications like AutoCad were driver-optimized. Rhino isn’t AutoCad. I prefer gaming cards because they are cheaper, and because they are generally made to run continuously in a heat kind of way.

If you don’t need nVidia’s real-time ray-tracing for video games, there are a lot of used nVidia GTX cards on ebay. Some of them were from the blockchain craze, so beware, but many are homeless and abandoned only because they don’t real-time raytrace well, a little bit, but nVidia would certainly never optimize their real-time raytracing for them–THOUGH, Rhino’s Cycles realtime-raytracer does not require RTX, just a lot of GPU and more than one if you have them.

I prefer Blower-style cards, which empty the hot air out of the back of the computer case. Unlike gaming, when doing design, both the GPU and CPU are working, like when previewing renders with Cycles. Getting the hot GPU air out of the case–means that the CPU can stay cooler, and perhaps run faster, and even last longer.

Many gamer cases have openings for large fans, which are just the thing you want for a cool and quiet computer. If you spend a lot of money for a case, you will have less to spend on what goes inside.
[I have a rackmount server case because it’s portable, sort-of.]

Oddly, I don’t overclock my stuff; I need it to run even days at a time, and last for years. My old computer likely has been on overnight for more than 150 nights at 100% full processor. I will pay more for a little better motherboard, looking for features which make it robust. Oddly, I haven’t watercooled for these reasons. I avoid crappy case and heatsink fans with sleeve bearings.

I don’t have any, but nvme SSD’s are all the rage, as they are bus controlled solid state drives, which can be 10 times faster, but they only come to 2TB, currently. For a workstation, they only would help for loads and saves, though.

For drives, Samsung is still ruling, and until they don’t, don’t expect the prices to drop. The Evo’s and Pro’s are good drives. The QVO doesn’t have the endurance for my usage. Yes, they wear. I have used 21TB on my 1TB Evo.

There are plenty of game sites for hardware reviews, such as:


I put Toms and Linus together because one is a AMD fan and the other Intel : )

Watch videos, twice read the instructions, ATX must always be unplugged, wear a ground strap, unlock the video card before pulling on it, shake all the extra screws from the case, and take your time : )

@Brenda Thank you so much for your message. I was able to define my system configuration! Very satisfied with the results. Merry Christmas! Have a good day.

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