Video cards to consider for Rhino/Windows in 2023 "on a budget"

Everyone’s helped me out quite a bit. No joke, the last time I shopped for a video card the card I settled on was a 3dfx Voodoo 3:

Since then I’ve only bought complete systems. I might obviously do that in this case too but it’s just nice to know what I’m getting.

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@keithscadservices - I haven’t built anything in a while either, but I’ve been pricing things out here and there, looking to upgrade my ancient home workstation. This feels low for both the laptop and the desktop.

You might find a workstation-grade laptop used for that, if you’re willing to hunt. I know the provincial government here auctions off their old IT assets. They’re mostly low-end Thinkpads that are totally unsuitable for what we’d need, but I’ve seen the occasional 17-inch “portable workstation” machines go through the site with Quadro cards installed. Maybe there’s similar where you are?

If I’m wrong and those are suitable values…then I really need to up my bargain hunting, because I’ve been finding it hard to price out a machine less than $2000 here, which is why I’m still running my ancient beast.

Edit: the two posts below me clearly show that I need to work on my bargain hunting, even after converting US to Canadian. Dang.

Here’s a rough sketch of what a nice, budget oriented small form factor build would look like - minus a used GPU:

This is a bit over your stated budget (depending on GPU), but would be a good value and really good performance.



here is something as a starting point, you can have the fun for building a super compact PC


I’m also shooting for lower specs than most. It seems a lot of people are hungry for the 4080/4090/3090 levels of performance. Where as I am around 4050/4060/3060/3070 (for now at least).

If you’re in Canada you could start here:

I am having trouble finding good prices on desktops. Most the benchmarking I’m seeing doesn’t really show much better price-to-performance, if any, compared to desktops (the ones in my price window available locally). It almost feels like the desktops are overpriced at the moment? Maybe it’s a Canada thing? Or just regional? And maybe they’ll build up a stockpile of 'em and have to unload them for cheap hehe.
If you’re in Canada you also have to consider what they’re doing to our spending power :open_mouth: . I’m scared to give advice about that because the future is really up in the air right now.

You really have to get an idea of what’s what because prices are all over the place. Especially on Amazon. I think they have lots of outdated ads/postings still up so you’ll see stuff that was slow 3 years ago for like $2,000.

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I am in Canada, yep. Miss the old days of NCIX. MemEx and Canada Computers are where I’m pricing through. In fairness, I had been aiming for 64GB of RAM and maaaaaybe trying to squeak a 4070 into the budget so I could run at least SOME demanding games when I’m not doing work, plus I was picking DDR5 which raised the price a bit.

I actually really like the small factor box that Sky posted. It would be nice to upgrade AND get back more desk space!

Following this thread closely.

The only game I play on my laptop is trying to convince myself I can write code :wink:

The laptops in that link, many can be upgraded to 64GB ($250 CAD) but the 4070 is wishful thinking. The mobile variant of the 4070 doesn’t appear to be anything special. Filter by “RTX Laptop” if that doesn’t travel along with the link:

I think that the 4060 (mobile) has the advantage of being sold at scale and therefore comes with a lower pricetag. I’ll have to dig into that a little further however.

Same here in the US / Norcal , a decade ago, it was much more fun building a plan your system Friday night, go shopping parts on a Saturday morning, put the PC together in the evening and enjoy your Sunday installing drivers / programs. that would be the “Perfect Weekend”

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I know that for GPUs, NVidia wins over AMD - are there any big concerns with AMD vs Intel for the processor, when it comes to Rhino?

I’ve had zero problems on any AMD builds (CPU) with Rhino. Or with anything else for that matter. I have a 5950X in my current machine and absolutely love it.


At the moment, both AMD and Intel produce really great processors.

There is a lot of back and forth about Intel CPU power consumption, and retorts about AMD stability with RAM, blah blah blah…

If I had to chose today, I would probably go with an AMD AM5 platform CPU (money permitting), as it will allow for future generations of AM5 socket CPUs. I have an Intel i7-13700K, and it really is excellent. Sure, I won’t pretend it runs as efficiently as an AMD X3D CPU, but it is a very respectable processor.

But to be direct, no, I have seldom heard of any issues with Rhino and either CPU, certainly new ones.


Any CPU AMD Ryzen 5600 or newer, or intel core i5 12600 or newer will simply impress you with its performance.
I use AMD’s 5950x overclocked and it is overkill for Rhino. and I love it.

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Back when I built PC’s (like 2000 ish) nothing seemed to fit; you’d swear they gave you the wrong part. But eventually it fit. I remember pushing so hard on RAM you could hear crinkling and cracking and then SMASH! - it went into place. Then the cold sweat as you booted it up and sure enough the f’er would actually start up. Hopefully it’s a little easier now.

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I had a second look at the site above and removed the filter for RAM. Some of the laptops are otherwise spec’d very good but only come with 8GB ram. And ram is so cheap right now.

I had to check up on the difference on DDR4 verses DDR5 and so far all I’ve turned up is a max. 10% difference and that the GPU is going to be the bottleneck. ***Differing opinions welcome

And also, as far as I’ve read, a motherboard only supports one or the other (different voltage or whatever).

There seems to be a trend with low ram but decent specs elsewhere - as low as 8GB but upgradable to 64 (but only DDR4). With RAM being so cheap I’m surprised they don’t just load’em up but whatever.

I wonder if I can get away with this processor:

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I run rhino on a couple of machines, one is DDR4 and one is DDR5, can’t tell any difference. I’ve even tried to disable xmp and still runs fine.
If you can get a 64gb kit it will be great.

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To use DDR5 RAM, you’re going to need the latest generation of either AMD or Intel motherboards and CPUs. This will add a ton of cost to any build on all fronts - the RAM, the motherboard and the CPU will all cost more. This is why I’m a huge fan of building on the AM4 socket, and getting a B550 or X570 motherboard. All that stuff is so good, and selling at a huge discount now. Truly, no reason to build a machine for Rhino - either Intel or AMD - on their latest generation of sockets, motherboards and RAM.