What hardware aspects speed up workflow in Rhino?

Hi there,

I am deciding to buy a new desktop computer for serious work with Rhino. I mostly work with scenes containing lots of geometry and materials with bitmap textures applied to it (shop environments with merchandises). I need to be able to have opened two copies of Rhino with two projects simultaneously and do copy/paste geometry. Rhino files are mostly in gigabyte sizes and i would like to have smooth movements when navigating in viewport and fast response while making changes in scene like copying, moving or transforming geometry.

Currently I am strapped constantly by caching and swapping to HDD and it takes time when Rhino starts to be responsible again when switching between two of them.
Also when Rhino calculates some boolean operations or making 2D drawings it is time consuming, how to speed it up?

I would like to know what determines Rhino speed and how to improve it by hardware?
What GPU parameters should i follow? What are the crucial parameters for me?
What CPU family to choose and why (Intel Core i7 or Xeon)? When processor deremines the speed of Rhino?
What RAM size and what its speed should suit my needs?
Or is it about disk speed? Is better to use SSD or HDD?

Any links or sugestions will be appreciated.
Thank you.

As a starting point, what is your current hardware and operating system? How much RAM, what video card and how much video card RAM?
Which version of Rhino are you using and is it 32 bit or 64 bit?

MY CURRENT PC SETUP (from year 2009)

Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
L1 cache: 256 KB
L2 cache: 1024 KB
Socket: LGA1366
Memory: 12 GB DDR3 1333 MHz
Motherboard: ASUS P6T WS PRO

Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
CUDA cores: 384
Graphics clock: 822 MHz
Processor clock: 1645 MHz
Memory clock: 4008 MHz
Memory: 2048 MB GDDR5
OpenGL: 4.1
DirectX 11

HDD: Seagate Cheetah 15K.6 146.8GB SAS (Serial attached SCSI)

OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit

Version 5 SR10 64-bit
(5.10.41201.11145, 1. 12. 2014)

Look for a fast CPU, best something around 4GHz. More than 2GB graphic memory could be good for the future. I would install more RAM - 16GB or more.
I use 32GB for large models opened at several Rhino tasks at the same time plus Photoshop - 32GB are not enough some times.

Micha has good advice. Current thinking is that Rhino doesn’t make much use of extra cores, but if you are likely to keep the new computer for 5 years or so, I would speculate that Rhino will make very good use of as many cores as it can get sooner than that. Even now multicores are used by many renderers. It seems right now that more cores and high clock speed are a tradeoff at a given price point. Keep in mind that Xeon chips have a lot more cache than i7’s but they cost a little more for the same clock speed and cores. They also support ECC memory, but that may not be important these days. Naturally, you’ll want a processor that uses DDR5 memory at 1800 MHz or more.

Thank you for the tips.
If I summarize it. Am i right? And what about graphic cards like nVidia Quadro vs. GeForce?

Responsible for calculations like boolean operations. Rhino does not use all processor cores yet. Just single core. Maybe future brings the multicore support in Rhino.
To have a faster results it now all depends on GHz of processor. Higher value faster results.
More cores have no extra advantage in that now. More cache (like in Xeons) is benefit for that too.

Handles all running Rhino tasks and other windows programs.
More RAM capacity is better when heaving complex rhino scenes and other programs are running.
Higher memory speed improves responsiveness of system and switching between running programs.

Responsible for what is shown in viewport in Rhino (all geometry and textures).
More video RAM capacity is better.

CPU: Quad core (more cores for future support) around 4GHz with extra cache (Xeon) if money available
RAM: 16GB DDR5 at 1800MHz or more
GPU: with more then 2GB memory

It wasn’t mentioned so far: Xeons cannot be overclocked. Means: The fastest Xeons, and these cost as much as all other components together aren’t faster with Rhino than a 450$ i7 processor, which, concerning the latest models can still be overclocked by about 30% running stable without further ado. If ECC RAM is mandatory, Xeon is as well.
About how many cores, there are even now at least two at work afaik. As for the graphics card, you might have a look into the thread Holomark 2 Released! That’s a speed test tailored around Rhino.


My personal conclusion is
Continuing the discussion from Holomark 2 Released!:

Multi-CPU-Xeons could be a problem for Rhino. Be careful. My dual xeon machine seems to be slower than single CPU machines with the same GPU.

I finally bought this PC configuration:

CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K @ 3.3GHz
GPU: ASUS STRIX nVidia GeForce GTX 980
RAM: 16GB DDR4 2133GHz
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB

Holomark2 test here:

That should fly.