Creating animations is not something that an average desktop can handle. To create animations you truly need the cream. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will need to make the right investment in the right tools.
Here we will review some of the best desktops for animations. Animation, particularly 3D, is a very resource heavy task. If you think gaming is strenuous for the PC, 3D animation can be even tougher – depending upon the complexity.
Unlike photo or video editing where you can potentially work without a powerful dedicated graphics card, the same is not true for 3D animation. Hence most of the machines capable of handling 3D animation software are expensive.
However since not everyone has thousands of dollars to dish out, here we have made certain that we pick up desktops from various price ranges that can handle different complexities of 3D animations.
Comparison of Top Desktops for Animation
|1 TB SSD|
4 TB HDD
|500 GB SSD|
2 TB HDD
|OMEN 30L |
|1 TB SSD|
2 TB HDD
|ROG Strix |
|512 GB SSD|
1 TB HDD
|AMD Radeon |
RX 5500 XT
List of Best Desktops for Animation in 2021
The following desktops have the right hardware to handle 3D animations at different levels. You will notice that most, if not all, are gaming grade PCs.
- Adamant Custom RTX Quadro 4000 – Premium Workstation Grade Desktop
- CPU Solutions CEV-6170 – Affordable Workstation 3D Modelling PC
- HP Omen Obelisk 875-1023 – Premium Workstation for Gaming and Animation
- ROG Strix GA15DH – Powerful Processor and Powerful Gaming Graphics Card
- Skytech Archangel Ryzen 5 – Recommended Desktop for Beginner Animators
- HP Pavilion TG01-0020 – Budget Option Recommended for Students
1. Adamant Custom RTX Quadro 4000 – Premium Workstation Grade Desktop
A prebuilt workstation desktop with a powerful NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000.
If you are a professional 3D animator, then you should not settle for anything less then a workstation grade desktop.
We have established in the FAQ section below that there is no comparison in performance between a workstation grade Quadro Graphics card and a consumer grade graphics card when it comes 3D modeling.
Quadro graphics card are almost synonymous with any serious workstation build and hence, we recommend this custom build as the best desktop for animation.
The graphics card featured here i.e the Quadro RTX 4000 tends to hit the sweet spot in terms of performance and price among animators. You can always go for the more expensive Quadro RTX 5000, 6000, 8000 etc graphics cards, however, the RTX 4000 should still be more than sufficient for most professionals.
On top of that this build features the power Intel Core i9-10900K processor with a single core clock speed of upto 5.3 GHz. Again as we have explained in the FAQ section below, single core performance matter when you are modeling, sculpting and doign the actual design work.
Multicore performance matters when you are rendering. This processor with 10 cores and 20 threads and a core speed of upto 5.3 GHz is the perfect balance between core count for rendering and clock speed for modeling.
Other than that, it features a decent high performance 64 GB of RAM, an overclockable Z series Z490 motherboard and a large amount of both SSD and HDD.
2. CPU Solutions CEV-6170 – Affordable Workstation 3D Modelling PC
If you have a limited budget and want to maximize the performance/dollar value for your 3D modelling and animation software, then this is the best desktop for animation in our opinion.
The catchiest aspect of this desktop is that the hardware is optimized and the components seem to complement each other.
For instance, this desktop features a mid-lower range NVIDIA Quadro P2200 graphics card but also only features the AMD Ryzen 7 processor with 8 cores/16 threads and 4.3 GHz max clock speed.
It does not offer the more expensive Ryzen 9 or the Core i9 processors because they are more suitable with more expensive graphics cards. Hence to avoid any bottlenecks the combination of the Ryzen 7 and the lower-mid range P2200 is perfect.
Note that despite the P2200 being a lower-mid range workstation graphics card, it can offer performance that is on par with the top of the line consumer grade cards when pitching them against each other in 3D animation or modelling software. We talk about this in the FAQ section below.
3. HP Omen Obelisk 875-1023 – Premium Workstation for Gaming and Animation
Here we have one of most powerful, and of course, one the most expensive desktop in this list fro a gaming grade PC.
If you want to animate at an intermediate level but want to game at and advanced level, then this build is highly recommended.
After all, it features the latest and the most coveted NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics card.
Plus, whenever you see a PC featuring a Core i9 or Ryzen 9 processor, you can tell that it means business. These processors are only featured in the most advanced setup and are generally found in workstation grade desktops.
The processor featured here is the Intel Core i9-10850K processor. This is an 10 core / 20 thread processor with a base speed 3.6 GHz per core and max speed of 5.2 GHz. Since it is unlocked “K”, it is also overclockable.
There are very few processors out there that can match the performance of this, at least for the PC category.
While the 3D performance will not be on par as compared to a PC with Quadro Graphics card, the gaming performance will be phenomenal.
It features a huge 32 GB of RAM which makes sense because this desktop is designed to handle very large and complex projects.
It also offers a large 1 TB of NVMe SSD and 2 TB HDD.
4. ROG Strix GA15DH – Powerful Processor and Powerful Gaming Graphics Card
This is yet another gaming grade desktop, but it is much cheaper than the OMEN 30L GT13-0092 reviewed above. If you are looking for a reasonably powerful graphics for animation but great for gaming, then this is one of the best desktop for animation in our opinion.
In the previous desktop we saw the all powerful Intel Core i9-10850K processor and the high end consumer card the RTX 3080. However, that brings the price to a fairly high range.
So what if you require something capable of handling more complex animations and your games but at a reasonable price tag?
That is where this desktop comes into play. This desktop features an AMD Ryzen 7 3800X octa core processor with 16 threads as well as a fairly powerful NVIDIA RTX 2070S graphics.
The RTX 2070S can give you a far better performance than even the most powerful line of GPU in the 1660 series i.e the 1660Ti.
On top of that, RTX series of graphics card are optimized for ray tracing making them a great tool for 3D animators.
Additionally, it features 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD and 1 TB of HDD. This is basically a desktop worthy of intermediate animators.
Of course, if you are a professional we would always ask you to look into NVIDIA Quadro and Intel Core i9/Ryzen 9 processors.
5. Skytech Archangel Ryzen 5 – Recommended Desktop for Beginner Animators
An inexpensive desktop with mid range processor and a mid range gaming graphics card.
Here we have a recommended desktop for those who looking for a low key 3D animation with a limited budget.
As is the case with most desktops for animations, this is a gaming desktop and since gaming itself requires high end hardware, it makes this desktop quite feasible for heavier tasks like 3D animations.
Of course, this would be nowhere comparable to a workstation grade desktop in terms of performance, but for someone with basic animation needs (and a knack for gaming) would like what this has to offer.
For starters, this desktop features a full tower case. Packed inside is a decent AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor with 6 cores / 12 threads and 4.2 GHz clock speed. This is a mainstream processor quite capable of beginner levels of 3D animation.
3D animations is a processor heavy task, hence, while for large and sophisticated animations this may show its limit, for average animator, it can prove to be more than enough.
Along with a decent processor, this features 500 GB of NVMe SSD storage as well as 16 GB of RAM. The 16 GB of RAM is quite ample and is generally considered as the right amount for beginner to intermediate levels of work.
The storage, on the other hand, while fast, is low in capacity. You can easily expand that however either with an internal HDD or an external one.
As far as the graphics processing goes, this desktop offers the NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super 6G graphics card. This is a highly capable model not just for gaming but for casual 3D animations.
Of course, the best part about this whole deal is the performance / dollar value. This is a desktop that should be within most people’s budget.
Considering the price and the hardware, this is certainly the best desktop for animation if you prefer mid range options.
6. iBUYPOWER Trace 4 – Budget Option Recommended for Students
Next up we have the most affordable desktop that we can recommend to go for if you want to use animation software. Anything less than this can be damaging to your working experience.
This desktop features an excellent AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor for its price. It is the same processor as is featured in the desktop above.
Unfortunately, when it comes to graphics card and the RAM department, this desktop lags behind. It features an 8 GB of RAM which is the bear minimum recommend for 3D animation and it features the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB graphics card.
So if you require better GPU, go for the option above. You would only require a better GPU if you believe your animations will be quite complex. Otherwise, if you have limited budget, you can stick with this.
As far as the storage is goes, it features 240 GB NVMe SSD. Nothing fancy there.
All in all if you are looking for an affordable option, then this is the best desktop for animation as far as the performance per dollar factor is concerned.
What are The PC Requirements for Animation
There is not doubt that the PC that you get for yourself depends highly upon your level of expertise and how large and intricate the project you are working on.
However, to get an idea about the system requirements, let us look at two common software.
Maya System Requirements
Blender System Requirements
As can be seen above, the system requirements for most of the 3D animation software are a bit vague. They do not point you to the exact model of the CPU or the graphics card.
Instead, they give you vague idea about what kind of hardware to invest in and that is understandable because the manufacturers do not know your intention.
So if you are a beginner student, your choice of hardware would be entirely different from someone who is a seasoned animator.
What Kind of CPU to Get for Animation?
CPU is the key ingredient for any PC build and it generally defines your overall system and reflects upon your budget and your expertise.
Professional animation rigs have top of the line CPU from either the high performance Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 series or from the Intel Core Extreme or the AMD Threadripper series.
However, when choosing the right CPU, you should be aware of single core and multi core performance aspects.
You see once you go into the high performance CPU category, the prime aspect that differentiates a $600 CPU from a $1200 CPU would be the core count.
So here you have to gauge how much of a multi core performance do you need.
Multi Core vs Single Core Performance for Animation Software
As a rule of thumb, whether you are using Blender or Maya, or even a video editing software like Adobe Premiere, the process of actual modeling, extruding polygons, sculpting or anything that you do on the viewport is SINGLE CORE dependent.
Meaning, the faster the single core performance (primarily the clock speed), the better would be the performance.
When it comes to RENDERING, however, the performance scales perfectly with more cores you have. The more cores (and threads) you have, the faster will be your renders.
Of course, a key caveat here is that generally processors with a very high core count have lower clock speeds per core. So you have to make sure you invest in a processor that offers balance of both.
We do not recommend going for CPUs with over the top number of cores unless you know exactly what you are getting into.
Do You Need Graphics Card for 3D Animation?
Unlike other disciplines like photo editing, or video editing where you can be forgiven for not having a powerful dedicated graphics card, when it comes to 3D animation, not having a powerful dedicated graphics card is a crime.
The entire basis of GPU is rendering 3D graphics and if you lack this critical component, you will have a tough time rendering large scale 3D graphics.
Whether it is modeling, real time rendering or mapping, a good graphics card can be a backbone for any 3D animator.
In fact, professional animators use specialized NVIDIA Quadro graphics card, however, these graphics are stupendously expensive and if you have budget to invest in PC featuring these graphics card you would probably be not reading this article.
When you get into complex animations, you will notice even the high end gaming grade GTX or AMD equivalent graphics card will have a hard time rendering.
So as a starting point, for basic to intermediate levels for 3D animations, a gaming grade dedicated graphics card is a must.
If you go into commercial level or industrial level of professional 3D designing and animation you will be left with little choice but to upgrade to a specialized NVIDIA Quadro Graphics card.
Are Quadro Graphics Card Good For 3D Modeling?
Absolutely, there not an iota of doubt that even some of the weakest of the NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards like the NVIDIA P1000 can give the top end line up a run for their money in 3D modeling.
However, since they are expensive, they are generally intended for professionals who know exactly what they are getting into.
Unfortunately, if you plan to game on your animation PC as well, then the Quadro graphics cards could be disappointment.
3D animations is a resource heavy task and in order to perform even the simplest of 3D animation, you need to procure a fairly powerful desktop.
Here we reviewed some of the best desktops for animation from various price ranges. We made sure that every desktop has a share of CPU and GPU power.
While most of the desktops above were are all gaming grade, if you are looking for industry grade desktops, not only would they cost you a lot more, you will need to look into specialized NVIDIA Quadro workstations.