If you are building a rig for performing 3D animation on a powerful open source tool like Blender, then getting the right processor is one of the first steps in the whole processor.
However, it should be noted that the BEST CPU or the MOST POWERFUL CPUs in the market may not necessarily be the best for certain actions in blender.
This is where the whole concept of single core and multi core performance comes into play. As you will read further in the text below, even cheaper processor can outperform workstation grade processor in certain tasks in blender.
Keeping that in mind, here we will review some of the best CPU for Blender.
Comparison of Top Processors for Blender
|AMD Ryzen |
|AMD Ryzen |
|Intel Core |
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List of Best CPU for Blender in 2021
The following are some of the most popular CPUs for Blender rigs and much more.
- Intel Core i9-10900K – Recommended High Performance CPU for Blender – Excellent for Viewport Playback Performance
- AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – Recommended for Balance in Viewport Playback and Rendering
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X – Premium Workstation CPU – Excellent for Rendering
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X – Workstation CPU – Multicore for Rendering
- Intel Core i9-10850K – Reasonably Priced High Performance Processor for Blander
- Intel Core i5-10600K – Most Affordable Processor to Settle For
What are CPU Requirements for Blender?
The official system requirements for blender are a bit vague. While it does highlight the architecture as well as gives you a vague idea about the core count, it does not specify any models.
This is similar to what most other professional software requirements highlight. These are intentionally made to be vague because the CPU you choose will depend mostly upon your use case.
If you are a beginner, your choice of processor would be very different compared to someone who is a seasoned Blender user and who has all the money to spend on the ultimate rig.
Single Core vs Multi Core Performance CPU for Blender
This is one of the most important factor when looking to choose the right processor for yourself.
Basically, depending upon the task that you perform or optimize your system for, you would either want to go for a processor with lower core count and a higher clock speed or with a processor with a higher core count and lower clock speed.
For instance, it is noted that for viewport playback performance, sculpting, Viewport physics simulation, then a processor with a higher SINGLE-Core performance would give you a better performance.
On the other hand, if you want to optimize your rig for rendering your work, then a processor with a higher core count would give you a faster result.
Why is this so?
That is because generally in a processor with a higher core count, the clock speed gets divided across the cores. Hence, the single core performance here dials down. This also means that tasks that rely heavily on single core/single thread performance in Blender like sculpting, take a hit.
On the other hand, tasks that rely on multi-core count like rendering, improve in performance. This is because when rendering, the work is distributed across all the cores and in the end compiled to form a complete render. So the higher the cores you have, the more simultaneous “workers” you have to put the render together.
So in short, for better viewport playback, animation and physics performance, go for a better single core performance at a given budget. For better rendering performance, go for a higher core count at a given budget.
In the following text we will review some of the best processors for blender. Keep in mind that this list disregards entry level and most mid range processors. This list mainly looks into high performance and workstation grade CPUs.
CPUs for Blender Reviewed
1. Intel Core i9-10900K – Recommended High Performance CPU for Blender – Excellent for Viewport Playback Performance
If it is a very high viewport playback performance you are looking for and you want sculpt, and animate with minimal possible lag, then this is the best CPU for blender.
The highlight of this processor is that despite being a class lower than workstation processors, this delivers a better experience in all aspects of the software except in rendering.
This is because, when performing the actual work and playback in the viewport, the single core performance matters the most. This processor has a single core performance of 5.3 Ghz per core.
Other than that, it has a respectable amount of 10 cores and 20 threads, which is higher than the optimal requirements as stipulated by Blender official hardware requirements.
Intel Core i9-10900K Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core: 530
- Multi Core: 6399
2. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – Recommended for Balance in Viewport Playback and Rendering
It does so because of the way it is designed, its high core count i.e 16 cores/32 threads, would enable it to perform better in rendering as compared to Intel Core i9-10900K, but its lower single core clock speed of 4.7 GHz would give it a slightly inferior performance in the Viewport in comparison, but still quite far above average.
Since it has a higher single core clock speed as compared to most dedicated workstation CPU, you can expect a good balance between animation/sculpting performance and rendering performance.
If the balance appeals to you, then this is the best CPU for blender.
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core: 531
- Multi Core: 9148
3. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X – Premium Workstation CPU – Excellent for Rendering
The processor features a whopping 32 core and 64 threads giving it a phenomenal advantage in rendering over the high performance CPU mentioned above.
Of course, the drawback here is that it is expensive. However, if you perform of a lot of rendering and if time is of the essence to you, then this is phenomenal processor to have.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core: 509
- Multi Core: 17444
4. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X – Workstation CPU – Multicore for Rendering
This processor features 24 cores and 48 threads making it an excellent rendering processor for blender.
So in short, if fast render jobs is essential for your work, but you want to make investment in a reasonably pricey workstation CPU, then this is the best for blender.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core: 509
- Multi Core: 13552
5. Intel Core i9-10850K – Reasonably Priced High Performance Processor for Blander
Like the Intel Core i9-10900K above, this is also a high performance CPU, however, we have selected this processor for the sheer value it offers.
At a marginally lower single core performance i.e 5.2 GHz compared to 5.3 GHz on the i9-10900K, you get a very fair price tag.
Hence, if you value performance but also want to save up a bit, then this is one of the best CPU for blender for high performance rigs.
This too features 10 Cores / 20 Threads.
Intel Core i9-10850K Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core: 536
- Multi Core: 6318
6. Intel Core i5-10600K – Most Affordable Processor to Settle For
If you are a beginner with a limited amount of money to spend on your blender Rig, but if you also want a processor that can provide you with an optimal performance for beginner to intermediate levels of work, then this is one of the best processors for Blender in our opinion.
Of course, this is no where close to a high performance CPU, therefore, do not expect to make professional animations on this.
But for reasonaly complex task, this is highly recommended.
That is because, despite being a hexa core processor with 12 threads, this is an excellent single core performance. We have already established that when working in the viewport, single-core performance matters a lot.
Sure the rendering may take a while, but most of your work will be enjoyable and lag free on this CPU.
One your system starts to lag, you will know that you have become too good for this processor. It will then be the time for an upgrade but by then chances are that you would be making a pretty penny from your work anyways to warrant for an investment in a high performance or a workstation CPU.
Intel Core i5-10600K Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core: 501
- Multi Core: 3629
If you are an avid blender user or a beginner looking to create a PC build for your work, then having a first hand knowledge of what CPU to go for is essential.
Professional software like Blender are highly reliant on CPU for all of the activities. In this article, we reviewed some of the best CPU for blender.
We highlighted mostly high performance and workstation processors but also touched a bit on mainstream CPUs for beginners.