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Are Gaming Computers Good for 3D Modelling?

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Are Gaming Computers Good for 3D Modelling?

Are Gaming Computers Good for 3D Modelling?

In recent years, the lines between gaming computers and workstations designed for tasks like 3D modelling have begun to blur. With the surge in the gaming industry, high-performance hardware that can handle demanding games is becoming more accessible to the average consumer. But does this mean that a gaming computer can handle the intricacies of 3D modelling? Let’s dive in.

1. Performance and Hardware:

gaming pc performance and hardware

Gaming computers, designed for high-resolution graphics, intricate game environments, and instant rendering, pack considerable punch. This power mirrors the demands of 3D modeling, which leans heavily on processing, especially during rendering and simulation. The latest gaming PCs, boasting state-of-the-art CPUs and GPUs, can often meet these demands effortlessly. Consider the expense of specialized "Workstations" which may offer only marginally better performance than a well-configured gaming PC. For those familiar with custom PC builds, it's evident that high-end workstations often resemble gaming rigs but with certain tweaks—like workstation motherboards, AMD EPYCs or Intel XEON CPUs, and Quadro or Tesla graphics cards.

Having worked with a workstation for years, I've observed that the touted advantages, such as ECC RAM or GPU VRAM, didn't markedly influence my daily tasks. Occasional crashes or hangs did occur, but the compromise in computational speed due to the conservative nature of workstation components was evident. These workstation CPUs and GPUs, tailored for stability over raw speed, tend to have lower clock rates. Sometimes, the zippier clock speeds of gaming hardware can be more advantageous.

A case in point: Using a 24-core AMD Epyc workstation, I built lighting for an Unreal Engine game, which took around 2 minutes. However, when I switched to a similarly priced Intel 13900KS CPU, the process was trimmed down to a mere 30 seconds, saving me valuable time. It underscores the notion that, in certain scenarios, a gaming CPU might outperform its workstation counterpart.

2. GPU Capabilities:

gaming pc gpu capabilities

The graphics card stands as a pivotal component in both gaming and 3D modeling. Most gaming PCs are equipped with robust GPUs engineered to handle soaring frame rates and detailed graphics. 3D modeling software, like Blender or Maya, can harness the prowess of these GPUs, leading to fluid viewport interactions and quicker render times.

An illustrative comparison can be made between NVIDIA's RTX A5000 and RTX 3080. The RTX A5000 boasts 24GB of VRAM, yet its performance parallels the RTX 3080. Surprisingly, the more affordable RTX 3090 not only costs significantly less than the RTX A5000 but also surpasses its performance by 25%. Fast forward to the RTX A6000 with its hefty 48GB VRAM; its price tag could fetch you four RTX 3090s. The RTX A6000's expansive VRAM might only be justified if one's 3D modeling tasks demand such vast memory capacities.

3. Expandability:

Gaming pc expandability

Gaming systems are typically built with foresight, ensuring they remain relevant and capable as both games and 3D modeling software evolve. With the rapid advancement in gaming demands, new PC builds aim for a performance that will sustain a solid 5 years of use. It's essential to future-proof these machines to avoid yearly upgrades for optimal gameplay. Consequently, most custom-built PCs are engineered to last for years post-construction. They're often designed with the flexibility to expand storage or RAM, ensuring longevity and adaptability.

4. Potential Drawbacks:

While gaming PCs can handle 3D modeling tasks, they might not always meet the stringent demands of professionals. Workstation GPUs, such as NVIDIA's Quadro or AMD's Radeon Pro series, are tailored explicitly for professional 3D applications, often boasting features absent in gaming GPUs. Furthermore, ECC (Error-Correcting Code) memory, a staple in professional workstations but rarely in gaming setups, offers greater stability for intensive 3D projects. When choosing between a gaming rig and a workstation, it's vital to consider the necessity of features like ECC or Quadro-specific capabilities. Some software even exclusively supports Quadro-based cards, emphasizing the need for thorough research and evaluation.

5. Price Consideration:

gaming pc price consideration

For hobbyists or those just starting in 3D modelling, gaming computers can offer a cost-effective entry point. Professional workstations can be expensive, and while they offer specific advantages for 3D modelling, a high-end gaming computer can often serve as a capable and more budget-friendly alternative.

Conclusion:

Gaming computers, with their robust performance capabilities, can certainly handle 3D modelling tasks for many users. However, professionals or those undertaking complex projects may want to consider workstations designed specifically for 3D tasks. It's essential to assess individual needs, project complexity, and budget constraints before making a decision. Regardless, with technology continually evolving, the gap between gaming computers and professional workstations is narrowing, offering users more choices than ever.