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Hardware Recommendations for Cinema 4D

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Recommended Hardware for Cinema 4D:

Processor (CPU)Video Card (GPU)Memory (RAM)Storage (Hard Drives)

Like most software developers, Maxon maintains a list of system requirements for Cinema 4D that can be used to help ensure the hardware in your system will work with their software. However, this "system requirements" list only covers the very basics of what hardware is needed to run the software, not what hardware will actually give the best performance. Because of how inconsistent those lists can be, we've taken the time to perform testing to determine what hardware run Cinema 4D the best. Based on this testing, we have come up with our own list of recommended hardware for Cinema 4D.


Processor (CPU)

The majority of design tasks in Cinema 4D (including creating, modifying, and animating 3D models) are only able to utilize a single CPU core which makes a high frequency CPU - regardless of the core count - an ideal choice for these tasks. Because of this, our Design & Animation workstation focuses on high clock speeds with a moderate core count.

However, the rendering capabilities built into Cinema 4D - along with other CPU-based rendering engines likes Arnold, Mental Ray, V-Ray Next CPU, and Keyshot - are very efficient at utilizing a high number of cores. In fact, most of these engines scale almost perfectly... which makes a CPU with twice the number of cores nearly twice as fast (assuming similar clock speeds). Dual processors can be effective for pure rendering, but they tend to have lower clock speeds and aren't ideal for workstations where modeling is a core part of the workflow.

  • Intel Core i7 12700K 12 Core - This is a good entry point for artists, with high clock speeds that put it near the top of the charts for single-core performance in Cinema 4D. If you do a significant amount of rendering, though, its smaller core count will be a limiting factor.
  • Intel Core i9 12900K & 12900KS 16 Core - These models have a few more "efficient" cores, and slightly higher clock speeds, providing a small boost across the board and a little bit bigger bump for rendering in Cinema 4D.
  • AMD Threadripper PRO 5995WX 64 Core - AMD's Threadripper PRO line packs huge core counts and high memory capacity while maintaining good per-core performance, making it a fantastic choice for workstations that are focused on rendering performance. The decent single-threaded speed means these chips also do well with modeling and animation, though they do fall behind the Core line in that area and cost a lot more as well.

Cinebench R23 Multi Core CPU Performance

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Video Card (GPU)

When creating, editing, and animating models in Cinema 4D, the video card is a large part of how many frames per second (FPS) the viewport is able to display the model at. A higher FPS will result in a smoother and overall better experience when rotating, zooming, or panning around the model you are working on. In general, 30 FPS is considered a minimum acceptable framerate, while 60 FPS is ideal.

While GeForce cards can work well in Cinema 4D, NVIDIA typically recommends using their pro-grade graphics cards (formerly "Quadro") in professional applications. We do offer NVIDIA's RTX A-series cards as options, but there is nothing unique in C4D that requires that type of video card. The biggest reason to select one, over a GeForce model, would be if you need higher onboard memory (VRAM) capacity or run other applications which do have more specialized needs.

It is also worth noting that many users opt for GPU-based rendering engine plug-ins within Cinema 4D, instead of depending on the built-in CPU-based renderer. If you prefer something like Redshift or OctaneRender for your workflow, then going with a more powerful video card - or even multiple cards - is a great idea, and can reduce the need for an expensive, high core count CPU. We have recommended systems specifically tailored GPU-based rendering, but to make sure you get the right mix of hardware please check in with our expert consultants.


Memory (RAM)

While the exact amount of RAM you need is going to depend on your particular projects, for Cinema 4D we generally recommend a minimum of 16GB. Very complex scenes may need up to 32GB of RAM, although it is rare for Cinema 4D to require more than 32GB.

In extreme cases, if you will be doing a large amount of complex, high resolution rendering, you may need 64GB or even more RAM.


Storage (Hard Drives)

With the falling costs associated with SSDs, we almost always recommend using an SSD for the primary drive that will host your OS and the installation of Cinema 4D itself. The high speed of SSDs allows your system to boot, launch applications, and load files many times faster than any traditional hard drive. If your budget allows, it is also a very good idea to have a second SSD that can be used to store your active projects to further decrease load and save times.

Since SSDs are still more expensive than traditional drives per GB, for long term storage we recommend using a traditional hard drive (or two if you need even more storage!). Using a SSD can be useful in some situations, but most of the time the high performance of an SSD is simply not required for a storage drive.

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