Like most applications, there is a list of system requirements for Keyshot on its official website. However, this list only covers the very basics of what hardware and operating system are needed to run the software, not what will actually give the best performance. Because of how inconsistent lists like this can be, we've taken the time to perform testing to determine what hardware runs Keyshot the best. Based on this testing, we have come up with our own list of recommendations.
When it comes to CPUs there are two main specifications that define the capability of a CPU:
- The frequency directly affects how many operations a single CPU core can complete in a second (how fast it is).
- The number of cores is how many physical cores there are within a CPU (how many operations it can run simultaneously).
Whether a high frequency or high core count CPU is better depends on how well a program is designed to take advantage of multiple CPU cores (often referred to as multi-threading).
In the case of Keyshot, as well as most other CPU-based rendering engines, scaling across multiple CPU cores is extremely good. Clock speed is helpful too, but sacrificing a little bit there to substantially increase the number of cores will be well worthwhile. Here is a chart from one of our Keyshot CPU Comparisons showing still image render performance:
Some things in Keyshot don't scale quite that well. Animations, for example, lose some efficiency in the steps between rendering each frame. Still, the more cores you can get in a Keyshot workstation the better - while keeping the clock speed as high as possible.
Video Card (GPU)
The video card selection does not matter at all for Keyshot, but if you use other software alongside it then base your selection off what those applications need. For example, if you use Autodesk products like Maya or 3ds Max for modeling then a Quadro would be a good choice - or if you use game development engines like Unity or Unreal then a GeForce is probably a better choice.
While the exact amount of RAM you need is going to depend on your particular projects, for Keyshot we generally recommend 32GB. That should be plenty for rendering even very complex scenes, but our systems do support more for those who need it. If you run other software alongside Keyshot, keep that in mind when selecting how much memory you get.
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 Keyshot 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.