Need help for a Workstation Build

Hi everyone!

I need to build a new workstation, and i could use some help choosing both the platform and the parts to use.

Just few infos :slight_smile:

  • This is going to be a mid-range windows workstation. budget: roughly between 3 and 3,5k Euros
  • I live in Italy.
  • I do not have any specific preference concerning retailers
  • I already have all the peripherals
  • The main workload of this (glorious!) PC is going to be: 3D modelling/texture editing and some animation.
  • Programs that i’m using : Maya, Arnold, Zbrush, Photoshop, Substance Painter/Designer
  • I won’t need ECC ram
  • No overclocking
  • No Os
  • I’d like it to be sober, no lasers plz :stuck_out_tongue:

Right now i can’t decide between x299 and x399. I like both AMD’s 2950x and Intel’s 7940x. At the moment the cost is the same, but TR2 Mobos (in general) are far more expensive then x299.Ofc the 7940x is slower then the 2950x in rendering tasks, but i’m quite sure the intel chip is the best performer in 3D editing.

Yeah, TR2 provides a metric ton of PCie lanes, but honestly i’m not planning to use more then 16, just for the main GPU.

On the paper AMD looks like the best choice, but still, the intel platform looks more like …“easy” (?) so to speak; no problems with ram kits, no critical bios updates, no “shenanigans” with memory modes, less trouble and more general stability (please correct me if i’m wrong here.)

I’m a bit confused, Please i need a Tech-God to enlighten me!

Thanks in advance.


I am not sure which retailers are best for parts in Italy as i’m a tad spoiled and live in California where I can go down the street to buy the latest motherboard. However, I should be able to help a bit with picking parts. If you are planning around doing CAD, Adobe, or professional rendering work in windows Intel is usually the best bet as most of the professional software is still optimized for it. If you are doing any sort of compiling or heavy programming work AMD is definitely the best choice right now. The best bang for buck CPU to build around is more than likely the 8700k for intel, the 8086k if you want to spend a little extra and get a binned one which is 5GHZ boost out of the box and can easily be overclocked to 5GHZ standard with a button on the motherboard if you purchase the right cooler. I would need to know which software you are planning to use on it and which retailers you have access to to really recommend a full build though as every piece of software from different developers has different needs to be optimized for.

Unless you need a heap of PCIe NVME or >64 GB of RAM, AM4 platform will do the job for much less.

Money that you could spend on bigger PCIe SSD drive(s), a NAS, etc.

The big question i guess would be core count required - will your workload scale to 16 cores or more?


With am4 or tr2… You’ll have an upgrade option later in the future.

With x299, you can buy a new platform in a few years.

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I would jump to the 2950x if you can afford it.

The main reason is Maya can actually use all the threads in render. I have experience in PTC Creo, Solidworks, Rhino, Matrix 3D. We ran 6700k and 7700k systems forever and found overclocking didn’t help the experience at all. Also, when rendering, the stock cooling solution was totally inadequate and the throttling meant even 1080p test renders would take too long.

That’s where I’m going, anyway. Rotations and panning in most accelerated packages are mostly done by the GPU. Now that I see Arnold, definitely get the 2950x. The time saved in 4k render will pay for $100 premium mobo in less than a month.


Hi there.

Thanks everyone for the quick reply :slight_smile:

@zeta_n : Hi, the list of software that i’m using : Maya, Arnold, Zbrush, Photoshop, Substance Painter/Designer.
8700/8086 both great cpus if we consider just 3D editing; their high single thread performance makes 'em perfect for the editing, but they are pretty weak when it comes to rendering tasks. Arnold scaling is almost perfect, that’s why i was considering cpus like 2950x and 7940x. Pc part picker seems to gets only prices (meh) but it looks like the best tool to put together a list of parts.
If you want to check some prices (If you feel brave eh) check this link it is a search engine for parts, it has access to 100+ online shops in italy.

@thro : yes sir, my workload scales almost perfectly with the number of cores; the max number of Threads you can use with arnold is 256; That’s why i was considering the 2950x and the 7940x. It looks like the best compromise for both editing and rendering.

@nx2l : hmhm honestly i didn’t consider this aspect, thanks for the head’s up. One more point for the red team :slight_smile:

@vbrandon : yes sir i agree with you, the 2950x seems like a no brainer. The Chip itself is awesome, and maya can squeeze every ounce of performance out of it.

Again, thanks everyone for your reply; i’m thinking that maybe AMD is the way to go. Could you please provide a list of compatible parts for a 2950x system?

Thanks again,


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For rendering the card will matter far more than the CPU, for 3500 euro you could easily put a 1080 Ti in with an 8700 and 3,000 mhz ram of some description. Unless the prices are incredibly inflated over there. You may even be able to do two 1080’s. the more CUDA the better.

atm my main render engine is Arnold, which is CPU bound; ther’s a “fabled” Arnold GPU beta out there but no one knows when they are going to add this functionality. So for now the GPU will just work on the denoise of the final frame, which is not very intensive. That’s why i was looking for at last a 16C/32T cpu.

Btw the gtx1080 goes for about 500E and the Ti goes for 800 (on average, depending on models ofc.)
I would go for an 8700 and a bunch of GPUs as you suggested, if i was still using something like Octane.
so…1 GPU only please :slight_smile:

Put together a pretty basic list for you. Chose the RAM based on a couple of Reddit threads/forum posts, but it might be worth doing a bit more digging to find out what kits work best with the 2950X.

PSU is somewhat overkill, but you obviously need something with dual EPS connectors, and this one isn’t bad value, by any means.

Added a workstation card, as it might help with basic viewport rendering, but in my experience (and yours, by the sound of it), GeForce cards have no problems in this regard.

Also assumed that you have local storage of some kind, but the R6 has space for 3.5" and 2.5" drives, if you don’t.

Thanks a lot sir, much appreciated! :slight_smile:

Not sure about the GPU yet; i think i’ll use a spare gtx 780 as placeholder for a while. I’ll just wait for the GPU market to settle down, atm everything is in turmoil for the release of the RTX cards. However i like the p4000 that’s a good pick, thanks.

Nice Motherboard! I just have one question concerning the compatibility with TR2: i suppose the x399 taichi needs a Bios update to make it compatible with 2nd gen TR. Can it be done without a working cpu installed? i don’t have a 1st gen TR to post and flash the bios :frowning:

I really like Seasonic’s PSUs, but is 850w enough? Just asking, 'cause i genuinely thought i was going to need at last 1000w :open_mouth:

(4x8) 3200Mhz 32GB kit is perfect, but that specific kit is not listed on taichi’s memory qvl. ?

Thanks again for your help.


No problem, happy to help :slight_smile:

Asrock’s BIOS Flashback utility can be used without a CPU installed. Just needs power.

Unless you have a multi-GPU setup, that 850W should be more than enough. The model supports 70A on the 12V rail, which is more than sufficient.

Ah, sorry about that. You’ll be best off picking a kit from that list which uses Samsung B-die.

This Reddit post gives a good indication of what to look for in memory for Ryzen chips. Just remember that you also want to be getting a kit of 4 DIMMs for Threadripper, as dual channel limits the bandwidth of the Infinity Fabric, borking the performance.

ok,i couldn’t find any single kit listed on both QVL and that reddit document which is also on sale in my country…

Actually is hard to find any of the 3200mhz kits listed on the QVL on sale. meh…

Try searching on .

thanks i’ll have a look