Render Cowboy

Hey guys,

I'm looking at building a PC for 3D software such as Cinema 4D, as well as Adobe programs like After Effects and Premiere.

I'm calling it the render cowboy, because I will be using it for building the 3D scenes, some rendering and compositing/editing, but for bigger rendering projects I will be utilising a render farm service.

The software I will be using for rendering will be a CPU based renderer - Arnold. I still need a decent card for viewport performance, GPU fluid simulations and the Adobe programs.

Here is a part list so far:

I don't know much about cooling and power supply. I did some research on motherboards, cpus and gpus, so I'm kinda happy with the choices I made, but I'm open to opinions and advice.

My budget is about $3,500 - $4,000.



Oh the motherboard I'm looking at getting is ASUS - X99-A not the Asus X99-E, but they didn't have it in the part list.

Also, I just chose a random case, don't know much about those.

Not sure about it, but you might want to use lower end FirePro or Quadro cards.
For Adobe, I would consider a FirePro (
The CPU, cooler and RAM looks good to me.

Ditch the cooler you've got on list, spend between $80 and $150 (USD) on an AIO. Rendering is like using a flamethrower (metaphorically, of course) -- you will have a much better experience if you put a little money into the cooling.


I did a little editing of the list. But it is based off of the same CPU and mobo.

An upgrade to RAM, 16GB is enough for some work, but when you get rocking or you've worked on one thing for a while, it might get a little choked. I've filled 16GB over a couple of days working on the same video before and easily filled it working on images.

HDDs falling out of the sky! Probably not needed, but hey, what the hell. If you need the local storage keep them, but if you don't just keep one. Keep the SSD though for caching or raid zero two of them.

AMD Card? Yup, Adobe likes the OpenCL support, should help with that offload to GPU when previewing/rendering videos. Not sure a Firepro or Quadro would help much if you do mainly CPU rendering, it would be nice but the expense may not be worth it.

Beefier PSU and better air cooler, not a fan of watercooling, but it is an option.

H440 does fit eatx boards, so there you go.

I think you could go with a more powerfull gpu like a 980 or such, as well as some more ram like 64Gb (depending on your needs)
i dont know about disk space but if you don't have anymore external space like as nas or server i think that the 1Tb drive is not enough
Since your gonna be pushing that cpu a little bit maybe consider a better cooler like a noctua or maybe (just maybe) some simple water cooling (like the corsair stuff)
Im assuming that the budget your are giving us is just for the computer and not the peripherals so you can go a little further

Keep it up

I think you can get a W8100 for 1200$ on Amazon if you want to go that way.

Firstly, I'm so happy with the response. Big thank you for everyones input!

@VXAce That's awesome. Thank you so much. I think you absolutely right about the RAM upgrade! I'm just wondering why you suggest that GPU, over the GTX 970? BTW, that's one beautiful case. Awesome suggestion, cheers.


Idk, I just think that 3D rendering might take a little more gpu power than what a 970 has to offer. I don't know though.

What I can recommend is the NZXT Kraken, AIO liquid cooler. I have experience installing it in my friends computer and it's very nice to use and works great.

Would you be able to recommend an AIO? :)

The AMD GPU should have better OpenCL support. Well, at some point it was. I'm not sure about now though. CUDA and OpenCL have been coming closer together in terms of support by Adobe products, specifically CC. As AMD drivers for the new cards mature further and things progress, the gap may get larger, or not. I don't think it'll hurt to have the AMD card. A R9 Fury might be even better. But of course, the 970 is not a bad card to have at all, both will do what you want them to do.

Do not get a Titan X. If you get a Titan X (which is already outdated, its ass got whooped by the 980Ti) it will only give you a big, expensive space heater with more vRAM than you could even dream of using. And it doesn't really provide a lot of help towards rendering especially considering the immense price. You could get two 980Ti and do faster GPU rendering (if you are into that kind of thing, which your post didn't hint towards) while running cooler, quieter and faster all at the same price.

Do make sure you look up the H440 with regards to eATX boards... I only recall a little on it, but I think some of the grommets were covered by the extended board, so cable management might be a little tougher, and there will be overhang that isn't 100% supported.

Unfortunately nothing specific, no.