Best CPU for 3D Cadd Rendering build

Hi All,
I'm looking to upgrade my current Phenom setup to run cadd 3d rendering software. I understand processing power is the most important and I've also heard that for the rendering and calculating the more cores the better.

Which CPU will perform the best, the Intel I7 3770K Ivy quad or the new AMD FX 8350 eight core because of the extra cores?

Video: ATI V4900 but will move up to the new Fire Pro W5000 if need be
Memory: 16gb Crucial @ 1600
Disk: 128gb SSD for system and may add an extra SSD drive to work from.
Motherboard: Gigabyte to match CPU
21 answers Last reply
More about cpu cadd rendering build
  1. If you can afford the Intel, it is the best performer if money is an issue go with AMD. They both will do well. Its more of a who's best thing, but you will not notice a big performance difference IMO unless you bench mark them both.
  2. I would recommend going with the I7 3770K. AutoCad has always had the limitation of being a single-threaded application, so it will never use more than 25% of a quad core system (12% if using hyperthreading, I am not sure if CAD can use HT.)

    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=15224826&linkID=9240617

    Being that this is the case, the biggest improvements that you will see are with a higher CPU clock speed, and a better Workstation Graphics card...the Fire Pro W5000 is a beast, so it would be a definite improvement over the V4900. If you are using multiple screens, I might even recommend springing for the W7000 for the added memory and significant boost in processing speed.
  3. Thanks,
    I've heard about how Autocadd only uses one core...except for the rendering like your link mentioned. I can get either processor for about the same money, $30 more for the Intel, and they both run pretty close to the same speed so I'm curious as to what experienced users like yourself have learned.
    I only use one monitor so far but have wondered if the newer card will reduce rendering times when my models get more complex. Or is that still a factor of CPU speed?
    Thanks again for your input.
  4. The FX8350 will be a little behind the i7 on just running the software, but in rendering, it will actually render faster. So it comes out to be a wash...
  5. Personally for my workstation I use a Xeon server processor, but I didnt get a say in the matter since my company bough it, though they did follow my recommendation for a Nvidia Quattro 5000 GPU, which I think is equivalent to the Fire Pro 5000.

    I do GIS work and some CAD, though I usually dont get into CAD 3D rendering, but I do know that the workstation graphics cards like the W5000 cut down the rendering times significantly over previous versions. Basically what it breaks down to is processor speed relates to model calculation and production, then the graphics card relates to the rendering speed.
  6. dalmvern said:
    Personally for my workstation I use a Xeon server processor, but I didnt get a say in the matter since my company bough it, though they did follow my recommendation for a Nvidia Quattro 5000 GPU, which I think is equivalent to the Fire Pro 5000.

    I do GIS work and some CAD, though I usually dont get into CAD 3D rendering, but I do know that the workstation graphics cards like the W5000 cut down the rendering times significantly over previous versions. Basically what it breaks down to is processor speed relates to model calculation and production, then the graphics card relates to the rendering speed.


    Actually in rendering benchmarks with equal setups, the rendering times on the FX8350 are significantly lower than they are on nearly any other chip on the market...

    When you're rendering, your GPU is tapping your CPU for integer calculations and FP calculations, the more cores you have available to perform these functions, the "faster" your GPU can take the data and model it for you. Now, the FP calculations are essentially the leftovers that the GPU cannot get to, but the integer calculations are the GPUs weakness...with 8 integer cores, the FX8350 runs more integer calculations faster than anything else...when utilizing 8 cores, which is why it does so well in 3DS, 3Dmax, and other rendering benchmarks compared to the intel product.
  7. 8350rocks said:

    Actually in rendering benchmarks with equal setups, the rendering times on the FX8350 are significantly lower than they are on nearly any other chip on the market...

    When you're rendering, your GPU is tapping your CPU for integer calculations and FP calculations, the more cores you have available to perform these functions, the "faster" your GPU can take the data and model it for you. Now, the FP calculations are essentially the leftovers that the GPU cannot get to, but the integer calculations are the GPUs weakness...with 8 integer cores, the FX8350 runs more integer calculations faster than anything else...when utilizing 8 cores, which is why it does so well in 3DS, 3Dmax, and other rendering benchmarks compared to the intel product.


    Interesting I did not know that, but does the fact that AutoCAD is only a single threaded application have any effect on the rendering process, or is it a separate interaction between the CPU and GPU, completely independent of the single thread limitation of AutoCad?
  8. dalmvern said:
    8350rocks said:

    Actually in rendering benchmarks with equal setups, the rendering times on the FX8350 are significantly lower than they are on nearly any other chip on the market...

    When you're rendering, your GPU is tapping your CPU for integer calculations and FP calculations, the more cores you have available to perform these functions, the "faster" your GPU can take the data and model it for you. Now, the FP calculations are essentially the leftovers that the GPU cannot get to, but the integer calculations are the GPUs weakness...with 8 integer cores, the FX8350 runs more integer calculations faster than anything else...when utilizing 8 cores, which is why it does so well in 3DS, 3Dmax, and other rendering benchmarks compared to the intel product.


    Interesting I did not know that, but does the fact that AutoCAD is only a single threaded application have any effect on the rendering process, or is it a separate interaction between the CPU and GPU, completely independent of the single thread limitation of AutoCad?


    Rendering is a separate operation...essentially when you begin rendering, your machine takes over and renders in it's most effective way, because the software only provides the instructions for the FP and integer calculations, the CPU/GPU process them in the most efficient manner they can. The program itself is coded serially when you run it...but the rendering aspect is only providing instructions to the machine as to "where things go"...if you will.
  9. 8350rocks said:
    dalmvern said:
    8350rocks said:

    Actually in rendering benchmarks with equal setups, the rendering times on the FX8350 are significantly lower than they are on nearly any other chip on the market...

    When you're rendering, your GPU is tapping your CPU for integer calculations and FP calculations, the more cores you have available to perform these functions, the "faster" your GPU can take the data and model it for you. Now, the FP calculations are essentially the leftovers that the GPU cannot get to, but the integer calculations are the GPUs weakness...with 8 integer cores, the FX8350 runs more integer calculations faster than anything else...when utilizing 8 cores, which is why it does so well in 3DS, 3Dmax, and other rendering benchmarks compared to the intel product.


    Interesting I did not know that, but does the fact that AutoCAD is only a single threaded application have any effect on the rendering process, or is it a separate interaction between the CPU and GPU, completely independent of the single thread limitation of AutoCad?


    Rendering is a separate operation...essentially when you begin rendering, your machine takes over and renders in it's most effective way, because the software only provides the instructions for the FP and integer calculations, the CPU/GPU process them in the most efficient manner they can. The program itself is coded serially when you run it...but the rendering aspect is only providing instructions to the machine as to "where things go"...if you will.


    You guys really have me going now. 8350rocks mentioned how the 8 core outperformed on 3DS Max so i did some searching and found this comparison between 3DS 2008 and 2001. Most was over my head except I took notice they maxed out the ram to 32gbs on the 64bit system rather than stopping at 16gb.
    Does the amount of system memory play a big role in advanced modeling and rendering?

    Can you point me to some tests that compare the two processors using modeling and rendering software like these?
    I'm just getting into Revit but don't want to upgrade the system every year and I'm really asking about these because I honestly can't afford $1000 + on just a 6 or 8 core Intel when I know a balanced system will have a bigger impact.

    But keep for talking over my head, that's how I learn :)
  10. Here it is head to head with a i7-3930k which is the 6 core + HT i7...look at the rendering scores.

    Tom's Hardware - Benchmark [30] Abbyy Finereader
  11. 8350rocks said:
    Here it is head to head with a i7-3930k which is the 6 core + HT i7...look at the rendering scores.

    Tom's Hardware - Benchmark [30] Abbyy Finereader


    Eww, comparing that $1000 flagship chip to a $200 budget octocore? Thats not really a fair comparison. Also, the rendering scores are in seconds, so lower is better.
  12. dalmvern said:
    8350rocks said:
    Here it is head to head with a i7-3930k which is the 6 core + HT i7...look at the rendering scores.

    Tom's Hardware - Benchmark [30] Abbyy Finereader


    Eww, comparing that $1000 flagship chip to a $200 budget octocore? Thats not really a fair comparison. Also, the rendering scores are in seconds, so lower is better.


    The 3DMark11 overall scores are very close to each other...and the combined scores are less than 100 points apart. The PCMark7 computation scores are close too.

    Yes, but my point is, it shouldn't be that close to that chip...for $800 difference, which one makes more sense?
  13. 8350rocks said:
    dalmvern said:
    8350rocks said:
    Here it is head to head with a i7-3930k which is the 6 core + HT i7...look at the rendering scores.

    Tom's Hardware - Benchmark [30] Abbyy Finereader


    Eww, comparing that $1000 flagship chip to a $200 budget octocore? Thats not really a fair comparison. Also, the rendering scores are in seconds, so lower is better.


    The 3DMark11 overall scores are very close to each other...and the combined scores are less than 100 points apart. The PCMark7 computation scores are close too.

    Yes, but my point is, it shouldn't be that close to that chip...for $800 difference, which one makes more sense?


    Since I'm using Revit and maybe 3Ds Max when I grow up :ange: I compared them with just that.

    Intel Core i7-3960X Black Edition Hexa-Core Processor: 124
    Core i7 3770K Quad Core: 148
    FX-8350 Octo-Core Processor: 155
    Phenom II X4 965 3.40 GHz: 245 (I run this now @ 3.6GHZ) poor thing looks pitiful
    Right now the Phenom runs pretty good with simple models however I have tested on more complex models and have learned I would just be wearing out components trying to do a walk through

    For the money The Intel 3770K seems to have the best marks. It also shines brightly in Photoshop CS6 which I also use a lot. Unless I interpret the scores wrong it looks like it takes an 8 core AMD to come close to a quad core Intel when it comes to autocadd and photoshop programs.

    Maybe one day I'll have the need, hence budget, for one of those 8 core Intel superchips :D

    Good link dalmvern
    Thanks!
  14. FX8350 ~$180 vs i7-3770k ~$300

    $120 for 7 seconds?
  15. 8350rocks said:
    FX8350 ~$180 vs i7-3770k ~$300

    $120 for 7 seconds?


    I believe I can get one for $229 here
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/388575/Core_i7_3770K_35GHz_LGA_1155_Processor
  16. I still wonder if the Intel Core i7 3820 Sandy that runs a tad slower would perform better paired with quad channel memory vs dual channel that the 3770K supports.
  17. That's a really aggressive deal on the 3770k...so at microcenter the difference is only $60 then...

    4 channel RAM would be a massive upgrade, though...I am not 100% certain it would make up the difference in horsepower.
  18. 8350rocks said:
    That's a really aggressive deal on the 3770k...so at microcenter the difference is only $60 then...

    4 channel RAM would be a massive upgrade, though...I am not 100% certain it would make up the difference in horsepower.



    I'm kinda leaning in this direction unless I'm missing something about the ram and test scores.
    I7 3820
    Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3
    Crucial Ballistix Tactical 32GB (4 x 8GB) @ 1600, Timing 8-8-8-24
    FirePro W5000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFire Supported ( just 1 to start )

    and these tests, mostly in 3Ds and Photoshop, are why
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/523?vs=551

    This is only $200 more than a similar 3770K system with double the ram that's quad channel
    I looked at the 3960k but didn't see a huge bump over the 3820 for $300 more except the ability to have 64gb of ram which would probably be extreme.
  19. Well, for what you're doing, then it looks like that solution makes a lot of sense. The rendering scores with better RAM will even up or even come out ahead probably.
  20. jlsa said:

    I'm kinda leaning in this direction unless I'm missing something about the ram and test scores.
    I7 3820
    Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3
    Crucial Ballistix Tactical 32GB (4 x 8GB) @ 1600, Timing 8-8-8-24
    FirePro W5000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFire Supported ( just 1 to start )

    and these tests, mostly in 3Ds and Photoshop, are why
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/523?vs=551

    This is only $200 more than a similar 3770K system with double the ram that's quad channel
    I looked at the 3960k but didn't see a huge bump over the 3820 for $300 more except the ability to have 64gb of ram which would probably be extreme.


    I am really not sure about this assessment, sure the 3820 looks better at stock speeds and I have not really seen any results of an overclocked 3820, but I know you can overclock the 3770K very easily, and even with a modest overclock up to 4.2 GHz you will see a massive improvement on that chip.
  21. actually Rendering in AutoCAD utilize all the cpu power for all cores and HT
    the cpu type depend on your work load
    - for simple 2D work i3 high frequency is good
    - for medium 3D work i5 is good
    - heavy loads 3D rendering i72600k better than AMD8350 because of lower power and i7 2600k also better than i73770k due to higher overclocking capabilities
    - for realistic heavy 3D loads the best are i73960xm or exon CPU's
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