Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017

5 May, 2017 Maks (Staff Author)

Finally, we have enough tests results of the new great AMD Ryzen CPUs, that have set the new bar for consumer desktop performance.


So, what is balance of powers in CPU 3d rendering and work world for now?

Please note that the 3d rendering and work are just processor-intensive tasks, so the recommendations for CPU can also be useful for virtually any intensive use, whether it is computer grpahics or something other.


The base for this rating is a PassMark Rank. PassMark is great tool for seeing CPU performance, whether it is for video coding, 3d rendering, archiving, or actual work. Please consider possible ~5% error in evaluation for specific task. The main principles of choosing CPUs can be seen in the following table.



Standalone Workstation

Rendering Workstation

Rendering Node

Obvious on-sale price by May 2017

Desktop and Server CPUs


single-thread performance


High total performance


High total price-performance efficiency


High total power efficiency



The CPUs listed under each category are in specific order, where the most upper one is the most price-efficient. The overclocking capabilities are not taken into account.


Ultra-budget Standalone Workstation CPU

The cheapest greatly performing PC for working in 3ds Max. With this one, you may have a complete 3ds Max workstation PC with 4-threaded CPU, great single-thread performance, and fair (G4560) / great (G4600) built-in graphics.


Standalone Workstation CPU

The best options for the workstation with great built-in grpahics, and not intended for use in 3d rendering because of low sum performance.

Rendering Workstation CPU

Here are the best ones for usage in working PC that is capable to take singnificant part as rendering machine. Thus, workstation CPU can also be viewed as a economy option. Features both remarkable single-thread performance and total perormance.

Rendering Node CPU

The most economy and price-efficient PCs for 3d rendering can be done with the following CPUs. They are picked up to be the most effective on total. However, i7-7700K has remarkable single-threaded performance, making it suitable for workstation as well.


Most universal CPU

If you already have, or planning to buy, this CPU, know that you cannot go wrong with it. It has the HIGHEST single-threaded performance for today, great total performance, great built-in graphics, is quite affordable, can be successfully used on cheap motherboard with usual cooler, can be overclocked on the appropriate chipset to be even more performing.

As you may have noticed, this rank doesn’t mention Xeons, Athlons, Opterons, as well as old CPUs. And this is not because they were intentionally filtered out. They just come out to stand behind the modern desktop CPUs in fair rational comparsion. As it was always, new server CPUs and the parts they are compatible with, cost too much for 3d rendering purposes: they are designed to be better in other aspect. Ahtlons do not support V-Ray’s Embree feature, which makes renders significanlty faster, so they cannot beat Intels and Ryzens in any way. Finally, old CPUs are just old: reasons of their performance underrun is obvious. That doesn’t mean you have to imiidiately throw your old PC out, just make sure you don’t buy the old one today.

All have super-high FPS and beatuful renders!


5 May, 2017 Ilya
5 May, 2017 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017

Is there a big difference between Intel Core i5-7500 and Intel Core i5-7600K? Except the possibility of overclocking of course ..

5 May, 2017 Maks (Staff Author)
5 May, 2017 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017


In absolute values, comparing with i5-7600K, the i5-7500 is 1/5 worse in single-thread, around 15% slower in total, slightly more energy-efficient, and costs only ~12% less. Yeah, this is not big difference relatively and i5-7500 can be viewed as mid-step CPU, but still i5-7600K is greater at providing benefits for its price.

1 Jun, 2017 Pavel
1 Jun, 2017 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017

I can't decide. What do you think is better to choose, Core i7 7700K for overclocking or Ryzen 1700 with a little overclocking also?

5 May, 2017 Maks (Staff Author)
1 Jun, 2017 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017



As I've noted, the CPUs under each category are ranged from most rational to the less rational ones. Having i7-7700K at the bottom of the Rendering Node category, you should consider it as the least rational choise for rendering purposes camparing to the top ones.


Thus, for the rendering purposes, Ryzen 1700 is better than 7700K.

30 Sep, 2017 Kirill
30 Sep, 2017 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017

How can a 12-thread 1600 be faster by only 15%, compared to 1500x having 50% less threads? Excuse me, did you try to compare them in rendering?

5 May, 2017 Maks (Staff Author)
2 Oct, 2017 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017


CPUs have a lot of characteristics that affect their performance. The number of threads has the least impact on the production-rendering speed. Moreover, oddly enough, in many situations, this impact is negative because of the time it takes to join the results of separate calculations. Because of the insignificant difference, as a rule, this characteristic is neglected when choosing a render machine. To put it simply:

It is not about the threads, when rendering.

3 Jan, 2018 Georgiy
3 Jan, 2018 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017

Maks, it is a good article! Helped alot !! I also face the choice of a budget render machine. Have to buy in a couple of days, and acoording to all video reviews, the Ryzen 1600 rules. There is almost not much point in taking 1700 ... .Lets talk about render speed only, but the question is: What RAM should be for for 1600 RYZEN, when it is very dependent on the frequency of memory (speed), because of its architecture 🙁 it depends on RAM and exposes its potential only when RAM selected wisely.. Intel does not have such a problem with memory - this is the Achilles' heel of the entire RYZEN line 🙁...  Will the memory overclock from 2400 to 3200 help 1600 if I'll get inexpensive but very overclockable memory such as SAMSUNG DDR4-2400 8GB (M378A1K43CB2-CRC). What is worse in this case can happen? Which budget memory 2x8 - total 16 can it be revealed in all its glory and better performance.... Do I need to bother myself with that? I just really don't want to get the trimmed version of the CPU that can be considered ideal for rendering 🙁

5 May, 2017 Maks (Staff Author)
4 Jan, 2018 # Re: Best CPU for 3ds Max, May 2017

George, unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to check all the memory options on Ryzen personally, so I will not advise anything about overclocking.

From a practical and realistic point of view, plain arithmetic shows that the choice of fast out-of-the-box memory will make the Ryzen 1600/16Gb base kit price higher by 6%. And the difference in CPU performance from the memory speed described by you lies in the range of 5-10%, what completely justifies the extra price for better memory. The funny thing is that the same fact justifies buying cheaper memory as well, because the quality-price ratio is the same.

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