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My Rendering and Simulation Rig

I often get asked what machine I render my animation on, so here is a full breakdown which I’ll add some benchmarks to if and when I carry out any overclocking.

Amazon links are for the UK. If you’re from the states, I’ve included Amazon US links at the bottom (make sure you have Adblock turned off to see them). These are affiliate links, so buying anything through them helps support me and this site without costing you extra.

CPU, Motherboard and RAM

I need a speedy processor for my simulations, which usually take advantage of multiple threads very well. My dream system would include dual Xeon processors but this was way out of my budget. The price-to-performance ratio, particularly, is much worse than i7 machines. What I settled for I felt was a good balance.

I have a 6-core, 12 threaded i7-5820k processor running on a Gigabyte UD4-X99 Motherboard, with 16GB of Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 RAM. I cool the CPU with a Corsair Hydro Series H100i liquid cooler.


This is probably the most important part for any serious rendering machine. I render exclusively on GPU now and a lot of my projects wouldn’t be possible without GPU acceleration (or they would take weeks to render. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a whole month rendering a project to realise that it doesn’t look as great as you thought it did!).

I currently have two MSI edition Nvidia GTX 970 GPUs.

During long periods where I don’t have any ongoing projects, I donate this rendering power to Sheep It!