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Setup for freelance work

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I have a general question, I'm not sure if it's more suited to this subforum or for the General Questions one, if it's the latter, please move it there.

I'm considering going full time Houdini but in my country for now there's not many studios that use it. So I was thinking of going freelance and work from home. For that I would like to buy a decent PC to do so.

So my question is:

A decent Xeon dual CPU, let's say 32 virtual cores, is enough to render real work in a reasonable time? Meaning, could I work in the day hours and render in the night. I know that's a very vague question, but consider small-to-medium simulations, nothing super crazy. Maybe someone has experience doing something similar. 

If anyone know some tool that I can use to compare different setups in terms of time that would be great. I took a look at the Cinebench rankings but I don't know how to translate the point results into something like time. 

Thank you 

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For a home-office setup look at Gridmarkets for cloud rendering or GPU rendering too.

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