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I have to make the right choice....


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Hi Fellow ODForcers,

My name is Dennis and I was wondering if I could have some advice on the following, no fan boy talk just real life scenario experience so I will make the best decision for my Workstation build as I can only spend my money once for now. I am a recent Houdini Indie user, I wish I switched before!

I have the following issue:

I am a Dutch student now seriously into Houdini and on the side do sometimes some Unreal and other stuff.

I am stuck on either a slightly older X299 based 7960X 16/32 core system or the new Threadripper 2950X 16/32 core system. Both are in my country with all the goods and 64GB ram about the same price for both configurations. 

According to CPU monkey they both have similar CPU performance results but my intake was that for reference I was referred to Puget systems to read some stuff about ideal workstation configurations.

They seem to stick with Intel CPU as they are proven to be the best for their Workstation user scenarios and now my question is:

Is the 2950X a solid choice for a hassle free new workstation especially with the 64 lane support and future upgrades once the 2990 WX is all grown up and functions 100% with no bugs v.s. the Intel 44 lane support (I currently have a 3 x 1080 Ti setup for some GPU rendering in other applications). Or would the Intel way be the best choice because of its proven reliability for the past years?

Again I am not a fanboy so I hope to get some useful input so I can make the best choice for now.

If it were up to you would you go for an Intel based system or a newer 2018 Threadripper system?


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Either will work well. If you look through the forums you will find plenty of post on these hardware questions. There is no specific right or wrong setup. It really depends on the day to day tech you will be using if you want to finesse it. Will you be doing lots of Renders, Sims, using the GPU, what other programs besides unreal/unity and houdini will you be using? Each algorithm and parts of the software are made differently, and could benefit from different combos. So there is no one right answer unless you are building a render farm with a very constant load out.

In the end a good intel/amd CPU and a good nvidia GPU will take you far. As you are just starting out I would not worry too deeply about it though. As you won't be leveraging the hardware as much as a render farm, so any increase in performance can easily be out weighed by the amount of idle time your hardware will actually have. If your sim, or render takes too long... optimize it, there is no excuse in today's day and age to be blaming hardware for slow processing time.

IMO, the thread ripper has some great reviews, and I have seen it tear up some good Mantra Renders. But in the end you are splitting hairs. I would say cost should be your most important advisor at this point in the game.


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Hi Ben, thx for your response.

I actually had an AMD Threadripper system available this week both a 2950x and a 2990WX configuration with exactly equal specs. I am convinced now that a Threadripper system is the one for me, it ate through my keyshot and arnold renders like a beast and I saw it performed well on Houdini too, so for now I am futureproof for at least the next two years. Regards DNS

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