6 Best CPU For Blender – Expert Reviews

CPUs can either be complicated or easy to buy. You can opt to buy the newest or most hyped CPU on the market or get analytical and look at every detail, specs, data, and how they impact performance.

Ultimately, your budget will influence your spending power; thus, you might want to compare performance and price.

That sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of the best CPU for Blender available today.


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
What You Need To Know About The CPU

A beast in its own right.

Plenty of cores, power and speed.

A powerful budget CPU for Blender.

Prime
Position
First Place
Snapshot
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
What You Need To Know About The CPU

A beast in its own right.

Prime
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W
What You Need To Know About The CPU

Plenty of cores, power and speed.

Prime
Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
What You Need To Know About The CPU

A powerful budget CPU for Blender.

Prime

Last update on 2021-09-22 at 01:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Preview
Name
Rating
Operating Frequency, Number of Cores and Threads
 
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

Up to 4.8GHz | 12/24
Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W

Up to 5.3GHz | 8/16
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-core, 24-Threads Unlocked Desktop Processor

Up to 4.7GHz | 12/24
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

Up to 4.7 GHz | 8/16
Intel Core i5-11400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.4 GHz LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 65W

Up to 4.9 GHz | 6/12
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

3.8 GHz | 6/12

Best CPU for Blender Reviewed

Best CPU For Blender Overall – AMD Ryzen 9

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

Where To Buy

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Pros

  • Best multi-core performance
  • Overclockable
  • Power efficiency
  • Good price-to-performance ratio

Cons

  • Needs a powerful PSU
  • Requires some serious cooling

Operating Frequency: Up To 4.8 GHzMax Frequency: 4.8 GHz Number of Cores and Threads: 12 Cores and 24 ThreadsL3 Cache: 72MB |TDP (Thermal Design Power): 105W

Less than 5 years ago, the highest number of cores you’d get in a mainstream CPU was 4. Now you can as high as 16 cores.

AMD has become quite popular in the market, due to its ability to create a high-performance CPU at a budget-friendly price.

And the AMD Ryzen 9 is one of the most powerful CPUs from AMD.

If you intend to use 3D rendering software such as Blender, this is the CPU that you’ll need.

A professional working on a complex project using Blender will require more threads, which the 3950X has in plenty.

It’s also a good gaming CPU, but it’s not worth paying that much if you’re solely interested in gaming.

If you want a CPU that can handle higher workloads and multithreading tasks, then this is it. The AMD Ryzen 9 offers better performance compared to high-end Intel CPUs such as the Intel Core i9.]

Overall, the best CPU for heavy computing workloads.


Best Intel CPU For Blender – Intel Core i9

Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W

Where To Buy

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Pros

  • Overclocking potential
  • Faster single-core performance
  • Good thermal performance

Cons

  • High power consumption
  • Needs new motherboard (AORUS Z490 Master)
  • Doesn’t have a cooler

Operating Frequency: Up to 5.3GHz | Max Frequency: 5.3GHz | Number of Cores and Threads: 8 cores and 16 threads | L3 Cache: 16MB |TDP (Thermal Design Power): 125 W

Intel dubbed it the fastest gaming processor and was seen as the answer to AMD’s advancements. It’s arguably one of the best CPUs for Blender, and so far, it’s holding up well against its competition from AMD.

The Intel Core i9 is built on the 14nm Skylake architecture, which they’ve used since 2015.

For some, this means minimal improvements in terms of performance compared to its predecessor, the core i9-10900k.

However, the 11900k does come with a few changes as it has 8 cores, 16MB Intel Smart Cache, 16 threads, 3.7 GHz base clock speed, and 5.3 boosted clock speed.

It also has a thinner die, thinner solder thermal interface material, and thicker heat spreader to aid in thermal dissipation.

In terms of single-core performance, the 11900K slightly edges the 9900K by 1% and the Ryzen 9 3900X by 12%.

However, when it comes to multi-core testing, the AMD Ryzen 9 offers better performance as it edges the 11900K by close to 20%. The latter outmatches the 10900K by 2%.

Is the 11900K worth buying? Yes. If you’re building a new rig, the 10900K is a good option.

However, if you’re interested in upgrading your current CPU, you might want to opt for a different option as you’ll need a new motherboard for this processor.


2nd Best AMD CPU For Blender – AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT

AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-core, 24-Threads Unlocked Desktop Processor

Where To Buy

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Improved single and mid-threaded performance
  • Drop-in ready
  • Support for PCle 4.0

Cons

  • No bundled cooler
  • Not the best choice for gaming

Operating Frequency: 3.8GHz | Max Frequency: 4.7GHz | Number of Cores and Threads: 12 cores and 24 threads |L3 Cache: 64 MB |TDP (Thermal Design Power): 105W

The Ryzen 9 3900XT was part of three flagships released in 2020 as a response to the new Comet Lake Processors by Intel.

The Ryzen 9 3900XT is the more expensive of the three, and it’s easy to see why when you look at the specs.

If you’re building a new PC, the 3900XT would be a better option than the 3900X as it offers better clock speeds. However, since it doesn’t come with a cooler, you’ll have to factor in the cost of a cooler.

If you can get a cooler, then the 3900XT would be a great option, especially in gaming, 3D modeling, content creation, and multitasking.

It’s a 12-core and 24-thread AM4 processor that’s compatible with motherboards that support the Ryzen 3000 series. It performs better than the 3900X and the Intel 10900K in Blender.

The 3900XT offers better gains in productivity software such as Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, etc.

And it would make sense to invest in such a chip and an aftermarket cooler if you intend to use content creation apps and 3D modeling software exclusively.


Best Value AMD CPU For Blender – AMD Ryzen 7

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler

Where To Buy

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Pros

  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Double the L3 cache of the previous generation
  • Decent single and multi-threaded performance

Cons

  • Best combined with the X570 motherboard
  • Doesn’t offer significant performance difference compared to the 3700X

Operating Frequency: Up To 4.7 GHzMax Frequency: Up To 4.7 GHzNumber of Cores and Threads: 8 Cores and 16 ThreadsL3 Cache: 36MBTDP (Thermal Design Power): 105W

In terms of price, Intel core i7 is the natural competitor of the Ryzen 7. However, in terms of specs, the Ryzen 7 can be placed in the same category as the Intel i9.

It has 8 cores and 16 threads, and offers minimal performance difference when compared to the Intel Core i9.

Not only that the multi-core performance is insane. Pair the AMD Ryzen 7 with a powerful GPU and you have got yourself. One of the best set-up for Blender in terms of performance and price.

Highly recommended as one of the best CPU for Blender.


Best Budget CPU For Blender – Intel Core i5

Intel Core i5-11400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.4 GHz LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 65W

Where To Buy

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Pros

  • Overclocking potential
  • Respectable thermals
  • Stellar gaming performance for the price
  • Lower per-thread pricing

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a cooler
  • PCIe 3.0
  • Will require a new motherboard

Operating Frequency: Up to 4.9 GHzMax Frequency: 4.9 GHz| Number of Cores and Threads: 6 Cores and 12 ThreadsL3 Cache: 9MB | TDP (Thermal Design Power): 125W

The Intel Core i5 is a solid budget CPU for Blender. Not the most powerful CPU but has enough performance to run Blender.

It has a quite a high base frequency, plenty of cores and bundled cooler. So it’s able to dish out decent performance.

However, the Intel Core i5 has a locked ratio multiplier that prevents you from overclocking unless it’s disabled.

Overall, the Intel Core i5 is nothing more than a budget CPU that delivers good computing performance. This makes it one of the best budget CPU for Blender when starting out.


Best Budget CPU For Blender – AMD Ryzen 5

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

Where To Buy

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Pros

  • Bundled cooler
  • Impressive application performance
  • Affordable
  • Overclockable

Cons

  • No integrated graphics

Operating Frequency: Up to 4.6 GHzMax Frequency: 4.6 GHz Number of Cores and Threads: 6 Cores and 12 Threads | L3 Cache: 35MBTDP (Thermal Design Power): 65W

AMD has dominated the market; thus, it’s no surprise that there is another AMD processor on this list of the best CPU for Blender.

This budget is a friendly to midrange option for enthusiasts, gamers, and content creators who want a powerful processor but can’t spend as much.

It has 6 cores, 12 threads, and a base clock frequency of 3.8GHz. This processor is a beast when used for gaming, making it a good option for gamers looking for budget-friendly CPUs.

It has six cores that can handle productivity workloads if the need arises.

If you’re building your PC for Blender, the AMD Ryzen 5 will form an excellent foundation for you to build on as you progress.

It offers a 7% better performance compared to the 3600 processor and comes with a better cooler.


Does Blender Need a Good CPU?

Yes. According to Blender, the recommended requirements are 64-bit quad-core CPU, 16 GB RAM, and a graphics card with at least 4 GB RAM.

However, if you want optimal performance, you should get a 64-bit eight-core CPU with 32 GB RAM, graphics card with at least 12 GB RAM, and Full HD displays.

Over the last decade, there has been a heated debate as to whether GPU rendering is better than CPU rendering and vice versa. GPU rendering has come a long way and continues to improve.

Currently, GPU rendering offers better speed, real-time visualization, and they’re cheaper.

However, GPU rendering has memory limitations, and if not appropriately integrated, your external GPU can cause a system crash.

Alternatively, CPU rendering delivers higher image quality, and you can always upgrade the RAM at a reasonable price.

Should you replace CPU rendering with GPU rendering? That depends on tons of factors, but keep in mind that the two work better together.

GPU rendering will eventually become the go-to for professional rendering, but until then, CPU rendering is still king.

If you’re in an industry that requires higher quality images, then CPU rendering is the better option.

However, if you’re in the animation industry where a lot of graphics-intensive processing is involved, GPU rendering would be a good option.

Does Blender use GPU or CPU?

Blender uses both, and you can switch from CPU to GPU by accessing your Blender Render Settings PreferencesSystemCycle Render Devices. You can choose to use CPU over GPU or both, especially if you’re using blender 2.8.

GPU renders a single tile at a time while CPU renders multiple tiles. Therefore, if you’re rendering large tile sizes such as 256×256, GPU is the better option as it’s faster.

If you’re working with small tile sizes such as 16×16 or 32×32, CPU will edge GPU by a small margin.

A Few Things To Know When Getting A CPU For Blender

Clock Speed

When looking for the best CPU for Blender, you can’t ignore a processor’s clock speed. This is because it measures the number of cycles that your CPU can execute per second.

Faster clock speeds typically result in a seamless performance, especially when running programs such as Blender.

Although it’s a key component, it’s not the only feature to consider, especially if you want a powerful CPU.

You need to consider clock speed alongside features such as the number of cores, power consumption, CPU cache, etc.

Number of Cores And Threads

Cores are hardware components, while threads are virtual components.

The latter feeds tasks to the cores more efficiently, which is why more threads translate to increased efficiency in processing information.

Generally, more cores and threads translate to better performance. However, if your interest is the best CPU for Blender, you’d benefit more from additional threads.

More cores would also mean better performance when handling time-consuming workloads.

Budget

The best CPU for Blender does not come cheap, especially if you consider the entire system’s cost. Before making any purchase, consider how much you want to spend on the full system.

For example, if the processor requires a new motherboard, are you willing to spend more to get a motherboard? Do you need a high-end CPU, or will a mid-range CPU perform the tasks you need?

You don’t need to spend $1,000 on a CPU when you can get a $500 CPU that offers similar performance. 

Final Thoughts

The battle between Intel and AMD continues as the two try to outdo each in the CPU market. Which of the two should you buy?

AMD Ryzen processors have the upper hand and would be a good option if you’re focused on 3D rendering, video encoding, gaming, and streaming games. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

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