Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer built for the demands of feature-length animation and visual effects. Originally co-developed with Sony Pictures Imageworks and now their main renderer, Arnold is used at over 300 studios worldwide including ILM, Framestore, MPC, The Mill and Digic Pictures.
Arnold is a CPU-based, multi-threaded rendering application, therefore the more processor cores the better.
In general, 3-6GB of RAM per CPU core is recommended. For example, if you select a single 12-core processor, 32GB will suffice for basic tasks or 64GB for more demanding workloads.
We recommend having two drives which provides the best performance:
- Primary Drive: SSD for the operating system and software
- Secondary Drive: another SSD, or for better performance, an NVMe Flash Storage Drive (the "HP Z Turbo Drive") for active project files
If you need additional storage for large, infrequently accessed files, we also recommend one or more 4TB, 6TB or 8TB+ hard drives. Hard drives also work well for storing export files as the export/rendering process is generally not write intensive.
Arnold has no graphic card or GPU requirements because it is purely a CPU-based renderer. Therefore a lower-end graphics card is recommended, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.
The HP Z8 G4 Workstation is recommended if you would like dual processors and/or multiple high performance graphics cards.
The HP Z6 G4 Workstation is recommended if you would like to start with a single high-end processor and single high-performance graphics card with the potential of upgrading in the future. With the Z6 G4, you can add a second matching processor and double the memory using the optional second processor riser. The power supply will also support two mid-range graphics cards.
The HP Z4 G4 Workstation is recommended for majority of workflows. Since Intel now produces single Core i9 and Xeon processors with up to 18-cores and high clock speed, there is no need for dual processors unless you will have heavy CPU rendering or intensive tasks demanding more than 18-cores. Also, the HP Z4 G4 has an optional 1000W power supply that will support the most powerful graphics cards inluding the GeForce RTX 2080Ti and Quadro RTX 6000.