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 Z840 is recommended if you require dual processors or dual high performance graphics cards. The Z840 can support up to 6 hard drives or 10 SSDs.
The Z640 is recommended if you require a single high-end processor or single high-performance graphics card. You can always add a second processor and double the memory at a later date using the optional Z640 processor riser. The Z640 can support up to 4 hard drives or 6 SSDs.
The Z440 is recommended if you require a single processor with a low core count or mid-range graphics card. The Z440 can support up to 4 hard drives or 6 SSDs.