From time to time I get asked what hardware and GPU I’m using for DAZ Studio, as well as for gaming. Rather than typing it out every time, I thought I’d make a handy post that I can refer interested parties to. This is that post 🙂
I’m using a (rather old) HP Z600 workstation for rendering and PC gaming. I picked it up for a song (about $170) in 2016 from eBay, after a discussion with Jonstark on the Carrara Forums.
It has two Intel Xeon quad-core CPUs working in tandem, which means the CPU alone can use 16 threads for rendering. It came with 4GB of stock RAM, to which I’ve added an additional 16GB, which means today it has 20GB in total. I also added a USB 3 card and a USB WiFi dongle for network connectivity.
The fastest GPU I could find that would fit into the Z600 (vintage 2009) midi tower case was a GeForce GTX 970 graphics card (by ZOTAC) with 4GB of RAM. I bought it specifically for use with DAZ Studio, which requires an NVIDIA compatible card for the Iray rendering engine.
What makes Iray tick (and render fast) is a metric called CUDA cores. The more of those a GPU has, the faster it can render. Mine has 1664, which at the time was quite impressive. It was $199 when I bought it on Amazon in 2016.
The Z600 came with a Windows Vista license, but I’ve installed Windows 10 Pro on it pretty much immediately. It needs the Pro version because it has multiple CPUs, which cannot be addressed by the Home version.
You can read more about how I built this system here.
I also have a several games consoles in current use:
- Playstation 4 (Slim)
- Playstation 3 (Super Slim)
- Nintendo Wii (with WaveBiird wireless GameCube controller)
I also use an Xbox 360 controller with WiFi dongle for use on my Windows system.
Aside from the above, I also use the following:
- a Mac Mini 2012 on my desk
- two Mac Minis in the cloud
- Microsoft Surface Pro (First Generation)
- 3x GoPro cameras (HERO 4 Silver and 2x HERO 5 Black)
- Blue Yeti microphone
- Logitech C922 Pro Stream Web Cam
- various iOS devices
- various lapel microphones