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So here are a few desktops that we think would be the best if you use these for ZBrush. These come in different specifications, and each is better than the others in one way or another. The choice thus depends on how you use the software, and heavy work necessarily requires a better configuration.
In This Article
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for ZBrush
To run ZBrush which is a powerful digital sculpting and painting software the artists and designers need an efficient PC.
If you have a tight budget, then you need to go with such a desktop that is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor, 16GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon graphics card, and a 500GB SSD.
These requirements are sufficient to run the software, but these may not provide the best performance.
Professionals need to go with high-end specifications like an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, and 2TB HDD.
Minimum System Requirements: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 | 16GB RAM | AMD Radeon Graphics | 500GB SSD.
Recommended System Requirements: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X or better processor | 32GB RAM or more | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 or better GPU | 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD and 2TB HDD or more storage.
5 Best Desktops for ZBrush:
1. ASUS ROG Strix GA35 Gaming Desktop – Overall Best
Bottom Line: This is the overall best option for using ZBrush. Professionals can expect top-notch processing speed from this device.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
- OS: Windows 11 Professional
- RAM: 32GB
- Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD and 2TB HDD
- Option to attach multiple monitors
- A transparent glass panel with RGB chassis
- Liquid cooling
- Very bulky design
- Without thunderbolt port
- High maintenance cost
The ASUS ROG Strix GA35 is a powerful and high-performing PC and is a great choice for running ZBrush.
The desktop comes with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor, which is one of the best processors of this time.
With 16 cores and 32 threads, it provides fast and efficient performance.
The desktop also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card, which is one of the most powerful GPUs available in the market.
While running XBrush, it helps in generating smooth and fast rendering and visualization of 3D models.
Furthermore, the desktop has 32GB of RAM, which is more than enough for smoothly experiencing ZBrush. 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD and 2TB HDD storage will give you ample space and speed you need to store and access your projects.
2. MSI Creator P50 Desktop – Runner Up
Bottom Line: This device is packed with mid-range specifications. The Zbrush users will be amazed by its smooth processing speed. For its great performance, we have placed it in the runner-up position.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-12700F
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
- OS: Windows 11 PRO
- RAM: 32GB
- Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
- Inbuilt Wi-Fi 6E with triple-band support
- Powerful Intel i7 processor
- Attractive design and look
- The cooling section is not so strong
- Don’t have any RGB light
- Missing Type C port
This computer from MSI is a great option for running ZBrush. It is equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700F processor, which offers high performance and efficient multitasking capabilities.
This powerful CPU can smoothly handle ZBrush and other graphics-intensive applications.
The desktop also features a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card, which is essential for smooth performance when working with 3D models in ZBrush.
In addition, it has 32 GB of dual-channel memory and fast storage options. It ensures the PC can handle large 3D models and renders quickly.
This desktop is also VR-ready. This feature is very helpful to those who want to take advantage of 3D world.
3. HP Ryzen Desktop – Value for Money
Bottom Line: The Ryzen 7 APU on the desktop delivers promising performance in ZBrush. Also, with available configurations suited for the task at hand, it is an excellent desktop for most CPU-intensive applications.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4700G
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 32 GB
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- Excellent CPU performance
- Affordable pricing
- Ample ports
- Not that great for graphics-intensive workload
- Limited Upgradability
- Not the latest Bluetooth or WIFI standards
The new generation of Ryzen APUs, just like the one present in this desktop from HP, have surprised many through their performance.
These can compete against the best of Intel and other options from AMD itself, and often come out as the better ones in the different benchmark scores.
We are talking about the Ryzen 7 4700G here specifically, which has got 8 cores and 16 threads. The clock rate ranges from 3.6 – 4.4 GHz which is ample to give the system a boost when needed.
This comes with 8 core Radeon Graphics, which is good for mild tasks, but not the optimal choice for those software dependant on graphics.
ZBrush is not one of those, and so it works well on this. The 32 GB of RAM and 1 GB SSD storage present in this variant make sure of it even further. It has got good connectivity options too.
But expandability is slightly limited, though you get all the necessary ones.
So, if you’re looking for a convenient and sleek device for your tasks on ZBrush, then it makes total sense to include this desktop on your shortlist.
4. SkyTech Archangel – Affordable and Well-equipped for Mid-range Users
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a desktop to use ZBrush primarily, along with some other things such as gaming, video editing, and tasks like that, then make sure you take a look at this machine.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 500 GB
- Affordable pricing
- Easily upgradable
- Much future-proof
- Certain models don’t have a USB Type-C port
- Hardware issues at times
- Small storage space
The SkyTech Archangel comes with a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, a GTX 1660 Super GPU, 16 gigs of RAM with a frequency of 3000 MHz, and a modest 500 GB of SSD space.
This is quite a popular prebuilt desktop, mostly since building a desktop with the specs that it comes with would cost you the same.
But with the Archangel, you also get a warranty period on the entire desktop, and so hardware trouble is easier to handle.
Now for ZBrush, more focus is to be given to CPU performance and so we have selected this variant. There are others as well, with other CPU options both from Intel and AMD, and GPU options up to RTX 3060 Tis.
The best part about it is that even the higher variants are not excessively high-priced, which means that you won’t have to plan your budget all over again just because you want better performance.
But there are some things we didn’t like about it too, like it still doesn’t have a Type-C port in it. However, it depends on the motherboard being provided.
Not that everyone needs it, but that would have been a welcome addition.
5. SkyTech Chronos – Robust Graphical Prowess
Bottom Line: You’d like the SkyTech Chronos very much, if you have to use a lot of intensive software on your PC, and not just ZBrush. With great specs and a simple design, no surprise that it made it to this list.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- Great specs
- Simple design
- Ample scope of expansions
- Not the latest WIFI support
- Tech support has to be improved
- Minor hardware issues
This is one of SkyTech’s best-pre built desktops, with all the right specs and a price tag that you couldn’t have possibly matched by building a system yourself. And that too without the warranty of course.
SkyTech Chronos comes with a Ryzen 7 3700X CPU, an RTX 3070 8 GB video card, 16 gigs of RAM, and a 1 TB NvME SSD for storage.
ZBrush has several areas of application, or to be precise the models created through it do. Naturally, there are different dedicated software too, some relying more on the CPU, while others on graphics.
If you have a lot of graphics-related software to run on your desktop, be it heavy video editing, rendering, animation, or anything of the sort, then this is the desktop you should be considering without second thoughts.
These newer models also ship with USB Type-C ports alongside other I/O slots, but the WIFI and Bluetooth is still not the latest one.
Another good thing is that there is no bloatware in this, which some other well-known brands tend to provide on their desktops.
There are other variants too if you’re looking for a different set of specs or another price segment perhaps.
How to Choose Best Desktop for ZBrush?
The desktops we have mentioned above are all well-equipped for ZBrush and the software that needs to be used along with it.
But these are a selected few, and there are other prebuilt options other than these, while you may build a desktop as well.
Typically, if you do use ZBrush, you’d surely need to use other dedicated software for photo or video rendering, or even game development, and so on. Each of these has different system requirements that have to be kept in mind.
Now depending on your budget and the configuration present, some of these desktops can even run a lot of heavy software at the same time, while others are not so proficient.
Truth be told, the software can run on a lower-end system as well, as long as you are working on lighter projects, but you cannot expect a very comfortable experience then.
As you increase the workload, the system would yield soon enough, or you’d be stuck with a rendering for hours.
ZBrush is much like any other 3D modeling software, so the kind of specs you’d need for Maya, CAD, and such would work with it as well.
But yet, certain things need attention, and that is precisely what this guide is for.
For using ZBrush, there are certainly a few things that you have to select rightly, as we’ll soon talk about.
But the Operating System of the computer that you choose to build or buy is not that sensitive of a choice.
Now in all probability, you are a mainstream user, and if so, you can use either the Mac OS or Windows to run ZBrush, since it is supported by both currently.
What matters here is which one of these are you more accustomed to, and since 3D sculpting is not all that easy, it would be better to not experiment.
Then there are the good and bad sides of both Windows and Mac OS, something which is also quite important.
The Mac OS is relatively fast, simple and you may expect quicker rendering times on it due to the superior optimization.
And, Mac desktops also have that iconic look that can complement an already stylish environment.
But they do have expensive price tags and lesser software compatibility, things which are better with Windows.
Any average Windows desktop you buy for 3D sculpting would not cost you much, and it would also be possible to make upgrades down the road if necessary.
It may not be as optimized, but with the right amount of system resources, there shouldn’t be much of a problem.
So, if you have other things to run that can benefit from an iMac or Mac Mini, then there’s no doubt that you should buy one.
But as a beginner or with a lower budget, a decent Windows desktop seems to be the better choice.
For ZBrush, the CPU performance is the one that matters the most, and often professionals do not even need a dedicated GPU.
Since the processor has to do the majority of the work, its choice is instrumental to the overall performance of your desktop in this software.
Now, there are limitations to what even the most expensive processor can do, and it all depends on how heavy the current project is.
No matter what CPU you choose, the software is bound to lag at times due to practical limitations. This is usually when working with a very high number of polygons (in millions).
But to utilize most of the features offered by ZBrush, a good processor becomes mandatory.
Rendering on the software requires multiple cores, and the faster these cores are, the quicker your work would be done.
Having a mighty Xeon or a Threadripper does speed up things, but they are costly. For extremely heavy renderings though, a workstation may be your only choice.
For the average person, an octa-core AMD or Intel CPU is best, and with the budget not being a very strong restraint, you might as well choose one with 10 cores.
On the lower side, a quad-core multithreaded CPU is the minimum, and a CPU with 6 cores can still handle some moderately heavy work.
Yes, ZBrush is largely CPU intensive, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you wouldn’t require a GPU at all. Graphics, either integrated or discrete, are important for every single desktop no matter what purpose it is used for.
So considering that your desktop already has integrated graphics (which it generally should), is it worth investing in a better video card? There isn’t a concrete answer to this since this depends on the way you use ZBrush.
For example, with enough CPU power and memory, one may not need a dedicated GPU. Many professionals use Core i9 processors, 32+ gigs of RAM, and still rely on the onboard graphics.
A GPU would be needed when you add special visualizations or work with high-resolution monitors.
Thus, the GPU choice would be determined by the other software that you use, that can utilize it.
The final product of a ZBrush project can be used in animation, movies, games, engineering, and whatnot. Most of these have a greater graphics requirement.
For mid-range systems, any 4-6 GB video card would do, and for serious graphical work, an RTX GPU is also worth considering.
You might as well choose an AMD Radeon Pro or an NVIDIA QUADRO GPU if you are working with extremely professional projects. This is the case for Workstation users, who have very high-end purposes.
But it wouldn’t be making much of a difference in this software’s overall performance even if you buy one such video card. That is especially when considering the money you’d have to spend on it.
Anything that is CPU intensive requires large amounts of system memory or RAM to work with, and in this instance, that number is high as well. Rather than a CPU or GPU upgrade, a solid RAM upgrade often does wonders to the working of ZBrush.
So do you need to fill up all the available RAM slots and install the maximum amount of memory that your desktop supports? Not really, since it too depends on the kind of work that you do.
Say you work with a massive number of polygons at the same time, in which case you’d naturally need more memory. On the other hand, with simple sculptures and lesser multitasking to do, about 16-32 GB of it would do just fine.
An average ZBrush user keeps 16+ GB of memory since it is not the only thing his computer runs at once. In your case too, our suggestion would be to have at least 16 GB of RAM installed on the desktop.
And yes, RAM frequency does play a role here, and faster RAM modules may make a slight difference to your workflow. But don’t make the trade-off between RAM capacity and frequency.
If you don’t know this already, ZBrush is going to constantly read and write on your storage drives.
This means that the speed of the drive in which it is installed, as well as the one it uses to store data, is going to make a significant difference.
Storage speed is often overlooked in the crowd of fast CPUs, RAM, and powerful GPUs, but it is very much important here. And not just speed, the kind of work you’d do on the software also demands storage space, quite a lot of it.
So make sure you choose a fast enough storage drive, along with the other hardware so that your desktop can provide the optimal results, no matter how heavy the workload is.
The first preference always has to be an M.2 PCIe SSD drive, which is the fastest kind of storage you can equip your PC with. But such a drive can be very costly, especially if it has a large capacity.
So, the budget-friendlier option would be SATA SSDs, which are not as costly.
HDDs are the last, but the cheapest resort. You can use one of these as an external drive or store lesser essential data as well.
To wrap up the hardware department, make sure that you have good connectivity on your desktop. This includes USB ports, WIFI, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and so on.
USB ports have got a variety of uses, as you already know, and even if you don’t have extra devices, you still need these to connect peripherals.
Wireless connectivity is best when present by default in this PC that you buy but also look for the latest versions if possible.
Also, if you’d be using more than a single monitor, free video ports would be needed, either on the GPU or the motherboard directly. ZBrush users often prefer a second screen for better productivity.
ZBrush provides lots of tools and features for its users for detailed and sensitive sculpting. One has to work very patiently, which is not possible without the right accessories.
Well, the kind of accessories that you’d need for any other purpose is almost the same in this case as well, but sensitivity and response times matter largely here.
The first things that you should be looking for are a good drawing tablet and a stylus, that would assist you.
Most, if not all, 3D artists use a stylus or pen of some sort for drawing purposes, since a mouse is not all that good for detailing.
But even then, it wouldn’t harm if you choose a decent mouse and a keyboard along with everything else.
You also need some other accessories, but a monitor is the basic one. You may as well get away with an HD display if you’re a beginner, although an FHD or 2K display is recommended. Keep an eye on the response times and color accuracy as well.
Now serious artists might opt for a 4K or better monitor, or a multi-monitor setup, in which case a good dedicated GPU would also be needed for the desktop. But not every 3D artist prefers such, and it is a matter of personal discretion.
Questions & Answers:
How much RAM do you need for ZBrush?
The amount of RAM that you’d need for ZBrush depends on how heavy the renderings are on the software. More RAM prevents a bottleneck and ensures a smoother workflow. But before you buy too much RAM, you must have a good CPU and enough workload that can utilize it.
Does ZBrush use CPU or GPU?
In ZBrush specifically, a GPU has limited uses. It largely relies on the CPU, though a GPU does not entirely go unused.
No matter how good or how expensive, the video card is only going to have a limited influence on ZBrush, and so it’s better to invest in a better CPU.
Is ZBrush available for Mac?
Yes, ZBrush is supported by the Mac OS as well, so you may buy an Apple product as long as it fits in your budget. But it does not support as much other software as Windows does, which might be a problem for the overall purpose for which you might be using the software. So, make sure you consider this as well before making a purchase.
The ZBrush software is a very useful tool if you are into serious 3D sculpting, video creation, or any such profession where 3D modeling is required.
You need not spend thousands, but the right investment on the right hardware can get you an excellent system that would be useful for years to come.