Is 16GB RAM enough for 3D Rendering? (Answered with Facts)

3D modeling and rendering take up a lot of processing power from both your CPU and GPU. So, it is a must to have higher RAM to support the CPU so that it can perform the processes effectively. But how much high?

The amount of RAM required is a personal preference. As per your workload and requirement, you must choose the RAM space. In this article, we shall discuss whether 16GB RAM is good enough for 3D modeling and rendering.

Is 16GB RAM enough for 3D Rendering

Is 16GB RAM enough for 3D Rendering?

Yes, You can get good performance in 3D renderings with 16GB of RAM provided you have a faster CPU and GPU with at least 4GB of VRAM. Many 3D modeling applications can work with 16GB RAM but they demand a faster CPU.

If you are going to use only the 3D rendering application, then 16GB can be a sufficient choice. But in reality, most users open several applications along with the rendering app which might bottleneck the CPU and RAM.

The choice of RAM capacity is an individual preference. Because only the user will know what kind of tasks he/she will be performing at a time. If we just take the capacity of 16GB RAM and the minimum requirement for running 3D rendering, the RAM capacity is humongous.

But if you are designing a complex 3D model that involves multiple polygons, then the 16GB might be worthless considering you have a high-performing CPU.

So, before getting into the discussion regarding the capacity of 16GB RAM, you must know what factors decide the RAM capacity for 3D rendering. Therefore, here are some of the factors that you need to consider before buying RAM for 3D modeling and rendering.

Factors to consider when choosing RAM for 3D Rendering

Regarding the choice of RAM, bigger is better. If you can afford a larger RAM, then go for it. Because, even if you don’t need such a large capacity momentarily, you might need it in the future. But if you are on a budget, then the following factors will guide you to choose the best capacity for you.

Choice of Applications

3D rendering involves applications like Blender, Maya, etc. Each of these applications works in a distinct way to provide the best user experience. Some might depend on CPU and GPU; some might heavily rely on RAM capacity.

So, before choosing RAM, check how the software works. If it is RAM-hungry, then you will need a higher capacity. Because in most cases, a user will not open the rendering application alone. Rather, there will be a bunch of applications running simultaneously.

If your 3D rendering application consumes all the RAM, you cannot even open google chrome to surf the web. In such conditions, it will become very difficult to use the PC for other applications.

Therefore, decide on the 3D rendering app you are going to run and also decide on the other applications you will be running along with it. This is the primary consideration.

Type of 3D Modeling

There are several types of modeling you can do. For example, if you are an architect, you will be modeling houses and buildings. If you are a game designer, then you will have more complex models that involve a lot of polygons, vertices, textures, etc.

So, depending on the type of 3D model you are going to render, the RAM capacity will change. Complex renderings require more than 16GB capacity since the application has to work with a lot of features. But if you are doing some simple renderings of architectural buildings, 8GB itself will be sufficient.

Therefore, decide on the type of 3D model you are going to render before choosing the RAM or any other hardware for that matter.

The capacity of other hardware

The choice of RAM also depends on the existing hardware you are using. Especially the CPU, GPU, and motherboard.

For rendering, you will need a high-capacity CPU as well as a GPU so that you can seamlessly perform the task. But if you have a lower-capacity CPU and GPU, then you might need a higher-capacity RAM to support them.

If you aren’t ready to upgrade your lower-end hardware, then you must at least try to get a higher RAM so that the renderings can be processed.

Motherboard plays an important role because it must have slots for upgrading the RAM or supporting a higher capacity RAM.

Therefore, considering all the above facts, you must choose your RAM for 3D rendering. A 16 GB will be sufficient for medium-level rendering tasks. But to do complex models, you will need higher RAM support.


Are all 3D apps compatible with 16GB RAM?

Yes, almost all 3D rendering applications can run with 16GB RAM which is most of their recommended system requirement. Here are some of the 3D apps and their minimum and recommended RAM requirements:

Rendering Software Minimum RAM Recommended RAM
Autodesk 3ds 4GB 8GB
Maverick Studio 8GB 16GB
Arnold 3GB 6GB
Blender 8GB 16GB

So, most of the 3D rendering apps can comfortably run with 16GB RAM and use a good CPU. They are compatible and will not have any operational issues when you use 16GB RAM.

Recommended Clock speed for 16GB RAM for Rendering

When you are choosing RAM for rendering, it is required to have a clock speed of more than 2200MHz with less CAS timing. Because RAM with lower clock speed and higher CAS can perform poorly when rendering and might eventually lag. You will not be able to perform heavy renderings with a lower clock speed. But if you get RAM with 3200MHz, then it will be sufficient for any kind of application.


RAM is an important hardware for 3D rendering. You cannot have a lower capacity to run apps like Autodesk or Blender. With 16GB, you can perform many tasks with 3D rendering provided that you have a better CPU and a less complex model. If you have a highly complex 3D model, then go for higher RAM capacities.

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