When looking for rendering software these days there is no lack of choice, but you would make a big mistake if you did not spare some thought to the Arnold renderer from Solid Angle.
The development of Arnold goes back as far as 1997 the modern version of the software is in wide use across various major film studios.
Arnold can plug into other popular industry darlings such as Maya, 3DS Max and Cinema 4D, to mention but a few.
You can see the result of this renderer in CGI-heavy films such as Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, Pacific Rim and Gravity. These are some of the most successful films in modern history, so if you are ready to start making your own blockbuster we will have to look at what you will need to make it all run smoothly.
In combination with other packages such as Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro can for the rock-solid backbone of any visual media production project
RECOMMENDED HARDWARE FOR ARNOLD:
It is hard to come up with solid recommendations for a rendering system, since it all depends on how much your time is worth. Even a low-end machine can render anything in Arnold - eventually. If however you want to actually see your renders finished during your lifetime, you will need some hefty hardware to make it happen.
Arnolds system requirements essentially fall in line with those of the packages it can plug into. So if a computer can run Maya or Cinema 4D, for example, it can run Arnold.
Arnold is however a CPU-based renderer, so how many hardware threads the computer has is a very important determinant of how fast it will render. In general having more threads with lower speed is better than fewer threads with higher speed, but if both are possible it is obviously the best choice.
Since Arnold does not use the GPU for anything but basic display duties, you would be better off going with a mid-range consumer card and investing the budget savings in CPU cores. Ideally a dual-socket (or even quad-socket) system would be best, but since single CPU now have such high core counts it is possible to built a fast rendering system with much less expensive single-socket configurations.
Memory requirements are also dependent on the complexity of the scenes being rendered and it would be better to got with at least the recommended requirements of the base software, such as Maya or 3DS Max.
Titan Computers recommended configuration for Arnold
At the entry-level we would recommend our X299, which comes with 12 fast hardware threads out of the box and can be ramped up to 16 with an upgrade. It also sports a powerful, yet affordable mid range GPU which should take most other tasks in its stride.
Our main recommendation for most users looking for a balance of performance and price is the W599 which sports 32 hardware threads out of the box and can be upgraded all the way to 112 threads with a simple CPU upgrade.
Operating systems supported by Arnold
Windows 10 64-Bit (all versions)
Windows 8.1 64-bit (all versions)
Windows 7 64-bit (all versions)
LIST OF COMPATIBLE WORKSTATIONS