When does the amount of cores matter? (CPU)


I know that’s quite a vague question to ask (and probably a dumb one), but I’m seriously wondering, since I’m building a PC.

Putting the CPU clock speed aside, and only focusing on the cores, when does the amount of cores make a positive difference?

Perhaps while rendering? during sims? multi-tasking? working with 4k+ files? or when?

Any input is welcome, I’m going to invest around 1K on the GPU, so I’m trying to find out if I could make use of a heavy CPU too or if a $350 CPU would do.

Thank you!


I’m also building a PC and did a bunch of research in Houdini since that’s my program of choice. There’s some results out there with simulations and rendering that get a nice boost in speed when using the Threadripper 1950X, compared to lower core Intel CPU’s. It falls behind on some other single-threaded tasks though.

I’m not an expert but I think you won’t see much difference unless your doing very CPU heavy workloads in application that support multithreading well and not many do honestly. Otherwise, you’re usually better off getting a less cores higher clockspeed CPU.

Would love more data about this myself!


Thanks for the input!

I’m just between going for an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X or to keep saving while I wait for the 2nd generation of Threadrippers.

I haven’t done anything since 2016, trying to get back, so that’s why I wanted to know how much and when would help having those many cores, but I haven’t found the answer yet :confused:


The preorders for Threadripper 2 are available today, it’s releasing on the 13th of August! :grin:


If we’re talking strictly about Houdini, absolutely go for cores. I’ve seen from my render farm at home that machines with higher core counts at lower clock speeds vastly outperforms machines with lower core counts at higher clock speeds, both in terms of simulation and rendering.

At a certain scale the equation will change, but assuming you have one workstation doing the computation, going for more cores is a safe bet.


Thanks! I plan on going for the Threadripper 2950x (the 16 cores from 2nd gen) :slight_smile: