What Kind of PC Specs Do You Need For Animation?

So you’re going to build or buy a machine to animate with – great! The only problem is that animation involves creating and manipulating complex 2D and 3D imagery, which puts most computers under enough pressure to make them want to kick the bucket.

We’ve talked before about what you need to get started with animation from a software perspective, well this week we’ll let you know what sort of hardware system requirements you need to be meeting before you buy your very first animating computer.

What does a good animating computer need?

  1. Processor (CPU)

This is the most important part for your machine. Rendering your finished project is always going to be the task that makes your computer sweat the most. During this task, it’s your processor that’ll be doing the legwork.

You want a powerful and efficient CPU to cope with the intensive rendering in a reasonable amount of time. A decent CPU will turn your renders from day-long slogs into a matter of hours.

Ideally a quad core that operates at 2Ghz at the very least. One that is capable of running a 64-bit operating system too.

  1. Graphics card (GPU)

A capable GPU is vital, especially if you have your heart set on 3D. A good GPU will enable your machine to perform modeling, mapping, and animation work in 3D spaces smoothly and with more stability.

Make sure to check which brand your chosen software prefers, often incompatibilities will lead to crashes and disabled features.

Go dedicated rather than integrated (this basically means you’ll have enough power). You want your GPU to have at least 2GB of RAM, too.

  1. Memory (RAM)

Having more RAM in your system allows the computer to store information on what is currently being worked on. Essentially, it allows you to perform multiple tasks at once and assist with processor performance, speeding up your workflow.

There are plenty of brands to choose from, but for a for a reliable and affordable option, Kingston is a safe bet. You want a minimum of 8GB really. 16GB will do you nicely.

  1. Storage/Hard Drive (HDD or SSD)

This is where you’ll be storing your projects and other files. As with most of the items I’ve listed here, more is definitely better.

At least 1TB of storage is a must. That sounds like a lot if you’ve never animated before, but high quality projects complete with audio are pretty chunky files. If you have any less storage you’ll find yourself running out of space quicker than you think!

So what do I need for my chosen software?

If you want to know what the system requirements are for your animation tool of choice – look no further. Here are some of the industry-standard and most widely-used animation programs alongside the recommended specs straight from the developers themselves.

Autodesk Maya 2017

Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (SP1), 10 Professional
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.5, and 10.11.x
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5  & 7.2 WS
  • CentOS 6.5  & 7.2 Linux


Processor (CPU) 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set


Graphics (GPU) A detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards can be found here.
Memory (RAM) 8GB of RAM (16GB or more recommended)

For a full list of System Requirements for Autodesk Maya and it’s various versions, check out their jumbo list of them here.

Blender 2.7x

Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows Vista and above
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.6 and above
  • Linux 6.5 and above


Processor (CPU) 64-bit Intel or AMD quad-core processor
Graphics (GPU) OpenGL 3.2 compatible graphics with 2GB RAM
Memory (RAM) 8GB of RAM (16GB or more recommended)


Adobe Animate CC 2017

Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (64 bit), 8.1 (64 bit), 10 (64 bit)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10 (64 bit), 10.11 (64 bit), or 10.12 (64 bit)


Processor (CPU) 64-bit quad-core processor – Intel Pentium 4 or Intel Centrino, Intel Xeon, or Intel Core Duo (or compatible)
Graphics (GPU) OpenGL 3.2 compatible graphics with 2GB RAM
Memory (RAM) 2GB of RAM (8GB recommended)


Toon Boom Harmony 14

Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit) Windows 10 recommended
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10, 10.11
  • CentOS 6.6, 6.7, 6.8. Red Hat 6.6, 6.7, 6.8. Fedora Core 23 or newer. Other Linux distributions may work, but some manual configuration is required.


Processor (CPU) 64-bit Intel Core i5 minimum, recommended i7 or Xeon
Graphics (GPU)
  • Intel 4000 minimum
  • NVIDIA Geforce GTX 780 medium performance
  • NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 recommended
Memory (RAM) 8GB of RAM (16GB or more recommended)


Dragonframe 4

Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 7 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
  • Apple Mac OS 10.8+
  • 64-bit Ubuntu 12+ or Fedora 20+ (Ubuntu recommended)


Processor (CPU) 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor 1.33 GHz CPU or faster


Graphics (GPU) OpenGL 2.1 Capable Graphics Card
Memory (RAM) 4GB of RAM (8GB or more recommended)


A few extra tips when buying a PC for animating:

  • Hardware-wise, you’re gonna want a n animating tablet. We love Wacom tablets in the studio, they have some reasonable entry-level ones too!
  • Dual monitors are almost required. When you’re animating on one screen, you almost always want your reference pieces on the other. Make sure your graphics card will support dual screen stuff.
  • Windows, Linux or Mac? Any are fine really. Windows usually has had most animation tools running on their system for slightly longer so this is first choice but there shouldn’t be much in it. If you’re doing an animation course that requires a machine, check what they use, you don’t want to run into compatibility or conversion issues.
  • If you’re reading these specs with a growing dread and an empty wallet, don’t panic. It doesn’t take a great deal of money to start playing around with stop-motion. Check out our guide on how to get started here. All you need is a camera and a regular old pc should be fine.
  • Still not sure which software to go for? Here’s a list of the most common and well used options

Want to show off your animation battlestation? Throw us a pic at @fudgeanimation or Facebook.com/fudgeanimation we’d love to see em!