Visual PC Build !HELP!

Hi there, im Adrian. I need your guys help on building a powerful and versatile PC for Live Interactive Visuals and Multi-projection.
We are currently a Team of three, Composer, Audio and Visual Programmer and me as an Assistant Visual Programmer.

The Composer will be performing with Ableton, Live Instruments and Pre-programmed Clips. The Command Interface is based on OSC wich will come from an over Computer.

Setup Contains four 4K 65" TV’s in Portrait Mode (QH65R), 2 Macbooks wich will run the Audio part on Stage and the Visual PC running Touch Designer as the Visual Output feed.
At the moment we have a iMac Pro 18-core Intel W (4.3GHz Turbo) and a Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of VRAM. It build the most of the Touch Designer Networks and could Manage 4x4K Outputs as well the Build in 5K Screen.
Because you cannot build a Mosaic on macOS, I needed to create a Container wich splits the incoming Network patch into four equal screens. We have 8640 x 3840 Screen Size. The Final Output Container was build so that whatever we throw at it, it will always crop it to the right dimensions.
But maybe theres room for improvements or even a better solution.
Sadly because I rarely used the Forum, I cannot add an attachment yet.

We noticed that the iMac Pro is struggling in the GPU department. It’s stuck around 50 fps but with barely any Visual change. GPU… completely obsolete for the Multi Display Purpose. This machine (iMac Pro) Was not purposely bought for Touch Designer. Wished was 60 fps because our Monitors run on 60Hz.

But we need a PC to run our Live Visual on that Scale. So what I read from the Derivative Wiki is that, Higher Clocks Count, only one GPU is supported by one Instance of Touch Designer, that SLI/NVLink is not supported and Nvidia Quadrois the way to go.
There are many factors wich are stopping me to build one: AMD dropped there ZEN3 lineup with an Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core and 4.9GHz Turbo Clock, the new and upcoming RTX 6000A Quadro GPU and PCIe 4.0.

The X570 Supports 24 PCIe Lanes (PCIe4.), while other Chipsets like the TRX40 support 88 PCIe Lanes (PCIe4), wich is mind boggling. The Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-Core has the highest Turbo Clock with up to 4.5 GHz. Would get a decent Board and try to overclock it a little.

Now to the GPU’s. The Quadros still available atm are the RTX 4000, 5000, 6000 and 8000.
In total we need 5 Outputs, 4 for Performing and one for controlling the Network. Theres also the possibility that we maybe want to hook up 4 more Projectors for a total of 9 Outputs total.
Those would have been my build options:

  1. Two RTX 5000 with a NV Link to maximise Output Count. The NV Link wouldn’t serve for better Touch Designer Performance Instead for the Sync between between the screens, tearing and also setting up Mosaic.

  2. Having one RTX 5000 and one RTX 4000 for the Displays

  3. One RTX 5000 and two RTX 4000 for the Displays.

Now here come the questions:

  1. Is RTX Quadro Supported in Touch Designer?
  2. Intel preferred over AMD Threadripper?
  3. Will the second and third GPU Build work without one of those Quadro Sync II Cards or are they desperately needed?
  4. Does the first Build even make sense?
  5. Is the RTX 6000 a better Solution?
  6. Should I dunk PCIe 4.0 Support and rather go with a Board that only supports last gen?

And If somebody could respond as soon as possible that would be really nice. We have a deadline and it needs to be up and running on 15th November.

Best Regards


By the sounds of it you do not need a Threadripper or Xeon setup, and that would quickly almost double your costs.
Either a high-end Ryzen9 Zen2 like 3800X+ or one of the new Zen3 like 5800X+ would work. Or on Intel side you can do it with 9900K or 10900K. These would be top of the line before going to the Threadripper/Xeon workstation lineups, and you can likely do this project with much less but since you were talking big numbers we’ll just talk top of the line to keep it easy. Also, since you are short on time getting one of these will ensure it works without finding out your build falls a bit short with no time left for changes.

The RTX5000 should easily be able to drive your 8640x3840 canvas divided into 4, but it depends a bit on your content. Since you were getting 50fps on the AMD equipped iMac Pro, I am almost 100% sure the RTX5000 would easily hit 60fps with headroom to space. No need for a second GPU for the 4 outputs, it makes it much more difficult to work on and sync up, try to do it all on 1 GPU which should not be a problem for 4 4K outputs. If you want a control panel as well, you should run it separately on a smaller card and something like a RTX4000 would be fine. This requires some work on your part to create a separate control .toe project that runs on the RTX4000 using GPU Affinity so it does not interfere with your main canvas output on the RTX5000.

PCI4.0 future-proofs your build, but right now there are limited number of ways to take advantage of it. Perhaps if you have a few super fast NVMe that are maxed out you might benefit from PCI4.0 now, but you would really need to be pushing a lot of video to require that, you did not video playback above.

Short answers to your direct questions:

  1. Quadros are the best for TouchDesigner, all the RTX models work great. Quadros come at a price however, not cheap.
  2. In terms of raw FPS, a lot of CPUs will be faster than Threadripper. You do not need Threadripper, and there are higher clocked AMD anyways. The extra cores on Threadripper aren’t that useful for TD so I would recommend going with a faster clocked CPU. In terms of raw FPS speed its goes like this Ryzen-Zen2 3000 series < Intel 10900K series < Ryzen-Zen3 5000 series (from the initial reports), but no one has a 5000 yet to prove this and their release date of Nov5th is too close to your deadline imo.
    The bigger point here is I think you are not CPU-bound based on your description of hitting 50fps, you are probably GPU-bound on a macOS AMD setup. So don’t sweat it on the CPU side, all these top-of-the-line CPUs are within 5% of each other, get the system that you want for other reasons (PCI/price/availability/motherboard features/thunderbolt/what-else-this-computer-will-be-used-for/etc)
  3. You could do multi-GPU sync, but in all cases where you can, we highly recommend using 1 uber-GPU over 2 GPUs, the extra work to get multiple GPUs is a huge pain. Build#2 is closer to ideal, 1 RTX5000 GPU for 4 displays, 1 RTX4000 GPU for control/maintenance panel.
  4. Of course RTX6000 is better than RTX5000, but it comes at a premium price. If you are worried and have the money (that you saved from not getting Threadripper :wink: ), splurge on the RTX6000.
  5. PCI4.0 future-proofs your build a bit. Based on what you explained above it sounds like you can do everything on a PCI3.0 system.

Ben, thank you very much. Perfect intel, just what I needed and thank you for the fast response.
Then its settled:
Im gone pick between the Intel or Ryzen and go like you suggested, with the 2 GPU Setup (RTX 5000/4000).

And what also, If I wanna hook 4 More display to it, it would be best for another PC or Mac to handle the other 4 Outputs (cause we still got the iMac Pro.
But thats for the Future.

Thanks again Ben!

Have a great evening

1 Like

Hey There. Very interesting to see this thread on building a PC, and really helpful answer from @ben !! I am also building a PC at the moment for an Opera show and I am still undecided on which parts to pick.

The Task: Output to 10 Full-HD Projectors at 60Hz. 1 Monitoring/Control Screen with a few Sliders and Buttons etc. OSC in from Ableton Live to timeline some automations (not using TDAbleton, much less needed). One live camera input in Full HD at 30hz over HDMI or SDI. The PC will not be installed there, it will be used in other projects too.
The Content: Real-time generated graphics, mostly point-clouds approx 80k-120k points. Not too much shader extras going on, pretty much only constant materials. A really low weight Scenes and Track A/Track B architecture. My scenes though render with 10 different cameras with Quad Reprojections and 1 render and 9 render selects, basically 1 render+camera per projector. On my Razer 15 Advanced with RTX 2070 my rendering takes approx 15-20ms (maybe I can also optimize sth here). At peak two of these scenes are being rendered at the same time. Right now I am displaying a Preview from all projections in a semi complex warehouse setting but this will be turned off once on site (shown on the monitor/control screen right now).
The Setup: My plan right now is to output the 10 Full-HD and the Control Monitor through 3 * 4K outputs, right now a 11520*2160px Container COMP with stacked Full HD frames inside. And then using 3 Datapath FX4-HDR to split it to the projectors and screen (they have them on site). Frame-Syncing is not so important, the projectors never overlap in space. For the live camera feed I plan to use an external video capture (just to be able to use it also with other PCs), sth like the UltraStudio 4K Mini from BlackMagic (4K because maybe in the next thing I need 4k). Another PC will run Ableton Live and send some OSC to my machine.

So my questions for the setup are in general:
1.a. Can I go with a single Geforce RTX card? If so does it need to be a RTX 3080 or even 3090 to guarantee smooth 60fps?
1.b.Or should I go with a Quadro card? Or even two and split it like in the example above, content for projectors on one GPU and Control on another? RTX5000 and RTX4000?
1.c. Is the Quadro maybe also better when thinking about the live camera feed, supporting direct access to GPU? At the same time saying “Get an integrated Video Capture Card dude!”.
I did a project end of last year in which we used a Threadripper because of highly multi-threaded custom c++ ops. I was aroused but I guess I should go and stick with a Intel Core 10920X?
Anything to consider regarding PCIe lanes especially when going the double Quardo root and the integrated Video Capture Card?

I hope someone is there to share some thoughts?! Experiences in similar setups?

Thanks so much and have a nice day