Switching from Mac to PC: Unboxing and Setting Up My C4D Workstation

December 14, 2018 - By 

Watch as Nick sets up his first PC in 20 years. See where he struggles, questions he has, and getting things ready to render.

Nick will give you a guided tour of his office, unboxing his new computer, and PC setup challenges. Want to know more about the gear and the tools we installed? Check the list down below.

What happens in this video?

Nick shows up to the office to open his new PC and monitor. He will show you challenges of his office space, where and how he works, unboxing all the gear and accessories, and then setting up the machine.

You’ll watch him come across issues like logging in, figuring out differences in keyboard layout, and how to turn off certain Windows features that bother him.

Tools installed:

Want to know more about the decisions that went into deciding what PC to get? Check out the previous video, What PC should I get for 3D?

What machines does Greyscalegorilla use?

The team at GSG are primarily all using PC workstations now, and most of them custom machines purchased through AVADirect. The decision to purchase was based on the fact that warranties would assure us of any unseen issues, and we’d have customer support when needed. Of the companies we looked at, AVADirect was the right fit.

Note: We are not sponsored by AVADirect and the decision to order through them was our own. That said, AVADirect is offering the Greyscalegorilla community 5% off orders of our workstations. You can learn more about our PC’s here.

  • toiletbleach@gmail.com December 14, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Congrats on the new machine Nick – like you I’ve used Macs for 20 years but starting to see the appeal of a windows box. I’m sensing a purchase in the new year, perhaps.

  • I recommend using AutoHotkey (https://www.autohotkey.com/) to get rid of the Ctrl/Cmd mixup. I changed my Windows keyboard layout to the OSX layout.

  • Windows is so smart that recognized you wear glasses and wanted to do you a favor with magnifier.

  • I might switch to PC next year, too. Instead of screwing around with Octane or Redshift, I might concentrate solely on real time graphics in the C4d Hardware Renderer on the Mac, and the Windows only Open-GL based U-Render for C4d which is going to be adding motion blur soon! The early release for U-Render is Dec 17.

    If they add particle support, I may never have a need for other renders in my simple part of the 3d world.

  • Hello Nick ,

    good luck with your new machine !
    I switched to a HP-Z800 2 years ago after 16 years of Mac.
    (2 x X5690 , 3 x Quadro M4000, 64 GB ram). Same processor as in my Mac Pro but much easier to upgrade the GPU. The Z820 , Z840 ,Z8 came next….
    That would be my choice for the near future.
    Hen Core ; Yes !! I use SharpKeys

  • unboxing just done and already a problem with the fan making too much noise…?
    Welcome back to PC hell Nick…

  • Hi Nick,
    get ready to be disappointed as the R20 still does not support HiDPI screens on Windows 10 – expect your screen to be blurry with any acceptable fonts and icons sizes. So far there is no fix planned according to the C3D support people.
    good luck, Pete

  • The Hell has frozen, Nick has bought a PC! O_o
    I can’t believe it’s real news ;P

  • Be sure to add in “ShareX” which Chad suggested as an essential additional maybe two years ago. I use it every day now.

  • You are going to hate it…. windows is a mess.

    Personally I’d wait for the Ndivia Web Drivers and eGPU on a MacMini… or of course the Mac Pro…

    Autohotkey kinda works… but not always.

  • Have to say your comment about the not clicking the GPU button in Mac made no sense…

    it has nothing to do with GPU rendering… the GPU is about the Viewport performance!

  • OMG,
    this is little bit stupid.. WHY 2TB SSD and WHY only 2 GPU.
    I understand that your GPU are 2.5 SLOTS and there space for two only.
    to be honest it was hard, few years to look at you having problems with rendering.
    Yes WIN will suck but we use C4D not a Win for 3D.

  • Wow, not eve two minutes in, it’s not even unboxed and you are making office hacks to compensate for the fact it will be a hot, loud, obnoxious machine.

    I feel dirty just watching this. It’s like i’ve lost a friend today… 🙁

  • I switch from Mac to PC a little over a year ago and also wanted a good screen recording app. I had been using Screen Flow for years and liked it a lot. I recently stumbled across Icecream Screen Recorder and so far I really like it.

  • Hi Nick

    I also came to the same conclusion with the Mac’s and 3D rendering, after my iMac a starting to get to hot when working in cinema4D and therefore closes down with no warning. it is time to work on a real work horse, can´t wait for Apple to make a real pro machine anymore.
    But the I found this company in Denmark – https://www.marius.pro
    so still native Mac OS and native Windows in the same computer but now a full blown upgradeble workhors…..

  • Well Done Nick!

    It is good seing you make the switch. Like you, I have been a Mac bod since the Quadras. I am ordering a custom PC in January. Happy Christmas & NY to all of you at GSG! Johnny Swedish 🙂

  • Nick, Chad, others,

    I too have switched to PC after 3 decades of Mac use. Although I have kept my MacPro towers as well for a mini render farm.

    Question though, I deliver high res movies to editors in Apple ProRes 4444 or 422. Obviously that file format does not exist on the PC side.

    What are all of you delivering in? I’ve read a little about DNxHR/DNxHD, but I’m wondering if this has been an issue for any of you?

    I can still send my files over in AE to my MacPro’s to render in ProRes, but I would rather not.

    And I don’t get to determine what my clients are using, FCP, PremierePro or Avid, so I will give them what they are asking for, however this is new for me and them so I’m wondering if anyone has any advice in this arena.


  • Chad,

    It’s not natively supported by Apple on WIndows.

    Do you mean by purchasing AfterCodecs?

  • Well I’ll be, Dec. 10th. …

    Never mind then!

  • I switched to PC in August, after 3 decades of Mac.
    My biggest problem is the small stuff: In the C4D/Adobe ecosystem, it’s pretty similar, and I can adjust quickly to ctl vs. cmd. But outside those programs, its much harder to adjust to the MS workflow.

    I find my productivity goes way down on basic day-to-day tasks (MS Office, Firefox & file mgmt). The command keys don’t match, even for the same program (like Word), and there’s lots of other quirks. Anybody else struggle with this?

    Yes, you can customize the Win10 much more, but each tweak has multiple options, and most of the customization tutes are written for long-time advanced PC users, not new arrivals from OSX.

    There was a video/animation production guy who blogged in great detail about his process, with lots of great suggested alternatives. Unfortunately, I lost the link.

  • I have been running Windows on my 2012 Mac Pro for about 18 months now, in readiness to replace it with a more GPU centric machine. I am happy to have a far greater choice of CAD applications to work with Cinema 4Ds importers but it is a bumpy ride after MacOs. The Windows environment does not offer the same consistency as Mac and it is very easy to mess up settings. Which is exactly what I have done jumping off the Adobe ship. The same as Mac I have used Adobe products for over 20 years and now I am floundering with colour management and other nuisances.
    It is not called ‘the dark side’ for nothing.

  • What’s going on with your frame rate?

    I’m getting over 120 fps running this same benchmark on an M2000 Quadro in a HP Z820 Workstation.

    You want to take a look into that.

  • Hi Nick,

    Congratulations! is your new pc cost $7647? I am going to give my 27″ iMac to my daughter and get a pc too—after more than 20 years using mac.

  • Hey Nick

    I’m curious why you didn’t stay on MAC, using an external eGPU system with CUDA cards for Redshift? Has anyone done this, if so thumbs up/down and system suggestions appreciated.

  • Hey Nick

    Why didn’t you stay on MAC, using an external eGPU CUDA system for Redshift? Has anyone done this?

  • I finally made the switch myself. This is roughly my third week on the new rig. I built my machine around having a super fast working computer. You can check out my build here: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/vDdXsY

    The new machine is so fast. It’s night and day compared to my 12 core 5.1 Mac Pro.

    I’ve opted to not use Autokey and my pinky is definitely getting stronger. I imagine it’s going to take a bit longer to get all my shortkeys down.

    I am 100% onboard now and already looking for a laptop to replace my Macbook Pro.

    My current project is a 30 second animation with sequences from Cinema and vector files from Illustrator. I am able to render a MP4 in 20-37 seconds. Amazing.

  • Thanks for suffering through this so we don’t have to. I’m pretty close to making the switch as well. One question: I’ve got a decent render farm going of 6 macs, but I suspect if I switch to GPU renders like Redshift, it will make my current team render farm null and void. Is this the case?

  • After nearly half a year since your post, im interested in if you still happy for the PC-setup, are you thinking about switching back? Im really considering switching from MAC to PC. At the moment im working on a hackintosh and I have a feeling I can release so much more power to work on a full-blown PC.

    / A

  • I have been using MAC system for a long amount of time, though it becomes slow and errors are occurred, but I still prefer the MAC, switching from MAC to PC is not a bad idea as the windows version is also user-friendly, you have got me into thinking about the change to PC, congrats on the change

  • How about an update review on your switch from Mac to PC?

  • How do you like the BenQ PD3200U 32? 4K Designer Monitor? Is the resolution giving you any issues with the GUI for Cinema or After Effects? Do you need to scale the Dpi settings in order to even use it? Im worried about getting this monitor because my tools/text/Ui will be too small. Have you had any issues with color accuracy? Dead pixels? Any guidance would be much appreciated.

  • Hi guys. Apologies if you’ve already covered this topic in a previous post, but: Are those Hybrid-cooled GPUs you have in that machine? Or Open Air cooled? I’m looking to stack x2 2080ti and deciding which type of GPU is proving to be a stumbling block. I don’t really want the noise of the blower cards if I can avoid it. In your picture they look like Hybrid-cooled cards, but the AVA Direct link suggests they are Open Air cooled gaming cards. How do you manage the heat generated by 2 cards stacked so close together? Many thanks!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.