CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) is a great industrial tool but nowadays it has become available for everyone, and alongside 3D printers and other instruments are now part of the arsenal of any DIY lover or maker.
But behind every great CNC machine, there is a great computer. So, if you’re looking for the best computer for CNC, we will provide a list of products that will help you choose the right one for you.
But first, we should talk about what features you should look for in a CNC ready computer.
What featured should I look for at a CNC PC?
Whan you are using a CNC machine, you will, most likely, work with CAD software or even with some 3D modeling software like Solidworks or Autodesk 3DS Max.
So, first things first, the CPU. For 2D programming uou don’t need a gaming processor but you would still loog for an Intel Core i5 from 8th generation or higher. For 3D modelling software you should raise the bar to a Intel Core i7 from 8th generation or higher.
For any CNC programming it is recommended to have at least 8 GB of RAM but going for 16 GB won’t hurt at all and you will have a future proof PC.
For graphics, an integrated GPU will do just fine with 2D programming but if you’re going for 3D modelling, you will need at leas a 2GB dedicated graphics card. The gaming cards should be OK, but the latest ones will be overkill for such a job.
You shouldn’t bother with storage, anything is good although SSD are faster so they will provide an advantage. With the display, the bigger, the better, no surprise there.
In the connectivity department you should look for USB Type-A ports and Ethernet port (the old RJ45 port). With that being said, let’s look at the best CNC PCs.
What are the best computers for CNC?
- AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8-core 3.7 GHz CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8G
- 16GB DDR4 and 500GB SSD
- 3 x ARGB Dual RING fans for maximum airflow
This desktop PC was built for extreme gaming so it will be perfect for the hardest 3D modeling tasks. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processor with 8 cores and 3.7 GHz.
There is a great NVIDIA RTX 2060 at the graphics department and 16 GB of DDR4 memory. The 500 GB SSD will be more than enough for all your CNC and modeling projects.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q
- 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD
- 120 Hz refresh rate and 3 ms response time
- The keys have pretty short travel
If you need a portable station for your CNC programming, then ASUS GA502DU might be the ideal choice. And that’s because it ticks all the required boxes and more. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor and the 16 GB of RAM will get you through any 3D modeling software.
It’s a laptop fit for gaming so it has an NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q dedicated graphics card. Moreover, the 15.6-inch display has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a 3 ms response time.
- 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U processor
- 8GB RAM and 256 GB SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card
- Windows 10 Home
- Only 8 GB of RAM
This is a budget solution for your CNC requirements. The Acer Aspire E15 laptop comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card. Those are perfect for 2D and 3D programming.
Even the 8GB of RAM is enough for this task but if you want to future proof this laptop, you should think of upgrading to 16 GB. It has a Windows Home OS preinstalled you you will be good to go from the start.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 grapohics card
- Powerful Intel 10th Gen CPU
- 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB SSD
- Built-in DVD writer
- 180 W power supply
If you want to go all the way with 3D programming, the HP Envy TE01 desktop PC is a good choice. It features an Intel Core i7 10th generation CPU and comes with a RTX 2060 graphics card that is not only great for CAD but it will also be ready for gaming.
The HP Envy TE01 comes packed with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD storage. Windows 10 Home is installed out of the box. As for connectivity, it features HDMI, USB, and Display Port just to mention some of them.
- Very good price
- 9th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU
- Optical drive, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel integrated graphics
Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 is a very well balanced desktop computer with a great price but it is as low as you can go with the configuration. In fact, this desktop is not going to be great for 3D modeling because it features an integrated graphics solution from Intel.
Otherwise, the Intel Core i5-9400 and the 12 GB RAM will be more than happy to assist you with any CNC projects you may have. You will even have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an optical drive.
This was our list with the best computers for CNC and 2D/ 3D modeling. If you need more information or you have other ideas don’t hesitate to leave us a line in the comments section below.
FAQ: Read more about CNC computers
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- What programs do CNC machines use?
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- What software can I use with Cricut?
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