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CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   75 comments
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Alex from CGDirector - post author

Hi, I'm Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I've built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I'll do my best to help out!



Hello I’m looking for a build specifically for three things, Digital art, Animation, and gaming. any suggestions.

Charles Fraser

Why don’t you promote threadripper CPUs?


What a nice website!, very helpful, I´m sure there is a lot of people using this source to build their dreams 🙂 Therefore, I got a question…
I normally edit videos in Premier Pro(4k) and do modeling on 3D, I´m trying to buy a Monitor that works with a PC that website suggest for me ( ) . Anyway Im afraid if the GPU, connections, or other atributes of the workstation dont match with the characteristics of the monitor. Do yu know which monitor or requirements do I need to keep in mind?

garret k dafferner

Hi, I am looking for a machine I can model /animate high poly and render with. Also needs to handle particles, VFX and video editing.

Jonathan Marasigan

Good day. I am using vray as my rendering software. I want to buy laptop. I am considering the specs amd ryzen 7 3750h. Is this ok for animation also. The gpu is rtx 2060. Is this good? Will it work on vray.-sketchup, twinmotion, lumion?

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for asking!

First off, if I may ask, how much are you willing to spend for the laptop? Also, if you already have a laptop in mind, could you let me know what the full specs are?

VRAY is a CPU renderer so if you plan on using the laptop for CPU rendering, you want to invest in a laptop with a CPU with high-core count. The more cores your CPU has, the better the performance is when it comes to CPU rendering. That said, while the Ryzen 7 3750H may be good enough for VRAY and the other software you mentioned, it only has 4 cores so it would make more sense to go for a laptop with a CPU with more cores.

That said, please feel free to have a look at the site’s PC Builder Tool. You just need to specify your budget and input the most appropriate use case and the tool will give you the best desktop/laptop recommendations based on your budget and use case. The tool can be found here:



Hi Alex, I’ve just found your website and it’s awesome. Your “build my PC” tool is also great.
Since my future PC will be in the living room / home theater room, it has to be compatible with my wife who won’t tolerate any desktop case or something similar. I guess the ideal form factor would be a Mac mini, hidden behind the monitors. I looked around and found the Intel NUCs and other Zotacs or HP Z2 mini G4 but I can’t really figure out which one has the best value for money/performance. I won’t play on the computer. The hardest tasks will be video editing, maybe in 4K. (DaVinci resolve, Lighworks, etc.) I also don’t want to spend too much money in a computer but i’d like to use it for many years…if it’s not a dream. What would you suggest? Of course, an Imac Pro would be compatible with the room but not with the wallet.

Hi Greg,

Thank you for dropping a comment and thank you for the kind words.

Small form factor PCs such as the Intel NUC, Zotac Mini, and the HP Z2 Mini are advisable for what you need but configuring these PCs to be powerful enough to handle your video editing tasks could make you pay more.

My suggestion is for you to build a workstation from scratch but use a mini-ITX case for your chassis. While not as small as the above-mentioned SFF PCs, a workstation in a mini-ITX form factor has a smaller footprint and wouldn’t take too much desk space. Just to give you an idea of how small these mini-ITX cases can get, take a look at the Phanteks Evolv Shift (

If a mini-ITX workstation will do, please let me know how much you’re willing to spend. That way, I can make the best recommendation for you.



Hi Alex,

Thanks for your fast reply. The mini-ITX case seems to be a good Idea. I probably won’t be able to hide it behind the monitors but I could attach it under the desk, horizontally with a kind of brackets, if the air flow isn’t obstructed.

Concerning the budget, I would say around 1500$CAD (1150USD) max to be able to invest on 2 good monitors.



Hey Greg,

US$1,150 will get you a build like the below:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($238.89)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini-ITX AM4 ($219.99)
GPU: ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 6GB, Super Compact, ZT-T16600F-10L ($229.99)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($79.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($109.99)
Storage HDD: Seagate BarraCuda Compute 3TB, 3.5″ ($72.99)
Power Supply: CORSAIR SF600, 600 Watt, Fully Modular Power Supply, 80+ Gold Certified ($64.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift PH-ES217E_AG ($109.99)

The total comes up to around $1,126.82 but as you requested, this is a small form factor workstation. Please be advised that your budget of US$1,150 was used primarily on the system unit and its components and doesn’t include the monitors and other peripherals yet.



Hi Alex, thanks a lot for this detailed configuration. I’ll let you know when the setup is done.



Hi Alex,

I’ve started to receive the components. Concerning the case, it’s much more massive than I expected. Maybe bigger than my old mini tower pc. However it’s clearly high end but won’t be easy to hide. I chose 32gb of memory instead of 16 since I don’t want to upgrade it later. Concerning the cpu, I may upgrade to the 3700x 8 core. The budget is growing a bit but I will finally buy only one monitor to keep the place less geek style.


Hey Greg,

Personally and if you have the means, I would prefer that you get the best components your budget will allow instead of skimping at first and later on spending more on upgrades. So, going for the 8-core 3800X and increasing your RAM to 32GB will make your build more future-proof, so to speak. Anyway, sorry to hear that the case is much bigger than expected. If it isn’t that easy to hide, you might as well put its high-end looks to good use. I believe it has tempered glass sides that basically displays the components. If you’re into lighting effects, you can opt to slap on LED/RGB light strips on the inside of the case for a nice light show that would be a good conversation starter in case you have visitors.



Hi Alex,

I’ve almost finished the assembly. Bad news, the stock CPU cooler/fan of the 3700X doesn’t fit in the case. I can’t close the side panel. Really desappointed because I’ve only noticed it at the end since I kept the fan installation to have more room to work inside the case. I think my 2 options here are either return the case for another or replace the fan by a watercooling unit.

Probably return the case despite the extra work.




Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift. It has a max CPU clearance of 82mm when the AMD Wraith prism fan is around 100mm or more. I should have checked this.


Hi Alex,
I’ve returned the case. I’ve ordered a Thermaltake Suppressor F1 instead. The CPU fan clearance will be OK and the overall dimensions are much closer than what I wanted in the first place. I also considered the Fractal node 304, a bit more expensive and the NZXT H200, nice but too large. I’ve also ordered a SFX to ATX adapter since the Suppressor accepts standard ATX PSU.



Alex, you’re hardware related articles and comments have been fantastic resources, for me, in my process to understand the tech that support my livelihood; however, I am in the process of transitioning my (1 man) custom residential workflow to use Trimble’s SketchUp Pro 2019 / Layout, and I am having trouble identifing new workstation specs that would make Sketchup as fast & smoothly as possible. I am aware that this software has its limitations and is considered “simple” by typical AEC software standards, but it’s fun to use, and it’s flexible enough to meet my needs. I understand that speed & smoothness is subjective, so I won’t hold anyone to their recommendations; I simply want direction to try and get the best possible Sketchup workstation configuration that money can buy, without allocating unnecessary resources to components that won’t enhance my daily 3D modelling and documentation workflow.

I will be working with large custom homes in large file sizes (50MB – 400MB), and I plan to purchase a separate workstation for GPU based rendering; so as a result, my hunch is to prioritize CineBench single core scores and get the fastest AMD or Intel i9 processor that I can find; but thats where I’m stuck.

1. Would there be a Sketchup performance benefit to getting 64 GB or 128 GB of RAM; or would 32 GB be more that enough?
2. Would there be a benefit to getting an OpenGL compliant GPU with 16 GB VRAM; or will the 1 GB “recommended” amount be more than adequate.

In my research, I found that most hardware related information is sourced from the following sources:

1. Sketchup’s “recommended” hardware specs.
2. Sketchup users that also have architectural vis rendering needs within the same workstation.
3. Sketchup users that want to spend as little as possible to achieve an unquantified level of performance that their tolerance level will allow (i.e. no benchmarks).

Unfortunately, none of these sources are specific in indicating how to fully maximize Sketchup’s software resources (as finite as it may be). Adding to my confusion, Sketchup isn’t really a “CAD” app….and it isn’t really a Modelling/Rendering app….but it still has operational functions that is inherent to both of those application types; so as a result, I am unsure as to which benchmarks might best indicate optimal performance. It would be great if you could direct me towards the most suitable benchmarks to evaluate my needs, or perhaps your perception of what hardware might maximize Sketchups potential.

Have a Happy New Year!


My First Build – Can you elaborate a little more on the parts I have chosen to build my first computer for photo editing, using Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom? Intel I7 6700k 4.0 GHz CPU up to 4.6GHz Asus ROG Maximus Mainboard 16 GB Memory DDR4 @3200MHz Nvidia GTX960 Ultra Graphics Card 500 GB SSD SATA 3 (OS) 2 TB Hard Drive @7200 rpm (data) Wifi, Bluetooth, GBit Lan Cooler Master V8 High Performance Cooling System w/dual fans and 8 Heat Pipes ATX Case with 600 Watt Smart Power Supply USB 2.0/ 3.0 and USB C Ports 1 x HDMI 1.4b 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 4K/Ultra HD display support 3-display-output support 2 x USB 3.1 (10Gb/s) Type-A + Type-C 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (CPU) 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots (PCH) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (PCH)

prabhjot singh

hii brother please tell me all best parts for build a pc for multipurpose working like designing,photoshop editing,video mixing,graphips, gaming etc.
please tell me which company of computer parts should i buy at lowest price

Hey Prabhjot,

Thanks for asking!

If I may ask, how much is your budget?

Alternatively, you can go ahead and check the site’s PC Builder Tool at Input your budget and choose your most appropriate use case and the tool will give you the best components based on your budget.



Dear friend!
1. Tell me, please: if I use Intel 9600k (5GHz) without multithreading, instead of Rizen 3600 (4.2GHz) with it, will I win in performance for 3Ds Maks + V.Ray? Render on a 2070S graphics card!
2. Is the 5700xt optimized for V.Ray? (Tasty price)))
Thanks in advance!