PC-Builder: Find The Best Parts For Your PC & Workstation

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CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   /  Updated 



The CGDirector PC Builder exists to help anyone generate a build that will fit within their budget and work well for their workload.

It’s taken a LOT of work, and we thank our readers’ fantastic feedback for making this possible.

We’ve been working hard at improving the PC Builder to cover more types of hardware, take more compatibility issues into account, consider case and RAM clearances, and a lot more. However, it’s still a work in progress, and we’d love feedback from everyone to make it even better!

What’s Changed

Here are some of the improvements/changes we’ve made recently:

  • Updated Laptop recommendation tool
  • Included New NVMe PCIe Gen 4 SSDs: Samsung 980 Pro, Seagate FireCuda 530, WD Black SN850
  • Added support for Intel 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs and B660, Z690 Motherboards (only DDR4 for now)
  • Added Ryzen 5xxx Series CPU and Nvidia 3xxx Series GPUs (Beware of out of stock or price-inflated items)
  • Improved the motherboard recommendation engine, depending on your workload. It should now suggest more balanced parts at most budgets.
  • Improved cross-compatibility checks between PC Cases, CPU Coolers, RAM clearances, and GPU length clearances.
  • Added option for users to go for a specific brand of CPU/GPU in their generated build (please only use this option if you are sure about what sort of hardware works best for your workloads).
  • Added additional price points for build generation, covering everything from ultra-budget builds to high-end workstation builds.
  • Cases now take into account the number of double-width GPUs it can accommodate and switch to a more appropriate choice.
  • Added more memory kit options to make sure every performance category is covered.
  • Added additional CPU Air and AIO Coolers after accounting for the cooling performance needed for most AMD and Intel processors.
  • Added a feature that accounts for AMD stock coolers as a cost-cutting measure to upgrade other build parts within your set budget, if possible.

Addressing Gaming Builds

We’ve wanted to add this feature, but will be delaying it to the next major update of the PC Builder. There are certain complexities involved in gaming that make the generated build less-than-ideal.

However, if you do need a gaming build, please generate one using the Video Editing workload and ask us about any required changes to it on our forum thread – here.

How Does the PC-Builder Know What Parts to Recommend?

Benchmarks, budget, and availability form the foundations of every recommended build. Not only does it take into account benchmark scores for various applications, but it also keeps tabs on pricing and availability.

Each core component has been put through benchmarks to create performance tables for each type of task. A few examples of benchmark tools and software are – Cinebench R20 and R15, GeekBench, Octane, Redshift, Vray, our Viewport Benchmarks, Video Editing, Motion Design, Photo Editing Benchmarks and much more. We’re continually adding benches to our testing so we can fine-tune the PC builder recommendations even further.

If you have suggestions about any additional workloads you’d like to see, please post a reply on our forum thread or ‘like’ a response that has mentioned your workload already. We’d love to know more about what sorts of workloads you’d like to see added to the PC Builder in the future.

Missing Specific Parts / Brands?

We have included as many mainstream brands as we can on the PC Builder, and have managed to expand our already-extensive database of products and recommendations.

Although we have also been trying to add as many laptops as possible to the PC Builder, we’ve encountered a few issues that make it a tricky undertaking. We’re working on a solution that will let us add more laptop options across a broader budget soon. In the meanwhile, any laptop currently recommended will work well for your selected workload within your chosen budget. If you have a question about a specific laptop model in your region, do come by our forum to ask us about it!

To make things more convenient, we’ve added more options to the PC builder with more arriving soon! You can now pick your brand of GPU/CPU if you’re VERY SURE that your workload requires a specific choice. However, we’d still recommend going with auto and letting the builder do its thing.

Parts out of stock?

CPUs and GPUs especially are extremely hard to find in stock anywhere. Be sure to go through our list of PC-Part Sellers to see if you can find some stock.

Why is there a Maximum and Minimum Limit on Budgets

In specific workloads, investing above or below a particular budget isn’t ideal and might turn out to be counterproductive. We’ve based this decision based on years of experience with computer hardware, these workloads, as well as from poring over benchmark data.

Nonetheless, we have expanded the budget options available thanks to the availability of some very viable parts at lower price points. However, these aren’t always ideal, and you’re still more likely to find better value at and above the $1000 budget for most kinds of workloads.

Do You Have to Worry About Compatibility?

Ideally, no. We’ve taken great care to make sure that every suggested hardware combination is compatible with each other. From RAM clearance for your CPU cooler or graphics card clearance for your case to even the number of available expansion slots in a case recommended for a multi-GPU rendering setup, the PC Builder has you covered.

That said, it is still a work in progress, and we’re hard at work trying to make it perfect. Although we’ve done all we can to make sure there are no compatibility issues between suggested parts, bugs do creep in at times. If you’re not sure about a build, do drop by the CGDirector Forum and as us about it. We’ll look it over for you.

Help Us Make the PC Builder Better!

First and foremost, use the PC Builder as much as possible. Generate builds for your workloads, make sure they’re directing you to store pages that have an active listing. 

  • Please do let us know if you see any glaring compatibility issues in any generated build. We’ve tried to be as thorough as possible, but bugs might still slip past unnoticed.
  • Please let us know if any displayed Amazon listing directs you to a used parts listing. We’re still working on squashing this bug.

Hardware availability issues and subsequent price gouging by sellers on Amazon (US) has resulted in some unfortunate builds being generated at specific price points. Please post your generated build on our dedicated PC Builder Beta forum thread if you’re not sure about the parts, and we’ll respond to tweak your build recommendations. 

Have some Parts picked but don’t know how to assemble them? Check our PC-Building Guide on How to Assemble a PC.

 

Feel Free to ask for suggestions on your PC-Build in the Comments or in our Forum.

CGDirector is Reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Alex Glawion - 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!

1,259 Comments

Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

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  • blu

    Hi Alex,
    thanks so much for all these indepth articles, im newish to blender and its comforting to know there are resources such as yourself. Ive been doing all my rendering on my macbook pro 2021 m1 pro but it severely lacks and i want to take my 3d skills to a professional grade, rendering high detail, abstract animations/images. I was going to buy a laptop for rendering but realistically it seems i should just invest in a pc for longterm gain and want to know whats the best way to proceed. Your pc builder suggested:

    CPU
    Intel Core i5 12600K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor $277.99
    CPU Cooler
    be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 $89.90
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime B660-PLUS DDR4 ATX LGA1700 $139.99
    Graphics Card
    AMD Radeon RX 6800XT – XFX Speedster $659.99
    Memory (RAM)
    32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 $94.99
    PCIe-SSD
    Seagate FireCuda 530 1TB NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive $119.99
    Power Supply
    Corsair RMx Series RM750x 750W Power Supply $147.29
    Case
    be quiet! Pure Base 600 Black ATX Mid Tower Case

    Alternatively, a friend recommended this, and i would like to know which one you believe is more compatible with my 3d needs:

    AMD Ryzen 7 5700x Nvidia RTX 3080 Gaming PC – G6 Fusion 800 X6
    Case – GameMax F15M ARGB ( No Optical)
    Processor (CPU) – AND Ryzen 9 5900x (12x 3.70/4.8GHz) –
    Motherboard – Asus PRIME X570-P – ATX – £98 00
    Memory – 32GB Kingston Fury DDR4 3200MHz (2x16GB) –
    Graphics – 8GB Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti – HDMI, Displayport –
    M.2 Solid State Drive (Gen 4) – 500Gb ADATA SSD Legend 840 PCle x4 (Up to 5000MB/R,3400 .
    2nd M.2 Solid State Drive (Gen 4) – 1tb ADATA SSD Legend 840 PCle x4 (Up to 5000MB/R,4750MB
    Optical Drive – No Optical Drive
    Power Supply – Corsair 850w RM850 80+ Gold
    Power Supply Cabling – Standard PSU Cables
    Processor Cooling – Standard CPU Cooler
    Case Fans – No Additional Fans

    i do apologise for the length and thank you so much for your time.
    thanks,
    blu

  • blu

    Hi Alex,
    thanks so much for all these indepth articles, im newish to blender and its comforting to know there are resources such as yourself. Ive been doing all my rendering on my macbook pro 2021 m1 pro but it severely lacks and i want to take my 3d skills to a professional grade, rendering high detail, abstract animations/images. I was going to buy a laptop for rendering but realistically it seems i should just invest in a pc for longterm gain and want to know whats the best way to proceed. Your pc builder suggested:

    CPU
    Intel Core i5 12600K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor $277.99
    CPU Cooler
    be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 $89.90
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime B660-PLUS DDR4 ATX LGA1700 $139.99
    Graphics Card
    AMD Radeon RX 6800XT – XFX Speedster $659.99
    Memory (RAM)
    32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 $94.99
    PCIe-SSD
    Seagate FireCuda 530 1TB NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive $119.99
    Power Supply
    Corsair RMx Series RM750x 750W Power Supply $147.29
    Case
    be quiet! Pure Base 600 Black ATX Mid Tower Case

    Is there anyway to buy these preassembled? is that a thing? i am very worried about ruining something after learning about it on this article and its raised my fear barriers. ideally id love to build one but i do not have the extra cash to be buying multiple parts if i somehow fry them.

    thanks so much for ur time
    blu

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