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

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   522 comments
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The CGDirector PC-Builder helps you find the best Computer and Workstation Parts for your specific use case and available budget, by recommending highly compatible and best-performing hardware:

PC-Builder


 

How does the PC-Builder know what parts are best?

First and foremost, the PC-Builder relies on Benchmarks.

Every Hardware Component available to the PC-Builder Tool, has been put through a Series of popular Benchmarks that tell us exactly how well it performs.

Benchmarks include Cinebench, Geekbench, several GPU & CPU Render Engines such as Octane, Redshift, Vray and real-world Applications Benchmarks for all kinds of Digital Content Creation & CAD Software.

For maximum compatibility we have a lot of hardware specifications and manual testing & experience to source from.

Missing specific Parts / Brands?

We are extending the CGDirector PC Builder constantly. Right now, the best Hardware Components from Asus, MSI, Corsair, Seasonic, be quiet, AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Fractal Design, Samsung, Adata, ASROCK, Western Digital, Seagate, Gigabyte, Noctua, Phanteks, Crucial, Fractal Design have been added.

More will follow, after we were able to test them thoroughly, and if we find the parts to be reliable.

Laptop Brands currently include MSI, Asus, Razer, Gigabyte with more to follow soon.

Why is the Budget Min / Max capped?

Minimum and Maximum Budget is purposely capped in the PC-Builder. This is because it would not make sense in getting an even cheaper or even more expensive PC than the suggested range for the selected use-case.

More expensive than the suggested maximum could lower the performance (as the most expensive parts are not necessarily the best for your specific use case) and less expensive than the minimum suggested budget will most likely underwhelm you in your specific use-case experience.

How does the PC-Builder calculate the parts

We assigned a minimum and maximum percentage of the total cost, that a given part is allowed to cost. This is based on our experience in building and using lots and lots of different Computers and Workstations for all kinds of use-cases.

Example GPU-Rendering:

When we select the “Purpose: GPU-Rendering”, the cheapest suggested Build consists of Parts that are very similar in price.

The CPU and GPU, for example, both cost around 200$. So both will have about 25% of the total allowed Budget assigned.

In the maximum GPU-Rendering Build, the 4x 2080Tis cost much more (5196$) than the CPU (1900X – 399$), because, of course, in GPU-Rendering the GPUs are much more important and therefore may use up much more of the total Budget.

In this case, the GPUs use up 70% of the budget and the rest of the parts are comparatively cheap.

This means, the PC-Builder gets assigned a minimumBudget-part-allowed-percentage and maximumBudget-part-allowed-percentage and in-between automatically interpolates depending on the given budget.

Of course, things such, # of GPUs, # of PCIe-Slots on the Mainboard, Power Consumption, Socket matching the Mainboard, and so on, are taken into consideration for maximum compatibility.

As always though, the tool might not be entirely free of errors and we recommend to use it with caution and only use the suggested Parts as a basis for discussion and to build upon.

How are Laptops Recommended?

The Laptop recommendation Tool is much simpler than the PC-Builder Tool, as the Laptops are already pre-built. There are different underlying Benchmarks for every Purpose, that define which Laptop is best within a certain price-range. This can vary slightly, depending on the availability and current price of the Laptops.

This way, the tool always recommends the best performing Laptops for Video Editing or Laptops for Animation for example, even if there might be more expensive Laptops that would ultimately, though, have lower performance.

 

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

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!

522
Comments

wengerIN

hey, a few weeks ago i looked up a build for a photo editing workstation (mostly photoshop/illustrator in combination with a wacom cintiq, maybe a little bit of gaming) which used the nvidia rtx 2080 8gb, but now the builder suggests the 2070 and it’s much cheaper. what happened? 🙂 should i still stick with the 2080?

appreciate your help!

Adrea

Hello! I’ve been researching parts over the past few days, and this site has been enormously helpful. This will be my first self build, though I’ve replaced various parts of various computers over the years. I work primarily with Blender and Substance designer, and I need to make high quality renders for archviz, I use a lot of hi resolution pbr textures. If I were to chose between a speedy viewport or fast gpu rendering, the rendering would probably win by a small margin.

I’m thinking of going with the following, and would greatly appreciate any input you might have:

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
Cooler Master HAF XB EVO – High Air Flow Test Bench and LAN Box Desktop Computer Case with ATX Motherboard Support
MSI MEG X570 ACE Motherboard (AMD AM4, DDR4, PCIe 4.0, SATA 6Gb/s, M.2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, AX Wi-Fi 6, 2.5G LAN, ATX)
Seagate BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive HDD
Samsung 970 EVO SSD 500GB
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 
CORSAIR RMX Series, RM750x, 750 Watt, 80+ Gold Certified, Fully Modular Power Supply
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB (4 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Desktop Memory Model F4-3600C18Q-64GVK
I’ve also settled on the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, but I’m a bit confused by the various choices, different prices and reviews on amazon. Is there someplace to compare the different versions?

And finally, do you think it likely that any of these components will go on sale after Thanksgiving? I’m wondering if I should delay making a purchase until then.

Thank you!

Hey Adrea,

Thanks for asking and thank you for the kind words!

The build you put together looks great and I don’t see any incompatibility issues whatsoever. In terms of GPU, going for the RTX 2080 Ti really makes sense especially if you plan on using the GPU render engines. The 2080 Ti is an absolute beast of a graphics card with support for CUDA core acceleration so you can expect it to crush whatever rendering task you throw at it.

I agree – there are a lot of choices when it comes to the RTX 2080 Ti. Be that as it may, all of these 2080 Ti variants come with the same internals so it doesn’t matter which one you choose. Personally, I always go for the cheapest variant as it will have the same performance as the more expensive variants.

I can’t say for sure if any of these components will go on sale after Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving is just a week or so away and if you are not in a rush to get your build completed, my suggestion is for you to wait a bit and see if any of your chosen components will have a lower price point. But sale or not, your planned build looks great and even if you drop a substantial amount of money to get it completed, that will still be money well spent!

Cheers,
Alex

Katyna

Alex!
So I have been working with 3d and 2d programs for 2 years now (blender, photoshop, etc)
but my current computer can’t take it anymore. I was leaning to the msi gs75 because (portability) and I do like bit of gaming on the side but i am still not quite sure. Never was a computer person until I started 3d and 2d.
Budget is 2500 dls max!
please help

Hey Katyna,

Thanks for asking!

The MSI GS75 Stealth-093 would have been perfect for what you need a laptop for but it’s priced at around $2,999.00 making it above your budget of $2,500. Given that, I suggest that you take a look at the Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5 which is available for around $2,199.00. Below are the specs of the Gigabyte AERO:

CPU Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.90GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB
Memory(RAM) 16GB DDR4-2666
SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive
HDD –
Weight 2.1 kg (~4.62pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

The Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5 comes with a snappy i9-8950HK CPU and 16GB of RAM working together to ensure that you get task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. In addition to that, it features an RTX 2070 GPU which at the moment has the best price to performance ratio among graphics cards. In addition to that, the RTX 2070 GPU supports CUDA core acceleration which delivers better render speeds in case you need to use the GPU render engines. For it’s price of $2,199.00, the Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5 is your best bet!

Cheers,
Alex

Ced

What do you make of this spec for 3D modeling, animations and game dev? This would be my do it all spec: Alienware m17 r2, i7 9750, 16Gb, RTX2060, 1TB SSD.

Thank you!

harold

hi alex, i’m interested at this laptop https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Predator-i7-9750H-Keyboard-PH315-52-78VL/dp/B07QXLFLXT/ref=sr_1_14?fst=as%3Aoff&keywords=acer+laptop&qid=1573346739&s=pc&sr=1-14
my work consistss mainly of photo editing
is that laptop good enough
thanks,

Hey Harold,

Thanks for asking!

The Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop is good enough for photo editing. It has an i7-9750H CPU working in conjunction with 16GB of RAM so you can expect task responsiveness when you’re actively working inside the software. It also comes with a GTX 1660 Ti GPU that supports CUDA core acceleration in case you need to use the GPU render engines. However, if you find yourself working with larger images or complex scenes, you may need to look at more powerful laptops that has better CPUs and more RAM for that matter.

If I may ask, how much are you willing to spend for this laptop?

Cheers,
Alex

zak

Hey Alex,
I want to build a pc for 3D modelling using 3Ds max and V-ray rendering and iam no way into gaming, i just appreciate your precious suggestion for building my first pc of its kind. with a budget of around 1500-1800$ and looking forward to buy it on thanks giving day.

Hey Zak,

Thanks for dropping a comment!

For your budget of $1,500, you can get a build like the one I put together for you:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor ($309.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 ($194.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X ($549.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($139.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 PRO 512GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($148.48)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($59.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($88.99)

The total of the build comes up to around $1492.42 and you get a decent Ryzen 7 3700X CPU working in conjunction with 32GB of RAM to ensure you get task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. In addition to that, the 8 cores of the 3700X will be of help when you’re using VRAY for rendering. Additionally, this build comes with an RTX 2070 Super GPU which supports CUDA core acceleration in case you need to use the GPU render engines.

Cheers,
Alex

Zak

Thanks for your quick and very helpful reply and sugesstion, also thank that through ur blog I came to know about the CPU and GPU rendering, but I just wanted to ask u that how can I know whether my system is using CPU or GPU for rendering thus it depend upon built or how I render or any other factor, I will be glad to get a deep explanation on this.

Jake

Hey Alex,
I noticed you have the Ryzen 3900x as recommended for most GPU rendering builds now and I am curious. At first I thought the 3900 seemed a great choice over the i9 9900, but I see a lot of people having cpu temps in the high 80s under load with the 3900. Even with good water cooled setups, and others seem to be calling this normal.

Wouldn’t this make the 3900 not as ideal for render setups? If I have a 60 hour render and my CPU is going to be stuck in the high 80s the entire time won’t that significantly lessen the life of the processor?

Tristan

Hey Alex.

So I’m looking to build my first pc and I’m quite lucky I have an uncle that knows a lot about building pcs and understand a large portion of everything but he has no real knowledge on workstation pc which is what I need/looking to build. My main interest in 3D Environment Modelling I use 3DS Max, Maya, Blender, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Substance Designer and started to dabble in Substance Alchemist. I also use Unreal Engine and I’m looking to learn Unity as well since the internship I just got uses Unity for there games.

My main question is what should I be looking for as I do a lot of 3D asset creation and I’m looking to learn lighting next what would you suggest I look into for components. Also when game engines are building the lighting or other things like that is it a type of rendering meaning I should be looking for components to complement rendering.

Thanks in advance.

Tristan

Sorry I forgot to mention I also want to be able to play games on my workstation despite the fact I barely get time anymore to play games haha.

Tristan

https://www.computeralliance.com.au/systems?quoteid=129897

From my research, this is the build I have come up with.

Tristan

https://www.computeralliance.com.au/systems?quoteid=129948 where you can make changes, and save a new configuration if you wish.

Intel S1151 Core i9 9900K 3.6GHz 8 Core CPU PN BX80684I99900K Special
Corsair Hydro Series H100i RGB Platinum Liquid CPU Cooler PN CW-9060039-WW
ASUS S1151 MicroATX PRIME B365M-A DDR4 Motherboard
2 x 16GB DDR4 Crucial (1x16G) 2666MHz RAM Module PN CT16G4DFD8266
1TB Samsung 970 Evo PLUS M.2 PCIe SSD PN MZ-V7S1T0BW
4TB Seagate 3.5″ 7200rpm SATA IronWolf PRO NAS HDD PN ST4000NE001
Gigabyte RTX2070 8GB SUPER AORUS Gaming PCIe Video Card PN GV-N207SAORUS-8GC
Casecom ATX RSM-91-TRIO Front Tempered Glass Case (3x RGB Fans) (No PSU)
850 Watt Corsair TX850M Modular 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply PN CP-9020130-AU

Ive been talking with people and here are the changes let me know what you think.

Tristan

Intel S1151 Core i9 9900KS 4.0GHz 8 Core CPU PN BX80684I99900KS (No Heatsink included)
I was comparing and this is the CPU that build should have.

HI Tristan,

Thanks for asking!

Aside from your choice of motherboard, the build you put together looks great! However, the ASUS S1151 MicroATX PRIME B365M-A DDR4 Motherboard can only support up to a 9th generation i7 processor. That said, you want to choose a motherboard that supports your choice of the i9-9900KS CPU for that matter. You can find the best options here: https://www.cgdirector.com/best-motherboards-intel-9th-gen-9900k/

Your choice of the Intel S1151 Core i9 9900KS is really good because this is a snappy CPU that will deliver task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. The Gigabyte RTX2070 8GB SUPER AORUS is also a great choice as this GPU supports CUDA core acceleration and should bring about better render performance in case you plan on using the GPU render engines. And in the event you get to find the time for a gaming session, the CPU-RAM-GPU combination your build has will enable you to play the latest games at high settings.

Cheers,
Alex

Tibor

Dear Alex,

I really like the PC builder tool! I like to assemble a configuration for GPU rendering in Blender 2.8 (2 x NVidia cards with CUDAt). However, my budget is more limited than the one suggested by the PC builder, which suggests a Ryzen 9 and a single Nvidia card for this category/budget combination. I would like to choose for 2 cards and go for an Intel i9 CPU (with 32 Gb RAM). Could you please give your opinion as to its compatibility and whether this makes sense?
Many thanks in advance and best regards,
Tibor

Config:
Intel Core i9-9900K
be quiet! Dark Rock 4
Motherboard Gigabyte Aorus X570 PRO
2 x MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Ventus OC
Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK32GX4M2B3000C15
Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SATA
Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB M.2 NVMe
Hard Drive Barracuda Za500cm10002 500GB SSD SATA

Hi Tibor,

Thanks for asking and I’m glad to hear you like the PC Builder Tool!

Aside from your choice of motherboard, the build you put together looks great! An X570 motherboard like your choice of the Gigabyte Aorus X570 PRO is compatible with a Ryzen CPU so you want to get a motherboard with an LGA1151 socket for your i9-9900K CPU. A couple of good options for this type of motherboard are the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate and more you can find here: https://www.cgdirector.com/best-motherboards-intel-9th-gen-9900k/.

Going for a dual-RTX 2070 Super GPU configuration is also great as the RTX 2070 Super supports CUDA core acceleration and should bring about better render performance when you’re using the GPU render engines. Also, having two (2) GPUs in your setup basically doubles the speed as you basically add the CUDA cores of the RTX 2070 Super to get the speed of your GPU configuration.

So, other than the motherboard, your build looks really great and I see no issues with it!

Cheers,
Alex

Tibor

Hi Alex,
Thanks a lot for the feedback and also for correction on motherboard.
I looked a little more into benchmarks with rendering and the Ryzen 7 3800 seems to be performing better than Intel i9 for a lower price. So if it is a good match with 2x RTX 2070 cards I go for that.
What is your experience with comparing the two CPUs?
Thanks again!
Tibor

Lynn

Hi Alex,

I’m loving the PC Builder Tool but I do have a few questions. I mainly work in After Effects, Premiere and Cinema 4D but wanted to know if this build will work well with VR games and Unity too? Will I be able to add another graphics card later? Also, do you have an alternative case for this build? This one is only sold by third-party sellers on amazon. My budget is around $1200.

Thank you!!
Lynn

Using the PC Builder tool for Modeling and Animation I got this:

CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor $234.37
CPU Cooler be quiet! Pure Rock AM4 $36.90
Motherboard ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 $199.99
Graphics Card NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB – MSI Gaming $343.98
Memory (RAM) 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 $154.46
PCIe-SSD Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive $119.98
Power Supply Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply $64.99
Case Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case $81.85

Hey Lynn,

Thanks for dropping a line!

The build you put together using the site’s PC Builder Tool looks great! I mean, you can expect the tool to come up with the best recommendations based on your budget and use case. Anyway, with this build, you get a decent Ryzen 5 3600X CPU working with 32GB of RAM so task responsiveness is a given when you’re actively working inside the software. You also get an RTX 2060 GPU that supports CUDA core acceleration so you can expect this GPU to deliver better render performance should you use the GPU render engines.

If you plan on adding another GPU later on, you might want to choose a different motherboard as the ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus (Wifi) ATX AM4 only supports AMD CrossFireX™ Technology. Since you already have an RTX 2060, you might want to go with a motherboard that supports NVIDIA SLI technology such as the ASUS Prime X570-Pro which goes for around $236.00.

This build can definitely handle Unity and VR games but how well remains to be seen. VRMark benchmarks that compare the VR performance of various CPUs put the 3600X in the middle of the pack, so while its VR performance is not exceptional, it isn’t too bad either.

As for a possible alternative to your case, you might want to take a look at the priced at $69.99 or the Fractal Design Meshify C that goes for around $89.99. Both are ATX mid-tower cases that support a motherboard with an ATX form factor such as the ASUS TUF Gaming x570-Plus or the ASUS Prime X570-Pro.

Cheers,
Alex

Lynn

Thanks for the quick response, Alex! One more thing, I didn’t quite get what case you recommended that’s priced at $69.99. Thanks again for your help!

Hi Lynn,

Apologies for missing out on that. The case I was referring to is the NZXT H510 – Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case and it’s available at the moment for $69.99.

Cheers,
Alex