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

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex  ⋮   ⋮   283 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:



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, Userbench, 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!


Jochen Ko

Hi Alex, I am building a new workstation for Cinema 4D and After Effects. I work a lot with X-Particles and Mograph, would you recommend the 9900K or 3900X for these tasks?

Thanks alot for your posts.

Shashwat Krishna

Hello Alex,

I just started learning 3D Animation And Vfx for improving my skills. I do Graphic design and Video editing as well So pls can u help me to make my build my budget is around $1500-1700

Thanks in advance.


Hello Alex, I am trying to build a work station for Video Editing and Graphic Design, Here is the list below as I will order

1- CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X Processor
2- CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 TR4
3- Motherboard: Need your assistant
4- Graphic Card: Nvidia GTX 1080ti
5- RAM: Corsair LPX 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz C16 DDR4 DRAM Memory Kit, Black (CMK32GX4M2B3200C16)
6- PCle-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB – NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD (MZ-V7E1T0BW)
7- Power Supply: Corsair HX Series Platinum HX850 850W
8- Case: Need your assistant

Anything I missed?

Thanks in advance and Have a wonderful one!

Guillermo Perez

Hello Alex, I need your help, I’m Motion Graphic Designer, I work modeling in cinema 4D and make render in redshift. I am thinking about buying a laptop for this type of work, I can not buy a desktop since I am in constant movement …

In my list I have this machine.

Custom Built MSI P65 Creator 9SF-654 15.6″ UHD 4K – i9-9880H – RTX 2070 Max-Q
64GB Dual Channel


I check the alienware and msi titan, but I think they are very complicated to transport.


Another question Alex! the Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 u stated is no very commonly found in my country(Singapore). I found a Cooler Master MWE 550W 80+ (+230v) Non-modular PSU. is this okay for the changes? And also the NVIDIA GTX1660 u stated, can i change it with Galax GeForce GTX 1060 OC 6GB DDR5 instead? That is about all. Hopeful to see your reply! Thank you!


Hi Alex, I just want to check with you regarding the recommended fan on the budget set up. you state Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition AM4 in your choice. In my country, its not very common with the black edition where else i have a lot of retailer selling “Cooler Master Hyper 212 LED with PWM Fan, Four Direct Contact Heatpipes, Unique Fan Blade Design, Red LEDs”. My question is is this 2 product the same? if it’s not, can u let me know if i can substitute this with the one in your list? Thank you!

Troyan Turner

Hey Alex, just curious what you guys use for sharing assets and data? Do you have a NAS box or system you prefer? There’s 6 of us in our shop and we’re trying to decide on what we should get for a central storage and asset sharing system. Thanks!


I am asking for someone to HELP me piece together as good as it can get, for a $1,500 (or less) PC Laptop to run 3D STUDIO MAX and MAYA, for Modeling, Animation and Rendering, and other software like Houdini Nuke, and all of Autodesks high-end software, and capable of running AVID MEDIA COMPOSER, with all plug-ins, XARA, and more as well.

I want Windows 10 Professional (for Networking), at least 16 GB Upgradable CPU RAM, a a low cost, but very Good NVIDA GPU 17.3 ” Screen, I’d like at least 512 GB HDD, or SSD. I currently have two (2) external USB 3 One (1) TB Drives.

I’m a student now, but want to put together some Animated reels, complete with Modeled buildings, landscapes, animals, people, animate, and render the SiFi short reels.

Also, on the table of the recommended Laptop System, there are Multi-corp, and Single-core numbers, which I do not understand. Please geekatize me, so I know what these numbers mean, and by the CPU numbers know how many Cores the CPU HAS

ASUS ROG Strix Scar II


CPU Intel Core i7-8750H, 6x 2.20GHz

Single-Core Performance

Multi-Core Performance

GPU Performance

Christopher Pitts

Alex, I have been shopping for a machine and using your top line video editing machine as a guideline. AMD has announced it will release in September its Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 4.7GHz with support for PCIe 4.0. Is this worth waiting for? I edit with the Adobe family and setting up a multi-cam “live-to-tape” switching with five 4K sources including one RED is the hardest thing I ask of my machine. I don’t expect to cut much RED but who knows what the next 5 years will bring other than a lot of 4K footage.


Just came across the article and I’m intrigued and confused on which system to build. I am planning to migrate from 3ds max 2010- mentalray..
My new system that I plan on building needs to handle the following
– lumion
– 3ds max 2016 with mental and bray
– Photoshop
– Corel draw

I am on a tight budget as I am investing in software and a pc at the same time.
Confusion comes in on different blogs many are showing results with systems from an i3 to Xeon CPUs…..very few are using Ryzen and then comes the software conflicts with certain gpus’,

Any suggestions

While on this subject…is there a way to install software on external harddrves and use them only when needed instead of lading everything on one system