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

CG Director Author Alex Glawion  by Alex Glawion   ⋮   ⋮   902 comments
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PC-Builder: Find The Best Parts For Your PC & Workstation

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.

Note: AMD CPUs are currently in the lead in most productivity software. This is reflected in the benchmarks used for the PC-Builder Tool and why AMD CPUs are so often recommended here.

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, NZXT, 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.

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.

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!

902
Comments

Mike Harkins

Alex…

By perfect build includes a Corsair RMX Series Platinum RM850x 850W Power Supply… but it seems they are no longer available… and neither is the RM650 version… oh and FYI it says Platinum in the build but the link goes to CORSAIR RMX Series, RM850x, 850 Watt, 80+ Gold Certified, Fully Modular Power Supply.

Any suggestions? Here is a link to my build – https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=Db1wbn00lff

Thanks for all your work Alex!!

Jake

Hey Alex,

I’ve been running Blender Cycles on my iMac for some time now to make 3D animations, and want to upgrade because my render times are very long relying on my CPU. I use a render farm to outsource sometimes, but would like to simultaneously render the sequences myself. I’m looking at using your build tool to get a GPU based workstation, but would love to know if you have any resources for assembling the components you recommend, and what pieces to make the computer (if any) are missing in your list. The workstation I’m looking for will only be used to render out my projects.

Any help would be very appreciated.

Thank you,
Jake

Mario

Hello Alex, quick question here! I’ve been using Blender for quite a while (Animation/Rendering) and I’m in need of an update, would you recommend I go with the AMD Ryzen 9 3950-X 16-Core CPU or Threadripper 32-Core
Thank you!

Edciel

I have $1.5K
What are the best parts for a cad build that can pull double duty as a gaming rig
Please help
Thank you

Hey Edciel,

Thanks for asking!

Here’s a good all-rounder build that costs around $1,500 and will serve as your CAD and gaming build:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=yb1yh0b0lfb

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.81)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 AM4 ($89.90)
Motherboard: MSI MPG x570 Gaming Plus ATX AM4 ($169.99)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – EVGA XC Gaming ($385.99)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($74.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($99.99)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series Platinum RM850x 850W Power Supply ($127.21)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($103.14)

The total of the build comes up to around $1470.02 but you can expect this to have more than enough power for your CAD tasks. In addition to that, the GTX 1660 Ti graphics card included in the build can run most of the current AAA game titles so you can have an enjoyable gaming session when you’re not working on your CAD tasks.

Cheers,
Alex

Mauricio

One quick question, if my estimated wattage is around 474w (without keyboard, mouse, display and cintiq) and Im on a 850w 80plus Bronze (just could find a 80+G available at the time) what capacity would you guys say its a ggod fit for a no break UPS?

Jose

can you help me with parts for a coputed designed for animation?
i’m a noob in building computers
please help withh parts
will 1k$ enough for a good computer thank you

Hi Jose,

Thanks for dropping a line!

$1,000 is enough to get you a decent animation build. Please have a look below for the list of components:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=Cp1xi0n0lfa

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($172.39)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition AM4 ($38.99)
Motherboard: MSI MPG x570 Gaming Plus ATX AM4 ($169.99)
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660TI 6GB – Gigabyte Windforce ($279.99)
Memory: 8GB (1 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 CL16 ($46.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: WD Black 500GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($79.99)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx Series Platinum RM850x 850W Power Supply ($127.21)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.04)

The total of the build comes up to around $984.59 and as mentioned earlier, you can expect a decent performance from this build. I would suggest increasing your budget a little and getting at least 16GB of RAM if possible. While you can get away with just 8GB of RAM, it may not be enough especially when you’re working on larger projects and more complex scenes. Also, you might want to invest in a regular HDD for your other files. While the SSD in your build will add to the snap factor, 500GB will just fill up quickly so having a regular HDD for your other files is a smart move. Other than that, you’re good to go!

Cheers,
Alex

Dave Mackie

Hi Alex,

Amazing site, nothing like it that I’ve seen, just turned up with a search on “best best PC for…” 🙂 Thanks for all the time and effort, I’m sure this is more time consuming that any ordinary blog.

Two quick questions. As an independent corporate comms consultant I’m getting more requests for quick video / media project than Powerpoint, articles, newsletters, etc. I used to provide custom scores for videos as well and I’m thinking that I want to return to that as well. So (long preamble):

(1) Do you have any thoughts around the specs for a system that support music composition using sampled/virtual instruments and video editing. Note that my previous setup for video scoring (more than a decade ago) was a tricked out Mac Pro with all the bells and whistles and fastest drives available, 32 gigs of ram and it would still choke when I tried to load a full orchestral pallet plus other instruments from East West.

I also will need to do video editing and I use the entire Adobe suite at various times, Illustrator, Photoshop (I’m just learning PP and AE).

(2) I’m also extremely wary of building my own computer (I’m basically an office worker with 10 thumbs, no fingers, gutters failing, faucets leaky who knows what else is decaying) and wondering if there are people out there who will build systems if I order all the parts. There was a recent comment/question elsewhere on your site, someone asking the same question, but I can’t find it or I would have just waited for that reply.

I’m definitely going the PC route (having worked my whole life on PCs, I never really felt comfortable working on a Mac) and am expecting my budget to be pretty big, around $4,000, because of the virtual instrument requirements.

Thanks,
Dave

Andrew

Hello again, Alex. I recently started order parts for the following build suggested here:

CPU: AMD Threadripper 1920X 3.5GHz 12-Core Processor ($267.21)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S TR4 ($79.90)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X399 Designare EX ATX TR4 ($399.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super 8GB – Asus Turbo ($550.00) ) 2 Ordered
GPU #2: NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super 8GB – Asus Turbo ($550.00) )
GPU #3: NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super 8GB – Asus Turbo ($550.00) 3rd card as yet unavailable.
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($358.99)
Storage SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($169.99)
Power Supply: be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($145.27)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($149.98)

However, seeing that the motherboard has M.2 slots, I decided to buy a Samsung 970 EVO NVMe M.2 1TB card instead of the 860 EVO SSD as my boot/application drive. Subsequently, I saw someone suggest that using an M.2 x4 could take PCIe lanes and throttle the graphics cards. Is this true? Did I make a mistake? Should I try returning the M.2 and getting the drive originally suggested? Thanks very much for any guidance you can offer.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Andrew,
Nope you’re all good. This can be the case on mainstream platforms, but you have a Threadripper and x399 Motherboard, so you can easily have a bunch of M.2s and GPUs on there without any throttling!

The M.2 NVME Drive will use chipsetlanes and the 3 GPUs will use cpu-pcie-lanes, so they wont interfere.

Cheers,
Alex

Chukwuka Ndife

Hi Alex
Can I run dual RTX2080ti’s on a Rayzen9 3950x processor? If yes, is it going to be a compromise in the build performance?… I’m asking because I want a multipurpose but powerful build for davinci, fusion, premiere, ae, ps and blender amongst others, but I also want the build to be a decent Cycles render power house.

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Chukwuka,
Absolutely! You’ll need an AM4 x570 Motherboard that supports this config at decent pcie-lane speeds though. I can recommend the Asus WS ACE x570 for multi-gpu configs with Ryzen CPUs.

Cheers,
Alex

Chukwuka Ndife

Great, thanks Alex

Daniel Wan

What country is the money slider for?

Daniel Wan

Please reply

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Daniel,
For now it’s just for the US in Dollars $ unfortunately. We will try to add local versions of the tool too at some point though.

Cheers,
Alex

Daniel Wan

Thanks