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

CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   ⋮  Updated   ⋮   1,162 comments
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PC-Builder: Find The Best Parts For Your PC & Workstation



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:

  • 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.

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.

Find a new friend on the CGDirector Forum! Expert Advice & PC-Build Planning with a warm and friendly Community! :)

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!

1162
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Noah

Is this website in USD? If so i can just us a currency thing to make it more suitable pricing for me.

TKNM

Hi Alex!

Congrats for CGDirector excellent job!

So, I’m planning build a PC to: 3d Animation Pipeline, 3D Game and VR Development.
Softwares: Blender (Cycles), I Clone 7, Character Creator 3, Unreal Engine and Unity.

Budget available: $ 2200

Would the build below suit my needs?

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 GAMING X ATX AM4
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB BLACK GAMING
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
Power Supply: EVGA B5 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Case: Corsair 4000D ATX Mid Tower Case

Important
Update plan in a year:
1. RAM: one more kit Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory; and
2. STORAGE (Data): one more PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

Doubt: Do you think there will be problem with the physics dimensions of the AMD Wraith Prism Cooler and the tall of Ram memories?

Thanks for you help!

TKNM

Sam Phippen

Hi Alex,

I’m new to pc building and want to build one for gaming/general school work. My budget is around $1000 maybe a little more. It would be helpful to get some feedback on parts to use.

Thanks,
Sam

Sandeep singh

Hi alex i want to bulid a pc for auto cad 2020. My bugdet is 1300$.plz suggest me best configration according my budget.

Carlos

First off ALex.. You’re incredible. And thank you in advance

What Power supply would you recommend for the build below?
I’m so lost with the PSUs

Case Fractal Design Define 7
Storage 2X SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express 4.0
Ram G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB (2 x 32GB) 3600 CL16
Mobo MSI MEG X570 UNIFY ATX AM4
cooler Noctua NH-U12S Cooler
CPU Ryzen 5900X
GPU 2X RTX 3080

Jan S

Hi Alex,

first off: Thank you and your team for creating this! It is a great resource, especially if one (like me) isn’t too fond of hardware related questions. Also, after trying to get my head around the different aspects one should be aware off when buidling a PC for a specific task, the builder gave me a huge relieve.

Regarding my occupation: I’m a freelance CG Artist, currently focusing on Character Art & Design and 3D Modelling/texturing in general (Blender, 3dsMax/Maya and Zbrush, Substance Painter, Photoshop and Marmoset Toolbag are my tools of choice), but I also have a lot of jobs in Motion Design (mostly 2D with After Effects). So my primary task would be the modelling/texturing and animating, but of course I’d love to be able to render some nice images/videos as well (I’d give larger videos to a renderfarm, but of course for Look-Dev etc I need some power).

So, hopping to the build I got (I’ve set my budget to 4200$):

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor ($719.99)

CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)

Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($249.99)

GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080TI 11GB – EVGA FTW3 Ultra Gaming ($1527.88)

Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16 ($364.99)

Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 2TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($309.99)

Power Supply: Seasonic Focus GM-650, 650W 80+ Gold Power Supply ($99.99)

Case: Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 ($142.97)

Total: $3505.70

Two things came into my mind which I wanted to ask your oppinion about:

1) I was thinking that two hard drives would be beneficial to have, one for all the software etc, one for the data to save. I heard a lot of good things about the NVMe storages (970 EVO NVMe M.2 SSD for e.g.). Would you say it would be a good idea to have one of these for the OS etc (I’d go with 1 TB) and the SSD with 2 or even 4 TB for the data?

2) The 2080ti. I know that VRAM is a big thing…I’m still not sure if it wouldn’t be better both pricewise and in performance (especially in regards of raytracing / GPU rendering) to go with the RTX 3080 now. Or should one even consider the 3090? I did some research on the 3090 though and except for the huge VRAM there is just a small improvement in performance in professional applications. So paying double the price is still something I’m not 100% convinced would be worth it…What do you think?
I guess depending on the graphics card, I might have to get a more powerful power supply, of course.

Thanks for your help!
Cheers,
Jan

David S

Hi Alex.
I’m trying to build or buy a best budget 8k video editing pc for Adobe Premier Pro.
Help Please?!

Samantha Lay

Hi Alex
I’m a kitchen designer working with a CAD software called Autokitchen, which is built on the AutoCAD 2019 engine. I model in 2D and 3D and produce near ‘photo-realistic’ renders with the same software, which I print out to give to my clients. I am a sole trader, so my set-up would not have to cope with more than 25 kitchens per year and it doesn’t have to cope with lots of multitasking. My current set-up isn’t adequate at all, so I am thinking of building a PC and then using it with the Dell Ultrasharp UP2716D monitor, Datacolor Spyder X Pro and the Canon Pixma Pro 200 printer. What’s important to me is that my computer can handle architectural models with pitched roofs and that it can render images with large amounts of glazing. It’s also really important that the colours I’m working with in the software are shown accurately on the monitor and printed faithfully. I’m not very techie (as you can probably tell:-D), I’ve been going around in circles all day with it and I was SOOOOOO happy to find your site because it was about the only one that made any sense to me. So thank you for explaining it all so well!! Having said that I would really value your advice about building the PC and what to choose for it please.
Thanks so much
Sam

Waggy

Is there a motherboard that supports more than 2 RTX 3090s. I’m obviously not buying them all now, but just want something for the future.

Mario

Hi Alex,

I am completely new to PCs and have no idea what to choose.
I need a laptop (preferably 15″) to run Autodesk Alias 2020.
My budget would be about $1500. I could drop more but I like to be frugal.
Any thoughts?

Thanks,
M

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/alias-products/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-Autodesk-Alias-2020-products.html