Hardware  ⋮  PC Builds

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

CG Director Author Alex Glawion  by Alex Glawion   ⋮   ⋮   1,119 comments
CGDirector is Reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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:

  • 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!

1119
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Michael

Hi Alex,
what a great website and much appriciated help for choosing the right hardware. I want to built a amd processor based PC with nvidea GPU for editing/renderin 8k videos. Which budget should I take into account to create a reasonable fast PC that could last for some time?

Cheers from Hamburg,

Michael

godrey

yo guys,

I have a MB that might not support PCI4.0, only PCI 3.0, I don t know the ref of the board actually, forgot it. I wanna upgrade my GPU to RTX2070 SUPER MSI, would my MB support that GPU? nothing about like performance etc ?

Please, help. Tks

Regina

Hello!
Below is what was generated for my budget. I am a beginner that has been working on a laptop that doesn’t run digital art software very well (a LOT of lagging). The lagging really makes the frustrating process of learning something new even more irksome so I’m looking for a replacement. I haven’t found my niche just yet so I’m looking for a good PC for the beginner generalist that I can build upon as I get more specified. I currently use Adobe AE, Illustrator, Photoshop, & Blender. Do you think this build is ideal for what I’m looking for or would it be better to buy a pre-built PC & build a PC later?

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LGHO

CPU: AMD Athlon 3000G 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($55.00)
CPU Cooler: AMD Boxed Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX ATX AM4 ($114.99)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650 Super 4GB – Gigabyte ($199.95)
Memory: 8GB (2 x 4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 ($49.99)
Storage SSD: ADATA Ultimate SU800 256GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($37.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX450M 450W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.99)
Case: Fractal Design Focus G Mid Tower Case ($41.31)
Total: $569.22

Thank you!

Tomy

Hi,
this is my build for the budget. I am not an expert in this stuff, so I would like is possible, get some suggestions. My mail software is Blender. I want that it runs smoothly, regardless of the complexity of the project. I was also thinking of a bit better graphic card. Is the cpu good enough? Not sure if I should get a better cpu or graphic card. Also, in the future, I plan to integrate another graphic card, does this motherboard supports this option? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LDgM

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($379.00)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S ($59.95)
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($228.55)
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB – MSI Gaming ($370.65)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 C16 ($114.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Crucial P1 1TB, M.2 Solid State Drive ($104.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550M 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($79.99)
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case ($126.64)
Total: $1464.76

Danny Esh

Sorry to bother you Alex,

I appreciate the information you have given out, it definitely helps out! I’m trying to build a PC for my Game Arts course, which consists of a lot of work relating to Maya, Adobe, Mudbox, Zbrush, unity and unreal. I also intend to use this build for running some high-performance games as well. Is this a good build for what I’m looking for? budget 1500-2200

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LCIl

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor ($454.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($275.00)
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X ($744.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16 ($176.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($164.71)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550M 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($79.99)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($159.84) I’m torn between this and Lian-Li PC-O11 Dynamic Midi-Tower (I don’t exactly know if this is compatible with the parts, I’m still looking) or if you have a suggestion for a slightly cheaper case that doesn’t have led lights and that, but can allow for upgrades if needed in the future)
Total: $2146.41

I heard from a friend that new NVIDIA GPU is coming sometime soon, I’m not exactly sure, but if it’s affordable would recommend getting it.

Maurey

Hi Alex,

What a great resource! Thanks for this site! I’m building a system for Video editing and CAD 3D Rendering. I was on a Mac system for years, but I’m migrating back to PC. I was working solely with Vectorworks for CAD and architectural renderings and using Final Cut Pro for editing films. I may want to switch to AutoCAD in the future and full AutoCAD isn’t available for Macs, hence the move. The prices below are from a Canadian store (I’m in Toronto). Will this be good enough for 3D rendering in CAD and for Video Editing?

ITEM MODEL QUANT PRICE/UNIT TOTAL PRICE
COMPONENTS
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor 1 $999.00 $999.00
CPU Warranty 3 Year direct Replacement 1 $161.10 $161.10
CPU COOLER be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 1 $134.99 $134.99
MOTHERBOARD ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (Wi-Fi) AMD AM4 X570 ATX 1 $259.99 $259.99
Motherboard Warranty 1 $41.95 $41.95
GPU ASUS DUAL NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER EVO V2 OC 8GB 1 $508.88 $508.88
GPU Warranty 1 $82.10 $82.10
MEMORY 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 C16 1 $154.99 $154.99
STORAGE SSD Crucial MX500 2TB 2.5″ Solid State Drive 1 $299.00 $299.00
STORAGE PCIe-SSD Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive 1 $229.99 $229.99
STORAGE HDD Seagate BarraCuda Compute 4TB, 3.5″ 1 $119.99 $119.99
POWER SUPPLY Corsair RMx Series Platinum RM850x 850W Power Supply 1 $179.99 $179.99
CASE Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium Big Tower Case 1 $279.99 $279.99
COMPONENTS TOTAL 13 $3,451.96 $3,451.96

PERIPHERALS
OFFICE Windows 10-Bit 1 $150.00 $150.00
MONITORS ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV 24.1” 2 $289.99 $579.98
PERIPHERAL TOTAL 3 $439.99 $729.98

LABOUR
BUILD 1 $49.99 $49.99
CABLE MANAGEMENT 1 $29.99 $29.99
Water/Air COOLER ADD-ON 1 $19.99
WINDOWS INSTALL 1 $59.99 $59.99
LABOUR TOTAL 4 $159.96 $139.97
TOTAL SYSTEM 20 $4,051.91 $4,321.91

Sorry for the messy formatting. Is this a decent system that will be able to handle my workload? Is it all compatible?

Thanks,
Maurey

Maurey

Also, my local computer vendor didn’t understand why I had 2 different SSD drives. I assumed it might have something to do with each drive doing different tasks. He thought I should just go with one SSD drive. Can you elaborate on why video editing should have one 2.5″ Storage SSD, and one PCIe M.2 SSD instead of just one M.2 SSD? Thanks!

Maurey

Considering going with either 1 or 2 of these monitors instead of 2 Asus Proart 24″.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q 28” HDR Gaming Monitor 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS FreeSync™ Eye Care DisplayPort Dual HDMI HDR 10

Thoughts?

Maurey

Haha, sorry for the flood of comments… what about this monitor? LG 32UD89. The only issue I see is that it isn’t true 10bit but 10bit(8bit + A-FRC).

Or I stick with Asus on 2 monitors and get 1 Asus 28″ Tuf Gaming VG289Q and 1 Asus 24″ Proart PA248QV. Or the 24″ ProArt with the 32″ LG 32UD89. I’m probably overthinking things, but I don’t want to blow money on something that won’t work well.

Sundara

Hi Alex!

I’m looking to build a PC for architecture where I’ll be mainly using it for 3D Modelling and Rendering with software like Cad, Sketchup, Revit, Lumion, V-ray and the Adobe suite. I need 32gb of RAM atleast since I’ve outlived my current rig with 16 gigs.

Could you please have a look at the suggested build and tell me where I can possibly save a bit of money on as this build is on the higher side of my budget of 1000$ and an alternate for the motherboard since I couldn’t find the one mentioned here locally in India.

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=zq1yg0l0lqe

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9GHz 8-Core Processor ($339.99)
CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism Cooler (Included with CPU) (-)
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus ATX AM4 ($160.92)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660TI 6GB – EVGA XC Gaming ($275.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 C16 ($114.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Crucial P1 1TB, M.2 Solid State Drive ($104.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX450M 450W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.99)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99)
Total: $1166.86

For the processor, I also had the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X in mind. I would ideally like to have SSD storage for programs and booting and HDD for regular data storage and if you could tell me what do I need to look for in terms of wireless connectivity in the system it would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!

Mujeeb

Hello Alex – with the help of PC Build i got a configuration which i thought was good for me.
Then i took your advice and went for a basic NVidia GPU for test renders.
To recall my work revolves around intense ‘photometric Lighting’ renders for building facades/landscapes and Interiors.
Photometric (ies files) renders is what makes it heavy.
So basically what we have learnt from the forum here is that – we need a powerful CPU for faster render times and and setting up and working with the 3ds max files – i.e. more cores and overclocking is the requirement rather than a very high end Graphics Card.

In that i assume AMD with more cores is more suited.
So that is what i fed in the PC Build questions along with the budget of $2,000.00

The configuration then i sent locally (UAE) for pricing, and a vendor (keeping the CPU as requested) has quoted for others aspects like (RAM, GCard, Cooler, Casing, SSD, HDD) with broadly the same specs but changed the suggested brands/part numbers.
QUESTION – Here i need your help – if you think they are ok to go ? especially the cooler as i had asked for the suggested be quite Dark Rock pro 4, BK022, 250W TDP and he went as below…
.. further below is the CGDirector.com parts list..
Overall both are priced same.

From Vendor
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor, Without Cooler
COOLER LIQUID DEEPCCOL GAMMAX L240,LIQUID Cooler DUAL FAN
MOTHERBOARD MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi Motherboard (AMD AM4, DDR4, PCIe 4.0, SATA 6Gb/s, M.2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, AC Wi-Fi 6, HDMI, ATX)
GRAPHICS CARD Asus ROG strix GEFORCE RTX2060 3 fans
RAM KINGSTON HYPER FURY HX432C16FB3A/16DDR4-3200 CL16 288-Pin DIMM64GB (4 x 16GB)
SSD Crucial P1 1tb nvme.m.2
HDD Seagate 2TB 7200RPM 256MB Cache 6 GB/S
POWER SUPPLY Corsair VS650 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Modular Power Supply (CP-9020103-NA)
CASE Phanteks elips P360X Chassis mid tower.

From CGI
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz 16-Core Processor ($709.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($329.99)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660TI 6GB – EVGA XC Gaming ($275.99)
Memory: 64GB (4 x 16GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3200 C16 ($219.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($164.97)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550M 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($85.99)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($159.93)
Total: $2036.75

Thanks / Mujeeb

iCe

Hey Alex ,
I want to build a beast powerful fast pc for vfx and 3d work , i will use after effect , cinema 4d , mostly i will work on rendering, modeling and animation , my budget will be around 6000 $
I actually want to use the new nvidia graphics cards rtx 30 series but im not sure which one will be the most useful faster and powerful for my use , thank you in advance Alex

Jaish

Hi i want to know the computerhardware and software requirements for HR,web design and software developer