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

CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   ⋮  Updated   ⋮   1,181 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!

1181
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Danny

Dear Sears,
could you check to please the following components and if they are compatible
Intel I9-10900K
Z490 gigabyte Aorus water master force ( with AIO colling)
64GB Corsair dominator 3200 MHz
color power Radeon RX6900XT Red Devil 16GB
Lian Li case 011XDL
Power supply Evga P2 full modular 1000W
I really appreciate any help you can provide.

Mark

Alex,

I need a top notch video editing computer for around the $5,000 to $5,500 price point. I believe I have found what I’m looking for.

Could you please check out the following components and tell me if they are compatible and would you recommend any changes?

0 ❐ Fractal Design Define 7 Black & White Brushed Aluminum/Steel E-ATX Silent Modular Tempered Glass Window Mid Tower Computer Case…$169.99

1 ❐ EVGA SuperNOVA 220-G3-0850-X1, 850 G3, 80 Plus Gold 850W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 10 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply… $229.34

2 ❐ AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-Core, 48-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor, without Cooler, Medium… $1,424.00

3 ❐ G.Skill 128GB DDR4 PC4-25600 3200MHz Ripjaws V for Intel Z170/X99 CL16 Quad Channel kit 4x32GB 1.35V (RAM)… $549.99

4 ❐ GIGABYTE TRX40 DESIGNARE (sTRX/AMD/TRX40/Direct 16+3 Phase VRM/Fins-Array Heatsink/Gen 4 AIC with 4 Extra M.2/ XL-ATX/Motherboard)… $629.00

5 ❐ Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3, Premium-Grade CPU Cooler for AMD sTRX4/TR4/SP3 (140mm, Brown)… $79.90

6 ❐ ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC 8GB GDDR6 256-bit 14 Gbps PCIE 4.0 Gaming Graphics Card, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, White LED Logo Lighting, ZT-A30700H-10P… $899.99

8 ❐ SAMSUNG 860 PRO SSD 4TB – 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive with MLC V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P4T0BW)… $676.95

9 ❐ Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 Internal SSD Extreme Performance Solid State Drive (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-2TB)… $369.99

10 ❐ Seagate Barracuda Pro SATA HDD 10TB 7200RPM 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive for PC Desktop Computers System All in One Home Servers DAS (ST10000DM0004) (Renewed)… $219.65

Thanks in advance for your opinion!

– Mark

Rohan

Hi Alex,
Im looking to buy a new motherboard and a cpu for my workstation. I like the Ryzen 3700x as it fits in my budget and its a decent upgrade from my last pc. But Im confused about which motherboard I should get.
I currently run GFX cards, GTX 970 + GTX 1070, and Im thinking of buying a RTX 3080, whenever its available here. So I want a motherboard that can run 3 GFX cards or atleast 2 cards, in that case ill sell my GTX 970. The PCIe x16/x8/x4 information is confusing me and im not sure which motherboard will fit my requirement. I also intend to add a 1TB m2 SSD.
My current rig,
32 GB Ram
1000w Power Supply
1x 512 GB SSD
1x 2TB WD Black HDD
1x 4TB WD Black HDD

Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks!

vamsi

Hi Alex,
Can you suggest me the components required to build the PC’s for HR, software development and web design?

Pol GF

Hi Alex,

wow, that was super!
Thank u so 4 the analysis&all the info.

I tried to contact unsuccessfully some retail websites trying to figure out what’s an appropriate config. for Games animation, 3D modelling and VFX. I usually use Blender, UE4, Zbrush, WorldCreator, Octane, Substance, Houdini, C4D, etc software.

After weeks of research I came up with the following configuration:

CASE: Still unknown (Mini-ITX preferable due to lack of space, since I live in a really small studio)
Firstly, I thought of an NZXT H1 until I realised it has a retention screw safety issue
that may set the PC on fire.. literally. They’re already supplying a simple-to-use repair kit.
However, I found a group of guys in youtube analyzing the solution & explaining why the issue is remaining despite the replacement with those plastic screws.

Anyway, I’m more concerned about the rest of the components

MOBO: Gigabyte AMD Ryzen X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12 Core 24 Thread 3.7GHz-4.8GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DDR4 Vengeance RGB PRO
M.2: 2TB Samsung 970 EVO PLUS
STORAGE: x2 Seagate 2TB BarraCuda 120 SSD 2.5” SATA
PSU: Corsair RMi Series 750W Fully Modular 80+ GOLD

Could you please anticipate it is a suitable configuration for 3D&VFX?

Any recommendations?
AMD 3900XT? i9-10900K? RTX QUADRO? 850W?

Please HELP, every day I’m remaking my config!
Thanks 4 ur time & effort Alex!