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First PC Build help request - For digital art/3d modeling and streaming

Budget (including currency): $1,500-$2,500 USD

Country: USA

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: Zbrush, Photoshop, Blender, Twitch streams

Other details (existing parts lists, whether any peripherals are needed, what you're upgrading from, when you're going to buy, what resolution and refresh rate you want to play at, etc):

Hi all, I'm moving from the world of laptops to the world of more powerful desktop computers, and while I understand design software I know next to nothing about tech specs and hardware.

I plan to be using Zbrush, Photoshop and Blender for my work, and streaming on Twitch and Youtube simultaneously. I know Zbrush is CPU based so I'm looking to get a high end but not highest CPU. I know AMD is releasing Zen 3 very soon and I'm considering the second highest 12-core CPU, but put in a high-end Zen 2 for now as a placeholder. From what I can tell it looks like it's worth waiting for the Zen 3 upgrade.

I probably need a decent GPU for streaming? But I don't need crazy good refresh rates as a game streamer would. Refresh rates for rendering 3d images and digital art might play a role though. I am trying to avoid liquid cooling fans (I don't want to risk even the 0.01% leak chance), but I am also looking for as much full-spectrum RGB as possible (artist brand, lol).

I have a few parts picked out but not the whole computer, and the chassis is still flexible (big fan of the starry front panel, not sure how I feel that the whole thing is backwards, and no USB-C is a turnoff) I am completely lost in terms of motherboard, GPU, and anything else I'm missing, and would really appreciate some help, thank you in advance!




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I would recommend a decent motherboard, as the cpu you chose needs it. Are you going to overclock?  


Anyone reading this, if I am wrong about something, feel free to correct me, as I don't want to mislead someone, but only help. 


Edit: What's your budget? 

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That really is a super weird PC case - the graphics IO seems to come out the top? It also seems to have virtually zero ventilation - especially at the front - which is a BAD idea if you're likely to be doing long- duration blender/Zbrush renders. You can have all the fans in the world, but if they're pointed directly at a pane of glass then you're not going to get much air flowing through them. Gamers Nexus do really detailed case reviews, I'd take a look over there for something that catches your eye.


Zbrush actually doesn't benefit from having as many CPU cores as a 3950X - it's a rather single-threaded program at times. You will likely find little-to-no difference in performance in Zbrush over a 3900X, maybe even a performance loss to due its lower clock speed, and as such you may be better off with an i9 10900K as a result. Blender though, while rendering, will certainly utilise this extra horsepower, happily eating up as many cores as you throw at it. I agree though that waiting for Zen 3 is a very good idea, and will (if the rumors are true) offer a better single-core result than the 10900K, as well as enough cores to sate the Blender beast, therefore offering the best of both worlds. The second highest SKU is probably a pretty good bet, but I'd look at the benchmarks when we have them and see if the difference in Blender render times between it and the SKU below are worth the price increase.


As far as graphics goes, Zbrush isn't really GPU accelerated much. Photoshop and Blender can be, depending on exactly what you're doing. It's likely though that something akin to an RTX 2070 would be plenty for your needs if you're going to be doing CPU rendering with Blender, but if you're planning on using GPU rendering then go for the best GPU you can afford. I'd stick with Nvidia cards personally as the NVENC encoder will be useful to offload video encoding to your GPU while streaming, but again lots of new GPUS are coming out at the moment and I would hold-fire for now to see what turns up. (Now's a pretty bad time to be building a PC to be honest.)


Motherboard: afraid I can't help you much there. You probably don't need PCI-E 4.0 - the SSD you've picked doesn't support it - so a B550 or B450 board would probably be ok. I'd do some research and look for ones with good power delivery - you'll need it with a powerful cpu like a 3950X - as well as any particular features that you may want (eg. USB-C, WiFi.) If you wait for Zen 3 though, make sure to look for one that is listed as having Zen 3 support out of the box, unless you know someone with an older Ryzen CPU that you can borrow in order to flash the BIOS.


You still need a power supply, 750W would be plenty if you pick up an RTX 2070. If you pick a 3080 or above you'll want something a bit beefier. Make sure whatever you pick is by a reputable brand like Seasonic or Corsair - you kinda get what you pay for with power supplies. Cheap, no name power supplies are as likely to start a fire as they are your PC.


You also need a CPU cooler. I'd recommend one by Noctua or Be Quiet! given you don't want water cooling. The Dark Rock Pro 4 or NH-D 15 would both be kinda overkill if you're not planning on overclocking, but overdoing the cooling is never a bad thing. If you are planning on overclocking, make sure to get a bigger power supply to cope with the extra power needed (wouldn't recommend that on a professional system though).

My PCs:



i7 4790k

16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3


Corsair Carbide 300R


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Hey there!


If you can wait, the Ryzen 5000 release date is Nov 5, 10 days from now. This could allow you to avoid buying another CPU.


That said, here's a preliminary build with a 3000 series CPU, just sub in the newer part if you can wait.




All the components are high quality and reliable here. Added RGB RAM and a case with great performance + RGB fans on front to satisfy the need for RGB.


I have also added a monitor that can cover the full sRCB color space and is 4K 27" which is all you will need. Ignore that if you're budgeting monitors separately.


Hope this helps! :)

We have a NEW and GLORIOUSER-ER-ER PSU Tier List Now. (dammit @LukeSavenije stop coming up with new ones)

You can check out the old one that gave joy to so many across the land here


Computer having a hard time powering on? Troubleshoot it with this guide. (Currently looking for suggestions to update it into the context of <current year> and make it its own thread)

Computer Specs:


Mathresolvermajig: Intel Xeon E3 1240 (Sandy Bridge i7 equivalent)

Chillinmachine: Noctua NH-C14S
Framepainting-inator: EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Hybrid

Attachcorethingy: Gigabyte H61M-S2V-B3

Infoholdstick: Corsair 2x4GB DDR3 1333

Computerarmor: Silverstone RL06 "Lookalike"

Rememberdoogle: 1TB HDD + 120GB TR150 + 240 SSD Plus + 1TB MX500

AdditionalPylons: Phanteks AMP! 550W (based on Seasonic GX-550)

Letterpad: Rosewill Apollo 9100 (Cherry MX Red)

Buttonrodent: Razer Viper Mini + Huion H430P drawing Tablet

Auralnterface: Sennheiser HD 6xx

Liquidrectangles: LG 27UK850-W 4K HDR


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Waiting for next gen ryzen would be a decent option, but we will see when it releases how good the cpus will be, for streaming you don't need a high end gpu, streaming is also cpu intensive, so I would recommend a cpu with many cores, as more cores as better, but it also comes with cost.

Edit: Ryzem 3900x seems to be a great option for now. Or 3950x if you're willing to pay extra for a little bit of performance.


As for blender, a gpu is not really important, but as far as I know it will benefit from a good gpu. 


I would recommend 

Low end- Gtx 1660 super/TI

Mid- Rtx 2060 super or just Rtx 2060

Low high end- 2070  super

High end- Rtx 2080 super/TI

Depending on how much you gonna want for now.

Also be aware that Rtx 3000 series are out, but they aren't in stock, that's why I didn't recommend them. Also big Navi the amd gpus are coming out soon, so if you want a really good bang for the buck, you should wait a while, as well for cpus.


For motherboards I recommend with rgb (If you won't overclock)

Gigabyte B550 Aorus pro atx

MSI mpg B550 Gaming Carbon WIFI

Asus rog strix B550-F

If you are going to overclock, I would recommend X570 instead of B550 motherboards.


Power supply

I would recommend something 750w-1000w don't need to overkill.

Look for PSU that has gold rating or platinum.


If you want more rgb, recommend to buy rgb strips, if you like them. 


You should look for a different case, this one doesn't seem to have great airflow.

Look for a case that has either mesh in front, or front has enough intake.


For that much load, you should get 16Gb of ram, or 32Gb, more would be a bit overkill. Maybe 64 GB? Not more def.


As for cpu coolers, not an expert, but I would say dark rock pro 4.

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