Build Advice $1600'ish workstation/personal pc

Dec 7, 2019
1. Budget and location:

The budget I have roughly come up with is around $1600 and the location is North Eastern US. I can extend this budget at most a couple more hundred dollars but would really rather not.

2. 2. Aim:

My aim for this build is for this to be my daily driver as far as a personal computer goes. But this will also be my daily driver as a workstation for working in 3d work such as Blender and ZBrush along with 2d work in Corel Painter and Clip Studio Paint. I also work with some coding apps like Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code along with PyCharm. I have also purchased Pinnacle Studio 23 Ultimate but have not used it yet for video editing. And lastly, even though I have not had much time for it lately I would like for this build to be a competent gaming rig. I’m not shooting for the stars with a bazillion fps at 24K, just something that can play current games and a little beyond with decent settings at 2K’ish. I’m retiring my old girl to a render node/compiling station/media server to help take some of the computational grinding off my new build to maintain as much productivity as possible.

3. 3. Monitors:

Currently I have two monitors and a pen display. My primary is a 32” AOC that has always worked well for me. My second is a 19” HP that I usually just throw the info panels on for my apps. And I have a Huion Kamvas Pro 13 pen display for the number of art apps I have and sculpting in Zbrush. I’m thinking about upgrading my second monitor at some point, but it’s not high up on the priority list.

4. 4. Peripherals:

I have a number of keyboard and mice so that it not an issue. I will be buying a copy of Windows 10. Much to my dismay, they do not offer a retail version anymore. Looking on their website, I’m not completely sure how it works now if you need to replace your cpu or mb. It used to be with the retail version, they were more forgiving whereas if you had the OEM version you were pretty much sol. I’ll have a physically separate drive eventually with a flavor of Linux on it. But for now, I’m going to have to play with the devil yet some more.

5. 5. Why are you upgrading?

I’m upgrading because my current rig is pretty old (some parts date back to 2011 and one hdd I have no idea how old it is) and I’m currently in a position where I can financially invest an above average budget into something that I use so often.

Current rig:

Cooler Master HAF-932

AMD FX-8300

MSI Extreme Gaming AMD 970 AM3+ ATX MB (970A Gaming Pro Carbon)

16GB (2x8) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz

MSI GTX 1060 3GB

500GB 7200 c drive

1TB 7200 d drive for programs and media

800W Power supply from Best Buy

32” AOC monitor

19” HP Monitor

Huion Kamvas Pro 13 pro

While my living is not made by my computer in that I have a day job that has almost nothing to do with technology, my hobbies and side hustles make it so that I practically live on my computer when I’m home. While my current rig has served me well, it is time for her to be promoted to server functions in honor of her years of good service. The copy of Windows is no longer AUTHENTIC (lol) because I had to upgrade the cpu and mb a couple of years ago. So, there are some annoying things that you can’t do in Windows because of this. I have also noticed apps like Zbrush and Blender becoming sluggish with certain tasks and just overall performance beginning to interrupt productivity efficiency. My original budget for the new build was for $1k, but I just kept having to make concessions in what I wanted. I think the $1,600 mark (it fluctuates with the sales) provides for an overall good build without going crazy. I’d love to throw a 3900 in there with a 2080 Super on 64 gigs of ram on the best motherboard money can buy. But my rationale has always been to temper the urge with what is realistic in what the PC can bring in for profit into the house. I only occasionally have side work lately so it only makes sense to me to shoot for mid-range for now. When I can get back into the groove of making money off of my computer again, my allotted budget would change accordingly.

The only things I will be recycling from the current one is the keyboard and mouse. I might pick up another small monitor just to hook up to the old computer for direct interface. Otherwise, I’ll just pretty much remote into it to set up rendering or compiling projects. Or to store personal files. I would like to stay with an ATX sized case. Perhaps even mid-ATX. But I do like having the room for options down the road like perhaps liquid cooling.

So, here is my planned build so far:

Rosewill Gaming ATX Full Tower Thor V2 Black

AMD Ryzen 7 3700x Unlocked with Wraith Prism LED

(I could personally care less about the rbg with the cooler and am thinking about going with an aftermarket cooler anyway. But the benchmarks I’ve looked at just indicated that the 3800x didn’t have sufficient roi with the additional cost compared to the 3700)

Scythe Mugen 5 120mm Air CPU Cooler

(Maybe. Thinking about rolling the savings from the cpu into the gpu)

MSI MPG x570 Gaming Plus MB

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2x16) 3200

MSI RTX 2060 Super

Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD

(I have to double check compatibility with the mb but I’m pretty sure it will work)

WD Black 4TB 7200

Windows 10 Home

Corsair RMX Series 750 watt

I do look forward to your opinions. I do prefer MSI just because I have used them for so many years and have always enjoyed their products and aesthetics. The UEFI, well… You can’t win ‘em all… Going with the Super on the gpu gives me a little more room with rendering in Blender and also games for textures. While my 1060 is still going strong and I’ve yet to come across a game I can’t play currently, you do see some artifacting.

Finally, I do prefer Amazon because I have a Prime membership and therefore get free two day shipping and also their return policy has been no hitches for me in the years I've used them. Obviously, it's a service I hope to rarely use but it's nice to know that if the need arises they have your back.


Excellent choices.

From here on you can simply tweak as needed. For example:

- 3700X is already very good.

- The CPU already comes with a cooler. So you can simply install the stock cooler at first, and upgrade it at a later date if the performance is unsatisfactory for you.

- Getting an X570 board may be a bit overkill if you're simply overclocking. There are plenty of X470 that will do the job more then well. Just make sure you get one thay's 3rd Gen Ready with an updated BIOS.

- You may consider 3600mhz RAM at this point for a few more dollars.

- Since you're doing 3D. You may want to opt for the 2070 Super for the extra 2Gb of VRAM

- HDD: you can always recycle your old one(s) for now. And then buy more as you need the space.

Those are my thoughts. Solid build though.