Question high-end, CG/gaming rig, potentially 5k+


Sep 19, 2013
Hey guys,

So here I am collecting opinions and advices about my project of buying a high end rig devoted to CG with Houdini as well as gaming. Projected cost is in the 5k to 6k euros range.

Let me copy paste the blueprint first!

Approximate Purchase Date: This month, as both money bonus package and interesting loans offer are actually converging, but the time window is closing fast.

Budget Range: As mentionned, since I'll be getting a loan anyway, I'm aiming for a budget range of 5 to 6k euros. Please note that I'm a french guy, so prices can be quite different from other countries !

System Usage from Most to Least Important: This is a bit of a weird thing. Up to a few weeks ago, my main usage of my current rig was gaming, with the occasionnal Houdini session I'd have to abort in frustration because, well, this rig is weak. Nowdays, however, my prime usage seems to be flipping over : I rarely launch games, enojoying netflix or other "low ressource" stuff while my poor rig tries to solve some heavy load simulations.
So to be clear :
1/ Heavy CG work ( potentially professionnal, even ),
2/ Gaming
3/ movies, series, webbrowsing, the usual desktop computer activities.

Are you buying a monitor: Nope, already have an Asus ROG PG279Q ( 1440p, gsync ) as well as an old BenQ ( 144hz ) serving as companion.

Parts to Upgrade: Everything, really. I tend to just buy a full new computer every 3 to 4 years, changing the GPU or adding RAM in-between new rigs. Previous Rig integrates my makeshift renderfarm or can be used by friends when they come over ( which is rare, though )

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. Will go with Windows 10, I guess Home should be enough.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Hard one, as most of the "usual" websites do not apply since I'm french. Guess this leave the french Amazon or specialized sites like , . Actually, I found almost all components I wanted ( more on that later ) on topachat.

Location: Paris, France.

Parts Preferences: I do not have a lot of preferences as far as brands are concerned.
However, I know I'm going for an AMD cpu.
1/ AMD CPU - was thinking 2990wx, or maybe as recent researches made me realize, 2950x
2/ 2080TI. My main render engine is Redshift, which is a GPU render engine that only supports Nvidia GPU for now. Also, it's, well, good for gaming. I do not have any fidelity to any specific brand however.
3/ 64gb ram minimum.
4/ A large case would probably be better, no glass panel is required. I have a soft spot for Fractal Design but I have to expand my horizons here, I think.

Overclocking: Maybe. My current CPU ( i7 4970k ) is actually slightly overclocked. I basically go for easy / basic overclocking, but I don't dare push my luck too much. Has to be simple.

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not. I'm not planning on 2 gpus because of costs, but if I could I would definitely NVlink them.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1440p for main monitor. 1080p for second.

Additional Comments:
So, I'll be using Houdini as my bread(winner) and butter main software. It can easily call for some serious firepower.
As for games, I tend to try a lot of things but I like my settings in Ultra, even if I loose a few FPS in the process.
Hardware-wise, as I mentionned, I need a relatively discreet computer. With the load I may be unleashing on it, I get it could be wishful thinking, though. I don't want a glass panel because the thing will be near my sleeping place - I'd rather avoid light bleeding. And I don't like the general idea of showing up the bowels of the beast anyway.
I'm not very concerned with the case design, I'm mainly looking for a semi-stylish minimal black, grey, or white box, with as few lights as possible.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:
I'm the owner of two other computers - I basically upgrade or change every four years or so. New computer - 1 or 2 years laters new GPU / new RAM - 1 or 2 years later new computer - etc.
I like to change everything so I can keep the old ones as a makeshift, amateur render and sim farm when needed, or just for when friends come over to play some LAN. And components are usually not very salvageable.
Also, I do not have the patience, knowledge, and self-confidence I could build a new computer from parts anyway.
The computer I'm using right now got a I7 4970k, 32gb DDR3 ram, a 1080ti that I feel may be a bit bottlenecked. It's ... okay, I guess, but it's not very comfortable. Obviously, such a setup can't be upgraded - I don't remember exactly what the mobo is but the I7 was already the limit, and DDR3... Well, it's the era of DDR4, right ?

Lastly, time window. I usually get a bonus money package in May ( so basically I just got it ), and there are some nice, but fast going, loan interests at my bank right now.

Selected part list so far:

First, a link to pcpartpicker.

Now, I'll just attempt to copy over the list generated by said pcpartpicker :

( Magic! it works! )
So this would appear to be an "ideal" choice, but only based on my very own uneducated research on the Internet...

Let me also drop a link to the almost same rig but on a french website for costs comparisons !

Main difference lies in the RAM, to which I couldn't find the exact equivalent. So I just chose a placeholder.

Now, after seeing some charts, I'm basically wondering whether a 2950X wouldn't serve almost the same purposes for waaay less money, which in turn could help me maximize ram or add a second GPU. I'm conflicted, though. 2990 seems to be super bad for games, and while I want to put an emphasis on Houdini, I wonder if the little CPU brother wouldn't be a better fit.

So here we are! I'm looking for opinions, remarks, advices, about the quality of the components, what could be sacrificed to improve the costs, what should be avoided, what is good, etc. 2990wx or 2950x ? How many additionnal case fans ? Is that PSU enough ? Is that CPU cooler enough ? etc, etc

Thanks for reading :)