The Content Creation Build

If you're looking to put together the ultimate content creation PC at a mainstream price, this is the guide for you! Rather than try to tweak gaming-focused builds to make them a better match for heavy Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and similar application use, just build one that's designed for content creation from the start! Sure, you could game on this system, and it would actually do a really great job at it, but the components have been chosen specifically to maximize application performance and minimize noise, which is what we think professional content creators will value the most.

This build gets an absolutely massive upgrade for July 2019, courtesy of AMD and its new Zen 2 platform. It all begins with AMD's amazing Ryzen 7 3700X, the most capable mainstream processor ever released. It packs in eight physical cores plus eight virtual cores for absolutely extreme multi-tasking environments, despite ultra-low power use. Backing it up is 32GB of ultra-high-speed DDR4-3200 RAM, which has dropped in price by nearly half in just a few months, making it an incredible time to stock up on speed and capacity! In terms of storage, we go with the mind-blowing Corsair MP600 2TB Gen 4 drive, which can be fully unleashed thanks to the AMD X570 chipset and its PCIe 4.0 functionality. In the graphics department, we go with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB, based on the latest Turing architecture. Yes, it's a great gaming card, but it also provides fantastic application acceleration and support for multiple ultra-high-resolution monitors, which is why it's included in this build. To put the finishing touches on this build, we suggest you equip it with a Gold-rated fully-modular power supply, and install it in the ultra-quiet, professionally-styled be quiet! Pure Base 600 case. By the way, thanks to all those aforementioned price drops, we've been able to fit a Blu-Ray burner into this build while still staying under budget!

To see previous versions of this build, just flip to the $1,750 Content Creation PC Archive. For extra help building your PC, check out our detailed Guide to Assembling a Ryzen PC. And if you're looking to complete your system, browse our Monitor Buyer's Guide and Peripherals Buyer's Guide, although you'll find that we've already listed our favorite picks for a content creation PC later on this page.

Pricing and availability for midrange components change constantly, and we use real-time pricing engines so you always see the most up-to-date prices available. Links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany are also provided for each component category, with regional substitutions made based on availability. To support this site, please use these links if you purchase any of the products we list. 

The $1,750 Content Creation PC - July 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

    Picking the right CPU for content creation can be tricky, because some apps (like Photoshop) are lightly threaded, while others (like Premiere Pro and Blender) are heavily threaded. Luckily, AMD makes the decision easy with its new Ryzen 7 3700X, which leapfrogs previous CPUs, including those from arch-rival Intel. With its eight cores and sixteen threads and a maximum boost speed of 4.4GHz, it can make quick work of video production, and holds its own in photography and audio work as well.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the Ryzen 7 3700X comes with a very good cooler in the box, and thanks to the ultra-high efficiency of the 3700X, you really don't need to upgrade it to get the most out of this system!

    Motherboard:

    ASUS Prime X570-P

    This board offers a range of high-end features at a mid-range price. These include upgraded ALC1200 audio, dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots (one of which you'll be using for this system's next-gen SSD), and eight USB ports.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this board has both an 8-pin and a 4-pin CPU power connector, but you only need to use the 8-pin connector with the 3700X processor due to its extreme efficiency.

    Video Card:

    MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus

    Launched in February 2019, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is the perfect GPU for this system, offering excellent GPU-accelerated performance in a variety of apps, exceptional efficiency, and yes, serious gaming chops for when you're on break time! Higher-end GeForce cards experience significant diminishing returns in terms of application acceleration, so putting that money towards the ultra-high-end CPU and SSDs in this system is a better approach.

    The Guru's Tip:

    With 6GB of VRAM on board, this card can drive any monitor - and thanks to its three DisplayPort outputs, it's perfect for use with multiple ultra-high-resolution displays.

    Memory:

    Ballistix 4x8GB Sport LT DDR4-3200 SR

    For serious content creation, you practically can't have "too much" RAM. That being said, we think 32GB of RAM is going to be perfect for all but the most extreme cases. Why do we choose this DDR4-3200 kit in particular? It offers a big speed boost over standard 2133MHz RAM, along with an amazing price for the capacity thanks to a massive price drop over the past few months. To enable the full speed, make sure to select the AMP profile in the motherboard's UEFI.

    The Guru's Tip:

    With AMD's AM4 platform, you can't just choose any DDR4 kit and expect it to work at its rated speed, unfortunately. We guarantee that if you instead choose two 16GB dual-ranked sticks (which is the only format 16GB sticks come in), they will not run at their rated speed, and may not boot at all!

    Solid-State Drive:

    Corsair MP600 2TB PCIe 4.0

    Experience the future of storage today with Corsair's amazing new MP600 2TB, which is both the fastest and highest-capacity M.2 drive on the market. Harnessing the extreme speeds of the PCIe 4.0 interface, along with the NVMe protocol and advanced TLC NAND flash, it's simply unbeatable. It can provide sequential read speeds of 4,950 MB/s and sequential write speeds of 4,250 MB/s, eclipsing the 3,500 MB/s maximum of PCIe 3.0-based drives.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This drive's built-in heatsink will help keep it cool no matter how hard you push it!

    Case:

    be quiet! Pure Base 600 Silver

    There's simply no better professional case available under $100 than the Pure Base 600. Featuring premium features like an ultra-quiet 140mm intake fan, a 120mm exhaust fan, plus noise-absorbing padding on all panels, it will run cool and quiet. It also features an innovative removable top panel that offers either maximum silence or maximum airflow.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The case even has a built-in three-speed fan switch, allowing you to dial in the perfect balance of cooling and noise.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-550FX

    For a professional PC, we want a power supply that offers ultra-high efficiency and virtually no noise. Enter the FX from Seasonic. It features Gold-rated efficiency (that means 90% at 50% load!), fully-modular cables (meaning you only include the cables you need in your build), as well as the best customer reputation in the business. It's even backed by a 10-year warranty.

    The Guru's Tip:

    A 550W power supply has plenty of capacity to support this system, which will use around 300W at full load. That means the the PSU won't work as hard, leading to quieter operation. In fact, due to the zero-fan mode, during typical use, it won't make any noise at all!

    Optical Drive:

    LG 14x Blu-Ray Burner

    Does your workflow still require the use of optical discs? No problem! Just add this Blu-Ray burner to your system, which will slot right into one of the two optical drive bays available in the case we recommend.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The motherboard includes the SATA data cable you'll need to connect this to the motherboard.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    Windows 10 built on all the performance improvements of Windows 8.1 while bringing back a functional start menu, similar to Windows 7, but with enhanced functionality. Microsoft also released DirectX 12 alongside its latest operating system, a graphics programming interface that is giving developers new ways to tap into hardware to provide unprecedented levels of image quality.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This USB 3.0 version of W10 will load in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    Wireless Card:

    TP-LINK Archer T6E AC1300

    Need to add wireless networking to your system? Look no further than this low-cost, high-speed PCIe add-in card.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Avoid the USB-based WiFi adapters that have flooded the 'net - they may be tiny, but they have weak performance to match!

    Sound Card:

    Creative Sound Blaster ZxR

    Users looking to do serious work with audio files will want an add-in sound card, and the Sound Blaster ZxR is an ideal match for this system. It features a TI Burr-Brown DACs, a 124dB signal-to-noise ratio, and 1/4" analog headphone and microphone jacks, RCA outputs, as well as an optical digital input and output on a daughtercard.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You also get a breakout box to use on your desktop that offers volume control as well as additional jacks.

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    We think that once you try a mechanical keyboard, you'll never use a membrane-based model again, but for certain applications, we'll concede that standard mechanical keyboards can be just a bit too clicky-clacky. Enter the K70 MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile, which is not only extremely responsive, it's all far quieter than any other mechanical keyboard, thanks to the next-generation Cherry MX Low-Profile switches. You can read our full review right here!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model also has per-key RGB backlighting, allowing you to choose the color and pattern to suit your needs. But don't worry - you can also just turn it off!

    The Ultimate Business Mouse:

    Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless

    Break free of wires with this premium wireless mouse, perfect for content creators, even the crazy ones using a glass desk!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Content creators need a big space to work with when it comes to their input devices, and we recommend the Corsair MM300 Extended mouse mat for your desktop setup.

    The 32-inch Professional 4K Monitor:

    ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO

    Serious content creators need a serious monitor, and for the price, there's simply no better pro-level monitor on the market than the VP3268-4K from ViewSonic. Its 32" 4K IPS panel produces 100% of the Rec. 709 and sRGB color space, and the monitor includes HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and a USB 3.0 hub. Simply put, you're getting serious quality and size for the money here.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model even allows for hardware color calibration, should you need it for your photography work or graphic design.