The Best $5,000 Content Creation PC Build

CRITICAL COVID-19 UPDATE: While the pandemic has impacted global supply chains and made it difficult to find many mainstream PC components, the ultra-high-end parts used for this build have been spared the worst shortages, and most will ship immediately.

If you're looking for a PC offering content creation performance that goes beyond extreme, then this is the build for you. With a budget of $5,000, you can max out just about everything, without venturing too far into the land of diminishing returns. And when your work is done for the day, it offers plenty of gaming muscle to sneak a whole lot of fun in too.

For July 2020, the $5,000 Threadripper Content Creation PC Build continueds to feature the jaw-dropping Threadripper 3970X processor. Using the 7nm Zen 2 architecture, it can push its 32 cores and 64 threads up to 4.5GHz, and comes with the built-in advantages of the new workstation-class TRX40 platform. Do you want to encode, while simultaneously gaming, streaming, and decompressing? No problem, Threadripper has you covered! That's in part due to its quad-channel memory layout, and we make the most of it here with a mind-blowing 64GB of ultra-high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM. In the graphics department, we go with the best high-end card on the market, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB, featuring all the latest enhancements, including dedicated ray tracing cores and a USB Type-C video output. In terms of storage, we suggest you equip this system with a blazing-fast 2TB PCIe 4.0 drive (or alternatively, dual 1TB PCIe 4.0 drives, depending on your workflow). That will give you plenty of ultra-fast storage, with room to add more later on. Powering the system is a 1050W Platinum-rated power supply, and for the chassis, we go with the professionally-styled, ultra-quiet SL600M from Cooler Master.

To see previous versions of the build, flip to the $5,000 Archive, and to check out all our recommended add-ons for this build, scroll down to the end of this guide. Because we use real-time pricing engines, you'll always see up-to-date U.S. prices in our guides. We also provide direct links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany for each product, making regional substitutions when necessary. To help support the continued development of this guide, please use the links we provide if you purchase products we recommend.

The $5,000 Threadripper Content Creation PC Build - July 2020

  • CPU:

    AMD Threadripper 3970X

    Oh, how times have changed. AMD owns the productivity crown, and its 3970X opens up a the next-generation of content creation performance. Offering up 32 cores, 64 threads, and per-core efficiency that beats Intel, it's simply way ahead of anything else that's come before it.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that while AMD does offer a 64-core Threadripper 3990X, we don't recommend it for most users. Due to inefficiencies in how Windows 10 accesses so many cores, it's slower in nearly all applications other than those specifically designed for that many cores.

  • Motherboard:

    Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Pro WiFi

    This TRX40 board offers a ton of features for the money. Ten USB ports, including a Type-C port, triple PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, WiFi 6, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, and 12+2-phase power.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The brand-new TRX40 platform will have plenty of upgrade potential in the coming years - it's always great to build a PC on a brand-new platform!

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 @EVGA

    For this build, there's only one GPU we're interested in: the ultra-extreme RTX 2080 Ti 11GB. It showcases all the best technology Nvidia has to offer, including built-in ray tracing cores for next-gen animation, as well as a USB Type-C video output for high-end monitors. And while most 2080 Ti models are currently sold out, this ultra-high-end version is shipping direct from EVGA, and you'll save 5% by using Associate Code J45HKU1STKHTH3H at checkout. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    Users of Threadripper will be better-served spending money on faster, higher-capacity storage and additional RAM than the most extreme 2080 Ti cards. If you just want to game, you should be going for our $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC, which will perform just as well as this system in games.

  • Memory:

    G.Skill 4x16GB Trident Z Neo DDR4 3600 CL16

    Take full advantage of Threadripper's quad-channel memory configuration with this 64GB kit running at a blazing-fast 3600MHz CL16 kit, which will leave four free slots for an eventual upgrade to 128GB, should you want it!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about how AMD's Zen 2 architecture can take advantage of 3600MHz RAM in our RAM Speed Shootout!

  • Solid-State Drive:

    Sabrent 2TB Rocket PCIe 4.0

    Take your I/O to the next level with this PCIe 4.0-based 2TB SSD. You can't get a bigger or faster SSD anywhere!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that content creators with large work and media files may want to purchase two 1TB drives rather than a single 2TB drive to maximize performance. One can be used for the OS and apps, the other can be used for swap, scratch, media, etc.

  • Case:

    Cooler Master MasterCase SL600M Black

    This awesome case has everything you want in a "prestige" model, without venturing off into gamer land. You get an ultra-classy exterior crafted of brushed aluminum and tempered glass, along with dual 200mm ultra-quiet fans mounted at the bottom, which provide excellent bottom-to-top airflow using with natural convection.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case has four USB Type-A ports plus a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 connector up front, providing access to ultra-high-speed removable storage.

  • Power Supply:

    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 1050W Platinum

    There's no doubt that a 32-core Threadripper paired with a high-powered video card is going to draw a lot of power - we'd estimate it at around 600W. So don't take any chances - head straight for this awesome 1050W PSU, which offers fully-modular cables, ultra-quiet operation, and extreme Platinum-rated efficiency.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This PSU will run fanless under most typical loads.

  • CPU Cooler:

    SilverStone PF360-ARGB

    For a hot-running processor like Threadripper, you need serious cooling, and this cooler is the obvious choice, thanks to its excellent thermal performance at low noise levels. The huge 360mm radiator is the secret to its amazing performance.

    The Guru's Tip:

    In our testing of this cooler, the only thing that really let us down was the thermal paste. We recommend picking up some Noctua NT-H2.

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Flash Drive

    Windows 10 is the only OS to consider for serious content creation work, and the Pro version of W10 adds disk encryption and advanced remote-access functionality.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This version of Windows, which comes on a USB 3.0 flash drive, loads in under five minutes!

Optional Components

  • Solid-State Drive:

    Sabrent 4TB Rocket NVMe

    If you need a huge helping of secondary storage, we suggest the Rocket 4TB, the highest-capacity M.2 drive on the market. And thanks to its use of the PCIe 3.0 standard, it's also impressively fast.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You'll still have one M.2 slot left to add a third drive down the line after adding this drive!

  • Sound Card:

    Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

    Creative has dominated the PC audio market for years, and while it was quiet for a while, it's back and better than ever with its new AE-7. It brings a 127 dB DNR, hi-res 32-bit / 384 kHz playback via ESS SABRE-class 9018 DAC, along with an exceptional headphone amp.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While older Creative cards have been criticized for weak Windows 10 drivers, this new model was designed around W10 from the start!

  • The Ultimate Wireless Keyboard:

    Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Clicky)

    Simply put, this is the finest keyboard on the market. It offers every feature you could possibly want: lightspeed wireless connectivity plus Bluetooth, RGB lighting, ultra-fast and ultra-responsive low-profile switches, and a beautiful aluminum faceplate. Amazingly, it's just 22mm thick, adding to its appeal.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This keyboard is available with three different types of switches: linear, tactile, and clicky. Depending on your region, one or all may be sold out.

  • The Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse:

    Razer Basilisk Ultimate HyperSpeed Wireless

    Featuring the most accurate sensor and the most reliable wireless system on the market, along with great ergonomics, the Basilisk Ultimate simply has no equal.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This mouse will run up to 100 hours on a charge!

  • The High-End Wireless Headset:

    Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Gaming Headset

    For creating new content, or just listening to music or YouTube, we suggest this awesomely-comfortable, amazing-sounding wireless headset from Corsair, which has entered the premium headset category with a true winner.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The microphone on this headset is better than what you'll find on any other wireless headset, period.

  • The 32-inch Professional 4K Monitor:

    ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO

    Want to pair your productivity rig with a stunning monitor? Look no further than the awesome VP3268-4K PRO from Viewsonic, a 32" 4K IPS  monitor that achieves 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB color space, while also offering HDR10 certification!

    The Guru's Tip:

    It doesn't hurt that the 4K Pro looks pretty classy, too!