The Best $2000 High-End Content Creation PC Build – September 2022

By Ari Altman | Published August 28, 2022 | Updated August 28, 2022

Seta A1Calling All Serious Content Creators!

If you’re looking to put together the ultimate video editing 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, but the components have been chosen specifically to maximize application performance and minimize noise, which is what we think professional video editors will value the most.

This Month’s Build, Featuring Intel and Nvidia!

For September 2022, the High-End Content Creation build gets a massive upgrade, thanks to falling prices. It all starts with the awesome Intel Core i9-12900 CPU, a 16-core, 24-thread powerhouse that leaves every AMD processor in the dust. Based on the Alder Lake architecture, it’s massively fast in both single-threaded and multi-threaded applications. Quite simply, it’s the best pick for a Content Creation PC, thanks to its fantastic performance and relatively-low power use versus overclocking-focused models. For graphics, this system gets a big upgrade this month thanks to another round of price drops on GPUs. We can now fit in the potent Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB card, which offers a huge amount of of app acceleration capability, along with simultaneous support for up to four 4K monitors!

Backing up the CPU and GPU is a whopping 64GB of high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM, meaning you’ll never run out of capacity. In terms of storage, we go with an ultra-fast 2TB PCIe 4.0 7000MB/s solid-state drive, offering extraordinary I/O throughput. To put the finishing touches on this build, we suggest you equip it with an ultra-efficient fully-modular power supply, install it in the quiet, professionally-styled SilverStone Seta A1 case, and cool it with the Scythe Fuma 2 tower cooler. This will give you a silent-running, workstation-class system.

Parting Thoughts

If you’re looking to complete your system, you’ll find our recommendations on the perfect peripherals for a content creation PC later on this page. We use Amazon affiliate links for our readers in the US, which will auto-convert for our readers in the UK, Canada, and parts of the EU, with regional substitutions made automatically based on availability. To support this site, please use these links if you purchase any of the products we list.

Required Components

  • CPU

    Intel Core i9-12900

    $542
    Intel reclaimed the performance lead with its 12th-Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs, and the 12900 is the CPU to get for extreme performance in professional applications. It handily beats the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X in traditional apps thanks to its incredible clockspeeds, and with its 8 multi-threaded performance cores plus 8 efficiency cores, it’s also a beast for content creation or multi-tasking! Note that the 12900 is significantly less expensive than its 12900K cousin, with the primary difference being a lack of overclocking capability in the 12900, but for professional apps, that’s just fine, because instability would cost money!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU offers simply amazing content creation performance, and will be faster than AMD's best in most applications, including Photoshop and Premiere.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B660 AORUS Master DDR4

    $160
    This feature-packed Socket 1700 board from Gigabyte is a perfect match for Intel’s latest CPUs. It offers a potent 16+1+1-phase VRM design with 60A power stage, three PCIe Gen 4 M.2 slots, a PCIe Gen 4 video card slot, ten USB ports (including a Type-C port), and integrated WiFi 6 plus 2.5Gbs LAN. It also has high-end audio using the Realtek ALC1220 codec. Note that it conforms to the DDR4 RAM standard, allowing the use of less expensive memory while maintaining similar performance to DDR5-based systems.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Those three M.2 slots are a huge benefit to space-constrained content creators... they'll offer plenty of opportunity for upgrades without scrapping your main drive!

  • Video Card

    MSI GeForce RTX 3070 8GB Ventus 2X

    $500
    Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 8GB is the right in the sweetspot of the entire RTX 3000 series lineup. It offers plenty of power, along with great efficiency. And this model includes a compact but effective dual-fan cooler to keep temperatures in check.
    The Guru’s Tip

    With its HDMI 2.1 port and triple DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, this card can support up to four 4K monitors simultaneously, and it will provide a huge boost in rendering and other GPU-intensive tasks!

  • Memory

    Corsair 2x32GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600

    $195
    This ultra-dense Vengeance LPX kit from Corsair allows you to push your RAM capacity to the max. It offers dual 32GB sticks, running at a fast 3600MHz with impressive 18-22-22 timings for excellent all-around performance on any platform!
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've made sure to select a motherboard that supports the DDR4 standard, rather than the newer DDR5 standard, which offers far less capacity per dollar.

  • Solid-State Drive

    SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB

    $260
    While you may not have heard of SK Hynix (SK is for South Korea), it’s a huge player in the memory market, being one of just three fully-integrated manufacturers. And that means it plays in the big leagues, and every so often, simply flattens the competition… all of it! The Platinum P41 is now the fastest consumer M.2 SSD ever released. Powered by amazingly-fast NAND flash, and a proprietary controller that allows it to max out what the PCIe Gen 4 bus can deliver, it’s the one you want!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The speed of this drive will be put to good use in a serious content creation machine. If you'd like to split out your OS and swap drive for even better throughput, just pick up two 1TB drives - the price will be about the same.

  • Case

    SilverStone Seta A1 Silver

    $135
    The Seta A1 from SilverStone is a true watershed product in the case market. Designed around maximizing airflow while providing a professional exterior, the Seta A1 does something no other case can do: give you maximum performance, ultra-quiet operation, and a stylish aluminum front panel all in one package. The key to the A1’s excellent performance are the dual 200mm fans hidden behind that front panel, which spin at a maximum of just 800RPM, meaning they’re far quieter than typical 120mm fans, while producing tremendous airflow.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This case was originally designed as a gaming case, but its professional looks and ultra-quiet operation make it perfect for a content creation PC.

  • Power Supply

    EVGA Supernova 650 P5

    $80
    EVGA offers a ton of high-end value in its Supernova line, and the 650 P5 is a perfect example of that. You get an impressive 650W of Platinum-rated power, fully-modular cables, and a zero RPM mode under low loads for silence and increased lifespan. Even when the fan is spinning, it’s quiet thanks to its fluid dynamic bearings. The best part: an incredible 10-year warranty and EVGA’s unbeatable customer support.
    The Guru’s Tip

    The price on this quality unit is well below its lower-wattage, lower-efficiency competitors!

  • CPU Cooler

    Scythe Fuma 2 Rev. B

    $66
    Offering amazing performance thanks to its big heatsink and dual 120mm fans, along with excellent compatibility thanks to its offset design and 155mm height, this is our favorite cooler at any price. The latest Rev. B version swaps out the “classic” grey fans with more on-trend black models, and ups the RPM level from 1200RPM to 1500RPM. To keep noise in check, the new Kaze Flex II fans use a specially-designed fan frame to minimize turbulence on heatsinks and maximize static pressure.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Importantly, this cooler includes the required Intel Socket 1700 mounting bracket in the box, guaranteeing you can get up and running on day one!

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home USB

    $139
    Windows 11 take everything people loved about Windows 10, and then takes it to 11! It adds significant under-the-hood changes to make it faster and more secure, and of course, the interface is sleek too!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Win 11 is definitely what you want on a system using an Intel Alder Lake CPU, which has a hybrid architecture that Win 10 couldn't manage properly!

Optional Products

  • Sound Card

    Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

    $194
    If you’re serious about audio, you’ll want to add a dedicated sound card to your system. The AE-7 from Sound Blaster features an astounding 127db signal-to-noise ratio, an ESS SABRE-class 9018 DAC, along with an Audio Control Module (ACM) that incorporates a built-in microphone array and mic/headphone I/O connections, plus a control knob to adjust the headphone levels.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While the motherboard we recommend has great onboard audio, stepping up to a dedicated sound card is a good choice if you do a lot of audio work.

  • The Ultimate Business Keyboard

    Logitech MX Keys Wireless Illuminated Keyboard

    $120
    The sleek, full-featured keyboard is our top pick for serious office productivity use. The low-profile keys and metal frame give it a very professional look and feel, along with a solid typing experience. It also offers backlighting to make typing in the dimly-lit conditions easier, and being wireless, you can easily move it out of the way when you need more desk space. Finally, Logitech’s Flow Control software allows you to use it on multiple systems simultaneously!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Logitech really leapfrogged the competition when it released this keyboard, and no one is close to catching up!

  • The Deluxe Wireless Mouse

    Logitech MX Master 3S

    $100
    Nothing can bog you down faster than a mouse tangled up on its cord. So we strongly recommend a wireless mouse, but not just any wireless mouse – the MX Master 3S from Logitech has an incredibly comfortable profile, ideal for use all day long, along with the most innovative scroll wheel ever to make its way onto a mouse. Its built-in battery will last up to 70 days before needing a charge, and the 3S can even track on glass, thanks to its highly-optimized 8000dpi sensor!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Perhaps the coolest feature of this mouse from a content creator's perspective is the Flow cross-computer control, which allows you to work seamlessly on three computers without the need for a KVM switch.

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset

    $180
    Combining ultra-high-end performance with incredible comfort, this wireless headset from Corsair is the ideal all-day companion for listening to the latest market news. This headset also has an audiophile-grade microphone, perfect for teleconferencing. Free free to check out our full review right here!
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've used this as our daily driver since it was released, and we have no intention of ever giving it up!

  • The 32-inch Professional 4K Monitor

    LG 32UN650-W

    $430
    This sleek monitor from LG features a 32″ IPS panel that can produce 95% of the DCI-P3 Color Gamut and is color calibrated from the factory. It’s nearly borderless for a sleek look and has a height-adjustable stand to provide great ergonomics.
    The Guru’s Tip

    We figure that any serious content creator is going to want a true 4K monitor rather than a standard or ultra-wide 1440p monitor.

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