The Best $2,000 High-End Content Creation PC Build – October 2021
A High-End PC for Serious 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 AMD and Nvidia!
For October 2021, you won’t find a better High-End Content Creation PC $2,000 than the one we’ve spec’d in this guide. Headlining this build is the awesome AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU, a 12-core, 24-thread powerhouse that leaves Intel in the dust. Based on the incredible Zen 3 architecture, it’s both massively fast and extraordinarily efficient. In fact, it’s faster in most applications than the previous-gen 16-core 3950X, while coming in at a much lower price!
Backing up the CPU is 32GB of ultra-high-speed DDR4-3600 RAM, which will make the most of the Zen 3 platform. In terms of storage, we go with an ultra-fast 2TB PCIe 4.0 7000MB/s solid-state drive, offering extraordinary I/O throughput. In the graphics department, this system uses an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB card with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort outputs capable of full 4K/60Hz resolution. As with all GPUs, it’s very hard to find in stock these days, but at least it can generally be backordered!
To put the finishing touches on this build, we suggest you equip it with a Gold-rated fully-modular power supply, install it in the ultra-quiet, professionally-styled SilverStone Seta A1 case, and cool it with the premium Scythe Fuma 2 tower cooler. This will give you a silent-running, workstation-class system. Learn more about many of these components and post your questions in our YouTube overview of an earlier version of this build.
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, you’ll find our recommendations on the perfect peripherals for a content creation PC later on this page.
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AMD Ryzen 9 5900X$590
AMD had already taken the lead against Intel in the multi-core race with its Zen 2 processors, and then it went and blew the lid off with its Zen 3 processors. The Ryzen 9 5900X is a fire-breathing 12-core, 24-thread processor that is both the world’s best gaming CPU and the best value among high-end content creation CPUs. Truly one CPU to rule them all!The Guru’s Tip
We think this CPU offers the absolute best value in an ultra-high-end processor, and will in fact be faster than the previous-gen 3950X 16-core in most applications, including Photoshop and Premiere.
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite WIFI$210
This feature-packed X570 board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs (both being Gen 4), ten USB ports, and built-in 802.11ac networking and Bluetooth. It also has the ample power delivery system required to support a high-powered CPU.The Guru’s Tip
This feature-packed board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs (both being Gen 4, and both of which you'll use for this build), ten USB ports, and built-in 802.11ac networking and Bluetooth. It also has the ample power delivery system required to support a high-powered CPU.
Video Card –
Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB$300
This powerful and efficient GPU offers 4GB of fast GDDR6 VRAM and an efficient cooler to keep noise and temps down, making it perfect regardless of how much you push it!The Guru’s Tip
It goes without saying that this is one of the very few GPUs you'll find at retail at any price, so even if you'd like to upgrade later on, this will get your content creation PC running with up to two UHD monitors, thanks to its HDMI 2.0 and Displayport outputs. That means you can get to work right away!
Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Red$176For this build, you need lots of high-speed RAM, and this 32GB DDR4-3600 kit will do the trick! It not only offers a high frequency, but also has tight 16-18-18 timings that most other 3600 kits can only dream of.
This kit offers high-frequency operation (3600MHz) plus tight timings, which will make the most of the AMD Zen 3 platform.
Solid-State Drive –
Samsung 980 Pro 2TB$360For primary storage, you don’t just want high-end, you want ultra-high-end, and that means going for the 980 Pro PCIe 4.0. It offers mind-blowing performance, up to 7,000MB/s, along with tremendous capacity, in a single package!
The insane speeds of this drive will be put to good use in a serious content creation machine. And by the way, if you know your workflow will benefit from separate drives for apps, swap files, or other content, feel free to grab two 1TB drives. The price will be about the same and the motherboard will fit them.
SilverStone Seta A1 Silver$135The 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.
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 G3$80
EVGA offers a ton of value in its Supernova line, and this model is no exception. You get 650W of Gold-rated power, fully-modular cables, and a zero RPM under low loads for silence and increased lifespan. The best part: an incredible 7-year warranty and EVGA’s unbeatable customer support.The Guru’s Tip
This PSU will operate right in its efficiency sweetspot when used with this system.
CPU Cooler –
Scythe Fuma 2$60Offering 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.
We really like this cooler more than larger coolers due to the fact that it doesn't block RAM slots and because it's so easy to install, despite being just as powerful!
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130Windows 10 was a big step up from Windows 8.1, and Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every six months. And the USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
Windows 11 updates will be free for all owners of Win10, and should be rolling out in late-2021 or early-2022.
Sound Card –
Creative Sound Blaster AE-7$225 The Guru’s Tip
While Creative Sound Blaster cards of years past have gotten a bad reputation for driver support, this model, released in 2019, is totally up-to-date and designed specifically for Windows 10.
Logitech G815 Mechanical Keyboard (Linear)$170 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 3$100 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$170 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$469 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.
Total Cost: $2041
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 9 5900X ($590)
- Motherboard – Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite WIFI ($210)
- Video Card – Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB ($300)
- Memory – Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Red ($176)
- Solid-State Drive – Samsung 980 Pro 2TB ($360)
- Case – SilverStone Seta A1 Silver ($135)
- Power Supply – EVGA Supernova 650 G3 ($80)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Fuma 2 ($60)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)