The Best $2,000 High-End Content Creation PC Build – June 2021
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, 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 video editors will value the most.
For June 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. Backing it up 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 dual 1TB PCIe 4.0 solid-state drives for extraordinary I/O throughput. The main drive is the Samsung 980 Pro, which offers over 7,000MB/s sequential operations, and the secondary drive is the Sabrent Rocket 4.0, which offers a still insane 5,000MB/s, and will be more than fast enough as a swap file drive or working file drive. In the graphics department, this system uses an Nvidia GeForce card with HDMI 2.0 for full UHD (4K) output. 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 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$681
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 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, one of which you'll be using for this build's SSD), 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 –
ASUS GeForce GT 1030 2GB Phoenix @Newegg$140
For video output at up to 4K/60Hz via its HDMI 2.0 port, plus a moderate level of app acceleration, this GT 1030 2GB is a great choice. It has a large cooler for a card at this level, meaning it will run cool and quiet.The Guru’s Tip
It goes without saying that this is also 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 one UHD monitor now, which means you can get to work!
Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 White @Newegg$188
For 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. Just note that being a commodity, RAM is highly susceptible to price fluctuations, and we are witnessing a pretty rapid increase in prices right now.The Guru’s Tip
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 1TB$200For storage, head straight for the 980 Pro 1TB drive from Samsung. It uses the new PCIe 4.0 interface provided on this system’s motherboard to massively accelerate I/O operations. But this isn’t just any PCIe Gen 4 drive, it’s the fastest PCIe Gen 4 drive!
This drive offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 7000MB/s, the highest you'll find on any SSDs currently on the market!
Solid-State Drive –
Sabrent 1TB Rocket PCIe 4.0$160The Rocket PCIe 4.0, which blows past previous PCIe Gen3-based drives by harnessing the power of the PCIe 4.0 interface, is an absolute bargain of a high-end drive. The Rocket can hit up to 5,000MB/s in sequential operations!
This would be a great drive for use as a swap file drive, or to store working files.
SilverStone Seta A1 Titanium$128The 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.
Learn more about this case in our YouTube overview, shown at the top of this guide.
Power Supply –
SilverStone ET700-MG$92This awesome fully-modular 700W Gold-rated unit is easy to find in stock most days, unlike most other competing models, so grab it while you can! It provides plenty of power for this system, along with great efficiency and low noise levels.
Thanks to this PSU's modular cables, you'll be able to keep your build's interior much neater, as most cables won't be used.
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, 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!
This USB 3.0 version of W10 will load in under 5 minutes!
Sound Card –
Creative Sound Blaster AE-7$210 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)$197 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$180 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 –
ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO$736 The Guru’s Tip
This model even allows for hardware color calibration, should you need it for your photography work or graphic design.
Total Cost: $2005
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 9 5900X ($681)
- Motherboard – Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite WIFI ($210)
- Video Card – ASUS GeForce GT 1030 2GB Phoenix @Newegg ($140)
- Memory – Crucial 2x16GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 White @Newegg ($188)
- Solid-State Drive – Samsung 980 Pro 1TB ($200)
- Solid-State Drive – Sabrent 1TB Rocket PCIe 4.0 ($160)
- Case – SilverStone Seta A1 Titanium ($128)
- Power Supply – SilverStone ET700-MG ($92)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Fuma 2 ($60)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)