The Best $2000 High-End Content Creation PC Build – September 2022
Calling 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.
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.
Intel Core i9-12900$542Intel 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!
This CPU offers simply amazing content creation performance, and will be faster than AMD's best in most applications, including Photoshop and Premiere.
Gigabyte B660 AORUS Master DDR4$160This 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.
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$500Nvidia’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.
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!
Corsair 2x32GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600$195This 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!
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$260While 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 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.
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 P5$80EVGA 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 price on this quality unit is well below its lower-wattage, lower-efficiency competitors!
CPU Cooler –
Scythe Fuma 2 Rev. B$66Offering 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.
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$139Windows 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!
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!
Sound Card –
Creative Sound Blaster AE-7$194 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 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 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 –
LG 32UN650-W$430 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: $1993
- CPU – Intel Core i9-12900 ($542)
- Motherboard – Gigabyte B660 AORUS Master DDR4 ($160)
- Video Card – MSI GeForce RTX 3070 8GB Ventus 2X ($500)
- Memory – Corsair 2x32GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600 ($195)
- Solid-State Drive – SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB ($260)
- Case – SilverStone Seta A1 Silver ($135)
- Power Supply – EVGA Supernova 650 P5 ($80)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Fuma 2 Rev. B ($66)
- Operating System – Windows 11 Home USB ($139)
- Sound Card – Creative Sound Blaster AE-7 ($194)
- The Ultimate Business Keyboard – Logitech MX Keys Wireless Illuminated Keyboard ($120)
- The Deluxe Wireless Mouse – Logitech MX Master 3S ($100)
- The Deluxe PC Headset – Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset ($180)
- The 32-inch Professional 4K Monitor – LG 32UN650-W ($430)