New computer - best hardware for 2019?

Hi Blenderheads,

I’m going to start 2019 off with a bang and get myself a new computer.
This is for business, so I’ve got a bit of money I can throw at this, but I wanted to get your feedback before actually putting down the cash.
I primarily use this computer for Blender artwork, as well as a little gaming on the side.
I’m also planning on putting most of my rendering up in the cloud this year, so although I’ll still do testing locally, the final animations won’t be rendered from this new computer.

I’ve put together a build list. I was hoping people could advise me on which parts they’d recommend. In most cases I have 2-3 pieces I could use, but I’ve got no idea how to pick between them.
I’d be particlulary interested in peoples opinions on Motherboards. These are the bits I know the least about.

Here’s what I’m looking at getting at the moment:

$900 - Intel Core i9-9900K
$600 - Intel Core X i7-7820X 3.6GHx Skylake X 8 Core s2066
$480 - AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

$1000 - Corsair CMU32GX4M2C3200C16 64GB DDR4 3200MHz (416GB)
$1000 Corsair - Vengeance LPX 64 GB DDR4-2400 (4

$400 - Asus - PRIME X399-A EATX TR4 Motherboard

$125 - Noctua NH-D15 Multisocket PWM CPU Cooler
$125 - Noctua - NH-U12S TR4-SP3 54.97 CFM CPU Cooler

Graphics card (x2):
$1000 - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
$1300 - Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
$1900 - Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Power supply:
$175 - Corsair CP-9020155-AU 750W RMX White 80+ Gold Fully Modular PSU

Hard Drive:
$325 - Seagate ST8000DM0004 Barracude Pro 8TB desktop HDD

$230 - Samsung EVO / PRO 970 512GB
$500 - Samsung EVO / PRO 970 1024GB

TOTAL: $5690

$5700 computer to render in the cloud and to sometime make a bit of gaming?
With a 1800$ PC and E-Cycles, you will render as fast and can give about 3700$ to the BF development fund to get a stable blender…


[Are the prices you mentioned in CAN $ or AUS $? They seem very high for US$]

  • The cpu is an easy decision, imo. Since you’re going to be rendering via render clouds and gaming is part of your interests, then the best cpu for you is 9900K, hands down. Top STP for modeling/editing, and the best cpu for gaming at the moment we speak.
  • Are you sure you need 64gb of RAM? I mean, budget is not a problem here as I see, but for animations I think you can get by with 32gb. If you insist, then are way cheaper 4x16gb kits in the market than the ones you picked. You can get a 4x16gb kit at 3200/c16 with 500-550$, ex. these or these.
  • For the gpu, since budget isn’t a problem, then the 2080ti is the best gpu for up to 11gb of Vram. Just because you can. If you need more Vram, then there other options, far more expensive of course. A good implementation is the ASUS ROG Strix OC.
  • The motherboard is a hard decision. You must decide what devices you’re going to use in this build, and then see which motherboard meets your requirements.
  • For the main OS drive, and with a high budget like yours, I wouldn’t consider anything else but the Intel’s Optane 905P ssd. It’s the fastest ssd in real life scenarios, mainly random reads/writes of small files, which would really make a difference in your system’s responsiveness. Samsung’s nvme drives shine only in large data transfers (several GBs at a time), i.e. sequential reads/writes, which are only a small portion of an ordinary user’s work. I know, Optane is still a very expensive technology, but for me, it’s worth the money (if money isn’t a problem, I repeat).
  • Don’t be cheap on the psu. Get a 750-850W Platinum from either Corsair or EVGA, with 10 years of warranty each.
  • If you buy a chassis with a side window (I would if I was you), preferably a tempered glass window, I would pick a Be Quiet! cpu cooler. They are on par with the Noctuas, but are much better looking, if you want to see the “guts” of your system from the side. A top air-cooler is this one.

Last but not least, is the monitor(-s). You must combine good image quality with gaming features, so the question is: What games are you interested in? How much time do you spend for gaming? This is important for picking the right monitor.

1 Like

Agree with @birdnamnam

As you are not aiming for major rendering, and sometimes gaming, Intel still owns the gaming market. If you want to render more, then potentially Threadripper.

Agreed on the 64GB question. Hard to imagine what you would be making that could use that much memory. Unless you are into major simulation?

GPU wise, again agree with the RTX 2080TI

Powersupply wise, also agree, even majorly… DON"T go CHEAP on the PSU. It dies, it kills your entire system. I’d recommend Seasonic series, they’ve usually supplied Corsair, EVGA and others with their high end PSU. Their Seasonic Prime PSU have 12 year warranty.

1 Like

Agree on the RAM. Don’t buy the extra 32GB until you KNOW you need it for huge scenes in Blender or whatever.

I’d stick to a single video card rather than two. For gaming you probably need the cards in SLI but for Cycles rendering you can’t have them in SLI (though 2080s with NVLink maybe changes that, I’m not sure) For big rendering you’re talking about doing that in the cloud, so a single card ought to be fine for local workstation activity and gaming.

Eevee and modern Cycles (with low samples and denoising) are both insanely fast, so rendering is finally becoming no longer the bottleneck to creativity that it once was.

This build is way way way more expensive than it needs to be

Why on earth would you want a 512 gb ssd AND a 8 Terrabyte HDD?

AMD Ryzen 7 2700x? What was there no EPYC processor you could slap in on the PC part builder list you no doubt “built” this from?

These motherboards aren’t even compatible with any of the CPUs you picked, they’re for AMD Threadripper CPUs

As for the GPUs, the AMD Vega 64 out performs the 1080 in blender cycles benchmarks (though beware,no cuda so… you wont be able to render in octane or anything)

just watch this

Depending on how tech. savvy you are, you will ultimately get more mileage out of the AMD Ryzen line as opposed to getting the Intel i9 (even though it’s technically the best performer out there).

The reasons…

  • The new intel chips are power hungry and run very hot, you will need a beefy cooling system to really push the thing and it means more heat pushing out into your physical work area.
  • AMD’s current motherboards for Ryzen plus will also support the next two chip generations (so you can just replace it with a Ryzen 2 chip when they come out). Be sure though to get a decent board from a well-known vendor so you get the needed BIOS updates.

Also, i would recommend Nvidia at the moment for 2.8 because the drivers are overall more solid for areas like the new viewport. If AMD can really get their drivers to a more robust state, then the new Vega 7 card coming out may be pretty enticing.

Lmao. I can’t imagine I’d get nearly enough oomph out of $1,800. The CPU and GPU alone would eat most of that!

That said, I only saw the E-Cycles thing a couple of days ago and it looks really interesting. I’ll definitely go and read the whole thread, but could you give me the short version here?

Hey Birdnamnam,

Yes! Prices are in AUS. Sorry, should have mentioned that. I was also posting this build to a local Aussie website and didn’t think to mention it.

CPU - awesome. I keep seeing the Intel i9 coming up. Lots of recommendations and it seems to fit my needs.

RAM - You’re not the first person to suggest the 64GBs might be overkill. I think I’ll drop it to 32GBs and upgrade later if need be.
I just looked up the price for “Corsair Vengeance LPX 64 GB DDR4-3200” - $850 in Australia. A bit of a saving, but not huge. Is there much difference between DDR4-3200 and DDR4-2400?

GPU: Is the 2080ti worth it? I’ve heard the extra cost isn’t worth the jump in performance and that you’re better off getting dual 1080ti.

Motherboard: I’ve been told the motherboards I have listed won’t work well with the Intel i9. Is that the case, and if so do you have any recommendations to go with the i9?

OS Drive: Wow, the Optane is quite a bit jump in price. More than double the Samsung. Will need to deeply consider that.
Would you recommend an SSD, or are the NVME SSDs the way of the future?

PSU: Agreed. I think the extra watts are probably worth it. Also allows for easier upgrades in the future.

Chassis: Yes, my current computer has the glass window and I love it. Also helpful for spotting potential problems. I’ll look into the BeQuiets - they were also recommended to me.

Monitors: Not too concerned with monitors. I have two that have been working well for me.
As for games, I play a wide variety. Sometimes I’ll be in FarCry and Crisis land, but at the moment I’m on a Minecraft binge :sweat_smile:

Thanks Grzesiek,

Always good to hear consensus. Makes me more confident in my choices.

It sounds more and more like the Intel i9 will be the way to go. The Threadrippers are absolute beasts, but Intel still seems to have more powerful individual cores (while the TRs seem to have more cores, but less powerful).

Definitely leaning back to 32GBs of RAM. I can always upgrade in the future.

Do you really think the 2080ti is worth the extra cash? I’ve had such good results out of dual graphics cards in Blender. Is one, powerful card better?

Yes, I hear you on the PSU. I’ll get something with a little more grunt.

Hey Pixelfox,

Yes, I think I’m sold on dropping back to 32GBs of RAM. I’ve had half a dozen people ask me that and I think you’re all correct.

I wasn’t aware Cycles didn’t support SLI. I could have sworn I had my current dual cards set up in SLI and I was definitely getting boost from dual cards. I’m assuming Blender just ignored the SLI setting?

So you believe the one card (perhaps the RTX 2080 Ti) would be better than 2 1080 Tis?

Hey Fxfxd,

I was thinking an SSD for speed increase and HDD for longer term storage.
I’m currently using a 128GB SSD and a 3TB HDD and I’m running out of space! (I have some major projects that require constant backups).

Do you think the SSD and HDD is overkill? I thought that was pretty standard these days.

I didn’t use PC part builder. What is the problem with the Ryzen 2700x? It’s definitely the least powerful on my list, but that’s why it’s at the bottom.

Yes, I didn’t realise the motherboards were incompatible. Motherboards are one component I don’t have a great understand of. Can you recommend one to go with the Intel i9?
I assume the Motherbaords listed would go well with the Threadrippers? Or do you have another recommendation?

I believe I’m going to want the cuda option for my GPU. I do periodically still use Maya.

Hey Ace_Dragon,

Interesting note on the extra heat from Intel. I am moving to Queensland, Australia in a few weeks and it’s a hell of a lot hotter up there than Melbourne. Cooler is something to consider.

I think I’m fairly sold on getting Nvidia GPU. All the major 3D apps support Nvidia, and although I’m predominantly working in Blender these days, I still use Maya periodically and would like the option of other software.

I am not expert, but I want to throw in few humble points
-amd threadripper killer prosessor, which ever fastest at the moment
note. some renderers need an intel cpu and amd do not function in these chases
-md2 MD2! over 1TB ssd. 3TB?
-ram at least 64GB, 512 if you can fit it in budget because you could make stuff with that but
I dont know, like load a tv show in ram.
-psu at least 1000 w for system.
-amd’s latest gpu, just 1, but them have a good one at least that’s what I heard

I don’t think could brand matters for rendering, isn’t it only for gpus?
I am also not sure if amd is already the right choice for blender atm.

I cannot render Houdini projects with chaos group’s renderer, because of the cpu

The main features of E-Cycles:

  • 1.7x to 2.4x faster rendering with CUDA without tricks, up to 4x faster with tricks see E-Cycles - Faster cuda rendering
  • 1.15x to 1.65x faster with OSL on CPU
  • about 1.15x faster with OpenCL
  • Auto-tile-size
  • Support per Email and PM
  • New features every month
  • Everything will be submitted for inclusion in master in one year, so you help make Blender better.

Just a quick comparison:

  • If you put 100$ in your renderer to have it 2x faster, you spare in your case more than 2000$ today and your next upgrade, because you renderer is always 2x faster, you can again spare more than 2000$. So after 1 upgrade, you would have spared more than 4000$
  • If you put all in hardware, 5690$ in your case, you have your render as fast this time (also Cycles doesn’t scale perfectly linearly, so it will be more like 1.90x faster depending on the scene), but next time, to keep the boost, you will again need this huge budget. So it will cost again 5690$. And on top of that, as already mentioned, you must regularly switch between SLI for games and non-SLI for Cycles, I’m not sure the connectors are made for regular plug/removal and it’s cumbersome.

Total cost in hardware + software scenario : 2850+100, then 2850 = 5790 $
Total cost in hardware only scenario : 5690x2 = 11380 $

Before posting a list of parts, let me clarify some things about your questions and other members’s comments:

  1. Any high-end cpu will get hot when stressed. Since you will not be using the cpu for rendering tasks, then any high core-count cpu, like the Threadrippers mentioned above, would be irrelevant and inappropriate for you. Current generation Threadrippers are also hot to operate, and usually need an AIO cooling solution to keep them cool enough. Gaming will be the task that will stress your cpu the most. A 9900K at stock speeds would run cool enough with a beefy air-cooler like the Be Quiet! I suggested (which is a dual tower high tdp cooler). Long story short: The best cpu is the one that’s best suited for OUR needs and workflow, not the one with the highest core count etc.
  2. As for the memory, yes, I suggest you start off with 2x16gb of high frequency RAM, and add a 2nd kit of the same memory dimms if needed.
  3. The 2080ti is worth it, if you can afford it. You’ll be running real time preview renders all the time. For a budget like yours, I wouldn’t compromise with a gpu with a Vram less than 11gb. The RTX gpus have also a good potential for the future, when all their special features will be absorbed by the various 3d software and rendering engines. It’s a future proof gpu line, that’s for sure (not the best vfm, I agree, but for people who can afford it, it’s the way to go).
  4. About the OS drive. If you feel uncomfortable about the Intel Optane’s price (I’m with you on that, it’s totally understandable), then go for the Samsung’s 970 Pro or Evo. Just be informed that you won’t see a distinguishable difference compared to a simple sata ssd in everyday use, except for large file transfers of course. In any other scenario they will perform almost identically with sata ssds. I would prefer a sata ssd with double the capacity for the same price. But, this is simply how I think about this. As I said before, with a high budget like yours, you can’t go wrong with picking a high end part, like the Sammy nvme drive.
  5. Last, about the monitors. It would be good if you at least mentioned the models and resolutions of your monitors. You’re spending a fortune for the tower, it would be a pity to work and see the final product of your work (or to game) on an old FHD monitor with crappy features (no offence here).

About the motherboard now. If you decide to go with the 9900K, then the compatible and appropriate motherboards would be the Z390s. The ones you mentioned are compatible with AMD’s Threadrippers. There are some things to clarify here before you make the decision. Are you sure you’re going to stay with 1 gpu in the future? Do you play games online? Beside the OS drive and the storage hdd’s, are there any other devices you wish to add to your system? Do you need an on board Wi-Fi? I think you can be fully satisfied with a mid-high range mobo, like the Asrock Z390 Taichi Ultimate, or an Asus ROG (like the Hero for ex.).

Hope this helps, and doesn’t complicate things for you :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit: As for SLI and games, don’t be misled either. Very few of them are optimised for SLI, and not without problems. Gamers go for the best single GPU they can get.

Thanks Birdnamnam,

Yes, that’s definitely starting to clarifying things for me.

CPU: As sexy as the name ‘Threadripper’ is, I’m leaning more towards the Intel i9. Although the Threadripper sounds like it’s more powerful under certain circumstance, I think I’ll get more mileage out of the i9 since I’ll be doing some gaming and probably still use some other 3D software such as Maya.

GPU: I was planning on getting two 1080tis, so one 2080ti is a comparable price. I’ll double check the specs, but quite a few people have recommended doing this.

OSDrive: I’ll do a bit more reading on the NVMEs. As wonderful as they sound in theory, it may not be worth it for me yet.

Motherboard: You’re now the second person to recommend the Z390s. I like it when people start reaching a consensus :smiley:
I think for now I’ll get the one 2080ti GPU, but I may add another one in a year or two.
I do play a few online games. Not a huge amount though. More of a single player gamer.
And I’ll definitely want Wi-Fi. It’s probably simpler to get onboard.
It looks like the Z390s have enough expansion slots for my needs?

Monitors: I’m currently using two HP 2310e’s. I certainly haven’t had any problems with them, but is it worth looking at an upgrade now?

SLI: Okay, this is a random tangent - more out of curiosity than anything else.
I thought my graphics cards were on the fritz (they might still be) as I’d had some trouble with them, tweaked some settings in the Nvidia panel and they’d disappeared out of Blender.
I just went and turned SLI back on and boom! They’re back as options in Blender.
I literally have no idea what’s going on there…

That’s not simply consensus. These are the compatible and appropriate motherboards for this cpu. No one could have suggested something else. Here you can find the compatible chipsets from Intel The Z390 is the latest and best suited for the 9900K, because these motherboards have been built specifically for the high-end consumer cpus, like the 9900K and the 9700K. These cpus have specific thermal requirements and need mobos with good quality materials and adequate VRM cooling. So, it’s a one way road in this case. You need a z390 at least in the mid-high end range of the product line.

I didn’t mean you should be afraid of using nvmes in you system. Not at all. Get the 970 EVO, you’ll be fine (it’s good also for tidying up the system because it doesn’t need cables etc, and goes on the m.2 slot directly). I just said: don’t be too impressed by the specified performance. You’ll only see it under very specific circumstances. Not in every day use.

Oh! I was afraid of that… These monitors are quite old and obsolete by now. I can’t imagine a 5K$ system with these monitors, I’m sorry. Their presence is, how can I put it…, let’s say underwhelming :blush: (no offence here, again). You can do way better than that!

I’ve lost you in this last part. You mean that you already have 2 gpus and Blender didn’t recognise both of them, and did once you’ve connected them with SLI? That’s strange, the least I can say. Doesn’t make sense. Could you elaborate on that?

Finally, this is a part list I’ve made for your needs:PCPartPicker part list
You can add a hdd for your needs (just pick the storage space you need and at least 7200rpm).
I would definitely buy a new monitor if I was you. For both gaming and working you could see these: