I’m putting together a list of parts that I want to upgrade on my current PC setup. The reason for the upgrade is that creating creative works (Blender or Unreal Engine) kind of requires a good PC. The more powerful your hardware the easier it’ll be to iterate on different lighting setups, asset positions, etc.
I’ve got a day job and a family to take care of, so my time that I can devote to creating creative stuff is very limited. A more performant setup would enable me to spend more time creating and less time waiting for e.g. lighting to build (can take upwards 10 minutes on my current PC).
- Intel Core i7 7700 Kaby Lake (3.6GHz, 4 cores)
- Originally 16GB Ram, upgraded with a mixed bag of rams to 32GB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- 128GB SSD Hitachi HFS128G32TND-N210A
- 1TB HDD Seagate ST1000DM010-2EP102
- Motherboard ASUSTeK Computer INC. GD30CI (U3E1)
- Case GD30CI-CH102T
- DVD Drive
There are a number of problems with the current system.
- Not enough SSD storage. 128GB is barely enough for Windows 10 and a couple programs installed. It’s also by far not enough to work with Unreal Engine projects. Therefore, I need to put UE projects on my HDD, which is very very slow.
- Only 16GB Ram is not enough to open some Unreal Engine projects → crash. Having a mixed bag of RAM to get up to 32GB is not ideal and slows down performance
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is getting old. New cards support raytracing (RTX) and are much more powerful. This will be very noticeable when working with Blender but probably also once I try to use Unreal Engine Lumen.
- Intel Core i7 7700 processor is slow and doesn’t have enough cores. It takes a very long time to build lighting in Unreal Engine or compile shaders. I often end up trying something new out and then have to wait 5 minute to actually see the change applied. This really interrupts my flow and is not productive.
In order to alleviate all pain points in the old system, I need to replace almost every part of my current system. The only things I can keep are:
- HDD: Useful for as a storage dump
- Case: It’s an ATX case that provides plenty of space for beefier components
- DVD Drive
Here are the new components that I’d like to buy:
- AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
- Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 CPU Cooler
- Asus ROG Strix X570-E Gaming ATX AM4 Motherboard
- Western Digital Black SN850 (w/Heatsink) 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
- HyperX DDR4-RAM FURY 3600 MHz 2x 16 GB
- NVIDIA RTX 3060 TI OC V2 8 GB
This is my first PC build, so I used the website PC Part Picker, so I can be assured that the individual components are compatible.
Initially I wanted to go for a very CPU focused build and salvage the GTX 1060 graphics card from the old setup. However, upon checking a couple resources especially RTX3060 Review by Linus Tech Tips, I decided that the performance boost would outweigh the cost for me. In the end my local store didn’t have any 3060 anymore so I went with a 3060Ti, which also has a little higher specs (RTX3060Ti Review - by Linux Tech Tips). Here are also two great links from NVIDIA to compare their graphics cards:
I was also not sure what cooler to pick. I wanted something that ensures adequate cooling of the AMD Ryzen 5950X even under long and high loads. To be on the save side I went with a Noctua cooler because it has a great reputation and seems to be perfect for this CPU. The only issue is that my RAM might be too high, so I might have to either mount the cooler in a different orientation or remove one of the fans (allowed by manufacturer). Refer to this link for a more indepth comparison: Best CPU Coolers for Ryzen 9 5950X.
Finally, I ordered all parts tonight, so it should arrive by the end of the week. Let’s see if everything goes as planned and I get a new high performance workstation for many future projects to come.