Build Guide: Hobbyist Level 3D Graphic and Video Rendering PC

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edited August 2022 in PC Build Guides

Written by @Julia_V

Ever wanted to make a game in Unreal Engine? Have you dreamt of creating 3D models, materializing Blender animations, or editing videos with cool visual effects but not sure where to begin building a PC for this type of work? This PC is designed for hobbyist-level rendering and provides a great bang for your buck. It has the right tools to get you started and also provides the flexibility for easy storage and memory upgrades.

Processor: Intel Core i7 12700K  

The i7-12700K is an absolute powerhouse for creative purposes. With 12 cores (8 Performance and 4 Efficiency) and 20 total threads, it can crush any task you throw at it. This CPU can also be overclocked to further enhance rendering performance. If you’re going for a step up for a professional-grade rendering rig, go for the i9-12900K for that extra bump in performance for reduced rendering times. 

Motherboard: ASUS Z690 Creator ProArt Wifi DDR5 

 The Z690 Creator motherboard comes with 2 x Thunderbolt 4 ports, and an impressive 10G Ethernet port. There are also 6 USB 3.2 ports on the back I/O, making it easy to connect any peripherals or Thunderbolt-enabled devices. The ASUS ProArt optimization software CreationFirst, exclusive to the ProArt line of motherboards, allows you to prioritize essential apps and tasks by allocating more bandwidth to them. There are a total of four M.2 PCIe Gen 4.0 slots for SSDs and eight SATA 6Gb/s ports for extra SSDs or hard drives for internal storage expansion. 

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws S5 64GB (2x32GB) DDR5-5600

Having 64 gigabytes of DDR5 memory in the system will allow you to efficiently multitask and render larger files with ease. Occupying only two of the four memory slots on the motherboard, there is also the option to upgrade the memory in the future. 

Storage: WD Black SN850 2TB M.2 NVMe Gen 4 and WD Black Performance 4TB 7200RPM Hard Drive

The SN850 is a blazing fast PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD that will speed up all the tasks and applications on the PC. Use the 2TB drive for both the boot drive and the essential applications such as the Adobe Suite, Blender, 3DS Max, and Unreal Engine. Pair the SSD with a large 4TB 7200 RPM hard drive to free up space from the SSD and give your projects a place to stay. 

Video Card: ASUS TUF 3080 12GB

For a hobbyist rendering machine, an RTX 3080 12GB is plenty of computing power and VRAM to start with. The ASUS TUF 3080 12GB features a triple fan design with a hefty heatsink and has a minimalistic look with the RGBs. To elevate the system to a professional grade, go with an RTX 3090 or a 3090 ti for maximum rendering power and VRAM. Those two GPUs have an impressive 24GB of VRAM, and can really step up your productivity when you’re ready! 

Power Supply: Seasonic PRIME TX-850

The combination of the GPU and CPU determines the wattage of your power supply, and more is always better for a longer-lasting system and future upgradability. One consideration for rendering PCs is the fact that they will be running for prolonged periods of time, hence drawing power for a long period of time as well. The TX-850 is titanium rated, the best power efficiency possible, meaning it will consume less power at full load compared to a gold-rated PSU of the same wattage. Over time, this PSU can help you save a lot of power in the long run. For the 12700k and 3080, an 850W power supply would be good enough. If you were to upgrade to a professional rig with a 12900K and a 3090, you would want at least 1000 watts for the system. 

CPU cooling: Noctua NH-D15 

 When doing multi-core rendering, your CPU usage will be at nearly 100%. When the CPU is hard at work, the temperature goes up. So, a great cooling solution is required. The Noctua NH D-15 is a super beefy air cooler that pairs very well with the Fractal Design Torrent case. Not only does it perform extremely well for running long render sessions, but it is also much quieter than most liquid and air coolers. 

Case: Fractal Design Torrent 

 The Fractal Torrent case is optimized for high-performance air cooling. The back of the case is all perforated, and the case comes with two custom-made 180x38mm fans at the front, and 3x 140mm fans at the bottom. You can mount four 2.5’’ SSDs and two 3.5’’ HDDs in the back of the case. 

Software: Windows 11 Pro / ESET Internet Security

 Lastly, you need an operating system in order for the PC to run, and an antivirus software to keep the computer healthy. I recommend Windows 11 Pro for the extra features–such as remote desktop and bitlocker. This operating system is also optimized to run with the 12th Generation Intel CPUs. Meanwhile, ESET will provide you with the latest cybersecurity features for a smooth-running machine. 

The full parts list can be found on our Custom PC Builder:


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