Building a Workstation in 2020 for your VFX / CG needs?
Want to know what components an Ex-ILM CG / VFX artist and ex-Head of Technology at an Animation Studio would choose to build a professional CG / VFX workstation in 2020?
Lately, I found myself in need to build a workstation as more remote opportunities have surfaced and I am also wanting to produce some tutorials for my readers and viewers.
So rather then go buy a workstation, I thought why not try to build one?
I started out with an arbitrary budget of USD 2,500 – 3,000 to see how close I could get to replicating my monster workstation setup at ILM when I left right around the time of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
For those curious my ILM Workstation was a 128GB, 24 Core Intel Xeon with a nVidia Quadro K6000 GPU.
That workstation costs in the ball park of nearly USD 20,000 for one. Yea, I know, the cost of a car!
I’m happy to say that the build definitely out performs that workstation but is 8x cheaper at around USD 2,600. I even proposed a budget-pick option that can be had for about USD 2,000.
In this video, I talk about the components of the Best Workstation for Most CG / VFX artists that won’t break your bank.
If you would like to know the best value components for a Professional VFX CG Artist’s PC Build in 2020 that will handle all of you CG needs, check out the video below.
I’ve also included a PDF for the parts list that gets sent to your email if you would prefer.
If not, the list to the parts are also available below.
I have a modest goal of reaching 100 subscribers so Youtube will actually provide a shorter link with the channel name that I can share with you all. This goal was met within 48 hours of the video publishing, thanks to the support of many CG friends. We now have a custom youtube channel link! https://www.youtube.com/c/nelsonlim
So please help the fledgling Youtube Channel, by subscribing and clicking the “bell” to get notifications as I release new videos every Tuesday!
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RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO:
FREE Downloadable PDF of The Complete Workstation Parts List :
Recommended – USD 2590
CPU – AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 32-thread Processor ($700) – https://amzn.to/2URs382
CPU COOLER – Dark Rock Pro 4 ($90) – https://amzn.to/30SBmbS
These are all great coolers. Pick the cheapest or the one that suits your aesthetics.
Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler with 2x NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fans (Brown) ($90) – https://amzn.to/2Y9TOKZ
For a a bit of premium, you can have the Noctua Cooler in black.
Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black, Dual-Tower CPU Cooler (140mm, Black) ($100) – https://amzn.to/3hGO6bA
Motherboards are in short supply due to the pandemic. I have included additional links to alternative motherboards to consider if the recommended pick is not available. These motherboards all do well based on reviews from Gamers Nexus and were options I would purchase if they were available.
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570 ($360) – https://amzn.to/3hSTLvh
MSI Meg X570 Unify Motherboard ($300) – https://amzn.to/2Cs4BrJ
ASRock X570 TAICHI ($300) – newegg
MEMORY – G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB (4 x 32GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-64GVK (2 x $240 = $480) – newegg
* Note you need to buy 2 sets of 2x32GB RAM sticks.
GPU – EVGA 08G-P4-3071-KR GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming, 8GB GDDR6 ($499) – https://amzn.to/2YLcekA
Any RTX 2070 Super will work. Here’s a list of options if the recommended is out of stock.
MSI Ventus Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super – https://amzn.to/2UPic2A
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC 8G Graphics Card, 3X Windforce Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR6, GV-N207SGAMING OC-8GD Video Card – https://amzn.to/2YHoqTu
SSD STORAGE – ADATA XPG SX8100 1TB NVMe Solid State Drive ($120) – https://amzn.to/30TqgTY
HDD STORAGE – Toshiba (HDWE140XZSTA) X300 4TB Performance Desktop and Gaming Hard Drive 7200 RPM $(110) – https://amzn.to/2Y8p1hS
CASE – NZXT H510 – CA-H510B-W1 – Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case ($70) – https://amzn.to/2YFtjMG
If you want a mesh front panel:
POWER SUPPLY UNIT (PSU) – EVGA Supernova 850 G5, 80 Plus Gold 850W, Fully Modular, ECO Mode with Fdb Fan, 10 Year Warranty, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-G5-0850-X1 ($160) – https://amzn.to/2zGAgEJ
Budget Pick – USD 2060
CPU – AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread ($410) – https://amzn.to/2UTEv7e
MEMORY – G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB (2 x 32GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-64GVK ($240) – newegg