We at CGMagazine are no strangers to PC building. Collectively, we have more than forty years worth of experience building the best possible PC’s for a wide variety of needs, and this includes content creator PCs. With so many types of jobs at the magazine, we work to build the best possible rig for each different purpose. From gaming and a power-house test bench, to the many video and design computers we have scattered around the CGMagazine offices.
With this in mind, we thought it was about time to dive into what we look for in a content creator PC, how we pick the parts, and a few recommendations to help select the right parts to suit your needs. While we are selecting parts that we at CGMagazine believe would be fantastic for a content creator, most of the selections made on this list will also be great for high-end gaming.
Best CPU for a Content Creator PC
When building a PC, especially for content creation, it is important to put the money in to get something that will manage the workloads you hope to put it under. It is easy to save a few bucks, and go with something a bit older or a lower end chip in a range, but when it comes to gaming, video creation or streaming, the added features make it well worth investing in a newer, faster processor since it will save you time in the long run.
Intel Core i9-12900K
Alder Lake and the flagship i9-12900K stands as a force to be reckoned with in gaming and productivity. Intel has managed to deliver on the promises made when the chip was announced, delivering a notable improvement in gaming, while still pushing the potential with a new ‘hybrid’ architecture” that has only just started to be tapped. With Alder Lake, Intel has firmly put a flag in the sand that they are indeed back, and ready to take on anything the industry has to throw at them.
Intel Core i5-12600K
Considering it fairs so close to the i9-11900K and beats or matches blow for blow what the Ryzen 5600X is laying down in performance, at a lower price, the i5-12600K is an easy chip to recommend to anyone looking to upgrade or just looking to build a new content creator PC.
Alder Lake is proving to be a truly monumental release. It will be interesting to see how Team Red strikes back with the new Ryzen offerings coming in 2022. For now, Alder Lake is the new king of the mid-range, delivering performance and value I did not think possible from Intel.
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
AMD has long been the ideal choice for those who want value and power from their new CPU, and with the new Ryzen 7000 range, this is more true than ever. The Ryzen 9 7950X is an amazing choice for a content creator looking for an upgrade or a new PC. AMD has thrown down the gauntlet and delivered the most powerful gaming CPU on the market with the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. This CPU delivers incredible performance at a price that is hard to beat. Whether you’re looking for raw power or value for money, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is the perfect choice.
If you’re looking for the best value for your money on a new PC build, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU is the way to go. With an MSRP of $699, it’s the best option on the market for gaming PCs. Just be prepared to invest in cooling to get the most out of your new investment.
Motherboard for a Content Creator PC
At the core of any computer is the motherboard, and while they may not get the same hype as many of the other parts on this list, it is one of the most important pieces of any new content creator PC build. We have focused on boards that give a wide range of options, ensuring you won’t need to invest in any additional hardware for Wi-Fi or audio, and we wanted to ensure the boards had enough PCI-E slots to fit all the gear we may want to include based on your needs.
Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
For our Intel 12th-Gen CPUs, we decided to include the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero in the list. On the higher end of the ROG Z690 range, Hero includes everything a new creator could hope for from a motherboard. Built to dissipate heat and looks good doing so, the Maximus Z690 Hero includes Large VRM heatsinks plus integrated aluminum I/O cover, high-conductivity thermal pads, and triple M.2 heatsinks and two M.2 backplates.
The Maximus Z690 Hero boasts Onboard Wi-Fi 6E and Intel 2.5 GB Ethernet, three full size PCI-E slots, fantastic power delivery, and all the IO you could want from a new content creator PC in 2022. The board also does not hold back on the audio front, featuring ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 with ESS ES9018Q2C DAC to deliver audio worthy of an up-and-coming creator that demands only the best.
If that were not all, the Maximus Z690 Hero is also one of the more exciting to look at boards, with RGB lighting and an innovative I/O ZONE POLYMO LIGHTING that lets you customize the lights of the board to fit your look and style. Delivering power and performance, the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero delivers in all the areas you need when building an Alder lake-focused content creator PC.
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master
Gigabyte is no stranger to high-quality PC parts made for performance, so it is no wonder we decided to include the Z690 AORUSMaster motherboard on this list. This board has everything a new content creator PC builder could hope for from their motherboard, giving ample I/O, exciting design, and all the connections needed to build a PC ready to take on the world of content creation.
Much like the other choices on this list, the Z690 AORUS Master is made to take the heat of a new build, featuring an optimized thermal design that dissipates the heat, so you can do more with your PC without the fear of it overheating or simply not achieving its best performance. The board also includes Wi-Fi and 10GbE BASE-T LAN, and space for 5 x M.2 Connectors NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 cards, meaning you won’t need to worry about running out of space anytime soon.
The card is built for gaming, but the RGB is subtle enough it will fit right at home for a creator, or just someone that wants a computer ready for anything. We use Gigabyte boards here at CGMagazine, and they have shown themselves to be more than capable of tackle gaming and creating. With a slightly less hefty price tag compared to the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero, the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master is a fantastic choice that delivers the power and performance where it matters most.
ASRock’s X670E Taichi
With the new AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPU comes the new AM5 socket, an updated platform that brings all the latest and greatest to Team Red. The ASRock’s X670E Taichi is a solid choice for people looking for a board that delivers everything they could need from a new content creator-focused PC. From solid networking to a plethora of options, this is a board that delivers where it matters most.
The ASRock’s X670E Taichi offers 26-phase power delivery system, DDR5 memory support, and a whole host of other features like full-length PCIe 5.0 slots and SATA ports. On top of that, it’s got great networking connectivity with a Killer E3100G 2.5 GbE controller and a Killer AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E.
The ASRock X670E uses AMD’s high-end chipset, which will be compatible with future AM5 Ryzen CPUs. It also has next-generation PCIe 5.0, for future GPUs and soon-to-be-released PCIe 5.0 SSDs. The board brings with it two USB Type-C ports to be used as either Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 connections, as well as a single front USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port, five rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and seven USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, four of which are meant for front I/O.
SSD for a Content Creator PC
There was a day when loading up Adobe Premiere would take a few minutes, especially if you had a big project you were working on. Thankfully, those days are over, with the help of modern m.2 SSD drives. It is easy to forget how slow HDD drives are, even the fastest ones on offer, simply can’t compare to what you can get with even a mid-range SSD. So with this in mind, we selected solid options for SSDs that should ensure you can spend more time creating, and less time waiting for software to load.
Corsair MP600 LPX Pro 1 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe x4 Gen4 SSD
Corsair is very well known for their PC components, so it is no wonder their Corsair MP600 LPX Pro SSD made the “How to Build Your Dream Content Creator PC” list. The MP600 LPX Pro offers multiple options for storage space, with 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB being available for purchase. With sequential read and write speeds of 7100 MB/s and 6800 MB/s respectively, larger games will have no trouble loading faster and smoother.
With its low profile aluminum heat spreader, the MP600 LPX Pro ensures that the performance of the hard disk stays high for years to come. It has a comprehensive five‑years warranty, so you can be sure that you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
AORUS Gen4 7000s SSD 1 TB
Jumping back to Gigabyte, we have the AORUS Gen4 7K SSD, which in our tests is a fantastic choice for any content creator PC. The AORUS Gen4 7K GTR ranks among the best gaming SSDs available today, featuring a sequential read rate of 7,000 MB/s, which exceeds the minimum requirements for most creative software. It comes in two sizes, one terabyte (TB) and two terabytes (2 TB), so you can choose the right size for your needs.
The Gen4 7000s features aluminum heat spreaders with a nanocarbon coating to improve heat dissipation from the drive and assists in preventing throttling due to heat accumulation. Priced at $274.66 and $433.99 CAD for the 1 TB and 2 TB respectively, for the speeds available, the Gen4 7000s looks to be good value for money.
RAM for a Content Creator PC
While often neglected, RAM is often vital to gaming or content creation. The more RAM you have on offer means you have more leeway when it comes to the number of programs you have open or the size of the files you will be working with. Since we have selected DDR5 motherboards, we wanted to select the best RAM to fit the boards.
CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB DDR5 32GB
Even if your new content creator PC is going to be built for work, that does not mean you can’t have a little fun at the same time, and what is more fun than RGB. Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR 5-6000 memory showed excellent performance in our tests, easily outperforming the DDR5-4850 and DDR5-5100 kits we’ve tested. Beyond the speeds, I simply love the effective aluminum heat spreaders, customizable RGB lighting and versatile iCUE Companion App. The RAM works well, is highly compatible, and simply looks stunning in any new rig. It is hard to go wrong when going with Corsair Vengeance RAM, and the fact it looks great while delivering great performance is a bonus.
Kingston Fury Beast (Black) 16GB DDR5
The Kingston HyperX Predator DDR5-5600 C38 is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a high-end DDR5-5600 module. Its price tag is also very attractive compared to competing products. The module features a low profile design that should look great in most cases. With a great price, and solid performance numbers, Kingston Fury Beast is an easy recommendation from CGMagazine, provided you want a more subtle looking memory for your new content creator PC.
Case for a Content Creator PC
Weather you are building a PC to game or to create, a good case not only can give you the space and connections you need to get everything setup, it can be a centrepiece of your creative space. From the options of RGB to the number of fans on offer, selecting a case can be a very personal thing to ensure it fits your style. To this end, we at CGMagazine have compiled the cases we feel would best work for a new content creator PC.
be quiet! Dark Base 700
We at CGMagazine love what be quiet! brought to the table with the Dark Base 700. It is one of the more premium offerings we have tested that packs the options in to build a computer that is uniquely yours. The be quiet! DARK BASE 700 is an outstanding choice for any gaming enthusiast or new PC builders who want to build a system that can handle everything they throw at it. With a sleek black finish and a glass front panel, the DARK BASE 700 is ready to take on whatever your rig throws at it. And if you’re not satisfied with what you’ve built, simply remove the panels and replace them with new ones.
MasterCase H500P Mesh ARGB
Cooler Master knows how to build cases, and the MasterCase H500P Mesh ARGB is no exception. When looking for choices that would best suit a new creator build, this case hits all the needs and then some. The more advanced the PC you build, the more space you may need to house everything, and this is a case that delivered everything we could have asked for.
The MasterCase H500P Mesh is a great choice for gamers, or PC enthusiasts that want to get the most from their new build. The large ARGB fans are quite while still pushing plenty of air through the chassis, and the large headroom means you have plenty of space for even a large AIO cooler if you so choose. The tempered side panels look good, and ensure you can see everything going on in your new build, while the mesh ensures your new parts stay cool even when pushed to their limits. The MasterCase H500P has achieved everything you could hope for from a case, fantastic look, airflow and keeping the cables neat and your PC looking sharp.
GPU for a Content Creator PC
From gaming to video editing, the graphics card is one of the most important pieces you can throw in a modern work-horse PC. There is a huge range you can go for, depending on your needs, but when you really want to do anything with rendering or encoding, it pays dividends to invest in the GPU. When you invest in a good GPU, not only does the work of content creation move at a much smoother pace, it also will let you sneak some gaming in when the work is done.
ASUS ROG Strix RX 6700 XT
The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6700 XT is a very good GPU that goes against the big guns from Nvidia and comes away looking very respectable. While I would not recommend 6700 XT for 4K, it is the sweet spot for 1080P and 1440P gaming, delivering all the fancy visual effects modern games have on offer. The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6700 XT GPU is an excellent GPU that provides real world performance, and some fantastic additions over the reference design, and would make a great addition to any new mid-range content creator PC build, provided they can find it at the right price.
ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua
While not for everyone, and potentially dull to people that demand RGB flow through all aspects of a PC, I found the ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua GPU to be an amazing offering. I love the brown and tan aesthetic, and the performance I saw compares it to some of the best 3070 cards on the market. With the quiet, powerful fans, great gaming benchmarks and unique design, few cars are as striking or as unique as the RTX 3070 Noctua, and it is a worthy card for any new content creator PC build, provided you can find it close to MSRP.
Cooling for a Content Creator PC
It is easy to forget about thermals and cooling when selecting all the parts needed for your new rig, but especially when you are looking to do video rendering, 3D modelling and of course, gaming, you want to have good cooling to ensure everything runs smoothly. From AIO water cooling, to high-end air cooling, there are a few choices that keep things running cool, even when you are pushing your computer to the limit.
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler
When it comes to CPU cooling, you have a few options, but the age-old method still is simply using fans and air to keep your processor running at the best efficiency. While we have tested a range of options, the new Dark Rock Pro 4 is an impressive piece of hardware that is ideal for a new content creator PC, and gaming PCs too. At CGMagazine we were impressed by how quiet it was during testing, especially considering the high power draw of the CPU cooler.
Even with its relatively silent noise levels, the Dark Rock Pro 4 also offers great thermal performance. Our multicore test rig pushed the Dark Rock Pro 4 to its limits, and it didn’t break a sweat. Even under extreme load, the Dark Rock Pro kept temperatures low enough to avoid throttling, making it ideal for getting the most out of a new system be it for creating, or immersive gaming experiences.
Razer Handbo Chroma
Razer has made a name for themselves in accessories aimed at gamers, delivering fantastic options that constantly innovate and bring new tech to the table. While new to the space, Razer has recently released their AIO cooling solution, the Handbo Chroma and after testing it was a shoe in for this list.
The 240 millimeter (9.84 inches) Hanbo cooling system keeps our Intel i9-12900K test system cool even on full load. The cooler manages to keep the CPU well within acceptable temperature range without any overclocking and the large fans are whisper quiet to never get in the way of work or fun. The Razer Synapse software makes it easy to control the lighting, settings and speeds of all aspects of the cooler, and the iconic RGB chroma Razer is known for ads a nice splash of colour to the case that syncs up with any other Razer product you may own. A bit on the expensive side, the Razer Handbo Chroma
Capture Card for a Content Creator PC
While a bit less vital depending on your needs, a good capture card is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Whether you are streaming the latest games, or just looking for a way to bring video footage in for editing, a capture card makes this process much easier. Thankfully, with the advent of USB 3.0, even external capture cards are a great choice, so we selected some of the best from what we have tested to ensure you have everything you need to get you creating in no time.
AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K
While Elgato focused on their line of streaming devices and stream decks, AVerMedia took the chance to go even further by innovating on 4K game capture cards and delivering them at a lower cost than the top competitors. The AVerMedia Game Capture Pro 4K is simply the most advanced 4K game capture device available today, offering an incredible array of features and usability options for professionals and amateurs alike.
NZXT Signal 4K30
With the Signal 4K, NZXT has delivered an excellent piece of hardware at a very affordable price. Bringing new and easy-to-use game capturing into a stunningly small form factor. The ease of setup combined with the minimalist interface makes the Signal 4K a great choice for new streamers and content producers alike. For those looking for something new, NZXT’s Signal 4K is the new 4K external video recording solution to beat. A simple yet powerful tool that does what it says on the tin.
Power Supply for a Content Creator PC
While many people do not think about it, the Power Supply (PSU) is a vital part of any PC, and even more so if you want to push your computer to the limits. From graphics cards to CPUs, if you don’t give the PC enough power, and have it stable, you simply won’t see your computer deliver the performance you need, and potentially could damage the hardware you did invest in. From video editing to gaming, if you want to have the best content creator PC possible, it pays dividends to spend the money for a good PSU.
Gigabyte 850W Power Supply
We think the Gigabyte 850W Power Supply Unit (PSU) is one of the best 850W power supplies available today. It has an attractive design and a reasonable cost. It goes head-to-head with other options, and provides a great feature set that is competitive with some of the more expensive and often recommended brands. If that were not enough, the Gigabyte 850W is also cheaper than many of the other options, meaning you can get a solid offering and still have money for some other components like the GPU and CPU in your content creator PC.
be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM HW 1000W PSU
With so many parts, it can be hard to know where to start. Be quiet! has put together a power solution that is reliable, affordable, and easy to install. Its design is simple and the 1000 Watts of power should be more than enough for even the most elaborate creator build. While there are slightly more premium options in the market, especially at the 1000 Watts range, they will cost significantly more, and won’t bring much more to the table. We use be wuiet! PSUs in the CGM offices, and have found them to be very reliable, and great for our editing computers, giving uninterrupted power that can manage even the more elaborate CPU and GPU combos.
Keyboard for a Content Creator PC
While it is important to have great internal components, the keyboard is easily one of the most useful accessories to make the creative process flow. From keyboard commands to typing, to gaming, this is one accessory it is worth investing in to achieve the best results.
Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard
When you are diving into creative applications, a good keyboard can make the difference between frustration and getting your project done on time, and few brands know productivity as well as Logitech. This is why we made sure to include the Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard on our list. It is one of the best low-profile keyboards on the market, and it is both comfortable and well-built to give you everything you could hope for from your typing experience. It’s compact, feels great, and works well even if you don’t use a mouse.
Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro
A great computer needs a great keyboard, and few can stand up to what the latest Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro brings to the table. The Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro keyboard is certainly one of the best keyboards out there for its ultra-slight build in the overall design and low-key caps. Although we had a fair share of connectivity issues with this keyboard, we feel the good far outweighs the shortcoming. It feels great typing for long periods of time, whether for working or gaming.
Mouse for a Content Creator PC
With all the parts in place, and your new content creator PC up and running, it is important to be able to interact and make the best use of your new rig. While keyboards are vital to the process of creating, a good mouse can make the process move along much more smoothly. While you can get away with a discount mouse, and it would get the job done, to raise your creating game to the next level, a good mouse can elevate the workflow and ensure you spend more time creating and less time struggling to get your pointer where it needs to go.
Logitech Master 3S
I have long loved the look and feel of the Logitech MX Master 3S. It is one of the most comfortable mice on the market, and the level of customization makes it ideal for creators needing something that can work as well as they do.
Logitech has delivered an outstanding mouse that is both clicky and responsive for all the hard work that gets thrown at you. The high DPI and sensitivity is equally good for those who use higher resolution displays, making it ideal for creators that need precision and clarity few office focused mice allow. Beyond that, the Logitech MX Master 3S delivers in customization, comfort and style, making it a great mouse to give that next level of accessibility to your new content creator PC.
Deathadder V3 Pro
Razer has done a fantastic job improving their iconic mouse, making one of the best wireless gaming mice currently on the market. While I am sad to see some features go in the process, the end result is an incredibly comfortable mouse that works for all grips, and boasts one of the most accurate sensors in the industry, making it great for a content creator PC. If you are anyone aspiring to play professionally, or just demand the best gaming mouse you can find, do yourself a favour and check out the Deathadder V3 Pro.