Build a PC

I made a post on the subreddit buildmeapc but it hasn’t gotten much attention. Reddit I would be delighted if I got some of your input. I’ve also made another topic addressing some of the issues I’m facing with the analysis time on Urban Network Analysis (UNA).


The applications you listed (at least the ones I know) usually prefer single-threaded performance over multi-threaded. So whatever CPU you choose should be strong in either case. Given your budget (I’ll assume 2000$) I’d choose the Intel i9 9900K, one of the strongest single-core CPUs in existence, while also having 8 cores and 16 threads in case things ramp up.


Your GPU choice entirely depends on whether the applications support CUDA. If you do renders you may want to get a quadro, otherwise a RTX 2070 should be more than enough.


Given your budget I would consider getting 64GB. Judging by the CPU performance, a RAM limit is the most likely, so the more you have the better.


I would definitely recommend an SSD, you can get a cheaper hard drive for mass storage.

Hey, thanks for your response. Yes, I did set the budget to $2000, but I’m looking for a good value PC. You’re right in regards to having a higher single core count. It does have a higher Ghz on paper, but how does it translate to real world performance? A Ryzen processor is almost half the price, and potentially I could overclock it. I think having 64gb of ram is overkill, unless I could run multiple instances concurrently. In regards to the GPU could I sub it with a Rx 570/580 (It’s 2-2.5x cheaper than RTX 2070) and it doesn’t look like its using the GPU at all.

A redditor tried one of my files on his machine and it crashed:

“Well, it’s been plugging away for 10 minutes, screen greyed out, and application appears to be locked up. I’ll let it run for a while to see what happens, but it doesn’t look great so far.”

Machine Info:

  • (2x) Xeon 2.4GHz (E5-2630)
  • 32Gb mem
  • Dual GTX 980 video cards

Not using full CPU or Memory.

But after changing the parameters of the analysis it reduced # of crashes.

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If you are certain that you will not need more than 32GB of RAM, then go ahead. Although in that case I’d recommend getting 2x16GB instead of 4x8GB, so you can upgrade should that be necessary.
In terms of the GPU, I based my choice on the assumption that some of your applications can use CUDA or otherwise use the GPUs performance. If that is not the case, then a RX580 will do just fine. Of course look around before you buy, for example sometimes RX 590 can be found at a similar price while having about 10% better performance (source).

As for the CPU, unfortunately that is not quite as easy to answer. If we look at this benchmark of Photoshop CC, you can see that the AMD CPUs just barely beat their intel counterparts. The Holomark benchmark in rhino even shows the 9700K at the top, ahead of the 3950X, which has 2x more cores and 4x more threads.
If you want the best value my pick would be the Ryzen 7 3700X. It will overall perform very similarly to the 9900K, with either one getting a small advantage depending on the application.
One major advantage of the 3700X is the lower heat output, so you will not need quite such a large cooler and you could likely even get a smaller power supply.

If you do choose to go AMD try to get the fastest memory possible, I would suggest at least 3200MHz, as it can make a significant difference (source).

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Hi @alkaabiaja
@robin_l has given great advice here.

What I will add is looking at how your performance is scaling I would recommend going Ryzen and using 3600mhz ram.
It seems just from experience that the 16gb on your brother pc can’t hold enough, which is the primary bottleneck for your low CPU usage. Once you increase this you’ll see better performance, however you’ll still be bottlenecked by ram speed and your budget plus use scenario justifies 3600mhz ram, which rarely costs much more (assuming you dont want RGB).
You will however need to check which motherboards support 3600mhz ram (should be on product pages).

Why not Intel?
Well I had to recheck but as I remember Intel is only rated to 2666mhz ram speed, some people say it’s not a big difference; I disagree once we get to high ram usage and data analysis. (It’s worth noting that Intel and AMD CPUs process RAM data differently so I can’t directly compare RAM speed).
Intel does have upcoming 10th gen, but given that this is more of a panicked reaction to AMD, unless you really want to wait AMD will ‘probably’ be better ‘price to performance’.

Having never brought Radeon, I can’t attest to the driver issues some people complain about.
I don’t suspect you’ll be doing rendering (not game related) with the GPU and I wouldn’t recommend it, as you’ll max out your VRam given your current Ram usage.
Please stay away from the 570, otherwise you may as-well just get a gtx 780 (don’t).

I suggest working out what the rest of your build costs then seeing how much you have left for a GPU, given your flexible pricing.
The RX580 is cheaper than a 2070 for a good reason, but I don’t know what games you play, if any to justify a 2070.

Intel again…
If you’re dead set on Intel, 9900k is still damn good. The problem is most comparisons of Intel vs AMD are for gaming, which leaves everyone in CAD to wander in the dark.

3600mhz info…
If you look at a motherboard and it says 3600mhz RAM only supported in XMP overclocking, don’t be put of. It’s typically a preset you can select on the motherboard and because it’s a preset it shouldn’t effect warranty (unless your careless).

General RAM…
Yep go for a Mobo with 4 RAM slots and get 2x16gb for now.

You’re other questions…
Don’t worry about CUDA unless you buying an NVidia GPU and don’t worry about Open CL.
If you can, get an m.2 NVME (motherboard support required) mainly for the operating system to be on (this will increase the longevity and loading of your boot drive). Have an SSD for current working projects and HDD for stuff you rarely use, large files or older projects; or a backup drive.

I’m sorry this was such a read.
I hope it helps.

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If it’s possible could you send over the same file you sent to the redditor, private message if you don’t want to post it publicly or anything without an NDA attached.

Sure here is the link I made. I’ve started using GIS instead of Rhino and it reduced the # of crashes considerably.
I’m actually finalizing my PC build on pcpartpicker before your message. Will have a look at your suggestions

Updated Link and build:
The build I had in mind on Pcpartpicker. There is another motherboard that is slightly cheaper should I use it instead
The Checkout price
I’ll order the case from a local store, cuz shipping is expensive. I prefer a sleek and quiet case (looking for suggestions).
Also do you think I would need a cpu cooler?
Should I go for 2x 32gb or 4x 16gb?
Power supply? 4-pin ATX power connector support

Made a follow-up post on reddit

Okay so I’m currently running the analysis test on 2 system and will give an update when this is done.
As for the PC part Pickers list…

3700x - This is fine and the best at this price point, next step would be 3900x.

X570 is way overkill. The main extra you’re getting is PCI 4.0 and your not going to be using this by what I understand.
I would recommend x470, but at least in the UK they are disappearing, so might be worth getting an x570 + this is a good one from what I know.

I wouldn’t go with the ASRock, it’s a personal opinion :slight_smile: .

This is good RAM and Corsair Vengeance is probably the safest all round option. 2x32gb is going to be a sweet spot as Ryzen 3000 is dual channel and it also gives a chance to upgrade once 3000 supports 128gb RAM officially. I think 2x32 might also be slightly cheaper.

This is fine, I have 1 in a PC and no issues.

Also fine, I personally don’t use Seagate because I’ve had better experience with WD, but if you’re not putting a sata SSD into the system the 7200rpm will be a slight improvement over 5400. Though I would recommend getting a backup drive in time, as the faster speed most Seagate drive have means the drive won’t last as long.

580 is okay, 590=5-15% better; I missed the part in the Reddit post about VRay, I would definately go with Nvidia if this is the case. This is because according to their website they no longer support Open CL (aka Radeon cards). They used to support it in VRay but not VRay Next.
If you change your mind to Nvidia, 1660 super is a stretch but nothing really comes close at this price point for VRay.
People think that a CPU is the most expensive part of a build, but in the last few years for the consumer this has flipped to GPUs depending on what you want to do.

I don’t want to give too much input, because a case is such a personal choice and I’ve spent months looking and even waited for months for the launch of a case.
From what I know the 801 has good airflow and a nice PSU shroud to cover all those messy wires.

Great power supply, Corsair has a long history and 80+ Gold is great + semi-modular to help that cable managment.

Don’t worry about the extra 4pin ATX power connector as this is an extra for people that do extreme CPU overclocking.

CPU cooler
You should be fine, AMD offers way better stock coolers than Intel (which they rarely even offer).
When I first got my 3900x I ran it on the stock cooler for 4 months without an issue. Only upgraded because I like going over the top.

Honestly for monitors and peripherals, I could tell you the best out there, but there’s so much choice, it would be quicker to google best mouse, keyboard, etc look at reviews.
When mice range from under $10 to a couple of hundred it all gets too much.

I’ll just add quickly that a B450 motherboard is not a bad choice and cheaper.
A MSI B450 Tomahawk or Gaming Carbon Pro, would do just aswell as the ASRock x570 and maybe even better.
On X570 your just paying more for the PCI 4.0 and a few other less used options. As well as the fact it’s newer so they can’t charge the same as older boards, which can be just as good.

Glad to hear from you again. I really appreciate your hard-work. I’ve been researching all week, and I’m just excited that I’d finally get some closure.

The problem with most 400 series is that you need to update the BIOS as they are not ready for the 3000 series. From what I read its just a hassle. Edit: LMAO the x470 is actually more expensive, and ram is capped to 64gb 3466.

Is a NVME heatsink a gimmick? I guess I’d go with asrock and save ~$50 dollars if you think its worth it.

Edit 2: you mentioned the possibility of drive failures. Decided to go for intel 660p 1 tb + 1tb WD 3.5HDD.

For the GPU MSI or Gigabyte? I’m leaning towards Giga, because one of the reviews said that the MSI one is noisy.

Let me know how your system analysis the file and spec info and usage :slight_smile:
It’ll hopefully tell me if I could run multiple instances and utilize all ram in this build.

That’s true, it’s hard to verify ahead of time whether the BIOS has been updated. The safest option is to go with x570 here, however you will have to pay a little more.

As far as I know no one has found any performance improvement from an NVME heatsink.

I have used an AsRock board for years (x370 taichi) and it has worked / still works perfectly across 2 different CPUs (1600x, 3600x).

Given that they are the same price and that your case has no space constraints I would go with the largest GPU you can get. Between those 2 the Gigabyte one is larger, so it will likely be less noisy.

I would add that if you are concerned about noise getting a larger cooler for the CPU could help, for example the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo. Perhaps @nicholasm785 has some other recommendations.

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Thanks for the response, I needed some sleep there.

As @robin_l said you’re going to get better acoustics from an upgraded CPU cooler. I use Hyper 212s on my Intel builds and Noctua (NH D15) on my Ryzen PCs.
Stock Ryzen cooler to Hyper 212, maybe 2 degrees cooler, but definitely better acoustics.
Noctua, better cooling and acoustics, but might be overkill, NH-U12S.

Honestly, see how the stock cooler does then get a local upgrade if you’re unhappy.

Noctua rules, but is a marmite brand because of their colours, unless your willing to pay more for the black editions.

NVME head sink only for overclockers, as its sooo close to the CPU. NVME prefer being warm (not hot)

Okay here’s the bad news

I ran the test on my computer.
4 hours and 40 minutes in I had to force shut Rhino.
It probably would have finished eventually, as it was definitely doing something, but I needed to run client renders.

I hit 32gb RAM after about 3 hours

Ryzen 3900x (at most 5-15% usage, mainly 1 to 4 cores used)
32GB 3200mhz ram
GTX 1070 (GPU didn’t even bat an eyelid 0% usage including CUDA)

I think I found the issue…
Your scene is massive


Take a look at pages 128-129
There is a massive amount of origins and destinations + observers. Over 7000 of the former and almost 4000 of the latter
I think the fact is this scene is going to take long.

You talked about other people having high polygon counts and quick analysis, by the looks of this the program doesn’t care about how many polygons you have; so I wouldn’t expect it to speed up a render.

Also your detour ratio is in the high end, combined with the points earlier, long times expected.
Try optimizing your scene based on the guide, or like many people who use VRay, have the analysis run over night.

Having a good GPU probably speeds up analysis on scenes with loads of polygons, but not on low poly scenes.

Read through that part of the guide but I suspect your brothers computer would run most simulations as expected (except with high polygon counts, which yours has none)

I hope this all helps :slightly_smiling_face: