Deciding to build a custom editing, streaming, or design PC might be the best decision you’ve ever made. Getting high-quality parts that allow you to save time on your projects could mean better efficiency for you overall.
Editing, Rendering, and Graphic Design can be Demanding:
As someone who works full-time developing and writing for websites as well as creating content for a YouTube channel my time is valuable. Having a computer that I have to wait on literally costs me that money over time. For that reason, I’m continually updating to limit the time that my computer takes in doing important tasks.
It’s likely that the demands you’re facing follow suit with what I’ve seen from the workplace. An increase in the demand and need for video and photo editing as well as online streaming. While your laptop may cut it for traveling, it may not cut it for your home or work office.
This Build Will be Overkill for Some:
Depending on what you do you may or may not need this much of a budget. If this build goes beyond what you feel you need, be sure to check out my 10 good computer builds for the money page for additional options. I keep it updated regularly with my picks for computer hardware based on current rebates and sale prices. Those who are photo editors will want to opt for a higher-end CPU rather than simply a high-end GPU.
For the graphics card, aim for one which is optimized for the game you plan on streaming. To avoid the strain on your own system, it may be advisable for some to build a secondary PC for encoding and for compression, as well as a good capture card that works seamlessly with your streaming software of choice.
A Powerful $2,000 Photo, Streaming, and Video Editing PC for 2017
Contents at a Glance
|Intel i7-7700k or Ryzen 7 1700||i7-6850k||The i7-7700k is a great option here with 4 cores, 8 threads, and faster single core performance than any of the other options here. Between the motherboard and the CPU, it's also less expensive. If you need additional cores, the Ryzen 7 1700 gives you 8 cores and 16 threads. IPC is slightly slower, but it's a workhorse for those who can take advantage of the extra cores.|
|Asus Z270-A Prime Motherboard||Asus X99-Deluxe II||If you're looking for the mid-range board that will give you the most features for the least amount of money the Asus Z270-A Prime will do enough for most builders. If you want a few more features, increase in overclock, and a better-looking board, the Asus Hero would be a good choice.|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB||Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB||The Corsair Vengeance LPX series has been one of my favorites since DDR4 was released. You can get the 3000 MHz speed ram for just about the same price as the 2400 MHz so go for that.|
|Phanteks Enthoo Pro||Phanteks Enthoo Evolv||Full tower cases are nice as they have so much room for expansion. If you're truly a photo editor, you know just how much you need that. For value, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro and Evolv, in my opinion, can't be beat.|
|EVGA SuperNova 750W||EVGA SuperNova 750W||The EVGA SuperNova 750W is power supply that should be good enough for our setup.|
|NVIDIA GTX 1080||NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti||A single GTX 1080Ti is probably more than enough for many in this space. It's possible with this budget to add a second 1080Ti. However, you'll have to make some cuts in other areas.|
|Hard Drive||2 x WD Caviar Blue 3 TB||2 x WD Caviar Blue 3TB||A good and high capacity drive for cheap. We're going for two of them here.|
|Solid State Options||Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2||Samsung 960 EVO 500GB||For your important programs, OS, and more, we've included a 250GB NVMe SSD drive with blazing speeds.|
|Corsair Hydro H100i v2||Corsair Hydro H100i||These CPUs don't come with a CPU cooler. The Hyper 212 EVO will do a good job of giving you an overclock while the Corsair Hydro H100i v2 is one of the better liquid CPU coolers you'll come across.|
While I can’t know the exact software that you’ll be using I’ll try to give you a good idea of the performance you can achieve with each of these builds based on the hardware that you choose. The best way to know exactly what you need in terms of your CPU and the graphics card is to check out performance benchmarks for the software that you use most. Sites with CPU performance comparisons like Anandtech are pretty good as a general reference.
At this price range, there are a couple of choices you could go with for processor. If cores and threads are a priority, go with the Ryzen 7 1700. This means you’ll need a compatible AM4+ motherboard.
The fastest single-threaded option here would be the Skylake i7-7700k. While it only has 4 cores and 8 threads, it still beats the Ryzen 7 1700 in many benchmarks. Overall, it’s the better choice for most who want a well-rounded option.
i7-7700k vs Ryzen 7 1700
As for whether you should go with the faster single threaded performing i7-7700k or the 8 core Ryzen 7 1700, you’ll have to decide what’s most important to you. Many editors are sticking with the i7-7700k because of it’s better performance in certain applications. If you’re not planning on overclocking, perhaps this would be your best option.
For gaming performance, we’ve put together a comparison of the i7-7700k and the Ryzen 7 1700 so you can take a look at the benchmarks.
As this PC is focused on streaming as well as photo and video editing, we need a beast of our graphics card. For that, the $2,000 build is featuring the king of the hill right now in the GTX 1080 Ti. For performance, you can expect a boost of up to 35% vs the GTX 1080. Here’s a look at some widescreen benchmarks we did of the 1080 Ti comparing it to the 1080.
Choosing a Motherboard for our Editing Build:
Kaby Lake Build
For features and overclocking we’re going with the Asus Z270-A Prime. This Z270 chipset motherboard is made for power users and thus may be money that you don’t need to spend if you’re not planning on doing any extensive overclocking. Some builders may also prefer the additional features that a board like the Asus Z270-A can provide.
AMD Ryzen Build
If you go with the Ryzen 7 1700, you’ll need a compatible AM4+ motherboard. Here’s a list of our top AM4+ motherboards for Ryzen right now. A comparable motherboard to the Z270 we’ve chosen is the Asus Prime X370-Pro. This is likely to be the most popular option for the platform for a while. It includes Aura Sync RGB lighting and has plenty of features for even enthusiast builders.
Efficiency and longevity is important. In fact, it may be worth it over time to go with that more expensive power supply in the first place. Read my post on how much it costs to run your PC and take a look at our top power supplies to understand why, in my opinion, it’s worth it to spend a little more and go with the EVGA Supernova 750W.
For capacity and performance, I’ve been buying up Western Digitals 3TB versions. At $90 you get a 3TB capacity along with a high-quality drive. I’ve also incorporated a 250GB nVME solid state drive from Samsung for your OS and most important programs.
For value, it’s hard to beat the Phanteks Enthoo Pro and Evolv. I can’t recommend them enough. For additional alternatives, you can visit my list of the best computer cases. For a good quiet option also consider Fractal’s Design R5 model.
Twitch Streaming Requirements
Twitch is a huge platform for gamers to stream their favorite games and potentially make some money. If you plan on streaming, Twitch has listed its recommended specifications as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 or AMD Equivalent
- MEMORY: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
- OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
These specifications should be taken with a grain of salt and, in fact, may only be good enough for streaming the lightest of games. Games like Hearthstone, League of Legends, and WoW may work just fine; however, in my opinion, it’s still not ideal. If you’re streaming using a single PC, aim for as many cores as you can afford and if you’re using an Intel CPU, you’ll want to aim for one that has hyperthreading. Keep in mind that hyperthreading is not available on the Twitch recommended i5. Something like Ryzen’s R5, in that budget range, is probably a better option.
Before you go be sure to let me know your thoughts on this build and anything you might change. Also, be sure to check out our other PC builds by budget.