Best PC Guide For Drawing Artists

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Before I write articles or posts, I research a lot and try to gather all the important and up to date information together, and adding my own experience into it. So I can create high value and up to date content for you!

Table of Contents

CPU:
Take a Ryzen 5 3600 as your basic CPU.
If you need a bit more power take
Ryzen 7 3800 with these CPUs you still need a dedicated GPU.

But if you’re really on a budget take a Ryzen 3 3200G (has an integrated graphics chip), but then you need a motherboard that has HDMI or/and DisplayPort connections. (My recommended motherboard below got it)

Motherboard:
The B450 chipset is totally fine. I would suggest MSI B450 Mortar MAX, it gives you all you need, also USB C and USB A with 3.2 Gen2 ports.

No need for the B550 chipset motherboard as an artist/creative, the benefits are just nice to have, but it will get more future chipset updates.

SSD (your storage drive):
250GB NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen 3.0, where 250GB is the minimum of storage you should take.
250GB should be enough for your MAIN working programs. The price-difference between 250GB and 500GB is maybe a point to consider for you.
(check out NVMe SSDs from Samsung or Seagate)
N
o need for Gen 4.0, as it’s just slightly more expensive and the higher speed isn’t really affecting us, just when you move really large files around at like 1GB+ of size.

Take a normal SATA SSD for your working files, to keep your NVMe SSD clean and fast.

Graphics Card (GPU):
We don’t need a high-end GPU at all.
Bellow 500€ Budget I would consider taking a Nvidia
GTX 1050 or a AMD equivalent like RX380/480 most of these comes with 1x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI connection, so you can work with two monitors, these GPUs are regularly below 150 bucks.


Power Supply (PSU):
For everything I stated, a 450wattage power supply is enough.

A high-quality power supply is important, it supplies your components with constant voltage, balances voltage fluctuations, and thus protects your PC. Get at least one gold-certified power supply.

PC Case:
Personal preferences. Just check if it’s large enough for your motherboard, GPU, PSU, and with enough mounting points for some fans and good dust protection.

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CPU

The CPU is the most important part for us as artists and 2D work, also some 3D programs like ZBrush are more CPU based. The CPU comes also in place for video editing and rendering.

The tools that we use as an artist benefit more from stronger CPU cores instead of more cores.
Because many programs aren’t multi-threaded, but the difference between AMD and Intel is no longer really noticeable to us with their single-core power :).

More cores BUT slower clock speed:

Pros

  • Applications that support multi-threading will greatly benefit from having a higher number of cores at their disposal.
  • Increasing the number of cores in your CPU is a cost-effective way of increasing performance
  • Multi-threading support for applications will continue to improve over time
  • You will be able to run more apps at once without seeing performance drops
    Great for running multiple virtual machines

Cons

  • Lower single-threaded performance than a higher clock speed processor

Fewer cores BUT higher clock speed

Pros

  • Better single-threaded performance
  • Lower cost option

Cons

  • Fewer cores to split between applications
  • Not as strong multi-threading performance

So, I would go with a Ryzen CPU, their single-core performance is still really great and you’re likely to run multiple things in the background at the same time. And the higher single-core performance of Intel CPUs compared to the Ryzen ones is neglectable in our area. Intel’s high clock speed CPUs come with a lot of disadvantages, like more heat, more power consumption, and so forth.

The current consumer range for the CPUs is totally sufficient for our programs and applications.

We don’t need 16 x 4.5Ghz as an artist. The numbers only become important when it comes to very demanding things like video editing, rendering, and much more.

Bellow I pointed out a few differences between AMD and Intel.

AMD (Ryzen 3, 5, 7, 9) Intel (Core i3, i5, i7, i9)

PCIe 4.0 support starts at Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs (to support the new motherboards with PCIe 4.0 (GPUs and storage technologies)).

NOTE:
Ryzen 3000 (Matisse) Series have a total of 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes (but 4 lanes are already used for the interconnect to the chipset of our motherboard with PCIe 4.0 support).
So we have left 20 lanes, we could theoretically use one GPU with PCIe 4.0 support which takes 16 lanes. Then we got 4 left, and an NVMe M.2 SSD with PCIe 4.0 takes 4 lanes who're left. Nice!

The Ryzen 5000 Series also offer 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes!

Just PCIe 3.0. for their 10th Gen The 11th Gen now supports PCIe 4.0
More cores for multitasking, and programs who can use more cores. Good if several things work in your background.
Less cores, but they're more powerful when overclocked.
Better performance for the price.
Intel is considered more expensive compared to their AMD equivalent.
Better compatibility with motherboard sockets.
Ryzen 3, 5, 7, and 9 CPUs: AM4 socket.
Threadripper CPUs: TRX40 and sTRX40 socket.
Intel 10. and 11. Gen CPUs: 1200LGA socket.
Intel 6, 7, 8 and 9th Gen CPUs: 1511LGA socket.
Builded as 7nm processor nodes (more performance, less power consumption).
Even their 11th Gen. CPUs are build in 14nm. It's weird.

Much higher L3 cache (if you have certain programs and files which you're open over and over again, it will be faster!
This is an absolutely huge plus, especially when you work with large files and programs.

Much less, like up to 60% less cache.
No integrated graphic chip on the most CPUs. (Just CPUs with a GE or G at the end like Ryzen 5 3400G have integrated graphic chips). Otherwise you need a seperate GPU.
Intel got integrated graphic chips on their CPUs, can be nice, so you aren't in a rush to get a dedicated graphics card. But their integrated graphics chips are worse than these from the Ryzen ones.
With their 7nm building architecture, they consume less power and creates less heat.
Gets hotter since they're sticking still to their old 14nm manufacturing. Because they just pump more wattage to their GPU to make them strong enough to keep up in some way with Ryzen CPU performance.

The Cache of your CPU

The cache of your CPU is declared as L1, L2, and L3

Your CPU’s cache is a special type of buffer memory that “works” between the RAM and the CPU. So that the CPU does not have to fetch each program command individually from the slower RAM, an entire command or data block is loaded from the RAM into the cache. The probability that the following program instructions are in the cache is relatively high. The cache should therefore be as large as possible so that the CPU can execute the program commands one after the other without waiting. As a rule, CPUs work with multi-level caches that are of different sizes and speeds. The closer the cache is to the computing core, the smaller and faster it works.

L1 (First-Level-Cache):

The L1 cache is usually not very large, it’s in the dimensions of 16 to 64 kByte. Most of the time, the memory area for commands and data is separated from one another. The importance of the L1 cache grows with the higher speed of the CPU.
The most frequently required commands and data are temporarily stored in the L1 cache so that as few accesses as possible to the slow main memory are required. This cache avoids delays in data transmission and helps to utilize the CPU optimally.

L2 (Second-Level-Cache):

The main memory (RAM) data is temporarily stored in the L2 cache. The processor manufacturers supply the various market segments with specially modified processors via the size of the L2 cache. The choice between a processor with a higher clock speed or a larger L2 cache can be answered in a simplified manner as follows: Individual programs run faster with a higher clock speed, especially those with high computing requirements. As soon as several programs are running at the same time, a larger cache is an advantage. As a rule, normal desktop computers are better served with a processor that has a large cache than with a processor that has a high clock speed.

L3 (Third-Level-Cache):

As a rule, multicore processors use an integrated L3 cache. With the L3 cache, the cache coherence protocol of multicore processors can work much faster. This protocol compares the caches of all cores so that data consistency is maintained. The L3 cache has less of the function of a cache but is intended to simplify and accelerate the cache coherence protocol and the data exchange between the cores.

My Summary For CPU

At the end of the day, it also depends on your actual setup and your taste.

I would recommend AMD Ryzen CPUs (not the PRO ones).

Starting with a CPU with an integrated graphics chip, like Ryzen 3 3200G (still very fine!)
Upgrade to a Ryzen 5 3600, this CPU has still 6 Cores, two more than the Ryzen 3 3200G, but then you need a dedicated graphics card.

Ryzen 5 3600 have a L3 32MB cache.
And the 3 3200G just 4MB, but at this point, this shouldn’t be a factor for you. The Ryzen 3 3200G is super price/performance-wise to start with.

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Motherboard (MB)

The motherboard/mainboard is the connecting piece between all your PC parts. Take a look at these areas

  • Different sizes (does it fit in your PC case?)
    SFF (Small Form Factor) motherboards  are smaller and offers less features.
  • Chipsets/sockets (does your CPU fit?)
  • Connections ON your motherboard and the connections on the backside, for your mouse etc)
  • Does it have WIFI? (if you really need it)
  • Bluetooth? (if you really need it)
    You can add a Bluetooth function to your motherboard via an Bluetooth USB stick (they’re cheap).
Motherboard Size Comparison

We focus just on two motherboard sizes:

ATX Motherboards Micro-ATX Motherboards
Size: 9.6" x 12" fits in full/mid ATX cases.
Size: 9.6" x 9.6" fits in full/mid/micro ATX cases.
Up to 8 RAM slots.
Up to 4 RAM slots.
More PCIe slots, ports, headers to connect stuff with.
Have a bit less. But still enough for artist and graphic designer needs. Later on you could upgrade to an ATX (maybe you have to get a bigger case also).
They're more future proof, since they are more common, with more space to work with due to the amount of connections, slots and so on.
If you plan to update your pc every 3 or 4 years, you may consider changing the motherboard too. But that depends also on your growth and demands on the hardware.
ATX tend to be more expensive, because of the features and possibilities they're offering to you.
You can get away cheaper with Micro-ATX boards!

Additional motherboard sizes:

Small Form Factor (SFF) motherboards or often called Mini-ITX they’re are very small/tiny motherboards, if you plan to build a tiny pc their size is about 6.7″ x 6.7″. They have less features

Extended ATX called E-ATX motherboards, they’re a bit wider than ATX motherboards, size is about 12″ × 13″.

Sockets

AMD

  • AM4 socket = for AMD Ryzen CPUs (up to the Ryzen 5000 series) AM4 sockets are the most used ones for the Ryzen CPUs.
    No need to think about the Threadripper sockets (TRX4 or sTRX4), they’re overkill.

Intel

  • LGA1200 socket = for Intels 10. and 11. Gen CPUs (Comet Lake and Rocket Lake like 11600, 11700 etc.).
  • LGA1511 socket =  for 6. and 7. Gen CPUs (Skylake and Kabby Lake like 6600, 7700k etc.).
  • LGA1511v2 socket = for 8. and 9. Gen CPUs (Coffee Lake like 8400, 9600k etc.).

You see where it gets you… just confusing and not as simple as AMDs side.

Chipset AMD

The central element on the motherboard is the chipset. The chipset is the link between the individual system components of your PC. No matter what happens in a PC, the chipset is always involved. It ensures that all components can communicate with one another via different interfaces. Different voltage levels, clock frequencies, and protocols are taken into account and converted to one another.

Keep in mind that you might have to do a BIOS update (BIOS flashback via USB stick), to be able to use the newer Ryzen 3000/5000 series, or more up-to-date technology like PCIe 4.0 (if it’s included in the update).

Note: There are many chipsets out, many different motherboard manufacturers with different versions, it’s just overwhelming! And the decision-making isn’t easy there, so take your time and do some more research, if you are not convinced after this article.

  • B450
    A very good standard chipset for mainstream motherboards, features for overclocking. Also, be able to use CPUs with 16 cores (without overclocking) like the Ryzen 9 3950X as an example.
    B450 motherboards are a good and solid choice.
  • B550
    Have literally all the features of a B450 motherboard, but offers you now PCIe 4.0 support.
    Simply, it’s an updated version of B450!
  • X570
    The motherboards with this chipset are high-end, offer PCIe 4.0, and a lot more features (like more USB 3.1 GEN2 ports, faster-integrated ethernet ports), and supports also the newest GPU technology. Can handle WI-FI, Bluetooth, and very fast SATA responsibilities. Better wireless options.
    SUPPORTS more GPUs and NVMes M.2 SSD with PCIe 4.0!
    (Because it depends on how many PCIe 4.0 lanes the CPU and the motherboard supports.)

Some motherboards come with a “Max” what does it mean?

The “Max” versions of mostly the B450 boards from MSI come directly with Ryzen 3000 support. The “Max” stands for the larger available BIOS memory and the update to the latest version that has already been carried out.
You can also look out for the “Ryzen 3000 Desktop Ready” certificate sticker on the motherboard package!

The Ryzen 5000 CPUs will work with the B450 chipsets from MSI. But you should only update your MB Bios with the “Ryzen 5000 Update” when you’re going to use a Ryzen 5000 CPU because it can cause some errors otherwise.

Because it might happen that you won’t be able to use your Ryzen 3000 series CPU anymore.

For more information, check the official AMD Chipset Page.

Still unsure about all the differences between X570, B450, and B550 boards?
Take a look at MSI Comparison Chart.

Chipset Intel

As far as I researched, just the 400 and 500 Series get PCIe 4.0 support with their 1th Gen CPUs.

300 is LGA1511 socket.
400
is LGA1200 socket.
500 is LGA1200 socket.

We have the following chipsets:

  • B360
  • B460
  • B560
  • H370
  • H470
  • H570
  • Z390
  • Z490
  • Z590
  • and more…

So, you see the pattern there.

B-Series:

  • No overclocking support
  • Max. of 20 PCIe lanes
  • USB 3.0 ports only.

H-Series:

  • No overclocking support.
  • Max. of 20 PCIe lanes.
  • Up to four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports.

Z-Series:

  • Overclocking support for CPUs with “K” behind their model number.
  • Max. of 24 PCIe lanes.
  • Up to six USB 3.1 Gen2 ports.

Connections

Take care of the connections and versions of your future/new motherboard, depending on the other peripheral devices youre using, or want to connect with your PC.

USB 3.1 Gen2
Are the best USB connections you can have at this time of the article, for your stuff. They’re also two times faster than USB 3.1 Gen1.

USB Type-C
These ports could be USB 3.1 Gen1 or USB 3.1 Gen2 compatible and are designed for newer devices such as phones.

HDMI and DisplayPort Video output.
Just use these connections on the backplate of your motherboard if you don’t have a descrete graphics card, since the HDMI and DisplayPort connection on your GPU will be better, than from your I/O backplate of your motherboard.

 

Whats about the expansion slots on your motherboard?

PCIe x1
Which often used for things like USB, and SATA expansions, Wi-FI adapters, …

PCIe x16
For GPUs, RAID cards and some other things.

Future Proof

You may don’t want to upgrade your PC parts every year or two years.
Just in very rare cases, when you’re forced to, with the following reason:

  • One of your most important parts just broke.
  • PC doesn’t match the new and updated requirements of new or existing softwares/programs you’re using!

When you’re building your PC for the first time, you should pick at least one part with more power you would initionally need, if it would match the next future technology/system even better. Most of the time, a slightly more powerful component won’t cost you much more.

A good example would be the motherboard!
If you pick a pricier one, with PCIe 4.0 support and more features or better connections (even if you don’t need all of them, or you can’t use them actually), its not a bad thing, because you’re likely to keep your motherboard for the next PC upgrade with newer components which will take great use of all features of your motherboard then.

My Summary For Motherboards

Take a B450 one, even in 2021. The new  Ryzen 5000 Series works also with them!

PCIe 4.0 support by B550 motherboards is just nice to have, with some additional gimmicks.

Spend the saved cash on a stronger CPU. I would only pick a B550 to take advantage of the PCIe 4.0 support if I need it really and to be more future-proof and he updates that might come up for B550 chipsets, also if you care about visual look.

If the new Ryzen 7000 Series comes out, it will be probably an AM5 socket, and if DDR5 RAM will be released, you need a new motherboard anyway, so take whatever fits your actual needs.

Price-difference between B450 and B550 motherboards is still a point on certain motherboards.

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Graphics Card (GPU)

Do we need a specific GPU as an artist?

Short answer:  NO.
Mostly our work is just 2D-based.

A GPU is considerably faster than a CPU when it comes to parallel computing operations.
Depending on the operation, it is up to a hundred times faster than a CPU.
For example, the Adobe programs for example who are used by most graphic designers and artists rely less on GPU (even though some features are enhanced by it) rely heavily on CPU and RAM speed!

If you work with a lot of layers in Photoshop as an example or doing motion graphics, video editing, working with Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, then Nvidia GPUs are better, because they have optimized drivers to work better with these programs.

AMD GPUs work also, but they offer fewer performance advantages than NVidia GPUs, but neglectable for 90% of us.

Even if you want to do some 3D sculpting with ZBrush, you won’t need a specific GPU at the first glance (ZBrush is more CPU-related).

 

What’s up with these expensive „Nvidia Quadro“ and „Radeon Pro“ GPUs then?

These GPUs are for:

  • Servers
  • Specific rendering tasks
  • CAD rendering
  • CGI (computer-generated images)
  • Machine learning
  • Widely used for movie production
  • Data calculations
  • They also support 10bit color, for high color accuracy out of the box. Not a unique selling point anymore now.
  • Arithmetic calculations
    And some other very specific usages …

They will become very expensive until they outperform the consumer graphics cards, at the point where you will notice a real difference in real-world scenarios.

They have often more shader units/CUDA cores, VRAM (12GB upwards), and memory bandwidth than regular graphics cards.
Note: The newest consumer/gaming graphics cards tend to have a lot of RAM too, like 12GB and more.

A longer warranty, build with much more durability in mind, because in the section where these GPUs are used, flows around a lot of money, and if these graphic cards fail, it would be a disaster.
They have certified drivers (they’re tested for compatibility with specific software, offer better performance with design software (in certain circumstances), and are (allegedly) less likely to run into issues. Having ECC memory for extra precision.
Sometimes they run at lower clock speeds, meaning they have lower power requirements and less thermal demands.

As long as you don’t aim for the things I listened to above in a very very professional way, you will be way better with the consumer graphics cards, and your wallet will say: „thank you!“.

But for our needs like creating mind-blowing art, professional videos, and so on, we are pretty fine with the consumer graphic cards.

 

These GPU Series are fine for us:

We aim for Nvidia GTX/RTX GPUs because they support the HDR feature of monitors due to OpenGL (for better dynamic range, where AMD GPUs does only support HDR in their RX400 RX500,  high-end Vega GPUs, Readon 7 Series, and the RX 6000 Series)

NVIDIA

Nvidia Studio Driver and Game Ready Driver:

The studio version provides more stability and quality for creative workflows. Where the game-ready driver will provide you with a day of launch support for the latest games. 

Nvidia GTX Lineup:

They are more the standard GPU lineup most used by gamers without specific needs or requirements.

As far as I researched only the following GTX series supports 10bit color accuracy with software who’s using OpenGL:
GTX 1xxx Series
GTX 16xx Series
RTX 20xx Series
RTX 30xx Series
Titan X, V, and Titan RTX

(sometimes you have to change the setting from 8bit to 10bit in your Nvidia Control Panel (right-click on your Desktop then navigate in the menu to: Display > Change Resolution > Step 3  “Use Nvidia color settings” at “Output Color Depth”)

So, to make use of the 10bit (either for graphic design, movies, and other media), your software and your monitor have to be able to support the 10bit too. And you need a good high-quality cable, at least HDMI 2.0b or DisplayPort 1.4

RADEON

Radeon by AMD has other approaches.

Gaming graphics cards (e.g. RX 500, RX 5000, and the new RX 6000 Series) only support 8bit natively, but with FRC (Frame Rate Control) they can simulate the missing color shades with 8bit compared to 10bit by approximation. So you can display 10-bit pictures and videos with any graphics card, and the details are clearer than on 8-bit but not as sharp and defined as with native 10-bit support.

Native 10bit color depth (without FRC) for highest color precision e.g. image processing on professional monitors is only available for workstation graphics cards, all current Radeon Pro models support the native 10-bit color depth.

Things to consider picking your GPU

  • What connections does your GPU have/support and how many?
    – DisplayPort, HDMI?
    We aim for Displayport with the 1.4 version.
    The second would be HDMI.
    BUT HDMI cables provide different capabilities depending on the signal transfer speed (bandwidth) and the HDMI version the cables are associated with, which can be more expensive. But with DisplayPort, it doesn’t matter if the cable costs 1 or 10 bucks!

    If your GPU has only one DisplayPort, use it for your main monitor (best one).
    DisplayPort supports HDR for a higher dynamic range, for more natural and original-looking pictures.
    DisplayPort 1.4 and upwards supports also monitors who can Daisy-Chain (which means connecting monitors, like a chain, for not wasting every port of our GPU for monitors, because you want to connect your graphic tablet with your PC through your GPU.

There a quick overview about DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 which we at least aim for!

DispalyPort 1.4 and above HDMI 2.0 and above
Max. Resolution Supported
8K at 60Hz
4K at 60Hz
Numer Of Supported Displays
4
2
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Yes
Yes
Max Supported Color Depth
10bit and more
10bit
Bandwith
32,4GB/s
18GB/s
G-Sync/FreeSync
Supports both G-Sync/FreeSync
Supports just AMD's FreeSync
Cable Quality/Grade You Need To Buy
Take a regular 1.4 DisplayPort cable.
You need a premium high speed/ultra HDMI cable to take use of 4K monitors with HDR at up to 60Hz.
  • Shader Units (AMD GPUs) and Cuda Cores (Nvidia GPU)
    They’re kinda an equivalent of CPU cores, optimized to run a large number of calculations simultaneously.

  • Does the GPU also support 10bit and HDR besides the other parts of our hardware setup?
    10bit color depth gives you a lot more colors (more than a billion), smoother gradients, yes, please!
    As I mentioned earlier HDR is great! You can also enjoy movies that are created in HDR if everything else like the monitor supports it all.
    Having a better dynamic range is candy!

  • How much VRAM of your GPU ( memory) do you need?
    VRAM’s purpose is to ensure the even and smooth execution of graphics displays. It is most important in applications that display complex image textures or render polygon-based 3D structures. The most common of these applications are video games or 3D graphic design programs.
    For our first budget PC, 2GB is ok, 8GB would be enough for the long run to work well with, when you get high complex things, like 3D Sculpting. 6GB is a sweet spot.
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Storage

As an artist, our files can become very big. We may want to build an archive to store some files, like finished projects, or commissions, reference sheets, and so on.

We got some choices, depending on space/expansion bays in your case:

HDD size of 3.5″
Not supposed to run our OS or your important programs on them, they’re slow.

A bit sensitive to shocks and eruptions and will lose maybe some data if it gets too rough. But cheap and abundant, good for long-term storage, record-keeping, and miscellaneous programs and files. They will also take more space in our PC case.
– They’re old, have moving parts like a record player.


SSHD size of 2.5″
SSD speed and HDD capacity! It’s also relatively cheap, and 1TB (1000GB) is a good starting point to store or archive our files!
If you have to store files and want to access them fast, then an SSHD or SSD is the best solution in my opinion. I would only use a pure HDD if I have a lot of files and have to archive them for a longer period of time.

SSD size of 2.5″
SATA SSDs are the second-fastest drives, they were used to hold your OS, key programs, and work-in-progress files, but now we’ve NVMe SSDs. But regular SSDs are still a lot faster than normal HDDs.
SSDs work like flash memory cards or USB memory sticks, just larger and faster.

NVME M.2 SSD size of 80x22mm (mostly)
These are even faster than SATA SSDs (like 4-6 times), costs more, and they’re suited to work with very big files (GB section) more comfortable and faster.
There are NVMe SSDs with PCIe 3.0 (standard) and the newer PCIe 4.0 (but your motherboard and CPU have to support Gen4).

Use NVMe SSDs for your OS and your most important programs.
Keep the NVMe SSD as clean as possible, because the fuller it gets, the slower it gets!

Running your OS and most important programs:
500GB NVMe is a great start since we want to install our office system and our most important program on it. I don’t see any points for us picking a 1TB version, even if they have a bit higher performance, compared to their price increase.

Store and access your files at the same time:
At a budget: 1TB is fine for an SSHD.
If you have some more cash left: take at least a regular SSD with 500GB.

Long time storage and archiving:
Take at least a 2GB HDD for archiving and store your files for the long run.

NVMe SSD differences

I picked some NVMe SSDs for you, so you don’t have to compare everyone out there by your own. You can for sure also check Corsairs NVMe or Crucial, its up to you.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus Samsung 980 PRO Seagate Firecuda 510 Seagate Firecuda 520
PCIe Generation
3.0
4.0
3.0
4.0
Capacity
500 GB
500 GB
500 GB
500 GB
Max Seq. READ Speed
Up to 3500MB/s
Up to 6400MB/s
Up to 3450MB/s
Up to 5000MB/s
Max Seq. WRITE Speed
Up to 3200MB/s
Up to 5000MB/s
Up to 2500MB/s
Up to 2500MB/s
Max Random READ Speed
Up to 450K IOPS
Up to 800K IOPS
Up to 420K IOPS
Up to 430K IOPS
Max Random WRITE Speed
Up to 550K IOPS
Up to 1000K OPS
Up to 600K IOPS
Up to 630K IOPS
Terra Bites Written (TBW)
300 TB
300 TB
650 TB
1800 TB
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
1.500.000 hours
1.500.000 hours
1.800.000 hours
1.800.000 hours

The question is, what does matter for your NVMe SSD?

What does IOPS mean?
Stands for Input/Output Operations Per Second.
It tells you how many input and output commands can be done per second, which means higher is better.

What does “Sequential” Read/Write speed mean?

I don’t want to go into scientific research here, that’s why I just telling you that SEQUENTIAL read/write speed is relevant when you deal with LARGE FILES, like everything above 1GB.

What does “Random” Write/Read speed mean?

This means basically write or read from or to RANDOM places on your SSD, as in all over the place, in no order.

What’s TBW for?
It means the number of Terabytes that can be written until the SSD dies, simplified.

What’s MTBF for?
This means the mean operating time between failures of a product, i.e. the estimated service life of a product before it fails. As higher as better.

My Summary For Storages

The question is, do you feel a difference between 500K IOPS and 800K IOPS?

I don’t think so.

I would go for the more stable and durable NVMe SSDs, so take the Firecuda 510 or the 520. You wont notice the difference at all. We have already made a quantum leap from a normal SATA SSD to an NVMe SSD, and nitpicking between a Samsung 980 Pro and a Firecuda 510 is not necessary.
The bottleneck is not the speed of the NVMe SSD, its how about the whole system structured and how clean and fluid it runs.

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RAM

RAM – Random Access Memory, as working memory is also called – is primarily used by the operating system or CPU for fast access to data that is constantly being used in some form.

Every program that you have open fills the RAM with data. The data in the main memory that is temporarily stored is processed by the CPU.

A small part of the RAM and its components is used as the so-called cache memory (buffer memory). It is connected directly to the CPU and allows particularly fast access to data. In the meantime, data is stored in the cache that is used particularly frequently while working on the computer. The storage is always only for a short time; Infrequently used data in the cache are replaced by currently used more frequently.

Points like overclocking your RAM isn’t important for you, or the difference between a RAM with optimized RAM timing (lower CL) is hardly noticeable. The differences can mainly be seen in benchmarks, but not in normal operation. At a certain point.

• RAM drastically accelerates access to frequently used data.

• RAM are the only solution to make the simultaneous use of several applications possible.

My Summary For RAMs

Take at least

  • At least DDR4 16GB (2x8GB) to start with.
  • CL(Case Latency) 16 or lower.
  • 3600Mhz or higher (3600MHz is a sweet spot and works perfectly with Ryzen CPUs).

Overall the RAM just has to run stably and match the overall system of our PC.

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Power Supply

Picking the right PSU isn’t magic.

There are some online tools who help you to get a rough feeling how much wattage you need for your componments, they’re fine.

Always get a bit stronger PSU than you would need. To have more headroom for future upgrades.
These days I wouldn’t buy a NON-modular power supply. Modular power supplies giving you the option to use just the cables you really need. While NON-modular PSUs have all cables attached permanently.

I don’t want to go any further there, just check these tools and youre ok.

There are some online tools you can use:
https://www.newegg.com/tools/power-supply-calculator
https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

My Summary For PSUs

Take at least

  • Take a semi-modular PSU with at least 450W as your starting PC. I would also suggest picking a GOLD-rated one.
    Non-modular PSUs have a lot of unnecessary cables which we don’t need. SO I wouldn’t ever consider these PSUs, but they’re the cheapest ones.
  • If your upgrade from 450W to a 650W PSU, you could take a look at a fully modular PSU.
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My Last Word

I hope I gave you a good overview of the whole topic and how to build your PC as an artist. It’s no magic!

There are a lot of pre-build PCs around in some local shops, they would be OK too when you get started, but you could get something better with a bit more effort, for less money to spend, and every part will be well selected.

If you need some help to assemble your PC, I found this helpful video for you on how to assemble your first PC:
How to Build a Gaming PC – Beginners Guide by Hardware Canucks

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My Recommended PC Parts for Creatives

Budget PC ~500

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Budget PC ~500 Tiny PC

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Mid-Budget PC ~1000

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