My friend recently asked me to help put together a part list for a workstation. However, he's also a major gamer and wants to get into making YouTube videos and the like. He had saved up a ton, and wanted me to put together something for around $2000 USD. So, that's what we'll do today. This beast is way cooler than the Mac Pro and won't get you laughed at. Prices are in USD and from Amazon unless noted. Let's get started
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790k
He made it clear he didn't want a Xeon or X99 setup, so he'll instead get a top of the line consumer grade i7. The 4790k is great, with enough speed to work through whatever workload you could imagine. They also overclock a lot better than the 4770k because of the updated Thermal Interface, meaning you can get higher clocks with less heat output. Better for everyone.
CPU Cooler: Corsair H110i GT
Corsair released an updated, crazy version of the H110i. The GT looks better than the H110, has better fans for better cooling, and offers the Corsair Link software available to the H100i and H80i. This allows for customization of your water block colorr and performance, lets you monitor your coolant and CPU temperatures, and can even give you notifications through the LED water block if things are getting too hot. All for free when you buy the H110i GT, which can offer great value to some people.
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z97 Mark2
The Sabertooth from Asus is considered by some to be a great mid-range Z97 board. Despite the colours not being everyone's style, it offers great function, allowing for some really good overclocking and performance. As usual, it has everything you want, from 8 USB ports in the back, to plenty of fan controllers and front USB 3.0 header. A downfall might be the lack of RAM speeds above 1866Mhz out of the box, but some of the savvier users will be able to get a bit higher. It's a great board for the price, and it's clear why people use it often.
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (Newegg)
Since it is going to be used as a workstation, this build will have a whopping 32GB of RAM. This will allow render times to be crazy fast for videos and rendering, even if the overall speed of the RAM is 1600Mhz. With workstations, 16GB should be your minimum if you want really nice speeds for rendering, so this will be perfect.
A-Data makes really good SSDs and RAM, and if you want an inexpensive SSD with decent speeds, A-Data are the people for you. Not blazing fast in the read or write departments, but for under $100 for a 256GB SSD is nothing to laugh at. You'll boot into your OS exponentially faster than with an HDD, and loading games will be a breeze. This is also a great SSD if you want to upgrade a laptop with a standard HDD.
I know, it's starting to look like Seagate bought a spot on this article. They didn't, I promise. It just so happens that they're always the cheapest when these are being prepared. You get 4TB of storage, which is like four games in 2015. All joking aside, this Barracuda is the same as the 1TB you see in budget oriented guides, but with four times the space. Great for single drive systems and even NAS servers.
I'm sure everyone is done with the 3.5GB jokes by now, so let's not kick a dead horse. Turns out, the GTX 970 still has a ton of CUDA cores, which means if you use CUDA programs, you will benefit from these cards. They also offer really good gaming performance at 4k, so putting two of these into a rig will do great. Plus, when you're just at idle, the fans on the Strix cards don't even run, so you will have a really silent computer because of these.
Case: NZXT H440
NZXT is pretty nice when it comes to cases. They make some really clean looking cases that are really, really nice to work in. I've personally had the pleasure of building in two, and they're really roomy and well laid out. The H440 in White and Black will look great on any desk, no matter what. It also has great room for water cooling, and was designed partly with water cooling in mind.
The HX850 is one of Corsair's "professional" power supplies, but all their power supplies are good. Since this machine has a max voltage less than 600W, you won't need a ton of power. It's a great PSU, gives clean power to all components, and is overall a fine power supply.
If you want a great Workstation that you can also play games on and happen to use a ton of CUDA utilizing programs, this is the rig for you. You'll be able to render anything you want, and it won't take you hours any more. You'll also be able to max games out for the next three years, unless something crazy happens.