The Builds

DIY PC Builder's Update, May 4, 2019: Lots of good news this month for PC builders as RAM and SSDs continue to plummet in price. We've updated every single one of our 24 PC buyer's guides for May to ensure that our readers can take advantage of the latest prices. It's really quite amazing to see the cost of SSDs in particular drop 10% month-over-month with no end in sight. We're also finally seeing good stock of mid-range and high-end Intel processors ($175 and above), although Intel has clearly stopped producing everything below that pricepoint. Luckily, budget and mid-range PC builders can rely on AMD's value-packed Ryzen CPUs to meet their needs, and AMD is making the deal even sweeter by dropping prices on a regular basis. For example, its 8-core Ryzen 7 2700 is now just $220, making it an exceptional value. As a result of its competitive positioning, AMD's Ryzen processors appear in nearly half of our guides this month.

By the way, we've recently completed our series of High-End PC Assembly Videos for 2019 - you can check out all our episodes right here! And earlier this year we published a 5-year retrospective on the DIY PC industry. Anyone interested in learning more about how PCs have changed since 2014 would do well to check it out!

Looking forward to the rest of 2019 and beyond, we expect AMD to launch a new line of CPUs this summer, likely to be announced in June for a July release. These new CPUs are expected to put even more pressure on Intel, which hasn't released a completely new architecture since August 2015. AMD is also expected to release a new GPU family called Navi around the same time, and we expect it to replace the existing Polaris lineup, which has grown long in the tooth, and today is only competitive with Nvidia in the budget gaming segment. Nvidia has proven very successful this year at rolling out excellent mid-range GPUs, but every time it releases something under $200, it fumbles the ball. AMD is aiming to show Nvidia how it's done - we'll see how it all shakes out soon enough!

How to Use the TBG PC Build Buyer's Guides

Whether it's your first, tenth, or hundredth time building a PC, these guides will set you up with the most up-to-date components you can buy. We currently feature two-dozen builds (yes, we mean 24 different systems!). Generally speaking, our build guides fall into five price ranges:

  • The Low-Cost Builds ($500-$750): if this is your first build, or you have modest needs, these systems will be ideal for home office, home theater, or gaming.
  • The Mid-Range Builds ($1,000-$1,250): you want a PC that will be faster and quieter than just about any off-the-shelf system, but you still want it to be easy to build.
  • The High-End Builds ($1,500-$2,000): you're looking for serious gaming chops, or a very powerful office PC.
  • The Ultra-High-End Builds ($2,500-$5,000): you're looking for cutting-edge technology and extreme gaming performance.
  • The Supreme Dream Machine (~$10,000): you have a truly unlimited budget, or you just want to know what you could buy if you did!

To find the right PC for you, feel free to browse all of the options below, or alternatively choose specific criteria from our filter browser below, which will display just the builds that meet your needs. You can then click on the "View Specs" button to see a quick view of prices, parts, and dimensions, or click the "View Guide" button to jump straight to the full Buyer's Guide for that build.

ML06

Note that 10 of our 24 guides are Small Form Factor models, and while they are all listed below, you can learn more about SFF PCs by jumping over to our monthly guide to the Small Form Factor PC Market.

We'd like to express special thanks to SilverStone Technology Co., which helps sponsor the TBG PC Build Buyer's Guides. Founded in 2003, SilverStone has made major contributions to PC case design, small form factor PC development, and power supply innovation!

Happy hunting, and good luck with whichever build you choose!

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