The TBG DIY PC Build Guides

By Ari Altman | Published November 4, 2021 | Updated November 4, 2021

Introduction to the TBG PC Build Guides

Welcome to TBG’s DIY PC Build Guides! This is where you’ll find all the best PC builds on the ‘net, from ultra-compact home office PCs to screaming-fast gaming towers. In total, we offer 24 distinct DIY PC Build guides, updated with the latest and greatest components.

While we know our readers stumble upon a lot of other sites during their research, what we do is completely different: we professionally curate every build based on relationships we have with dozens of manufacturers and our constant testing of the latest products. That means our PC Builds are the most up-to-date builds you’ll find anywhere, and actually perform the best, too.

The November 2021 Updates

Now on to the latest updates! As is the theme for this year, there’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good news: Intel has just released its new 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs, and they are screamers! In our opinion, it’s the most significant release from Intel in a decade. There are a few caveats, namely that these CPUs use a lot of power, require the brand-new Socket 1700 platform, and need Windows 11 to perform their best, which still isn’t available at retail (although Win10 users can download the update manually). Even so, we’ll be rolling out Alder Lake CPUs into our builds where they have the most benefit.

Now for the bad news: the GPU market is just not recovering. After a brief bright spot in August when it looked like things might turn around in terms of retail availability and price, things went from bad to worse again. At this point, there is some retail availability, but it’s spotty, and retail prices are typically close to 2x MSRP, or more than that if scalpers have an interest in the GPU.

Unfortunately, it does appear these prices are going to stick around for a while, as the crypto market crash has stabilized. We’re quite confident that this generation of GPUs will never return to MSRP, so holding our collective breath won’t do a lot of good. We believe a reset will not occur until the next-gen GPUs launch in late-2022 (yes, we mean that), so if you want to game or create content, either pay up or buy a pre-built PC.

TBG’s Four Key Tips for PC Builders This Month

Here are a few key factors to consider regarding component picks this month:

  • To get a sense of GPU pricing, take note of these four generally-available GPUs at various pricepoints as of our early-November update: the GTX 1650 4GB, which is good for basic app acceleration, is available most days for $370, the GTX 1660 6GB can sometimes be picked up for around $520, the RTX 3070 8GB is available for $1050, and you can pick up AMD’s mighty RX 6900 XT 16GB any day for $1700. Oddly, nearly every other AMD Radeon GPU is now sold out, whereas a few months ago, these were available.
  • SSD and RAM prices are near their all-time lows, with 16GB of Crucial DDR4-3600 now typically selling for $85, and Sabrent’s 1TB PCIe Gen 4 5000MB/s drive down around $150.
  • We’ve seen much better availability of power supplies, now that the demand from crypto miners has subsided, and some are even selling at a discount, such as EVGA’s vaunted SuperNova G3 lineup.
  • OEM manufacturers continue to gain access to a select number of GPUs, so if you’re not dead-set on the DIY route, you can get a pre-built gaming PC with a great GPU today. For example, Skytech has a raging-fast gaming PC equipped with a Ryzen 7 5800X and Radeon RX 6900 XT for just $2600. You simply cannot beat that building your own when the GPU alone is worth $1700!

Our guides therefore offer two different approaches: for small office and mainstream content creation systems, Intel has a number of CPUs that will be a perfect match at a great price. For gaming PCs, we’ve identified a number of great pre-built PCs that you should definitely consider in lieu of building your own PC, or if you’re committed to building, you can get started using one of the GPUs available at retail today.

More In-Depth Content From TBG

SilverStone SG13Note that many of the PC builds we profile 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’re spending all of our editorial and review time over at YouTube, which is where we’ve rolled out overview videos for many of our builds. You can post any question in our latest channel trailer here and we’ll answer it! And don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there to make sure you don’t miss out! Moving forward, only our very popular build guides will continue to get the “written” treatment, and if you appreciate the work we do on these, don’t forget to use our Amazon and Newegg links to support continued publication of these guides.

Using the TBG PC Build Guides

Whether it’s your first, tenth, or hundredth time building a PC, these guides will set you up with the best components you can buy. Our build guides fall into five price ranges. 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 Build Guide for that build. Happy hunting, and good luck with whichever build you choose!

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


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