The Builds

DIY PC Builder's Update, August 11, 2019: As always, a new month means lots of new builds, and we've updated every single one of our 24 DIY PC Buyer's guides for August (woo-hoo!). Based on the research we put into these updates, we have two main themes to share that anyone building a PC will want to pay close attention to, as follows:

New Product Releases Make These Exciting Times!

First up, July 2019 saw the biggest, most important product releases in years, with AMD's latest Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs, its X570 chipset with PCIe 4.0, new PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and of course the dueling GPU releases from AMD and Nvidia in the form of the RX 5700 series and the RTX Super series. Honestly, lots of exciting stuff, and we've done our best to sort through the options to find the best picks for all our guides. It's not as simple as one size fits all!

In terms of GPUs, AMD now has the price/performance advantage at $350 and $400 with its RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT, respectively. With that said, Nvidia continues to have the noise advantage thanks to the custom coolers you'll find on many models. Alas, Nvidia annoyingly paper launched its Super GPUs to steal some of AMD's limelight on July 2nd, but after a long wait, we have seen them begin to appear for sale at this point, so we've added the RTX 2060 Super, 2070 Super, and 2080 Super to several of our guides.

In terms of CPUs, we need to repeat one very important warning about AMD's amazing Ryzen 3000 CPUs at this point: BIOS compatibility. B450 and X470 motherboards currently do NOT support Ryzen 3000 out of the box, despite socket compatibility. And while X570 boards are already available, they cost about 70% more than B450 boards. So we have to balance the benefits of the 3000 series with the costs of the platform, meaning Ryzen 3000 is not a budget pick, but it is an awesome pick for mid-range and high-end systems, and it appears in a number of our guides.

Tariffs and Related Price Increases Make These Scary Times!

Now for the bad news: it's been a long time coming, but we're finally seeing the effects of US tariffs on Chinese goods. It's simply indisputable that the US tariffs have led to significant price increases in a number of product categories, specifically cases, fans, coolers, and power supplies, which are almost exclusively manufacturered in China. Some manufacturers have replaced SKUs with identical models at higher prices, some have raised prices gradually over time to hide the effect, and others have simply pulled products entirely where raising prices wouldn't be feasible (such as on "loss leader" items at the bottom of the product stack). In short, there's no question that prices are going up and availability is going down. We're doing our best to update our guides with substitutions where possible, but the long and short of it is that some of the cost savings from price drops on things like RAM and SSDs is being negated by tariff-related price increases on other products. And be forewarned: we're also seeing some ominous signs in the RAM market; after months of constant price drops, we're seeing not only price increases, but also dwindling supply, which suggests that some memory manufacturers may be reducing production, either due to tariffs on some of the components or general oversupply.

Using 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.

Note that 11 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!

  • Select Filters


    Price Range: {{priceRangeConfig.min | currency}} to {{priceRangeConfig.max | currency}}


    Depth: {{dimensionsConfig.depth.min}}" to {{dimensionsConfig.depth.max}}"

    Width: {{dimensionsConfig.width.min}}" to {{dimensionsConfig.width.max}}"

    Height: {{dimensionsConfig.height.min}}" to {{dimensionsConfig.height.max}}"

View Guide View Specs

close {{productList.listTitle}}

Total cost:
{{productList.totalCost | currency}} as of {{productList.asOfDate | date: 'longDate'}}

Dimensions (d x w x h):
{{productList.dimensions.depth}}" x {{productList.dimensions.width}}" x {{productList.dimensions.height}}"

  1. {{component.type}}
    Buy in USA {{}} - {{component.price|currency}}

No builds match your filter criteria.