The Builds

DIY PC Builder's Update, June 5, 2019: We've updated every single one of our two-dozen PC buyer's guides this month to take advantage of the latest price drops and product releases. In particular, RAM and SSDs continue to plummet in price, and today you can buy DDR4-3200 RAM for less than DDR4-2666 cost a few months ago, while high-speed PCIe-based SSDs are now selling for the same price as SATA-based models. Amazing stuff! Also dropping in price is Intel's newest CPU release, the Core i5-9400F. At the end of May, it fell to $150, making it highly competitive against AMD's Ryzen 5 2600. Of note, it's the only Intel CPU under $250 that we recommend, as Intel has been far less competitive with the rest of its processor lineup, owing to its ongoing production shortages.

Of course, AMD isn't sitting still. Just as we predicted last month, it made a huge annoucement at Computex at the end of May, namely that its Zen 2 processors are arriving July 7th. The Ryzen 3000 series chips, as they're called, have the potential to finally put AMD in the lead against Intel. We hope to have a sample coming our way in early July, so stay tuned for more on that!

Looking forward to the second half of 2019, we believe the story is going to be all AMD, all the time. Along with the Ryzen 3000 series, its new X570 chipset is ushering in new, never-before-seen technologies like PCIe 4.0, which will enable faster video cards and solid-state drives, as well as built-in WiFi 6 (802.11ax). For better or for worse, the first PCIe 4.0 video cards will be from AMD, which likely won't be able to harness the extra bandwidth, but at least they'll be pushing the industry forward while Nvidia sits on its hands. PCIe 4.0 SSDs, on the other hand, will come from a variety of manufacturers, with big names like Gigabyte and Corsair already announcing at Computex that they're on their way. In fact, Corsair claimed that its MP600, boasting sequential read speeds of up to 4,950MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 4,250MB/s, will be available at launch in early July, which would be a big win for the popular US-based manufacturer. As always, we'll be incorporating the latest gear into our builds as soon as it's available at retail.

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.


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!

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