The Builds

DIY PC Builder's Update, December 8, 2018: With Black Friday behind us, we've updated all of our guides with the best component selections based on current pricing and availability. Luckily, some of the discounts have stuck around, including amazing prices on RAM and SSDs - they just keep getting cheaper!

A couple of important updates are also in order, however, regarding price increases. First, it appears that Microsoft has made good on rumors that it would increase the cost of Windows 10 to $140, up from the $120 it had been selling at for the past few years. While we temporarily saw that price increase prior to Black Friday, it was reversed for the big shopping week, and has now returned. We expect it to stick around for a while. Also affecting PC builders is the ongoing tariff dispute between the US and China. A number of manufacturers have instituted across-the-board price hikes of 5-10% on products such as cases and power supplies, which are manufactured almost exclusively in China. Expect to see these price increases take effect as existing inventory sells out. Note that some manufacturers instead appear to only be increasing prices on new products, so as not to disturb established price lists. Unfortunately, they are doing so more aggressively, on the order of 20-25%, perhaps to make up for lost revenue on existing products. We'll be on the lookout for new gear that seems disproportionately expensive in order to avoid recommending it in the guides.

In other news, CES 2019 is just around the corner, and TBG will be attending again this year, as it has since 2016. Look forward to extensive coverage from the showfloor the week of January 7th. We've already booked private meetings with some of the biggest names in the PC industry, including AMD, Corsair, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, SilverStone, and Zotac, and will also be chatting with the folks at LG and Samsung regarding their latest PC, home theater, and Smart Home product releases.

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 ($7,500+): 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.

Remember, the only way we can continue to bring these guides to you on a monthly basis is if you support the work we do. All we ask is that you use the links we provide in our guides if you decide to purchase products we recommend. By doing so, you'll help keep TBG on the Internet for the future generations of PC builders, and also ensure that we will never have to plaster your screen with ads. We'd also like to express our gratitude to SilverStone Technology Co., which helps sponsor the TBG PC Build Buyer's Guides. SilverStone has been dedicated to the PC community for well over a decade, and they've been very supportive of the work we do here at TBG, while also being open to criticism once in a while!

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

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