The Builds

The PC Builder's Market Update, October 11 2018

Wow, these are exciting times for PC builders! The first days of Fall saw the release of Nvidia's long-awaited 2000-series GPUs, which had been a good two and a half years in the making! The $800 RTX 2080 8GB, which launched on September 20th, is the first Turing GPU to ship in volume, and it has made it into a number of our guides. The ultra-high-end RTX 2080 Ti 11GB, which starts at $1,200, is finally starting to appear on store shelves, and we've included it in several of our ultra-high-end builds. The "mid-range" RTX 2070 8GB, which starts at $600, will arrive in late October according to Nvidia.

While we were all waiting for Nvidia's GPUs to roll in, on October 6th, Intel dropped news of its amazing new CPU lineup, highlighted by the first two eight-core CPUs ever released for the mainstream desktop, namely the Core i7-9700K and Core i9-9900K. We have already begun incorporating them into some of our high-end gaming PC guides

But wait, there's more! Prices on RAM and solid-state drives just keep dropping! SSDs in particular are dropping in price nearly weekly, with 500GB models now available for an unheard of $85, 1TB SATA drives coming in at $160, and 1TB PCIe drives dropping down near $200. It's getting harder and harder to justify using a hard drive for anything, frankly!

Now for some bad news: Intel's facing some serious production shortages, meaning it has become nearly impossible to buy any of its mid-range CPUs. Luckily for all of us, this is no longer a one-horse race, and AMD's amazing Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs allow custom PC builders to continue building high-powered their systems this Fall. While OEMs struggle to shift over from Intel to AMD platforms, DIY PC builders are going to be a step ahead. Analysts now predict AMD CPUs will be in 30% of new PCs by the end of 2018, but here at TBG, fully 40% of the PCs we profile already feature AMD CPUs, up from zero at the beginning of 2016. That's how far AMD has come, and we're proud to say that TBG has been keeping up with market trends to bring you, our readers, the best value for your money.

One last update specific to TBG's guides: we've grouped all of our builds this month into specific pricepoints, so while we historically had PC builds at $400, $700, and $1,100, for example, all of our builds come in at round numbers, starting at $500 and going up to $5,000, in $250 or $500 increments. We also have the no-holds-barred Supreme Dream Machine, which has no official pricepoint, although it will always stay below $10,000 because there's only so much you can (or should) spend on a PC!

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 next generation of PC builders to learn from, 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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