The Builds

Would you like to build your next PC? 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, that's 24 distinct systems!), starting at $500 and going as high as $8,000 and beyond. Using our filtering tool, you can identify the builds that best suit your needs and then compare them to find just the one you're looking for, based on components, price, and size.

There are currently a few challenges facing PC builders, and our goal is to help you find your way through it all! First, Intel's "Coffee Lake" generation of CPUs, released on October 5th, only became available for purchase recently, and even then at far above its official retail price. Our hunch is that Intel really wasn't ready to launch these CPUs, but did so early to slow down AMD's huge surge in the CPU market. We're adding Coffee Lake CPUs to certain systems as they become available, but don't expect Intel's Kaby Lake or AMD's Ryzen to disappear entirely from our guides any time soon.

The other big challenge facing PC builders is what's very likely to be the worst component shortage ever to hit the industry. At this point, there are just three memory chip makers in the world (Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron), and they have agreed to allow demand rise far above supply. That means RAM chips are now a better investment than gold (seriously), and a RAM kit that cost $70 in mid-2016 is now over $200. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better, as some RAM kits are simply selling out entirely (especially kits with low-margin 4GB sticks), and everything else is going up at a rate of about 20% per month. We're updating our guides on a daily basis to find kits that are both in stock and reasonably priced, but there's only so much that can be done when the market is as out of balance as it is right now.

With that out of the way, let's share a bit about how these guides are structured. Generally speaking, our build guides fall into five categories:

  • 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 ($900-$1,300): 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 ($1,400-$1,800): you're looking for serious gaming chops, or a very powerful office PC.
  • The Ultra-High-End Builds ($2,000-$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!

SilverStone

We're pleased to share with our readers that The Tech Buyer's Guru maintains a unique partnership with SilverStone Technology Co., in which SilverStone is sponsoring the TBG PC Buyer's Guides and has made its entire catalog of products available to TBG for review. We'll therefore be including all of our favorite SilverStone cases, power supplies, and PC accessories in these guides, and you'll get the benefit of learning about some of the most innovative PC products on the market before anyone else! That includes SilverStone's huge assortment of Small Form Factor PC cases, many of which are featured in our Small Form Factor PC Buyer's Guides.

To use this guide, you can either browse all of the options, or set specific filters below, which will display just the builds that meet your criteria. 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. Happy hunting, and good luck with whichever build you choose!

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