The Builds

DIY PC Builder's Update, April 15, 2019: Spring is here, and we've now updated every single one of our 24 guides for April (phew!) to take advantage of the latest product introductions and price drops. Overall, there's lots of good news to report for PC builders. First off, as we've reported every month for at least six months, the SSD market is offering up incredible bargains, and for the first time ever, we've found a PCIe drive, namely the Crucial P1 1TB, selling for less than many SATA drives, making it a clear pick. Indeed, the vast majority of our builds now use PCIe drives, and by the end of the year, we predict they all will! 

We're also seeing continual price drops on memory, with high-performance 16GB DDR4-3000 and -3200 kits now falling below $100. Also benefitting PC builders is the fact that Nvidia has dropped a value bomb on the mid-range gaming market with its GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti video cards, which finally make upgrading from last-gen hardware an easy decision. There's also good supply of reference-spec RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 cards, which offer very good value as well.

Finally, while Intel's production woes continue, we've seen decent supply of its high-end Core i7 and Core i9 chips, as well as its new Core i5-9400F, a budget-friendly six-core that we recommend in several builds. Alas, in order to make room for these popular chips on its assembly lines, Intel has already pulled its low-cost Pentium processors from the market, and other Core i5 processors are proving hard to come by. Luckily, mid-range PC builders have a huge range of value-packed Ryzen CPUs from AMD to choose from, and they appear in 11 of our 24 guides this month.


By the way, we've just completed our series of High-End PC Assembly Videos for 2019 - you can check out all our episodes right here! And earlier this year we published a 5-year retrospective on the DIY PC industry. Anyone interested in learning more about how PCs have changed since 2014 would do well to check it out!

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 10 of our 24 guides are Small Form Factor models, and while they are all listed below, you can learn more about Small Form Factor market 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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