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The Builds

DIY PC Builder's Update, January 3, 2021

Welcome to TBG's DIY PC Build Guides! This is where you'll find all the best PC builds on the 'net, from ultra-compact home office PCs to massive gaming towers. In total, we offer up 24 distinct DIY PC Build guides, updated with the latest and greatest components. And while we know our readers stumble upon a lot of other sites during their research, what we do is completely different: we professionally curate every build based on relationships we have with dozens of manufacturers and our constant testing of the latest products. That means our PC Builds are the most up-to-date builds you'll find anywhere.

The last few months of 2020 were totally epic in terms of major PC component releases, but also total mayhem in terms of product availability. Most surprising to us is that AMD's launch of its Zen 3 processors went a bit haywire. While the 19% uplift they offered over Zen 2 processors was amazing, two months since release they are still nearly impossible to buy. 19% is cool and all, but not that cool. Our hunch is that AMD launched these early to get people talking about them, but had very limited capacity to deliver them. Hey, people were excited about Zen 3, so AMD gave them excitement... but not so much product. Luckily for CPU shoppers, Intel has responded to AMD's phantom assault with massive price drops on its 10th-Gen "Comet Lake" processors, including its 10-core behemoths, and Intel's Core CPUs are now clearly a much better value than AMDs (and are also actually in stock). In the video card arena, Nvidia launched new RTX 3000-series GPUs starting at $400 all the say up to $1500 starting back in September, but not a single one can be purchased. The same goes for AMD's RX 6800 and RX 6900 series, which target the $600 to $1000 price bracket and launched in November. At this point the only option is to use built-in video on Intel's CPUs for the time being, or buy a sub-$200 EVGA GeForce video card to qualify for EVGA's generous Step-Up program, allowing you to queue up for a trade to the 3060 Ti, 3070, 3080, or 3090.

The SFF Builds

Note that many of the PC builds we profile 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're spending all of our editorial and review time over at YouTube, which is where we've rolled out overview videos for many of our builds. You can post any question in and we'll answer it! And don't forget to subscribe while you're there to make sure you don't miss out! Moving forward, only our very popular build guides will continue to get the "written" treatment, and if you appreciate the work we do on these, don't forget to use our Amazon and Newegg links to support continued publication of these guides.

Using the TBG PC Build Guides

Whether it's your first, tenth, or hundredth time building a PC, these guides will set you up with the best components you can buy. 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 Build Guide for that build. Happy hunting, and good luck with whichever build you choose!

We'd like to express special thanks to SilverStone Technology Co., which sponsors the TBG PC Build Guides. Founded in 2003, SilverStone has made major contributions to PC case design, small form factor PC development, and power supply innovation!


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