PC Build Guide: Creating Custom Builds for All Budgets

June 4, 2024
Justin Lumiere

Customizing a PC build based on budget and performance requirements offers more control over the components used, leading to potential cost savings compared to purchasing pre-built systems. Detailed recommendations and parts lists are provided for various budget ranges, from sub-$500 systems to high-end $4,000+ dream machines, catering to both gaming and productivity needs.

Key Components and Their Selection

The PC builds are structured around key components such as the CPU, GPU, SSD, motherboard, and RAM, with specific recommendations for each price range to achieve the desired performance levels. The emphasis is on selecting components based on performance benchmarks, market research, and price considerations. For optimal gaming experience, the focus is heavily on components like the GPU, CPU, and SSD.

person holding black and silver dj controller

Cost and Performance Balance

Balancing cost and performance is crucial. It's advised not to compromise on critical components such as the power supply and cooling solutions to ensure system stability and longevity. Recommendations are provided for each component with detailed explanations, including the rationale behind choices like GPU models, CPU performance, motherboard compatibility, RAM capacity, SSD speed, and power supply efficiency.

A close up of a computer motherboard

Advice on Building a PC

Practical advice on building a PC covers topics like selecting GPUs over specific graphics card models, choosing suitable cooling solutions, expanding RAM capacity, and the significance of power supply quality. Build examples for various price points, such as $500, $800, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, and $4,000+, are included with detailed component recommendations and performance insights for each build.

Recommended PC Builds by Budget
$500Ryzen 3 3200GIntegrated Vega 88GB DDR4500GB SSDB450
$800Intel i5-10400FGTX 1650 Super16GB DDR41TB SSDZ490
$1,000Ryzen 5 5600XRTX 306016GB DDR41TB NVMe SSDX570
$1,500Intel i7-10700KRTX 307032GB DDR41TB NVMe SSDZ490
$2,000Ryzen 9 5900XRTX 308032GB DDR42TB NVMe SSDX570
$4,000+Intel i9-12900KRTX 309064GB DDR42TB NVMe SSDZ690

Cost-Saving Strategies

Seeking discounts, deals, and promo codes to save on component purchases is essential. Suggestions include checking for sales on platforms like Newegg, Corsair, and Best Buy to optimize budget savings. This approach ensures that the best possible components are acquired without overspending.

Green Circuit Board

Taking a DIY Approach

Building a PC from parts is likened to assembling Ikea furniture in terms of complexity. Due to component shortages related to cryptocurrency mining and global silicon scarcity, availability and inflated prices can still be an issue. Buyers are cautioned against third-party markups when purchasing components online and are recommended to stick to first-party sales to avoid overpaying.

My computer components. It's like Christmas in June!
"My computer components. It's like Christmas in June!" by IvyMike is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Tools and Resources

Using tools like PCPartPicker to compile a list of components ensures compatibility and ease of assembly. Keeping a list of desired components, current inventory, and budget helps in organizing the build efficiently. Regardless of the purpose (e.g., home office or gaming), the required components remain the same.

Understanding Components

RAM is the short-term memory essential for running applications smoothly, with a minimum of 16GB recommended for gaming. SSDs, particularly NVMe for faster performance, are suggested over HDDs for gaming. PSUs should be chosen based on quality and capacity, with modular options offering better cable management. System cooling options include air and liquid cooling, with liquid cooling offering better efficiency but at a higher cost.

Peripherals and OS

Choosing peripherals like monitors, keyboards, mice, and headphones is a matter of personal preference but should complement the hardware. Windows 11 is recommended for utilizing the latest hardware fully, and preparing an OS installer on a USB flash drive is suggested for streamlined setup.

Using Up-to-Date Build Guides

Accessing updated build guides, such as those offered by TBG, ensures that users get the best components available based on the latest market trends. These guides are periodically synchronized with the latest component releases, ensuring relevance and optimal performance for DIY PC builders.

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