The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four unique yet typical budgets. Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.
After working on this guide for many years, we learned the biggest pitfall of our previous work along with many other buying guides online: they expire shortly after publishing. Prices change daily, components come and go, and the guides simply degrade in worth until they're eventually rewritten months later. Recognizing this, we're taking an alternative approach.
We will add and update new hardware to the mix as it's released. The four builds will be updated on major product launches and we'll keep monitoring components and their prices over the course of weeks and months to catch anything in-between. We wholly welcome your support and input to keep this guide as fresh as possible. With that out of the way, let's take a look at our four price points:
The Budget Box
• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
Granted, if you just need to create a few documents and check your email, you can get by on much less than a $500 desktop. However, if you follow our Budget build to the T, you'll have a system acceptable for any role apart from running graphically intense applications -- which could also be attainable by investing in a dedicated video card.
The Entry-Level Rig
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
Our Entry-Level Rig should be an excellent companion for running general applications and a sufficient solution for even the newest games on the market, albeit with some of the eye-candy dialed down.
The Enthusiast's PC
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
Our Enthusiast's PC incorporates the perfect blend of both the Entry-Level Rig and Luxury System, making this the most harmonious of builds. Our intent is to keep this system within the grasp of the average computer enthusiast, offering a fully-loaded PC minus some of the unnecessary bells and whistles that could set you back an additional grand or two.
The Luxury System
• Workstation-like performance • Heavy multitasking • Extreme gaming
The Luxury System is a screaming-edge machine lacking any virtual price cap. Every component in this guide is thoughtfully scrutinized, offering the most horsepower for your greenback. However, if a component's premium price isn't justified, it simply doesn't make the cut.