The Best PCs You Can Build for $300, $600, and $1200

We've walked you through building your own computer before. In this post—which we'll update periodically as prices and components change—we'll walk you through the hardware we'll need for three different system builds: a budget workstation, a powerful all-purpose PC, and an enthusiast's system for gamers and media professionals.

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Update - September 2014. It's been a while since our last update, and since then AMD has solidified itself among budget PC builders, and the new generation of Intel-friendly motherboards—all ready for Broadwell (coming later this year or early 2015) have hit the market. Even so, not too many people are hyped about Broadwell, and component prices have come down in a few areas. The holidays are coming, so we're seeing a little spiking in some areas (likely to make room for discounts when holiday spending starts), but it's still an all-around good time to build a powerful PC without spending a ton of money. If you're in the mood to wait, hang in there—prices will likely only go down over the holidays, and these components won't

be superseded before the end of the year.

As usual, we're using PCPartPicker to put together our builds. We love it, and think you should use it too—it gives you more flexibility in your part buying, helps you eliminate possibly incompatible components. Plus it makes sure you get he best prices for the items you plan to buy, even if it means you have to buy them from different retailers. If you have your own PCPartPicker builds you want to show off, make sure to link them up in the discussions below!

As always, keep in mind that prices change all the time, so if you're checking this and the prices have changed, just head back to PCPartPicker and see if you can find a better price.

Build Versus Buy

The old debate over whether you should build your own system or buy a pre-built one is an old, long-standing argument that will never be easily washed away. However, there are some benefits to building your own system that can't be weighed in terms of dollars and cents. You may be happier with your own hand-built system, or you may be able to score bargains and rebates that lead to a more powerful computer stuffed with higher quality components than a manufacturer would use.


Category: How to computer

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