PC building is a wonderful experience.
Picking your components, putting them together, having to troubleshoot them, realizing that you just forgot to turn on your power supply, the elation at it finally booting. Pure bliss.
Well, maybe not all, but most of it is pretty darn fun.
But a part of what might not be all that fun, and might seem complex at times, is actually picking your components.
Having to pick each part, one by one, while trying to keep compatibility is a painful experience.
It’s not all that hard if you have the know-how, but it can be tedious and repetitive if you don’t enjoy the process. And that’s no fun.
That’s where PC-building websites come in.
They’re the metaphorical sandbox, or lab, in your PC building journey where you can quickly and easily throw together parts and design a PC in 10 to 15 minutes and know that everything is compatible.
So, in this article, I will outline some of the best PC-building sites around to make your choice even easier!
PCPartPicker is the best custom PC builder around, period.
They’re not a system integrator, they don’t put together your PC for you. You still have to do that on your own. But boy, do they make pretty much every step of the initial PC design stage trivially easy.
Their selection of available parts and peripherals is unmatched, and their thorough compatibility filters make sure that you don’t have to worry about any potential incompatibilities.
And when you’re done putting together your PC, you can simply order them all from the websites they provide or order them from various shops to get the best deals all around.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, PCPartPicker is an absolute boon to the PC building community, and regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a veteran builder, if you’re planning on building a PC yourself, PCPartPicker is the place to go.
At the risk of sounding just slightly biased, I’ve included our own in-house PC builder as well. Picking out individual parts (with PCPartPicker) and designing your own PC is all well and good, but for some people, that’s a lot of work they don’t want to do.
That’s where our builder shines.
Especially when it comes to PCs that will be used for tasks other than gaming. Don’t get me wrong, gaming PCs are wonderful. But gaming isn’t the only use for a PC.
If you want a good outline to figure out what you might need for a professional PC for 3D modeling, rendering, editing, etc., our builder can take any budget and spit out a PC for your specific needs.
And not just PCs, we have laptops every professional needs too!
A bit of a newer addition to the PC building website collective, Newegg’s PC builder is a clever and very useful tool to build your PCs if you’re planning on doing your shopping with Newegg.
Considering Newegg’s longstanding history as a retailer of PC components and the wide selection of components that they offer, having their own PC building service is a very logical next step.
Especially to funnel the users into buying from their website right after they completed their build.
And one of the main attractions of Newegg’s offering compared to others is just that, their customizability.
Compared to the paltry options that many other PC builders give you, Newegg gives you total freedom to choose exactly what you want, but then still gives you the ease of mind of having your components put together by a professional.
Maingear is one of the most well-known PC system integrators around. They’re known for their well-sourced components and extremely professional build quality, at the expense of being more pricey, sadly.
Maingear’s custom PC builder offers you a wide selection of components, peripherals, and cosmetic detailing that you can choose to add. They’re hands down one of the best PC building companies around when it comes to custom liquid cooling.
If you have the extra money to spare and want an absolutely blinged-out PC built with care, Maingear is a great option.
And we’ve all done it: You can always just use their PC-Builder Tool to put together your dream PC and check for compatibility, and then order parts elsewhere at discount and assemble yourself if that’s more up your alley.
Compared to some of the other big names out there, Xidax is a relatively smaller PC system integrator, but that’s not a point against it.
Because of the special attention and care they put into their customer support, Xidax is a great option for many beginner PC enthusiasts.
If you have any questions or concerns about your PC, they’re willing to help you out and make things right.
Their PC building options aren’t as comprehensive as I would like, but it’s not bad by a long shot. And they offer some great customization offers as well, such as changing the colors of the sleeving or even laser etching designs onto your PC if you wish.
They’re reliable, they make good PCs, and they don’t skimp on the essentials. If you want a PC built, you won’t go wrong with them.
Skytech is another smaller PC system integrator but is a great option if you live in the US.
Their custom PC builder starts you off with four different PC build options at four different price points, so regardless of your budget, you’ll get a good PC.
They don’t have superfluous charges, they have great customer support, and if you choose the option, you can see your PC being built in real-time on stream!
I specifically like their wide selection of case options, most system integrators choose one case for one type of PC and don’t allow much wiggle room, but Skytech gives you all the options and tells you to go wild.
How Reliable Are PC Building Companies?
It depends. PC building isn’t a business with high margins for the most part, and there is a lot of competition.
To be able to pay staff and expand, these companies need to make some cuts or increase prices.
When it comes to most of the $1000 to $2000 builds, they choose to make some cuts instead.
This means that they use cheaper components that technically are what they say they are, but might not be the most ideal option.
For example, going with a smaller GPU to cut costs when a bigger GPU would give much better cooling or going with a cheap no-name PSU because no one really cares about the PSU—until it burns down your house.
This isn’t all PC building companies, of course, some choose to just increase prices across the board but keep everything else at a relatively high level of quality. So that’s why it really depends.
Your best bet is to research any company that you might buy from to make sure that they’re the latter and not the former.
Do You Really Need an Extended Warranty?
Well, it depends.
Are you a caring person that doesn’t move their PC all that much and makes sure to keep up on the cleaning? Then probably not.
Do you take your PC everywhere with you and are prone to getting it dinged up and battered by all sorts of things? Then yeah, you probably would benefit from an extended warranty.
But in general, for most purposes, you don’t need an extended warranty.
Do You Need to Check the Compatibility of the Parts PC Builder Sites Give?
If the PC builder site is worth anything at all, then no.
The main draw of PC building sites is that they do all that for you.
They do all the compatibility checks to make sure that you can just pick and choose what you feel like without having to check for incompatibilities.
There might be small compatibility issues that these sites can’t account for, but it’s usually rare to run into these and there usually are workarounds to still make it work.
Is It Better to Buy a PC or Build a PC?
I’m biased here. I like building my own PCs, and I will always prefer building my own PCs. But that isn’t a realistic option for everybody.
Sometimes you just want something that you can buy and use without having to fuss with it. If that’s the case, your best bet is to buy a PC.
There are some obvious cons that come with it, however.
Such as not having as much customizability as if you had built it yourself, not knowing how to troubleshoot your own problems, having to rely on an external company for support that may or may not be shoddy, receiving bargain bin components (especially PSUs) that the company used to cut costs, the cost of the build being much higher than if you had built it yourself, etc.
But there are some pros to it as well, such as the ease of use, having customer support to help you out if there are any major issues that are hard to self-troubleshoot, warranties, special design elements that they can do for you, etc.
So it really depends. If it’s at all possible, I always recommend building your own PC. But if that option is not on the table, then buying a PC from a reputable system integrator is your best bet.