"Where Macs Fear To Tread"

Tested/Verry Technical Forums Recommended Computer Builds Preface: In response to the staggering number of build threads, the idea for a single thread where people could get help in putting together components for a DIY build was born. It started with a thread by CROM, and a joint forum operation by Tested and user WolfOfOne's blog to create a Google document and brainstorm ideas. With the Tested Wikia page now live, user Mirado suggested bringing the Google document into a more public setting so that all of the community could edit, update, and suggest recommeneded builds and answer common questions.

We hope that this Wiki will cut down on the number of duplicate threads and consolidate everyone's time and knowledge for the betterment of the community and its users.


The parts for each build are recommended based on the intended usage and price/performance considerations. The best way to choose the computer build that best suits you is to figure out exactly what you are intending to do with your computer, and then match your usage scenario with the builds listed below. If you have any further questions after reading the FAQ/Quide and/or are ready to get started with your build, feel free to answer the support questions (listed above) and start your own thread in the Help Me Buy/Build section. Happy Building!


The biggest question you probably have right now is “Why should I build my own computer when I can go out and buy one?” There are many answers that that question, but the most obvious of which is because you are here, looking at this guide you must at least be considering building your own. And as many DIY’ers can tell you, once you have the build it yourself bug, you’re hooked! Now that that’s settled, on to the FAQ :).


Questions To Answer Before Beginning

  1. What do you plan to do with the computer?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. Where do you live (county/area of the world only)/Where will you be buying your parts from?
  4. How long do you plan to have the computer? Do you upgrade often?
  5. What is your level of tech experience? (be honest)
  6. Do you already have a monitor, keyboard, and/or mouse? Do you already have an OS or individual parts that you can reuse such as a power supply or dvd drive? (please list any you have)
  7. Would you be willing/able to put a computer together yourself (with help if needed, of course)?

Recommended Builds

General Purpose/Workhorse Computer.

This build will be used for Internet browsing, media viewing, email, word processing, and light photo editing.

Starter Mid-range High End Ultra High End Dream
Case Rosewill RS-MI-01 Thermaltake V3
Power Supply 250w (w/ Case) Antec Neo 400w
Motherboard Asrock E350M1 MSI H67MA-E35 (B3)

AMD E-350 APU (On Motherboard)

Intel Core i3 2100
Memory (RAM) A-Data 2GB (1X2) DDR3, 1333MHz G.Skill 4GB (2x2) DDR3, 1300MHz
Graphics Card Integrated Integrated
Hard Disk Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB Samsung Spinpoint 2TB
Operating System

Ubuntu 11.04 x64

Win 7 HP x64

Gaming Computer

Custom Build By Tim

These builds will be used to primarily play PC games. Due to the nature of PC gaming, these builds will also be capable of performing many of the duties that the editing builds are; however, note that often, editing performance is sacrificed in the name of gaming performance. This can be seen when a better graphics card than processor is used compared to the editing builds.

Starter Mid-range High End Ultra High End Dream
Case CM Elite 310 Thermaltake V6 Lian-Li PC60FNWX CM Haf X

Xigmatek Elysium HPTX

Power Supply Antec Neo 400w Corsiar CX600 V2 Corsair 650HX Corsair 850AX Corsair AX1200 1200W
Motherboard ASRock H55LME Gigabyte P67A-UD4 (B3) Asus P8Z67 Asus P8P67 EVGA Classified SR-2 Intel 5520
Processor Intel Core i3 540 Intel Core i5 2500k Core i7 2600k Core i7 2600K 2x Intel Xeon X5680
Memory (RAM) G.Skill 2x2GB



G.Skill 4x2GB G.Skill 4x2GB Corsair XMS3 12x4GB
Graphics Card AMD 5830 Nvidia 560Ti GTX 580 2x AMD 6950 3x AMD 6990
Hard Disk Drive WD Caviar Black Samsung 2TB Vertex2,WD Black (SSD used as SRT cache) C400, 2xWD 2TB

Bootable PCIe SSD Revo Z, 6xWD Caviar Black 2TB

Operating System Win 7 HP x64

Win 7 HP x64

Win 7 HP x64 Win 7 HP x64 Windows 7 x64

Home Theater PC

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Courtesy Flickr user aleutia

The Home Theater PC, commonly abbreviated to HTPC is a computer specifically built to play media-- generally including HD content and cable programming-- and integrate into your home theater setup by outputting the display to your TV and outputting sound to your surround sound setup or TV speakers. They are generally built in smaller Mini-ITX or HTPC specific cases that are wider than they are tall and fit into the rack space under your TV or in your equiptment cabinent. They can be controlled by more traditional looking TV remotes or by keyboard and mouse.

Starter Mid-range High End Ultra High End Dream
Case Rosewill RS-MI-01
Power Supply 250 Watt (W/ Case)
Motherboard Asus F1A75-I
Processor AMD Llano 3850
Memory (RAM) G.Skill 2x2GB
Graphics Card Integrated
Hard Disk Drive Samsung F4 2TB
Operating System Win 7 HP x64 Win 7 HP x64 Win 7 HP x64 Win 7 HP x64

Computer Build Videos on

How To Build a Future-Proof Gaming PC for $1500

Will and Norm help editor Jeff Gerstmann build a new gaming PC.

How To Build An Awesome $500 Home Server

How To Build An Awesome $1500 PC