The Best Custom PC Builders as of 2018
Building your own gaming PC is great, isn’t it? You not only have the freedom to choose which specific parts you want, but you can also plan your upgrades ahead of time.
While this whole process may be exciting for those that are technologically savvy, it could be rather scary and even a little bit intimidating for those that aren’t.
But what if I told you that you can work with the best custom PC builders out there? PC builders who are experts in the field can piece together the custom computer that perfectly matches your room, personality, or is just your dream rig all through the power of customization.
DISCLAIMER: The names are arranged in alphabetical order because custom building is very subjective. This is why we’re naming several trusted custom PC builders.
Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Custom PC Builder
Before we discuss the names, let’s first look at the things that really matter when choosing a custom PC builder.
Ultimately, cost will be your first way of narrowing down all the builders we have on this list. It can be hard to find a price, or even range, considering there are a ton of factors that may affect the total cost of a build, such as shipping fees, custom paint, LEDs, warranties, etc.
But going in with a budget can make sure you don’t overextend yourself when you are trying to get your dream PC. As you compare different services and their costs, it might be a good idea to bust out a spreadsheet or, at the very least, a pen and some paper.
I know I just alluded to warranties, but they are very important and people rarely give them enough attention.
Most of these companies only offer a 1-year warranty for parts and 3-years for labor but they can be extended depending on the type of system you ordered or possible warranty extension packages they may offer.
It’s also worth noting how much you can customize the PC. We hate to say it, but there are so many websites, and so many things you can possibly customize, that we couldn’t possibly cover it all here. So, if you’re really serious about the details, you will need to check out some of the various sites to see exactly what you can customize.
Some of the companies mentioned below can customize every bit of the system from the chassis, hardware components, to the paint, while others are limited only to hardware and chassis, like Alienware.
Each custom PC builder has their own specific standard when it comes to customer service.
A personal experience may differ from one company to another but there are just some that have more positive experiences than the negative.
Also, we have a comparison table near the end of this article so you can check their respective service/answering hours and compare the fees/warranties.
Brand is the last thing you should worry about when choosing a custom PC builder since all of the below custom PC builders are among the most trusted names by many people from around the world.
If it’s about custom PC builders, Alienware is no alien in the industry (get what I did there?). The iconic alien-inspired design isn’t all they have to offer, though. Under the hood, it’s packed exclusively with high-end hardware components. This means their products are expensive, but high-quality.
Almost all of their systems come with a 1-year warranty as a standard-- but they can be extended. Be warned, though, their one-year limited hardware warranty doesn’t cover phone servicing. However, in their eyes, this allows them to only provide customers the services they need instead of inflating the cost upfront to offset the cost of long term customer support, which you might never need or use.
Alienware’s prices vary greatly from custom setups, new setups, system fixes, troubleshooting, etc. Nevertheless, you get quality service no matter what type of support you choose to pay for.
AVADirect has been providing quality custom PC services since 2000.
They offer customization services that extend to complex systems such as: out-of-the-factory overclocking, custom water cooling loops, premium chassis paint jobs, and even premium cabling.
If you decide to get a custom PC with AVADirect, you are given a 1-year to 3-year warranty depending on the system and warranty purchased.
Their tech support is also one of their strong suits. They understand that not everyone is technically literate. This is why they make sure they hire only the best technical specialists and feed them with constant training to make them masters at configuring custom computers.
When it comes to pricing, AVADirect may be one of the cheaper-priced PC building companies overall, but remember that the costs vary, especially when it comes to custom painting.
CyberPowerPC is known for producing very affordable premium-grade gaming PCs. In fact, they are one of the most popular PC building companies to date thanks to their very wide array of gaming PCs from different price ranges.
They don’t cut corners when it comes to warranties; most of the desktop systems they offer have a 3-year labor warranty. They also offer lifetime technical support which sets them apart from most of their peers.
While they definitely highlight their affordable gaming PC category, they also offer custom builds that may appeal more to hardcore gamers. Services offered range from basic overclocking, complex water cooling solutions, neat cable management, and paint jobs (their paint jobs aren’t the premium set by some of the others on this list, but they are still high quality.)
Digital Storm have been building custom gaming PCs since 2002. Moreover, they not only make custom desktops, but also custom laptops and other setups, depending on the client’s specifications.
They have a 3-year limited warranty for labor and 1 year for parts. They offer a diverse warranty package and even a 6-year labor warranty and 4-year parts extended warranty, only for $499.
Much like CyberPowerPC, they provide lifetime tech-support and are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The services that Digital Storm offers are as varied as their warranty offers. You start by choosing whether you want a desktop, a workstation, or a laptop. You can then choose among the different systems they have from as low as $699 to a whopping $3,600+. Specific services aren’t limited within the basic building bundle but rather, they also do well in terms of water cooling configurations and even complex customization setups.
eCollegePC is also known by many because of how affordable their custom PC builds are. Since their founding in 2000, they’ve made a name for themselves helping college students game with affordable, yet powerful rigs; which is undoubtedly why college is in their name.
While eCollegePC may not be as popular as the rest of the names on this list, the customer support quality, intelligent technicians, and the wide selection of cases makes them worth checking out.
Among the custom PC builders, they are one of the few that offers a 3-year warranty for parts and labor. They may be small but they are definitely worth your attention.
Falcon Northwest was founded back in 1992, so you know they’ve been doing something right. While their service is more expensive, the commonly held belief is that it’s worth it.
The company also places a large focus on the exterior aesthetic of your rig. Not only do they offer the standard array of unique cases, they also use automotive-quality paint to come up with stunning designs and prints for the cases.
You can even have custom artwork done, although you will have to work with them to get an exact price estimate.
They also offer lifetime tech support that will cater to your needs from 9 AM to 6 PM Pacific Time 7 days every week. They offer a 3-year parts and labor warranty except for the Talon.
Buyers also have the opportunity to get their money back within 30 days if they aren’t satisfied with the performance of the rig; however, the cost of any artwork is non-refundable.
The list of custom build PCs on the iBuyPower website is more geared towards users who know about computers than some of the other options on this site. This gives them an unique share in the market.
iBuyPower provides a standard 3-year warranty for labor and 1-year warranty for parts. However, they are also known for offering 4-year and 5-year extended warranty for parts. It should be noted that you will have to contact them to buy an extended warranty.
When you purchase from iBuyPower, you are automatically given a 30-day money back guarantee. But keep in mind that they don’t cover the shipping and handling. Moreover, this also is subject to a restocking fee of 15%.
Maingear is a trusted custom PC builder that is well known because of how well they treat their customers.
Parts are covered for 1 year on all systems and it will then cost you $99 for a 2-year extended warranty or $199 for a 3-year extended warranty.
If you want a high-end custom built PC, the prices also differ. If you want to go with a high-end PC warranty, prices start at $199 and could go as high as $399. These warranties also range from virtual on-site, phone support, remote diagnostic software, and the list goes on.
They are ready to serve from Monday to Friday every 10 AM to 7 PM EST. On Saturdays, they also cater to a customer’s needs from 10 AM to 5 PM EST.
Should there be problems with the unit within 30 days, you can get your money back but you are subject to a 20% restocking fee. The paint and shipping cost, along with orders that are over $5000, will be excluded from the 20% restocking fee.
Origin PC is among the most popular PC building companies that enthusiasts trust. They have been producing quality custom PCs for years.
The company offers a variety of warranties, ranging from one year, two years, and three years parts warranty-- and even free shipping warranties. But this excludes the software, the accessories, as well as any damages that are far beyond the company’s control, like natural disasters and such.
Their staffs are so skilled that their systems can be overclocked up to 5.2GHz - guaranteed safe. These are put through an intensive three-day stress test to ensure that it is ready for you.
Like most well-known custom PC builders, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee. And like Maingear, they also subject a restocking fee but only 15%. Also, like any custom builder, paints and services aren’t refundable.
The fees for their services differ and it depends on whether or not you go with extensive color options or go with pre-designs. You can also have your custom design, but the cost will depend on the level of complexity and whatnot.
Puget Systems is located in Auburn, Washington. They focus on providing their consumers with high-quality builds that range from basic use, gaming, to server computers-- and even laptops.
Their customer service staffs are known for being accommodating and knowledgeable. Loaded with professional knowledge about a range of computer products, they always offer the best-fit computer whether you want a basic computer for personal use or one that will be used for servers.
What makes Puget Systems a choice for many is the fact that they focus on building computers with actual computer parts-- not a jet engine (which is ironic since their name references the Puget sound). In fact, this is what made them popular as they are known for building very quiet systems with high-quality fans and soundproofing.
Reliability is yet another thing they provide. They do intensive tests to ensure that the rig will last. They use software and hardware to pinpoint the heat maps and determine how many fans the system really needs.
If you know nothing about computers and you want this to be silent at the same time, you can rely on Puget Systems.
Velocity Micro is just like the rest of the best custom PC builder websites out there. They do the building by hand and they make sure these are tested out through a rigorous testing process.
They are very specific when it comes to testing and even included a 200-point checklist on top of 60 cycles of testing to ensure that the system is ready to take on any challenge.
What sets them apart from the rest of the bandwagon is their lifetime in-house tech support. Because of this, there won’t be any miscommunications between you and the tech support over the phone.
Furthermore, they are available from 11 AM to 8 PM EST on Mondays to Fridays. Keep in mind that 24/7 emergency support will only cater to problems that keep the PC from working, such as system failure and boot failure.
As for warranties, Velocity Micro offers a standard 1-year warranty for parts and labor and then a 2-year or 3-year extended warranty whose cost depends on whether or not you have a high-end or a low-end system.
Also, they provide a 30-day money back guarantee, subject to a 15% restocking fee like Origin PC.
What really sets Xidax apart from most of the custom PC builders industry is their lifetime warranty on parts and labor for their desktop systems.
However, the warranty excludes AMD video cards since these come with a limited 2-year warranty. Aside from that, their liquid cooling components also are covered separately with a 1-year warranty.
If there are defective components, they usually replace them with new, used, refurbished, or comparable parts. Should the component be too damaged for further repairs, Xidax will then issue an in-store credit instead.
The return policy is where things start to feel stingy. Though they offer a lifetime warranty on parts and labor, returns are exclusively at the discretion of Xidax. They do offer a 45-day money back guarantee if you are approved, which is subject to 20% as restocking fee on top of $75 per day rental fee.
|Custom PC Builder||Warranty||Support/Answer Hours||Restocking Fee|
|Alienware||1 yr for parts & labor (can be extended)||Monday - Friday||5:00AM - 3:00PM EST||15%|
|Saturday||5:00AM - 11:00AM EST|
|AVADirect||1-3+ yrs (depending on the system)||Monday - Friday||8:00AM - 6:00PM EST||15%|
|CyberPowerPC||1 yr for parts; 3 yrs for labor||Monday - Friday||9:30AM. - 11:00PM PST||15%|
|Saturday||12:30PM - 6:00PM EST|
|Digital Storm||1 yr for parts; 3 yrs for labor (can be extended)||Monday - Sunday||12:00PM - 8:00PM EST||15%|
|eCollegePC||3 years parts & labor||Monday - Friday||9:00AM - 6:00PM EST||10%|
|Falcon Northwest||3 years parts & labor||Monday - Sunday||12:00PM - 9:00PM EST||Not specified|
|iBuyPower||3 yrs labor;||Monday - Friday||11:30AM - 8:30PM EST||15%|
|1 yr parts|
|Maingear||1 yr parts; labor & phone support is free||Monday - Friday||10:00AM - 7:00PM EST||20%|
|Saturday||10:00AM - 3:00PM EST||20%|
|OriginPC||1 yr - 3 yrs parts, lifetime labor service||Monday - Friday||9:00AM - 10:00PM EST||15%|
|Saturday - Sunday||11:00AM - 7:00PM EST|
|Puget Systems||1 yr parts; lifetime labor||Monday - Friday||6:00AM - 6PM EST||15%|
|Velocity Micro||1 yr parts;||Monday - Friday||8:00AM - 5:00PM EST||15%|
|1 yr labor|
|Xidax||Lifetime Parts & Labor||Monday - Friday||9:00AM - 10:00PM EST||20%|
|Saturday - Sunday||11:00AM - 7:00PM|
Which Custom PC Builder Did You Choose?
Now that you have an idea which custom PC builder is best for you, it should be easier for you to pick one and get the PC of your dreams.
Have any experience ordering from one of these guys? Or got another hat in the ring? Well, tell us about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your experiences!