Brands and Retailers for Building the Perfect Computer

This blog post is part of a series on my experience building the perfect computer.

Here I list the various retailers, brands, and vendors that I found during this process. While you can get many of the required products on a general e-commerce site like Amazon, it is often helpful to buy from a store with more exotic parts and customer service who can help you use everything and figure out what you need. I mention a lot of other sites in my articles, but here is a comprehensive list of resources that I used. In general, there are a lot of Chinese manufacturers that make cool products like Bykski and Barrow/Barroch.

⁠Retailers 

Performance PCs A Florida-based company. They have a huge selection and knowledgeable staff. While returns are accepted, the process is definitely not as easy as buying from Amazon. They also have a department for doing custom work. They created the custom LED design for the front of my case, and the custom LED PSU Shroud Cover for the side.
Formula Mod An online store with a wide selection of hard-to-find parts. They also have pretty good email-based customer support.
MNPCTech Specializes in difficult-to-find supplies.
Frozen CPU Another popular e-commerce store for computer components.
Mod my Mods Aside from running an online store, the people here are incredibly creative and have the ability to make or modify just about anything that you can think of. They helped me customize the wire routing my case’s backdoors, and they also helped me create the custom hexagonal air-cooling cutouts on the front and top of my case. I would highly recommend using them. Additionally, they have a large assortment of custom-made parts for Phanteks cases.
Mockett This is where I got my casters.
BoltDepot Allows you to buy specific sizes of bolts and screws for your rigs.
DigiKey The perfect place to buy obscure connectors, especially Corsair connectors, to build custom wires.
MODDIY A Chinese company that sells a lot of obscure parts for wiring and wire management. Performance PCs also sells a lot of their parts, but definitely not all of them. They had great customer service – I asked some pretty obscure questions on their chat, and they have pretty quickly come back with a response.
Beyond Customs Custom cables.
Molex.com This can be a good place to research a specific connector that you are trying to find.
Mod One Creates custom cables and sells supplies.
Titan Rig Sells custom cable supplies.
Solo Sleeving Makes custom cables.
Mainframe Customs Makes custom PSU cables and sells supplies.  Their products are also sold on Performance PCs.
CableMod Creates custom cables and has a selection of unique LED strips.
MDPC Sells cable sleeving and modding supplies.
Mountain Glass Sells borosilicate glass tubing that can be used in water-cooling.
McMaster Carr Sells borosilicate glass tubing that can be used in water cooling.


Brands

Alphacool A German company that makes a huge selection of really unique items.  I did have one of their acrylic water filters leak and ruined a graphics card, but other than that, their products seem very high quality.  Their main catalog is German and can be hard to navigate, but many other English-speaking retailers sell their products.
Bykski

This Chinese manufacturer offers a huge selection of components, focusing on water-cooling. Much of their catalog is in Chinese, and many of their best parts are only available in China – but there are definitely a lot of their parts sold in English-speaking retailers. The Bykski.us store is actually run by PrimoChill, who imports a pretty extensive (but not exhaustive) selection of their parts. 

To find more of a selection, check out AliExpress.com.

This site sells a selection of Bykski products in the US. PrimoChill actually runs it as a collaborative.

Phanteks

A Dutch company specializing in cases, lighting and water-cooling.  I bought my EvolvX case from them, which some say is the best case currently available.  Their products are available on Amazon and through their US Importer.

While their products look fantastic, every once in a while, you will find they sacrifice some function for the sake of a better design. For instance, their cases have notoriously poor air floor – however, this has some companies to specialize in creating custom cutouts in Phanteks cases to improve airflow, allowing me to create the custom hexagonal design in my case.

I also started off using their water-cooling fittings, but I found that while they looked amazing, the threading would sometimes get stripped, and parts would get stuck on.  It is also worth mentioning that their acrylic components are nice looking but extremely brittle.  I had one of their CPU Blocks gets cracks in it after a few months of use, and I had to go through a few of their reservoirs before I could get all of the fittings on it without it getting cracked (although I did end up using it since it looks so lovely).

Barrow Barrow/Barrowch is a Chinese manufacturer of water-cooling fittings.  Their catalog is vast, and they have a lot of really cool and unique products.
PrimoChill PrimoChill is an American manufacturer of water-cooling components with a solid reputation. After an exhaustive comparison, I ended up using their water-cooling fittings. Additionally, they offer a wide range of exciting colors. I did have some problems with inconsistent coloring in their products, and a few of the parts that I bought from them came defective, but I did choose their UV Silver Blue finish, which they tell me is by far the trickiest color that they make – requiring several coats to get right.
EKWB EKWB is a manufacturer of water-cooling components.
Thermaltake Thermaltake makes a wide variety of products, but I looked at them for the water-cooling components. While they do have some interesting offerings, including fittings with 4 o-rings, they have a very poor reputation in the water-cooling community so I choose to go in a different direction.
Corsair Corsair has a wide range of products, from mainstream to modder. I ended up using their iCue system to control the LEDs and Fans in my system – it comes with excellent software.
Razer I used Razer for my mouse and keyboard.


Custom Work

The following companies do custom work for computers.

Performance PCs
ModMyMods
CableMod Creates custom PSU cables that are highly regarded.
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