|Brands and Retails for Building the Perfect Computer
This blog post is part of a series on my experience building my perfect computer. As part of my job at Member.buzz, I needed a high-performance computer for programming, graphic design, and video rendering. I also wanted it to look the part; looking as beautiful on the outside as it is in the inside.
This article focuses on describing the various brands, retailers, and vendors that I used while building my computer. While you can get many of the required parts and products on a general e-commerce site like Amazon, it is often helpful to buy from a store that offers knowledgeable customer service.
This is my list of stores that I used to buy everything I needed for my build.
| ||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.|
|An online store with a wide selection of hard-to-find parts. They also have pretty good email-based customer support.|
|Specializes in difficult-to-find supplies.|
|Another popular e-commerce store for computer components. I didn't end up actually buying anything from them.|
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 to create a variety of customizations for my computer including custom machining hexagonal airflows ducts into my case.
I would highly recommend using them. Additionally, they have a large assortment of custom parts for Phanteks cases.
This is a great place to get commercial furniture, electronics, and accessories. In particular, I got the casters that I added to my case from them.
They sell a variety of bolts and screws in various shapes and colors.
The perfect place to buy obscure connectors (especially Corsair Connectors) to build custom wires.
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.
|They create custom cables, especially motherboard cables.|
|This can be a good place to research a specific connector that you are trying to find.|
|Creates custom cables and sells supplies.|
|Sells custom cable supplies.|
|Makes custom cables.|
|Makes custom PSU cables and sells supplies. Their products are also sold on Performance PCs.|
|Creates custom cables and has a selection of unique LED strips.|
|Sells cable sleeving and modding supplies.|
Sells borosilicate glass tubing that can be used in custom water-cooling.
|Sells hardware and supplies as well as borosilicate glass tubing.|
Sells borosilicate glass tubing.
There are a few brands (e.g. Barrow / Bykski) that do not sell all of their products in the US. AliExpress is a great way of ordering products from Asia directly.
The following list of brands include those that I either tried out or ended up using for my build.
|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.|
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.
Be careful that you double-check what material their parts are made out of - I accidentally bought some water-cooling components that ended up containing aluminum.
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, 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 get 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 nice).
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.
The best place to find their products is on Ali Express.
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.
Outside of their fittings, they have a tendency to resell other people's products (with a huge markup) by just putting it into a PrimoChill box. For instance, they sell borosilicate tubes but at a 10x markup of the retailers listed above.
EKWB is a manufacturer of water-cooling components. They are a big thought-leader in the custom computing world.
Make sure that you check which line of products you are purchasnig because they do offer a line of aluminum products.
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.
|I used Razer for my mouse and keyboard.|
While some of these were mentioned above, I wanted to highlight the best companies I found to do custom work.
|They created the centerpiece of my design, a custom LED logo.|
|They helped me do completely|
|Creates custom PSU cables that are highly regarded.|
They are an excellent provider of custom acrylic products. They helped me create my GPU bracket.
They created some really amazing custom cable combs that I installed into my case.
As you may have realized, this series of articles has very little to do with the products provided by Member.buzz. However, we thought some of the research we did while building this computer would be useful to others.