This is a placeholder for the brands and parts that I both use and trust in my computers as well as custom builds and as replacement/upgrade parts.
Intel for processors. AMD is Intel’s main competitor and they produce some great chips but have fallen back behind Intel. They haven’t produced a high end processor in a while (as of 4/30/2016) and they are losing the budget market as well. Intel provides processors that have great built-in graphics and there’s plenty of room on the 1151 socket for future upgrades.
ASUS and Gigabyte for motherboards. ASUS seems to be taking the lead and dominating newer UEFI BIOS, more features and higher reliability. If you’re seeking out a motherboard, look for one that has heatsinks on the mosfets (small chips usually located to the rear and above the CPU socket). Higher end and more reliable boards will provide cooling to these chips that provide power to the processor.
G.Skill for memory. I’ve used Corsair in the past and they have great customer support. So does G.Skill. They’re both top-tier RAM suppliers with varying models from budget to high performance. I tend to lean towards G.Skill due to the support I’ve received and considering their prices and reliability, I’ve got no reason to switch.
Corsair for power supplies. I love their higher end Seasonic-designed units. Models such as the RM and AX series are both quality series that will handle anything you throw at them. Stable, quiet and long-lasting.
Corsair, NZXT and Antec for cases. I used to really like the Antec Three Hundred case and I still do but for the price it leaves a bit to be desired. For the average computer user, the NZXT Source 210 is absolutely perfect. Simple design, full-featured and small. The Elite version even has front USB 3.0 ports. I’ve also gotten a Corsair Carbide 300R case and I’m pretty happy with it’s features. I think the NZXT Source 210 is the best for budget builds.