The design and construction of a high resolution modular x-ray computed tomography (XCT) system is described. The approach for meeting a specified set of performance goals tailored toward experimental versatility is highlighted. The instrument is unique in its detector and x-ray source configuration, both of which enable elevated optimization of spatial and temporal resolution. The process for component selection is provided. The selected components are specified, the custom component design discussed, and the integration of both into a fully functional XCT instrument is outlined. The novelty of this design is a new lab-scale detector and imaging optimization through x-ray source and detector modularity.