Im curious what the rest of you think about this. I think its a nice little contest but the rules are a bit vague and since this is a new form of it thats to be expected. I put in my suggestions for three of them.
What i hope to see out of the next run of this is a bit more clarity about the requirements for each build, more reasonable budgets(1k for an AMD build is alot 2K is a ton), and some restrictions on parts, like no power supplies that dont have APFC.
While using cheaper parts can make it easier to fit stuff in the budget i feel like we kind of have a responsibility to encourage people to move onto current tech and not get anything that might blow on them. I would hate for someone to take one of the office PC builds that we posted and have the PSU blow on them because the winner used a low quality unit to free up budget. My reason for an APFC restriction is that while it may not save the residential user any money, some commercial and industrial facilities are charged a difference rated based on their PF and if all of the computers in the country used APFC it would save the power companies lots of money and reduce power needs, so we can help the environment a bit while we are at it.
Anyway, what do you think of this time around and what do you want to see in the future?
I think it might be useful to more clearly state the budget restrictions and whether or not specific resale shops are to be used. For example, if you can find something for $50 on site A, but it's $25 on site B that few people know about, is that valid? Or newegg combos/discounts/etc. Clearly the price is available, but if it's not the standard price at most retailers, does it count?
I'd agree that some ground rules about the components would be handy. There are some kind of ridiculous builds in some of those threads, enough so that it didn't seem worthwhile to post a build after 10-15 people have replied.