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BestConfigs: Intel-Based Office PC

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November 15, 2012 4:27:09 PM

It's that time again! Time to update the Tom's Hardware BestConfigs! Once again, we are opening the field to user recommendations to get the best consensus for the absolute best of the best in each category. Post the best configuration you can put together for the following build category and our editorial team will pick 5 of the best to be put up to a public vote right here in the Systems forum. The top-ranking build will go on to become one of Tom's Hardware BestConfigs and you'll get the credit for having put together a brilliant build with a special credit in the feature article.

Post your entries to this thread for the category of:
Intel-Based Office PC

Stay within $500 (without shipping) and no need to include OS, monitor, mouse/keyboard. To keep things fair and level the playing field, we ask that you restrict your product links to Newegg or Amazon. Please be sure to format your list of components as follows:

Joe's Office Chug-along Rig
Processor: Component Name and Component Price
Motherboard: Component Name and Component Price
RAM: Component Name and Component Price
Graphics Card: Component Name and Component Price
Hard Drive: Component Name and Component Price
Case: Component Name and Component Price
Power Supply: Component Name and Component Price
Cooling: Component Name and Component Price
DVD Burner: Component Name and Component Price

See below for quick-copy/paste text of the BBcode.

  1. [b]Joe's Office Chug-along Rig[/b]
  2. Processor: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  3. Motherboard: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  4. RAM: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  5. Graphics Card: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  6. Hard Drive: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  7. Case: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  8. Power Supply: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  9. Cooling: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]
  10. DVD Burner: [urlExt=http://Link to Component for Sale]Component Name and Component Price[/urlExt]


You can also use the Tom's Hardware System Builder to build your recommendation and use the BBCode export option at the bottom of the build. If you do, be sure to include a link in your post to your build on the app for quick viewing.

Good luck, and may the best builds win!
November 16, 2012 1:49:14 AM
Related resources
November 16, 2012 3:22:36 AM

G-Unit's "Milton's Revenge" Build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $466.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-16 00:23 EST-0500)
November 16, 2012 3:45:46 AM
November 16, 2012 12:30:17 PM

Brandon402's "Snappy Office Box"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($93.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 450W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($73.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer ($29.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $487.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-16 09:27 EST-0500)

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nVPu
November 17, 2012 1:02:24 AM

Sing's "Time is Money Performance Box."

Case: Fractal Design 1000 ($39.99)
Power Supply: Seasonic 300W PSU ($39.99)
Optical Drive: Lite On DVD Burner ($17.99)
SSD: Intel 330 60GB SSD ($)
Motherboard: AsRock B75M ($54.99)
Hard Drive:Seagate 1TB ($49.99)
CPU: Intel G2120 ($94.99)
RAM:Kingston 2 X 4GB DDR3-1600 ($29.99)
Video Card:7750 Sapphire ($99.99)

I would say this is a pretty formidable build. The Fractal is small enough in height to be nicely tucked behind most monitors.
The build features only parts that I consider reliable in the long run, and at this price the components are quite decent.
Seasonic PSU, 60GB Intel SSD (for boot and a few applications), 1TB Seagate HDD, Sapphire 7750 for pushing multiple monitors as well as allowing for snappier response in GPU dependant tasks, and finally an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU with a 3.1GHZ Core Clock.

All at the price of $497.91. :D 
November 17, 2012 4:51:02 AM

JMer806's Perfect Office PC

The parts I picked will give a system that is snappy, reliable, and that has some extra bells-and-whistles like an SSD boot drive and an internal card reader that office users will appreciate. It also comes in almost exactly at $500, because nobody wants to leave money - or performance - on the table.

CPU: Intel i3 3220 ($125)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder CX500 500W 80 Plus Bronze ($37.99)
Optical Drive: Lite On DVD Burner ($17.99)
Boot Drive SSD: Samsung 830 64GB ($63.36)
Storage Drive HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB ($59.99)
Motherboard: ASUS P8H77-V ATX Motherboard ($115.99)
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Low-Profile ($39.99)
Internal Card Reader: BYTECC U2CR-318/Hub 52-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader ($7.49)

Total price after rebates (as of time of build): $497.79

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/o1E3
November 19, 2012 5:38:54 PM

Zared619's "Workman" This nifty little PC will feature a larger 240GB SSD to use as main storage for fast and reliable storage. It also includes a lower end GPU for a little more graphics horsepower, which makes this a very versatile office PC. If the GPU is not necessary and more storage is needed, the GPU can be dropped and an HDD can be added for the same price.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($125.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 2GB Video Card ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $499.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-19 14:39 EST-0500)

EDIT: Previous build post had the processor from NCIX, this one does not.
November 27, 2012 7:53:32 PM

Jay's Current Office Configuration
Processor: [URL =http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115090
]Intel Core i3-2105 3.1GHZ 65W $104.99[/URL]
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX $149.99
RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 $39.99
Graphics Card: Built-In Intel HD3000 Graphics
Hard Drive: Intel 330 Series SSD 120GB $109.99
Case: In Win BQ656 Mini-ITX case w/ 80W PSU $49.99
DVD Burner: [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
]Samsung Slim 8X DVD writer $21.99[/URL]
November 27, 2012 9:32:50 PM

"Meh, the Mitigater" Build -

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS5X Performa CPU Cooler ($13.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI H61M-E33/W8 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($39.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($70.31 @ Amazon)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.90 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Other: SilverStone SST-SDP08B 2 x 2.5" to 3.5" Bay Converter (Black) ($12.99)
Total: $503.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-27 18:49 EST-0500)

Minus the $4.99 for shipping, and its $498.14

I also double-checked the motherboard, which does support 3rd Gen Intel i5s, as well as higher memory OCs. This CPU cooler should perform better than stock, and fit into this case with 6mm to spare.

I tried to alleviate some bottlenecks, like having a great quad-core processor, but giving it the slowest/least amount of RAM. The HDD choice should help in that regard too. Also, cuz every PC nut dreams of sneaking a graphics card into work and putting it in his/her machine, there's headroom with the PSU, and the case supports up to 14" long cards. Don't forget the 2.5" to 3.5" bay converter.
December 4, 2012 2:27:24 PM

It Just Works

Processor: Intel Pentium G630T - $75

Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS - $55

RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 (8-8-8-24) - $29

Graphics Card: None, Intel HD Graphics

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2BAA 128GB - $119

HDD: Western Digital WD RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM - $100

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R - $60

Power Supply: SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze - $40

Cooling: Stock Cooler

DVD Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - $20

Total: $494

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes:
1) I was going to use a 256 GB SSD to go with the low power theme, since regular office machines don't use more than a few GB of space. BUT then i realised that that would go against the reliability theme, so i went for a smaller SSD and a 24x7 rated HDD

2) I intend the HDD to be used only as a backup drive here, that gets turned off automatically (through software power management) after 10 mins and is only woken up to backup stuff, of course that can change depending on the user.

3) Considering (2), the SSD is supposed to be split up as 50 GB for C:, 10 for programs, and the rest for files.

4) This build was based on the fact that our Pentium E5700 based office PC's biggest and most obvious bottleneck is the storage subsystem, which is also why i selected a case with USB 3.0 front ports.

p.s. Going back to last year's best configs, i remember how a $1200 dollar budget only allowed a 40GB SSD :D 
December 4, 2012 2:56:38 PM

Efficency is Money
Processor: i3-3220 ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS mATX ($54.99@ Newegg)
RAM: Kingston HyperX LoVo 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 1.35v ($28.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000D003 1TB 7200rpm SATA3 ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone SST-PS08B mATX ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 450 80+ Gold ($59.99 @ Newegg)
DVD Burner: DVD Burner ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $389.93
I wanted a Low power scheme. The extra ~6-8% efficency you get from the more efficent PSU might not be much if only 1 rig is running but when you scale up to say 50 or more, the extra efficency is hundreds if not thousands of dollars saved each year. Also in the summer time, your air conditioner will have to work less to cool off the office space because the computer is producing less heat, making the more expensive PSU doubly worth it.
December 9, 2012 7:17:12 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rHVb
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rHVb/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rHVb/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($136.32 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($66.48 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Green 1TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer ($29.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $476.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-09 16:57 EST-0500)
December 18, 2012 9:52:40 AM

What's with everyone shoving i3's and i5's into office PC's? If you're going Intel, the Pentium G630T is more than sufficient.
Where are the Trinity builds?
Why are people recommending office PC's without at least 120GB SSD's? The hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in an office environment, and time is money.
Why are people recommending Seagate instead of Western Digital for storage? Seagate currently has terrible reliability.

ojas, my vote would go to your build.
December 18, 2012 11:52:03 AM

Pherule said:
What's with everyone shoving i3's and i5's into office PC's? If you're going Intel, the Pentium G630T is more than sufficient.
Where are the Trinity builds?
Why are people recommending office PC's without at least 120GB SSD's? The hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in an office environment, and time is money.
Why are people recommending Seagate instead of Western Digital for storage? Seagate currently has terrible reliability.

ojas, my vote would go to your build.


In my office 99+% of all files are hosted on our corporate file server, so the only things people really use on their PCs are Outlook, MS Office, a few other office programs (Adobe Acrobat, sometimes photoshop, etc), and the internet. Our office PCs all run on XP with 80GB HDDs. So I designed with that in mind, but with a larger storage drive for a home office. I had to trade off the larger SSD for a good-sized storage drive, but 64GB should be able to hold OS and key programs just fine.

As far as the processor, yeah the Pentium is fine now, but an i3 gives the system flexibility and longevity, which are both important in an office environment when you don't want to turn over equipment very often.
January 10, 2013 9:54:06 AM

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.5 Ghz = $322.28
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW 4096 MB GPU = $559.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77 = $239.99
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series Black 800D Full Tower = $254.99
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus = $24.98
Thermal Paste: Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound Paste = $8.35
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1600 Mhz RAM = $81.88
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series SP120 High Performance Edition = $23.99
PSU: Antec High Current Pro 850 Watt 80 PLUS GOLD Modular PSU = $179.71
DVD-RW: Asus DRW-24B3LT 24x Internal DVD-RW Drive = $59.95
SSD: Crucial v4 128GB SSD = $89.99
HDD: WD Green Desktop 2TB Hard Drive = $107.98
OS: WIN 7 Home Premuim SP1 64 Bit = $89.98

Total: $2084.06
January 10, 2013 11:22:37 AM

RyanHooli said:
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.5 Ghz = $322.28
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW 4096 MB GPU = $559.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77 = $239.99
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series Black 800D Full Tower = $254.99
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus = $24.98
Thermal Paste: Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound Paste = $8.35
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1600 Mhz RAM = $81.88
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series SP120 High Performance Edition = $23.99
PSU: Antec High Current Pro 850 Watt 80 PLUS GOLD Modular PSU = $179.71
DVD-RW: Asus DRW-24B3LT 24x Internal DVD-RW Drive = $59.95
SSD: Crucial v4 128GB SSD = $89.99
HDD: WD Green Desktop 2TB Hard Drive = $107.98
OS: WIN 7 Home Premuim SP1 64 Bit = $89.98

Total: $2084.06


Pretty sure you're in the wrong thread.
January 15, 2013 5:15:42 PM

This topic has been desticky in top of the forum by Jpishgar
!