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Voting Time! Choose This Quarter’s Best Configs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 38 comments

During the course of the past month, we've received tons of your suggestions for the Best Configs section. Our staff went through each of them and selected a handful for our nine builds. Now it's time for you to pick your favorite in each category.

Disenfranchised with the voting process? Well, don’t be! In this quarter’s Best Configs refresh, you’re the one who decides the most attractive build for each of our nine unique configurations.

In the past, we’ve picked the parts for these systems ourselves. But who likes having decisions made for them? We certainly don't! During the course of the past month, readers have been submitting their own ideas for Best Configs through our Systems Forum. We’ve picked a handful of options from each list of submissions and now present them to you for a community vote.

We’ll leave the polls open for a week, after which time we’ll update the Best Configs section on Tom’s Hardware, crediting each winning forum member with his or her list of components for the world to see!

No matter which setup you pick, rest assured that taxes won’t go up and public debt won’t skyrocket as a result of stimulus you never see. To the contrary, your friends and family who visit the site will have an easily-accessible resource for picking the parts that go into their next PC—all thanks to your sage wisdom! Think of this as a bailout for enthusiasts who simply don’t have enough time to research every component out there.

Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC
Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC
High-End Intel Gaming PC
Intel-Based Office PC
High-end AMD Gaming PC
AMD-Based Office PC
MicroATX Gaming Build
Home Theater PC
High-End Workstation

And a bit of additional news: we’re listening to your feedback. Next time around, we’ll be more specific about the submission format, rebates, shipping, and combo deals at various pricing sources on the Web. Moreover, we’ll give more guidance on the purpose of various builds to make spec’ing out the Workstation config, for example, a little easier. Thanks for weighing in on the process—we appreciate the community response!

Best regards,

Chris Angelini
Managing Editor, Tom’s Hardware US

Follow Chris Angelini on Twitter
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  • 5 Hide
    AMW1011 , September 30, 2010 12:19 AM
    Wow... a budget gaming build in my mind is sub $800. A high end gaming rig is above $1000. I mean, a $1200 gaming rig IS NOT BUDGET, which I priced most of the Intel rigs around.
  • 4 Hide
    cangelini , September 30, 2010 12:23 AM
    There's always this month's $400 System Builder Marathon setup to consider if you want to go true budget!!
  • 6 Hide
    processthis , September 30, 2010 12:28 AM
    AMW1011Wow... a budget gaming build in my mind is sub $800. A high end gaming rig is above $1000. I mean, a $1200 gaming rig IS NOT BUDGET, which I priced most of the Intel rigs around.

    On top of that, none of these include the OS which always costs about $100. Even though no one adds it on, almost everyone buys it so it needs to be considered. Some people already have a mouse/keyboard and a monitor, but OS is bought again for every build. That means a lot of those rigs cost close to $1100. That's not a budget build.
  • 3 Hide
    ct1615 , September 30, 2010 12:51 AM
    i saw one rig that I would define as a budget PC (athlon x3 + ATI 5770) and I agree, $1200 is a full blown gaming PC. Might not be high end but your sacrifices are few.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 30, 2010 12:55 AM
    processthisOn top of that, none of these include the OS which always costs about $100. Even though no one adds it on, almost everyone buys it so it needs to be considered.
    Depends on the OS. Windows has a wide range of prices and it depends if it is retail or OEM. Ubuntu and other Linux distributions are free. It makes sense to not include it because of the variability. Operating costs like power efficiency also affect TCO.
  • 7 Hide
    brennon7 , September 30, 2010 1:04 AM
    I don't like that some of these builds include products CPU's from Microcenter. Microcenter is not available everywhere and these build should be available to purchase by everyone in the price range. Not everyone can get the $199.99 i7 930.....Combos should not be included as well.
  • -2 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , September 30, 2010 1:08 AM
    processthisOn top of that, none of these include the OS which always costs about $100. Even though no one adds it on, almost everyone buys it so it needs to be considered. Some people already have a mouse/keyboard and a monitor, but OS is bought again for every build. That means a lot of those rigs cost close to $1100. That's not a budget build.

    You can always choose to use a linux operating system, its free.
  • 8 Hide
    rpgplayer , September 30, 2010 1:23 AM
    jhansonxiDepends on the OS. Windows has a wide range of prices and it depends if it is retail or OEM. Ubuntu and other Linux distributions are free. It makes sense to not include it because of the variability. Operating costs like power efficiency also affect TCO.


    be honest with yourself, if you are building a gaming machine, it's gonna have windows. as much as people hate M$, the best games on pc are made for windows.
  • -1 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 30, 2010 1:44 AM
    rpgplayerbe honest with yourself, if you are building a gaming machine, it's gonna have windows. as much as people hate M$, the best games on pc are made for windows.
    Not all of the configurations are gaming machines. Many game servers run on Linux even if the clients are only available on Windows.
  • 5 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , September 30, 2010 2:13 AM
    jhansonxiNot all of the configurations are gaming machines. Many game servers run on Linux even if the clients are only available on Windows.
    I'll make sure my next build is designed to run a game server. You know, because I like to watch others play. =P
  • 4 Hide
    processthis , September 30, 2010 2:16 AM
    jhansonxiNot all of the configurations are gaming machines. Many game servers run on Linux even if the clients are only available on Windows.

    I was mainly referring to the budget gaming PCs. We all know gaming PCs are going to have Windows 7 on them. That means it is a minimum of $100 for OEM Windows 7 and that $100 takes a part of people's budgets. If someone is trying to build a budget gaming PC under X, the OS is still one of his costs. Even if it isn't listed as part of the price in a build, it just puts those $1000 "budget" gaming PCs even farther away from people actually trying to build a budget PC.
  • -2 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 30, 2010 2:59 AM
    processthisI was mainly referring to the budget gaming PCs. We all know gaming PCs are going to have Windows 7 on them. That means it is a minimum of $100 for OEM Windows 7 and that $100 takes a part of people's budgets. If someone is trying to build a budget gaming PC under X, the OS is still one of his costs. Even if it isn't listed as part of the price in a build, it just puts those $1000 "budget" gaming PCs even farther away from people actually trying to build a budget PC.
    My gaming system doesn't use Windows. You're also assuming that builders are going to actually buy Windows instead of using the widely available OEM ISOs and SLP/VLK hacks. Then there are those XP holdouts... I still think it was best not to include the OS in the prices (and ISP services as well).
  • -7 Hide
    jenkem , September 30, 2010 3:40 AM
    guis dese arnt acurate cuz u havent inkluded the price of da desk that u put the computer on and/or the chair u sit on when u play it.
    and don't forget about the games themselves. wats da point of having a gaming pc if u don't have at lest a few hundred dollar worth of games. so each budget system is actually like $2000+
  • 1 Hide
    randomizer , September 30, 2010 4:01 AM
    I also agree that the OS should not be included because Windows comes in many editions. If someone is building a PC they would know to take the OS into account (or they should not be building a PC). It's also quite possible that they will use a copy of Windows from a previous PC.

    The Office PCs can just run a Linux distro :D 
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 30, 2010 4:13 AM
    jenkemwats da point of having a gaming pc if u don't have at lest a few hundred dollar worth of games. so each budget system is actually like $2000+
    Good point. Unless you only want to play Farmville you'll need money for games (or at least buy an account on a server).
  • 0 Hide
    Tamz_msc , September 30, 2010 4:26 AM
    I find only two of the selections in the high end Intel gaming PC category satisfactory.I'm not saying this because my recommendation was not chosen, but because Tom's did not choose them properly.
  • 4 Hide
    jenkem , September 30, 2010 5:32 AM
    but really, I only voted for the budget systems that were actually budget systems.
  • 2 Hide
    dealcorn , September 30, 2010 8:03 AM
    Big, slow, cheap hard drives are increasingly popular because folks have a lot of data much of which may result from 24X7 P2P activity. Why is there no category for frugal home file server with redundant disks (i.e. software raid 5 or better)?
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , September 30, 2010 12:23 PM
    i'm most excited about ScrewySqrl's media pc, its a good build and wcould be built cheap... with a very stylish case
  • 0 Hide
    deweycd , September 30, 2010 12:31 PM
    Most people do not use nor understand the concept of a Home Server. They will rather install seperate hard disks and pile their data onto these. Redundant disks is just that to the general public, redundant and therefore they would rather spend their money elsewhere.
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