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System Recommendations: Your BestConfigs Are Online!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 44 comments

After weeks of poring over submissions, setting up polls, and watching the votes add up, the BestConfigs section of Tom's Hardware is finally up to date with your top choices. Thanks to all who participated; feel free to share your favorite builds!

We asked you to build them. We asked you to vote on them. Now we’re asking you to check them out and recommend them to friends and family building their own PCs!

Alright, so it seems like you guys are doing quite a bit of work here, and the entire Tom’s Hardware staff appreciates the heck out of it. Our Q3’11 BestConfigs are finally up to date, and the winners have their props.

A bit of back-story: a couple of months ago, we asked you to weigh in with components for 10 different builds in the Systems section of our forum. The submissions poured in and, after a couple of weeks, we locked those threads. Thomas, Don, Andrew, and I sat down and picked our top three options in each category, trying to mix it up as much as possible to give you some real variety. Our community manager, Joe, took those selections and created a poll for each system, and we turned the contenders back to you for a vote.

Well, the votes are tallied, and we have winners in all 10 categories. They are:

Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC: The community chose techo’s build
Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC: The community chose lunyone’s build
High-End Intel Gaming PC: The community chose sadams04’s build
Intel-Based Office PC: The community chose r0aringdrag0n’s build
High-end AMD Gaming PC: The community chose mjmjpfaff’s build
AMD-Based Office PC: The community chose ice919’s build
MicroATX Gaming Build: The community chose ojas’ build
Home Theater PC: The community chose sadams04’s build
High-End Workstation: The community chose gkay09’s build
Do-It-Yourself NAS: The community chose palladin9479’s build

Don’t worry if your submission wasn’t picked this quarter. We’re going to keep the BestConfigs feature refreshed, preserving each winner on the Update section of the page, but making sure we’re covering the very latest hardware. So, we’ll have a whole new round of famous builds in a few more months for you to recommend to family and friends!

Thanks for contributing, folks. Your collective efforts serve as a resource for less experienced builders looking for the experts’ recommendations on their next do-it-yourself build. And while we experiment around with different parts in our quarterly System Builder Marathon, it’s hard to beat the opinions of the world’s foremost hardware enthusiasts.

Best regards,

Chris Angelini
Worldwide Editor-in-Chief, Tom’s Hardware

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    RazberyBandit , August 19, 2011 3:39 AM
    LOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?

    That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    RazberyBandit , August 19, 2011 3:39 AM
    LOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?

    That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.
  • 3 Hide
    wifiwolf , August 19, 2011 3:40 AM
    i'm just curious why you'd need a 1200W psu for a workstation with no graphics card or tegra in it. That build must be using around 300W.
    Would you need an Intel based office PC with more graphics than the H2000 is able to provide? I know it doesn't even deserve calling it graphics, but a 6700 card is overkill.
  • Display all 44 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    illo , August 19, 2011 3:45 AM
    cant figure out why anyone would build a high end gaming pc and not get the 2600k, but would get dual gtx580's...
  • 1 Hide
    wifiwolf , August 19, 2011 3:46 AM
    RazberyBanditLOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.


    Thought the same about it, but if you made an AMD based 900$ PC you wouldn't call it a budget PC anyway.
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , August 19, 2011 3:57 AM
    RazberyBanditLOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.


    We can change the budgets next quarter, for sure. But yeah, those were the systems that folks built and voted on ;-)
  • 3 Hide
    king smp , August 19, 2011 3:58 AM
    illo- why would you want 4 HT cores for gaming-2600k is more suited for encoding and other multithreaded work-games dont do well on HT
    2500k is the best gaming CPU while 2600k is the best workhorse
    and a gaming machine is all about the GPUs-2600k is a waste

    P07h34d-955 BE is a great chip for the money for GAMING
    Best bang for buck gaming CPU out right now
    what chip were you thinking?


    Nobody pointed out that the multimedia build doesnt have a tuner in it?
    Any media PC needs to have a tv tuner.

  • 2 Hide
    festerovic , August 19, 2011 5:13 AM
    I have tons to say about the choices voted, but I won't. I will say that this is a pretty good feature. I would likely recommend most of the builds (with my own tweaks of course).
  • 4 Hide
    Partizan92 , August 19, 2011 7:39 AM
    honestly.. these builds are bad really bad... and some people really don't understand the meaning of budget...
  • -2 Hide
    Chewie , August 19, 2011 7:48 AM
    I thought I recalled a Tom's Hardware article suggesting that crossfire scaling worked better with two cards, rather than 3?
    So perhaps 2x 6950 2GB cards might offer a better bang/buck ratio, at least that's the way I see it.
  • 2 Hide
    aznshinobi , August 19, 2011 10:04 AM
    The "Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC" sucks... IMO, he allocated $10 more than needed to the HDD, and $10 more for the PSU. With that money saved you could get a 6790 which for $10 more gives you quite a performance boost.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 19, 2011 11:37 AM
    The ASRock Z68 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Motherboard has only one PCIE 2.0 Slot, how can it take two 570s?
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 19, 2011 12:14 PM
    BabyTODThe ASRock Z68 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Motherboard has only one PCIE 2.0 Slot, how can it take two 570s?


    That wasn't in my build. They've added that on their own (check the forums for the original).
  • 1 Hide
    halls , August 19, 2011 1:48 PM
    Great feature, but I think the term "budget" needs to be a little better defined next time.

    I remember putting a $350 computer together for my friend back in the day for light gaming; I want to know what a budget like that is capable of now!
  • -1 Hide
    batman4u , August 19, 2011 5:30 PM
    i know this might make me look like a typical hater, but i happen to disagree with

    1 budget intel builds, a BUDGET in mind would buy a Core i3 at most and a 560Ti at most i built for my little brother a core i3 witha 6850 and a 720p good quality monitor so no scaling would ruin the image and he is happy with 570 dlls of rig

    and

    2 i happen to agree that a 955 or any AMD phenom ll with a crossfire config with high end cards will bottleneck
  • 2 Hide
    kittle , August 19, 2011 10:06 PM
    So where are the benchmarks on these things?
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , August 20, 2011 12:24 AM
    hallsGreat feature, but I think the term "budget" needs to be a little better defined next time.I remember putting a $350 computer together for my friend back in the day for light gaming; I want to know what a budget like that is capable of now!

    How about this?
    DVD =19
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136236
    HDD = 40
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136770
    6670 = $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121442
    ram = $26
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820161279
    athlon ii plus mobo = $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.699098
    case =$30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811815006

    total 349.88
  • 3 Hide
    Crashman , August 20, 2011 2:12 AM
    ojasThat wasn't in my build. They've added that on their own (check the forums for the original).
    That sounds pretty serious. Chris is busy editing, but I'll ask him to look into it anyway. Fingers crossed!
  • 0 Hide
    RazberyBandit , August 20, 2011 2:39 AM
    Hey Crash... While this is totally OT, would you tell Chris that when he's done, he should consider editing Wolfgang's latest HP article? It's chock full 'o mistakes.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 20, 2011 7:51 AM
    CrashmanThat sounds pretty serious. Chris is busy editing, but I'll ask him to look into it anyway. Fingers crossed!

    Thanks a ton. Last thing we want on the forums is people asking if it's possible to fit 2 cards in one slot or something as vague (and cursing me for wasting their $330) :D 
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 20, 2011 8:17 AM
    ^As a follow up, it's been fixed, which is just amazing. You guys really work fast, very impressed.

    Proud to be a Tom's member! ;) 
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