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If you ever plan to build your own PC, Tom's Hardware’s System Builder Marathon is a must-read. Our editorial team builds, tests, and evaluates PC systems at varying costs, using the components that we think maximize value. These components include motherboards, cooling devices, CPU platforms, chipsets, memory, cases, hard drives, networking and graphics cards and power supplies. For each build, we include performance benchmarks that include 3D games, audio and video compression, graphic design, image manipulation, and video editing. Our testing includes each configuration in its stock form and overclocked. Feel free to build along with us or watch patiently from the sidelines, because, remember—each of these systems are given away at the end of the marathon (don’t forget to enter!).

Spotlight

This quarter's Marathon included a GeForce GTX 780 Ti-enhanced enthusiast PC, a budget gaming machine at a lower price, and a high-end build altered to reader specifications. What effects will all of those...

Spotlight

After building two successful gaming-oriented configurations under $1000, rising prices force Paul to switch up the composition of his $750 machine. But can a compromise in processor performance be made up for...

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Build Your Own experts answer your questions

reviews - MARCH 25 43

I wanted to see how a GeForce GTX 780 Ti and Core i7-4770K compare to last quarter's GeForce GTX 770 cards in SLI and Core i5-4670K. In addition, we updated our price/performance evaluation. So, this System...

Tutorial - MARCH 25

I looked through Tom's and while I found multiple diagrams on how to position fans with regards to...

reviews - MARCH 24 37

I built a sweet system last quarter with Radeon R9 290s. But based on your feedback, the highest-priced build for Q1 2014 integrates several alternative components. Can this new system do more things right than...

news - MARCH 11 4

Bringing line-in and line-out headphone support as well as headset support, on-board stereo microphones, and digital audio S/PDIF functionality to Raspberry Pi for the first time.

reviews - DECEMBER 31 31

This quarter's System Builder Marathon was downright chaotic. We reallocated our budgets to boost gaming performance, and watched as the prices on AMD's highest-end cards shot through the roof. When the dust...

reviews - DECEMBER 30 94

Thomas also suffers the impact of a run on AMD's graphics cards. His performance-oriented build purchased for $2400 now costs $2700 to replicate. Is it worth the extra cash, or are you better off stepping back...

reviews - DECEMBER 27 61

Don gets a slightly expanded budget and the command to target gaming performance. Based on his choices, he's the only one who doesn't get bit in the rear by AMD's pricing issues. Can he use this advantage to...

reviews - DECEMBER 26 59

This quarter, Paul Henningsen asks for (and gets) a higher budget for better gaming performance. What he didn't expect was that AMD's graphics cards would shoot up in price, shattering the upper limit of his...

picture story - DECEMBER 16 65

Valve’s ambitious new Linux-based game console will be available from a number of vendors in a variety of configurations...that is, by next year. Unwilling to wait, we're building our own Steam Machine today,...

news - DECEMBER 13 1

You've got questions, we've got answers, so ask us anything!

reviews - DECEMBER 2 27

Have you ever come up with your own idea for a killer rig? Don't forget to tell us about it on the Tom's Hardware forums. The following ten setups were configured by forum members and chosen as winners in the...

reviews - NOVEMBER 19 39

Lian Li's PC-Q30 is not just a PC case, but an enclosure that serves as a showcase for the living room, including a unique shape and a large front window to show off the technology you cram inside. It’s sure...

news - NOVEMBER 7 0

Vote for the best config in our Tom's Hardware BestConfigs!

news - OCTOBER 26 11

The guys at iFixit have torn down Apple's latest notebooks and discovered that they're harder than ever to repair.

reviews - OCTOBER 25 57

Some of us love compact gaming builds, but the best of these have always been pre-configured into custom enclosures. Is ASRock’s M8 the perfect open-architecture alternative? We load this $550 barebones up...

reviews - SEPTEMBER 27 98

Last quarter's bonus build was a $400 mini-ITX-based gaming rig, designed to be about the same size as a new console. This time around, we're slashing the budget even more to see if we can build a viable...

reviews - SEPTEMBER 26 41

Can a PC that costs twice as much offer two times the performance? We compare our $650, $1300, and $2600 machines across the Tom's Hardware benchmark suite in order to find out. There's even a new test...

reviews - SEPTEMBER 25 88

Last quarter, we managed to squeeze amazing performance from a $2500 box based on mini-ITX. How much more performance can we get for similar money if we get back to the world of ATX enclosures? How about a...

reviews - SEPTEMBER 24 61

With access to new components like the Haswell-based Core i5-4670K and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770, we're confident that we can build a $1300 enthusiast-class system that beats last quarter's. How does the...

reviews - SEPTEMBER 23 142

This quarter, Paul Henningsen gives AMD's FX-6300 its chance to shine in our least-expensive configuration. He manages to fit in a GeForce GTX 760 graphics card and 8 GB of memory. The result is quite capable,...