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Build Your Own: Introducing Tom's Hardware's BestConfigs!

Picking the parts for your next system build just got a little easier…

Every quarter, Tom’s Hardware gives you its System Builder Marathon, which pits three of our authors at three different price points in a friendly little competition to demonstrate to you, our readers who generally don’t mind tweaking your systems for extra performance, the best possible value for your money (and then we give the computers away). In case you missed it, December’s series can be found here:

$700 Gaming PC
$1,300 Enthusiast PC
$2,500 Performance PC
System Value Compared

While this is always quite a bit of fun for us, it really focuses on gaming, and then only at three different prices. But there are oh-so-many other ways we use our systems, aren’t there?

That’s where our new section, which we call BestConfigs, comes into play. I’ve set up nine different configurations right off the bat, each with a parts list needed to build the machine in question.

AMD-Based Office PC

Intel-Based Office PC

High-End Workstation

Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC

Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC

Home Theater PC

MicroATX Gaming Build

High-End Intel Gaming PC

High-End AMD Gaming PC

For as many of the items going into each of these builds, we’ve linked you to our PriceGrabber shopping engine to help you find the best possible deals as you compile your parts list. For the items that aren’t well-represented in the engine, we pulled the prices from NewEgg.

Now, here's where it gets fun. We’ve parted out each of these systems based on our own experiences with the hardware. As a starting point, they’re solid builds any of us would be happy to own. But you have your own experiences and recommendations. So, each month, we’ll go through your feedback on this page and alter each of the builds as necessary. If another is warranted, we’ll consider the pieces and add the components. If you want to see peripherals or displays, we’ll work that out as well.

For the time being, enjoy the first edition of our BestConfigs and feel free to contribute your own ideas for whichever builds are most applicable to your own needs!

Chris Angelini
Managing Editor, Tom’s Hardware

  • eklipz330
    Brilliant idea, maybe this will remove a little clutter from the forums
    Reply
  • rodney_ws
    Nah... I wouldn't count on that. Stickies don't work there... so why are you expecting anything different with this?
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    Sorry for double post, but maybe you should include Windows 7 in those... and newegg combos really cut down prices, so that can be used for future builds, IMO
    Reply
  • cangelini
    eklipz330Sorry for double post, but maybe you should include Windows 7 in those... and newegg combos really cut down prices, so that can be used for future builds, IMO
    Thanks for the feedback eklipz--an optional operating system at the bottom is certainly do-able, especially on the gaming builds which are probably going to be running 7.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    ...sorry for triple post, but why is budget amd build have a dual core where as the budget intel has a i5??? there is a $100 difference, enough to throw in a phenom II 965...
    Reply
  • thepetey
    MicroATX Gaming Build Configuration priced at $1337 ... no way that is chance
    Reply
  • killerclick
    A "budget" gaming PC with 2 x 1TB drives and 2 graphics cards?? You know that there is a limit to how many FPS the human eye can see? These recommendations contradict those in "Best Graphics For The Money" articles in that a single GPU solution is now considered sub-budget.
    Reply
  • noob2222
    Lol, HTPC, 5750, SSD, .... can you say overkill. how many movies are you going to store on that ssd?
    Reply
  • Ho0d1um
    killerclickA "budget" gaming PC with 2 x 1TB drives and 2 graphics cards?? You know that there is a limit to how many FPS the human eye can see? These recommendations contradict those in "Best Graphics For The Money" articles in that a single GPU solution is now considered sub-budget.I completely agree. 1TB is enough storage for a "budget" system and the 5000 series cards can give you a little future proofing.
    Reply
  • jonpaul37
    wow people easy with the harshness, you don't have to be dicks about EVERYTHING, just make a suggestion instead of complaining, it'll be less stressful for all of us, thank you, drive thru!
    Reply