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Beat the Heat With the Tom's Hardware Best PC Builds Competition

Update: After much discussion, we are proud to announce the next stage in our Best PC Builds competition. The final five in each category has been chosen! Head to the threads below and vote on your favorite best PC Build.

Back by popular demand, it’s the Summer 2019 edition of the Tom’s Hardware Best PC Builds! Now’s the time to show off your pc building knowledge in a competition spread across a variety of budget categories. After a two-week submission period, we’ll judge your builds based on performance per dollar spent. Once we’ve narrowed down our top five in each category, we’ll put our choices to a community-wide vote to see who really has the best PC build.

Below is a direct link to our Systems forum where you can find a full listing of each budget category:

The Tom's Hardware Systems Forum

We've changed the rules a bit this time, so please make sure to pay extra-close attention to the ground rules below.

Be warned: 

  • We no longer accept Newegg as a source of parts.
  • Build lists must link directly to the Amazon product page.

So why the change? Well, in the past few competitions we noticed the prices provided by PCPartPicker builder don't necessarily reflect actual availability. Given that and the confusion in regards to the list of available vendors, we wanted to simplify the process in order to encourage more participation.

When exporting your build lists from PCPartPicker, please make sure to edit the links so they point directly to the Amazon product page (please see the example build in the build threads for further clarification).

System Build Categories

For this summer 2019 edition of Best PC Builds, we're asking the Community for their optimal component choices in six different price categories. Click on each of the links below to go straight to the forum thread and post your build.

$500 Low Power NAS Build

$750 Media Center Home Theater Build

$1000 Mainstream Gaming Build

$1500 Gaming and Streaming Build

$2000 Content Creation Workstation

$5,000 Ultimate Watercooling Build

Here are the ground rules for this edition of PC Builds:

  • Only one build per budget category, per user. Multiple builds from a single user or duplicate accounts will be disqualified.
  • Do not go over budget.
  • You must use Amazon to source parts.
  • DO NOT USE Amazon 3rd Party Sellers to source parts.
  • Use list prices only: coupons, rebates, bundles or any other limited-time offers will not be accepted.
  • Do not include shipping or tax in your final budget.
  • Do not include the Operating System, Monitor or VR Headset, Keyboard, Mouse or Gamepad.
  • All builds must have a name.
  • Do not put your forum handle in the name of your build, and avoid odd capitalization & symbols.
  • Provide direct links to the Amazon product pages of each component — we encourage users to use PCPartPicker's System Builder for speedy construction. Do not post a link to your build, but rather please be sure to export as BBCode and then edit with the product page links for a quick copy/paste to the forums.

Once all of the builds have enough submissions, we’ll close the threads and our Community team will filter the submissions for adherence to the ground rules. Next, our Editorial team will filter the builds for compatibility issues (e.g. the graphics card won't fit in case). The remaining rigs will be put up for public vote in the forums, and the top builds in each thread will go on to become our Best PC Builds!

Throw your rig in the ring and give us your best PC build. Good luck!