The Tom’s Hardware-PC Gamer System Build-Off Is Here: Enter Now

(Image credit: Preechar Bowonkitwanchai/Shutterstock)

Update April 27, 5:00 p.m. ET: We already have a great set of submissions in all three categories. Given recent fluctuations in the hardware market, we've decided to extend the submission period for this Best PC Builds competition for another week. We will accept submissions until Monday, May 4.

PC building is always on our minds here at Tom's Hardware, but with many of us stuck at home, now's a fantastic time to think about the best PC builds. So we've joined up with our friends at PC Gamer to host a joint PC building competition. The winners will have their builds featured on the homepages of both sites. There are six different categories and price points to show off your skills, but hurry because the deadline for submissions is in a week! 

But don't worry about your bank account. The competition calls for participants to compile parts lists for hypothetical builds, as has been tradition for Tom’s Hardware PC build contests.  This year, we’ve opened our doors to sister site PC Gamer, allowing users across both sites' forums to submit builds for six different categories. We’re now well into the competition with the May 4th deadline fast approaching, but we’re sending out a last call for any final contenders.

So, how does it work? Let’s break it down into four parts.

Tom's Hardware and PC Gamer Logo combined

(Image credit: Future)

First, submit your build. To do this, just head over to the PCPartPicker System Builder and put together a system. Again, there's no need to actually order the parts and put it together yourself -- the completed PCPartPicker list is enough. 

Once you have your system 'built,' all you need to do is copy its BB Code, which you’ll be able to do with a button in the upper right hand corner. 

(Image credit: Future)

Then, head over to the appropriate forum thread -- you can find the proper link below.

Next, hit the BB code toggle in the tool bar in PCPartPicker, then paste your build’s BB code to the forum and post.

(Image credit: Future)

The Tom’s Hardware and PC Gamer staff will pick the top five builds for each category. We’ll judge primarily on the quality of components, the price and theoretical system performance.

After, both Tom's Hardware and PC Gamer readers will vote on their favorite build for each category.  

Finally, we’ll feature the winning builds for each category on both the Tom’s Hardware and PC Gamer homepages so tech enthusiasts everywhere will know of your PC building success

So far, we’ve already got multiple pages of responses across every category, so submit now to get your PC building clout before it's too late! 

Build Categories

Links to all six build categories are below. Some are hosted on the good old Tom’s Hardware forums, and some are hosted on the forums for our friends over at PC Gamer, but all are part of this contest: 

$500 Min Spec Console Killer

$750 4K-Capable Gaming Build

$1,000 Streaming and Gaming Build

$1,500 VR-Ready Gaming Build

$2,000 Ultra High-Quality Cyberpunk 2077 Build

$3,000 Ultimate Water-Cooled RGB Build


Before you submit, though, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind.

1. Only one build per budget category, per user. Multiple builds from a single user or duplicate accounts will be disqualified.

2. Do not go over budget.

3. Use only Amazon or Newegg to source parts.

4. DO NOT USE Amazon third-party sellers to source parts.

5. Use list prices only: coupons, rebates, bundles or any other limited-time offers will not be accepted.

6. Do not include shipping or tax in your final budget.

7. Do not include an operating system, monitor, keyboard, mouse, VR headset or gamepad.

8. All builds must have a name.

9. Do not put your forum handle in the name of your build, and avoid odd capitalizations and symbols.

10. We encourage users to use PCPartPicker's System Build for speedy construction.

11. Do not post a link to your build. Instead, please be sure to export as BBCode for a quick copy/paste to the forums

This is your chance to get creative and show your expertise to the world! We’re excited to see what you come up with. Remember, submissions close in a week!

More information is available over on the forums.

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.