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Your Top Picks: Tom's Hardware Forums' Q4 2013 BestConfigs

High-End Intel-Based Gaming PC

Our final and most popular BestConfig is the High-End Intel-Based Gaming PC.

Unlike the landslide that was the High-End AMD Build, the Intel-based version was hotly-contested. Inzone beat out ojas by just four percentage points. While a pair of GeForce GTX 770s kept ojas in the game, ultimately, inzone had more PC for the same buck.

Congratulations to forum member inzone for having his recommended build picked by the Tom's Hardware community this quarter! 

Inzone chose Intel’s hexa-core Core i7-3930K to power his BestConfig. Done over again today, this very well might have been a Core i7-4930K, we imagine.

The cheap yet capable Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO makes another appearance this quarter to cool Intel's enthusiast-grade chip, which doesn't come bundled with a heat sink of its own. 

The Asus P9X79 motherboard is loaded with eight DIMM slots and four-way SLI/CrossFire support, leaving a ton of room for upgrades down the road.

Although they only populate one-quarter of this motherboard's slots, two 8GB DDR3-1600 Viper 3 memory modules from Patriot are more than enough for gaming today. One thing we'd caution here: by going with a dual-channel kit, you leave two of the Sandy Bridge-E architecture's channels unpopulated. Four 4GB modules might cost a bit more, but they'll also yield greater peak bandwidth.

A duo of Sapphire’s new Radeon R9 280X boards make up the graphics power of inzone’s build. Perhaps ironically, it seems like the pair of GeForce GTX 770s in this quarter's AMD-based build would outperform the Tahiti-based duo.

A 120GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD acts as the boot and application drive, with a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue providing room for user data. Powering inzone’s build is EVGA's SuperNOVA 1000G2 1000W PSU, which boasts an 80 PLUS Gold certification. 

Inzone choose quite a unique case for this quarter’s entry, the Cooler Master Elite 361. It places the power supply up front and routes the main power cable out the back. To help move air through the small chassis, inzone set aside a little of the $2000 budget for an extra 120mm Cooler Master SickleFlow case fan. Asus is once again the DVD burner of choice.

When inzone designed this build, its total came to $1991.95. The current prices of inzone’s Build can be found in the BestConfigs shopping tables.

  • Dark Lord of Tech
    That's a nice budget build.
    Reply
  • antemon
    now I'll admit that I'm no expert, since I'm not in any way shape or form, but wtf?

    The office PC has a better GPU than the HTPC? Flashy case for office use. I get that the CX430 is used here since it's a solid PSU, but branded memory?

    1000USD for 'budget' gaming builds? you should at least aim to be a little closer to console prices since we're talking about budget gaming
    Reply
  • Hutchinman
    The total for the budget based AMD gaming system is wrong. There is no way in hell Amazon is selling the MSI Twin Frozr 7950 for $105.

    Your system mistakenly links the Amazon page for the MSI AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB. Fix your system Tom's.
    Reply
  • budget creep strikes again.

    Is it still a budget PC if it can max out every game you own at 1080p? if it costs a lot of money (relative to the gaming market) and places well in the top 10% of peers?
    Reply
  • lancelot123
    What in the hell happened to the prices for the Intel Office PC? Says it was originally built for $500, but now it is saying $714. That is a HUGE difference. Not even sure what would be discounted, especially by that amount, unless the CPU was free.
    Reply
  • Drejeck
    Office PC like that impacts a lot on power consumption, assumed your office goes a lot away from just excel, java-browser administration tools, powerpoint and the likes. That AMD office build is more like a budget multimedia machine with gaming purpose. The HTPC obviously suffer from the case price and thus goes with a lower performance videocard.
    All builds underestimated SSDs and had just an HDD.
    Ok, I get this. There are a lot of hardware prejudices.
    DVD burners in 2013? From what country are you? I spent 4000 euros on my PC and the Asus BD usb3 I got came 6 months later...
    Reply
  • Sangeet Khatri
    In the Bugdet AMD Based Gaming PC. I would have the || Asrock Extreme 3 board + Corsair 300R + 128GB SSD with a 3GB 7970 || from my build as compared to the || Asrock Pro 3 + Rosewill Case + No SSD with 770 2GB ||

    Also most games now are starting to push more than 2GB VRAM. Hence this is where the extra 1GB RAM of the 7970 would be much more useful.

    Just an opinion..
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    MixroATX gaming section:
    40% people chose "AMD" Radeons build... wich happens to use.... an INTEL! :D.

    Toms is starting to be my favorite humor page.
    Reply
  • bemused_fred
    12078455 said:
    The total for the budget based AMD gaming system is wrong. There is no way in hell Amazon is selling the MSI Twin Frozr 7950 for $105.

    Your system mistakenly links the Amazon page for the MSI AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB. Fix your system Tom's.

    Ha ha! Now's my chance!

    12079601 said:
    Also most games now are starting to push more than 2GB VRAM. Hence this is where the extra 1GB RAM of the 7970 would be much more useful.


    2GB seemed to be fine for 2550x1600 in the gtx 770 review.

    'Grats on your entries, BTW!
    Reply
  • Yuka
    An office PC would rather have a discrete Video card than an SSD or some HDDs in RAID 0 or 1? For real?

    Other than that, pretty standard choices, which makes them good choices, I guess.

    Cheers!
    Reply