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

NAS PC

Five Home NAS Server builds were chosen to represent this category's BestConfigs.

Ultimately, Network Attached Silence by Casper triumphed with 32 percent of the vote. He won by sticking to the category’s primary purpose. While the competition had more capacity, flashier enclosures and even SSDs, Casper went with a silent case and cooler, a ton of RAM and a fanless, 80 PLUS Platinum-rated PSU.

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

Unlike Breadwhistle’s NAS PC last time around, Casper went with an Intel CPU over an APU from AMD. This move makes sense; a NAS appliance doesn't need AMD's superior graphics engine, while it can benefit from Intel's more efficient x86 cores. Like the rest of this build, Casper’s Core i3-3220T is task-appropriate.

ASRock’s microATX-based H77 Pro4-M serves as Casper’s motherboard for this build. With gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s, it has all of the connectivity a NAS server should need for years to come.

A whopping 12GB of DDR3 memory from Mushkin is indeed a step up from the previous build’s 8GB.

The only repetition between this quarter’s NAS system and the last one involves the hard drives. Both Casper and Breadwhistle chose a trio of 3TB Western Digital Red disks to handle their network-attached storage needs.

An 80 PLUS Platinum-certified PSU from Seasonic’s X Series powers this system. The Platinum certification alone is a massive upgrade to last quarter’s Bronze certification. That step up in efficiency translates to less waste heat, and as a result, this power supply is also fanless.

The final component that allowed Casper to create the awesomely-named Network Attached Silence is the chassis. Breadwhistle opted for the Cooler Master Elite 430, a pretty standard mid-tower. Casper went with Fractal Design’s Define Mini. This case is not only silent, but smaller and more NAS-like in appearance.

This configuration came to $993.22 when originally submitted by Casper, a good $200 pricier than last quarter’s NAS PC. The current prices of Casper’s Networked Attached Silence 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