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

Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC

We narrowed the field to five builds for the Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC this quarter.

Zared619’s Instrument of Winning took the lead in the polls at 33 percent of the vote, narrowly beating out Sangeet’s beast for $1000 bucks by three percentage points. Both machines featured many of the same parts, and Sangeet’s build had more power, an SSD and a premium version of the same motherboard. Zared619’s choice to go with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 rather than Sangeet’s AMD Radeon HD 7970 appears to be the deciding factor.

Congratulations to forum member Zared619 for having his recommended build picked by the Tom's Hardware community this quarter!

Unlike the Q1 system, which cost just a measly $500, this year’s Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC actually maximizes out the $1000 budget. At the heart of this rig is the quad-core Haswell-based Core i5-4670K, leaving a fair amount of headroom for overclocking.

Holding everything together is the Z87 Pro3 ATX motherboard from ASRock, sporting 6Gb/s SATA connections, USB 3.0 ports, 7.1-channel audio and gigabit Ethernet.

The component that trumped Sangeet’s better motherboard, higher-capacity PSU, SSD, and nicer case was Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770. His 2GB model from Gigabyte ate up 40 percent of Zared619’s total budget. Was it worth it? Apparently.

This rig packs eight gigabytes of overclocked DDR3-2133 from G.Skill’s Ripjaws X Series, and a terabyte of storage thanks to the Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive.

An XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply rounds out this build’s internal component list.

Like last quarter’s winning build by Lunyone, the entire configuration is packed into a Rosewill Redbone case. The obligatory optical drive is a DVD writer from LG.

At the time of submission, Zared619’s Instrument of Winning had a total cost of $996.07. The current prices of Zared619’s Instrument of Winning 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