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

High-End AMD-Based Gaming PC

Five entrants were chosen to compete in this quarter’s High-End AMD-Based Gaming PC.

The choosing of this quarter’s AMD enthusiast system was no heated battle. Rafeed’s AMD anti-fanboi build smoked the competition with 39 percent of the votes cast.

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

Naturally, any top-of-the-line AMD rig is built around the company’s current flagship CPU, right? Not this quarter. The AMD anti-fanboi build actually featured the lowest-end FX chip out of the five contenders. We’ll give you one guess as to where that savings wound up.

Like g-unit1111’s winning build last time around, Rafeed’s system also features Noctua’s NH-D14, a true monster of a heat sink that keeps all other air coolers in check.

The choice of motherboard is another sign of things to come, as Rafeed went with a very affordable ASRock 970 Extreme4 rather than some of the enthusiast- and gamer-grade platforms that sell for three times as much.

While this build only has 8GB of Patriot Vengeance DDR3-1600 memory, once again, you’ve got to know this cost cutting is going somewhere...

And here it is: a pair of GeForce GTX 780s from EVGA. What else can we say? Rafeed spent $1300 of his $2000 price limit on graphics. Now that’s a gaming system! Since this machine was priced out, the GTX 780 dropped to $500, so any enthusiast replicating this machine today is going to get $300 worth of savings right off the bat. We'd like to know if the choice in CPU bottlenecks these fast graphics cards.

SanDisk's Ultra Plus acts as a 128GB boot and application drive, while a 1.5TB Western Digital Caviar Green serves as a spacious and low-power data disk. The whole thing is driven by the 850W version of Corsair’s Enthusiast Series TX850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified PSU.

The AMD anti-fanboi build is enclosed in Cooler Master’s HAF 912. Rafeed chose an Asus DVD writer for the optical drive.

When originally spec’ed out, this rig rang up to $1996.89. The current prices of Rafeed’s AMD anti-fanboi 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