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Your Top Picks: Tom's Hardware Forums' Q1 2013 BestConfigs

Intel-Based Home Office PC

Six Intel-Based Home Office PCs squared off in this quarter’s BestConfigs. 

The reader poll ended in a tie between nix327’s Build and the Gold Intel Office Rig, with each build receiving eleven votes.

Gold Intel Office Rignix327's Build
ProcessorCore i3-3220Core i3-3225
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B75M-D3VASRock H77M
Memory4 GB Crucial DDR3-16008 GB Corsair DDR3-1333
SSD256 GB Samsung 84064 GB Crucial m4
Hard Drive1 TB Seagate Barracuda Green
Power SupplySeasonic 360W GoldCorsair CX430
CaseRosewill FBM-02Corsair 200R
Optical DriveSamsung 24x DVD BurnerAsus 24x DVD Burner
Approximate MSRP$486$476.73

In this scenario, a single editorial vote acts as a tie-breaker. We voted for nix327’s Build because of the better processor, extra memory, separate hard drive for user data, and higher-quality case. While we give big props go to the Gold Intel Office Rig for doubling as a hackintosh (if desired), nix327’s Build is simply more hardware for the same price.

Congratulations to forum member nix327 for having his recommended build picked by the Tom's Hardware community this quarter! 

This year’s Intel-based Home Office PC is a lot more geared towards the office than the home. With no discrete graphics, the HD Graphics 4000-packing Core i3-3225 is Intel’s only logical offering at this price point.

The ASRock H77M keeps it all together while offering modern options like 6 Gb/s SATA, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI output, and USB 3.0.

The Core i3 is matched up to a whopping 8 GB of DDR3-1333, rather than just 4 GB of the pricier, yet performance-neutral, DDR3-1600 modules.

And you can seriously kick productivity into high gear thanks to Crucial’s 64 GB M4 SSD acting as the system drive, while a 1 TB Seagate Barracuda Green provides plenty of low-power storage.

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Crucial m4

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Seagate Barracuda Green

Corsair’s CX430 makes a second appearance in this year’s BestConfigs to power nix327’s Build with 430 W of 80 PLUS Bronze-certified juice.

The sub-$500 masterpiece is wrapped up in Corsair’s exquisitely stately Carbide Series 200R mid-tower. Asus' DRW-24B3ST fills in as the obligatory optical drive.

The total build price when originally configured by nix327 was $476.73. The current prices of nix327’s Build can be found in the BestConfigs shopping tables.

  • k1114
    Congrats to everyone!
    Reply
  • echondo
    That is not a "budget" AMD system...
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    10451168 said:
    That is not a "budget" AMD system...

    Still within a certain budget. Just not on the lower side for a gaming PC.
    Reply
  • nevertell
    Why do all the builds use poser ram ?
    Reply
  • nordlead
    A good thing I don't use these "forum best configs" as guides. It looks like every single one of them was built by a power hungry gamer rather than an economical engineer that builds to meet specific requirements.

    The NAS chosen here has WAY to much space dedicated to the OS drive (driving up costs), and all the benefits of the SSD are lost (you won't be loading new programs off the SSD) except for the low power. But that can be achieved for much less cash with a CF or SD card (or even a USB stick, but I don't care for those since they can easily be unplugged). You also don't need 4GB of RAM in a NAS, nor do you need a fancy case with a window when it will be stuck in a closet. I could shave $150-200 off of that machine no problem and cut the electrical costs, all while serving files via NAS to multiple machines at the same time without missing a beat. Heck, my Atom D525 does all of that at a measly 30W (measured at the wall) along with online backups, and serves web pages at a decent clip for myself and my close friends. Since I'm sure the intent of the 3x 3TB hdds was for RAID 5, you could put that $ towards a 4th and do RAID 10. Or you could put it towards actual backup instead of redundancy.
    Reply
  • samwelaye
    budget AMD gamer: 1000$. budget intel gamer: 500$. wth is going on here. sure 1000 IS a budget by the definition of it, but this is by no means a "budget" build
    Reply
  • internetlad
    nevertellWhy do all the builds use poser ram ?
    And what RAM would you suggest, Mr. RAM Expert? What's wrong with brands like Mushkin and G.Skill? They're incredibly popular.

    Honestly, does brand even make a difference in RAM besides warranty? You put it in and it works or it doesn't. As long as you have enough RAM to accomodate what's running, and it doesn't BSOD, I don't really care about the brand.
    Reply
  • s3anister
    Interesting builds and over all decent. Can't say I agree with the choice of Motherboard and PSU for the High-End Intel build, though. Would have gone with the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH or a similar Asus mobo and a Seasonic PSU myself.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    The name of my AMD Office PC was a quote from Bill Lumbergh from Office Space. "Yeah I'm gonna have to ask you to work on Saturday, Sunday too. We lost a lot of people over the weekend and we need to play sort of catch - up. If you could get here around 9:00, that'd be greaaaaaaaaaaaat."
    Reply
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    Why would you use the 5800k over the 65w 5700 for a mere office machine? Not to mention the mobo chosen for it has no VRM heatsinks and therefore cannot reliably overclock anyway, making the aftermarket cooler pointless in the first place.
    Reply