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

High-End Workstation

Five builds were picked by our editors for this quarter's High-End Workstation BestConfig.

BurritoBob’s Build solidly prevailed with 13 votes.

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

Sporting a Sandy Bridge-E-based Core i7-3930K rather than the pair of Xeon processors we've used in the past, the processor price is the only one that went down since our 2011 High-End Workstation build. The high-end mATX Asus Rampage IV Gene motherboard was BurritoBob’s platform of choice. And don’t let the size of this board fool you; it's one of the highest-end MicroATX boards available.

A massive 32 GB of Corsair’s Vengeance DDR3-1866 fill all of this board's memory slots.

BurritoBob’s Build also brings liquid cooling to the party with Corsair’s H100 closed-loop liquid cooler.

Three FirePro V7900s in CrossFire make BurritoBob’s Build a serious professional graphics powerhouse.

Powering all these high-end workstation parts necessitates an equally high-end PSU. Enter the 1000 W 80 PLUS Gold-certified Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold.

Samsung’s 840 Pro SSD makes for a seriously speedy boot drive, while a pair of 1 TB Caviar Black hard disks from Western Digital provide plenty of storage space.

While the motherboard conforms to t he MicroATX form factor, this build is completely crammed with other parts. So, to ensure there is enough room for the dual-fan liquid cooler, three graphics cards, and trio of drives, BurritoBob opted for Cooler Master’s Storm Stryker, a gargantuan full-tower enclosure.

This build seems like a great fit for the digital graphics professional, and to archive that kind of data in an easily-transferrable fashion, BurritoBob chose to include a Blu-ray writer from Asus.

BurritoBob literally spared no expense in creating his High-End Workstation. This rig carried a sticker price of $3,980.92 when configured. The current prices of BurritoBob’s Build can be found in the BestConfigs shopping tables.

  • k1114
    Congrats to everyone!
  • echondo
    That is not a "budget" AMD system...
  • 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.
  • nevertell
    Why do all the builds use poser ram ?
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.