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

Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC

The Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC was narrowed to five entries from the forum this quarter. Community members voted to pick their favorite from there.

Zared619’s “Red Storm” took a commanding lead in the polls, earning an absolutely astounding 36 votes. The second-place finishers tied at only 14 each!

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

In a complete reversal from 2011’s Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC, Zared619’s Red Storm is more gaming than budget. This $1,000 build is easily twice the PC of its predecessor. The triple-core Athlon II X3 was replaced by AMD’s top-of-the-line triple-module CPU, the Vishera-based FX-6300. The ever-popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo gives the FX headroom for overclocking.

Zared619 chose the GA-990-FXA-UD3 motherboard from Gigabyte. This board has all of the standard amenities like USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, gigabit Ethernet, and two-way CrossFire/SLI support.

A pair of 4 GB G.Skill Ares Series DDR3-1600 modules give this rig amble memory for playing today's game titles.

With a Radeon HD 7970 from HIS backing up the processor, this machine should be able to handle any game at 1080p with high settings. Two-way CrossFire and four-module FX chips leave a little room for upgrades, though not much more horsepower is required with this configuration.

A 120 GB SSD from Mushkin is paired up with a 1 TB Barracuda drive from Seagate, ensuring snappy operation with plenty of room for archiving. A 750-watt 80 PLUS Bronze-certified PSU from Antec finishes off the system internals.

Everything is wrapped in the stylish (yet muted) Zalman Z9 Plus, which sports tool-less, side-loading drive trays, a bottom-mounted PSU, and interior paint for just $60. Sony once again manufactures the standard DVD writer.

The total build price when originally configured by Zared619 was $999.89. The current prices of “Red Storm” 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.