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

Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC

We narrowed the field to seven builds for the Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC.

Luyone’s “Got to have Good Gaming on a (Realistic) Budget” took the lead in the polls at 41 votes.

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

Unlike the 2011 system, which rang up to a whopping $900, this year’s Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC actually adheres to a pretty tight budget. At the core of this ~$500 rig is the dual-core Sandy Bridge-based Pentium G860 running at a speedy 3 GHz.

Lunyone clearly designed this build with upgradability in mind, since holding all the pieces together is a highly-upgradable, full ATX board from ASRock sporting 6 Gb/s SATA connections, USB 3.0 ports, and CrossFire support.

Pushing admirable frame rates in this budget gaming rig is a Radeon HD 7850 from XFX.

This rig packs four gigabytes of DDR3-1600 from G.Skill, and a terabyte of storage thanks to the Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive.

An Antec 450-watt power supply rounds out this build’s internal component list.

The entire configuration is encased in a Rosewill Redbone U3 case, and the obligatory optical drive is DVD writer from Sony.

Not too shabby for just north of $500, and there’s plenty of room to expand.

At the time of submission, this build’s total cost came out to $529.42. The current prices of Luyone’s “Got to have Good Gaming on a (Realistic) Budget” 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.