Many of you felt that our build categories were dated, and we sure noticed how the gaming builds received the majority of both submissions and votes, so this time we're only doing gaming builds. We're also dropping the name "BestConfigs" for the much more straightforward "Best PC Builds." The old BestConfig also doesn't have that much visibility, so this year we're putting the results of Best PC Builds into a feature Best Picks article with a link on the homepage!
Because Best PC Builds will consist of all gaming rigs, we're splitting them up by price rather than by function. Here are the eight builds for this year:
- Best Gaming Build Under $500
- Best Gaming Build Under $750
- Best Gaming Build Under $1000
- Best Gaming Build Under $1250
- Best Gaming Build Under $1500
- Best Gaming Build Under $1750
- Best Gaming Build Under $2000
- Bonus: Best Steam Machine Build Under $600
Unlike the quarterly System Builder Marathon series, where our editorial team puts together three builds and then benchmarks them against one another from a value perspective, don't let performance-per-dollar get in the way of an awesome build. Looks and upgradability do factor in here, so spend some extra money on a sweet case. Don't let form factor hold you back either -- only the $600 Steam Machine must fit a certain set of criteria. So make an extreme Super Tower or a Mini ITX Cube if those are the systems you've already been obsessing over.
But wait, it gets a little more interesting — it had to, right? Just like our quarterly System Builder Marathon, Best PC Builds will also have some strict ground rules to follow:
- Do not go over budget.
- Use only Amazon to source parts; we already use Newegg for the SBM, sorry.
- Use list prices only: coupons, rebates, bundles or any other limited-time offers will not be accepted.
- Do not include shipping or tax in your final budget.
- Do not include the Operating System, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse or Gamepad (Steam Machine).
- Do not put your forum handle in the name of your build, and avoid odd capitalizations and symbols.
- Provide links to the Amazon product pages of each component — we encourage users to use PCPartPicker's System Build for speedy construction. Do not post a link to your build, but rather please be sure to export as BBCode for a quick copy/paste to the forums.
- The Steam Machine must be around the size of current-gen consoles and have Wi-Fi.
On November 15, we'll close the threads, and our Community team will filter the submissions for adherence to the ground rules. Next, our editorial team will filter the builds for compatibility issues (e.g., maybe the PSU won't fit together with the graphics card in a given case). The remaining rigs will be put up for public vote in the forums, and the top builds in each thread will go on to become our Best PC Builds!