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System Recommendations: Your BestConfigs Are Online!

We asked you to build them. We asked you to vote on them. Now we’re asking you to check them out and recommend them to friends and family building their own PCs!

Alright, so it seems like you guys are doing quite a bit of work here, and the entire Tom’s Hardware staff appreciates the heck out of it. Our Q3’11 BestConfigs are finally up to date, and the winners have their props.

A bit of back-story: a couple of months ago, we asked you to weigh in with components for 10 different builds in the Systems section of our forum. The submissions poured in and, after a couple of weeks, we locked those threads. Thomas, Don, Andrew, and I sat down and picked our top three options in each category, trying to mix it up as much as possible to give you some real variety. Our community manager, Joe, took those selections and created a poll for each system, and we turned the contenders back to you for a vote.

Well, the votes are tallied, and we have winners in all 10 categories. They are:

Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC: The community chose techo’s build
Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC: The community chose lunyone’s build
High-End Intel Gaming PC: The community chose sadams04’s build
Intel-Based Office PC: The community chose r0aringdrag0n’s build
High-end AMD Gaming PC: The community chose mjmjpfaff’s build
AMD-Based Office PC: The community chose ice919’s build
MicroATX Gaming Build: The community chose ojas’ build
Home Theater PC: The community chose sadams04’s build
High-End Workstation: The community chose gkay09’s build
Do-It-Yourself NAS: The community chose palladin9479’s build

Don’t worry if your submission wasn’t picked this quarter. We’re going to keep the BestConfigs feature refreshed, preserving each winner on the Update section of the page, but making sure we’re covering the very latest hardware. So, we’ll have a whole new round of famous builds in a few more months for you to recommend to family and friends!

Thanks for contributing, folks. Your collective efforts serve as a resource for less experienced builders looking for the experts’ recommendations on their next do-it-yourself build. And while we experiment around with different parts in our quarterly System Builder Marathon, it’s hard to beat the opinions of the world’s foremost hardware enthusiasts.

Best regards,

Chris Angelini
Worldwide Editor-in-Chief, Tom’s Hardware

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • RazberyBandit
    LOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?

    That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.
    Reply
  • wifiwolf
    i'm just curious why you'd need a 1200W psu for a workstation with no graphics card or tegra in it. That build must be using around 300W.
    Would you need an Intel based office PC with more graphics than the H2000 is able to provide? I know it doesn't even deserve calling it graphics, but a 6700 card is overkill.
    Reply
  • illo
    cant figure out why anyone would build a high end gaming pc and not get the 2600k, but would get dual gtx580's...
    Reply
  • wifiwolf
    RazberyBanditLOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.
    Thought the same about it, but if you made an AMD based 900$ PC you wouldn't call it a budget PC anyway.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    RazberyBanditLOL. A $430 dollar difference between the "Budget" Intel and AMD builds? How the hell does a $900 machine even qualify as a "budget" PC? And those of you who voted for it, what the hell were you thinking?That's one of the reasons many people repeatedly asked Tom's to define the actual budget of the "budget" builds in the first place.
    We can change the budgets next quarter, for sure. But yeah, those were the systems that folks built and voted on ;-)
    Reply
  • king smp
    illo- why would you want 4 HT cores for gaming-2600k is more suited for encoding and other multithreaded work-games dont do well on HT
    2500k is the best gaming CPU while 2600k is the best workhorse
    and a gaming machine is all about the GPUs-2600k is a waste

    P07h34d-955 BE is a great chip for the money for GAMING
    Best bang for buck gaming CPU out right now
    what chip were you thinking?


    Nobody pointed out that the multimedia build doesnt have a tuner in it?
    Any media PC needs to have a tv tuner.

    Reply
  • festerovic
    I have tons to say about the choices voted, but I won't. I will say that this is a pretty good feature. I would likely recommend most of the builds (with my own tweaks of course).
    Reply
  • Partizan92
    honestly.. these builds are bad really bad... and some people really don't understand the meaning of budget...
    Reply
  • Chewie
    I thought I recalled a Tom's Hardware article suggesting that crossfire scaling worked better with two cards, rather than 3?
    So perhaps 2x 6950 2GB cards might offer a better bang/buck ratio, at least that's the way I see it.
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    The "Budget AMD-Based Gaming PC" sucks... IMO, he allocated $10 more than needed to the HDD, and $10 more for the PSU. With that money saved you could get a 6790 which for $10 more gives you quite a performance boost.
    Reply