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Beat the Heat With the 2020 Best PC Builds Winners

PC Builders
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Tom’s Hardware community submitted and voted, and now it’s time to reveal our latest Best PC Builds. Periodically, we put our readers and forum posters to the test, showing off their PC building skills in a friendly competition designed to distillate their vast knowledge in a variety of budget categories. 

Our members have a natural talent for finding the best prices on the best quality components, and this time around is no exception. Many of your submissions would make for a great PC, but the three below, with budgets ranging from $750 to $3,000, received the most votes. 

The text accompanying each build below is provided by the forum member who designed it, giving you more insight into their system building process. Links to the names of the builds will take you to the forum post for full details.

Thanks to all of the readers and forum members who participated! We always welcome a good discussion or hot take. Let us know what you think of these picks in the comments below. Better yet, submit your own build ideas next time around.

$750 4K-Capable Gaming Build: 750’ish by Lutfij 

I thought of building a previous-gen, yet capable AMD Ryzen system for the price point, with a platform that has room for future upgrades and not having to part out much on the wallet provided an upgrade is necessary. The build, out of the box, is more than capable of 4K gaming on current titles but it also doubles as a workstation pedigree system. Should you want to get the most out of the platform and have a little more to spend, I'd add a mechanical drive or an additional SATA 2.5-inch SSD. For the performance of the system, despite VRM heatsinks, I'd perform a mild overclock on the CPU and with the advertised ram frequency, tighten the timings to get the best out of the platform.

$1500 VR Ready Gaming Build: The Black Halo by Phaaze88

The pixel count of the screens inside VR headsets rivals that of 4K, so for a smoother experience, the more the user can invest into a 4K-capable gpu, the better.

The Ryzen 3600 is a very capable--and competitively priced--cpu at the GPU-bound 4K resolution, allowing for more headroom for a stronger gpu compared to other processors. The 2080 Super was about as good as it gets for VR, and I still had some room left to add in an aftermarket cpu cooler and a chassis fan, even though I didn't need to.

$3000 Ultimate Water-Cooled RGB Build: The Ice Box by Lutfij

In this iteration of the build, I went with a small-form-factor (SFF) platform without sacrificing on the board's quality and connectivity, which is why you see a Micro-ATX X570 board, a Platinum-rated PSU, 2x240mm radiators to tame both the CPU and GPU, as well as dropping in a WD SN750 NVMe SSD. If you choose to splurge on a ram kit with a waterblock on it, then you can add that to the loop as well, without affecting the cooling capacity or coolant flow of the loop. Likewise, the platform has plenty of room to expand upon in the storage and memory arena. Due to the chassis, I feel like it looks sleek and minimal yet serves as a perfect canvas for a sleeper system.