Best PC Builds: Meet The Challenge

Last quarter, we published the community's picks for top gaming rigs in our Best PC Builds feature. This quarter, we see a few places that need to be addressed, so the challenge is on. Here are our three additional builds for this quarter:

  1. Best VR Ready Build $750
  2. Best Steam Machine Under $1000
  3. Best VR Ready Build Under $2500

That $750 might seem impossible, but we have a feeling it isn't, and we happen to know that many of our readers are clamoring for more affordable VR-ready builds. Many systems manufacturers are shipping Oculus-ready PCs for under $1,000. Also, our $1,000 build (actually a few bucks less) is not only already VR-ready by the definitions of Oculus, Valve and HTC, but there's some significant wiggle room on some of those components; in other words, you could easily downgrade that GPU and that CPU, and probably the memory, and get to the goal. We'll be replacing our current $750 build with this new one.

(To see the minimum VR specs, read this or go to the very first table here for Oculus Rift and here for HTC Vive. Read further to see why those minimum specs really do matter.)

We'll be replacing our current $600 Steam Machine build with the new sub-$1,000 one. We think this is a bit more realistic for a true build that goes beyond integrated or mobile GPUs. Remember, the Steam Machine build must be SFF and include Wi-Fi.

Finally, there are readers who wonder how much better VR will be in SLI or Crossfire. At this point, we've been told that taking advantage of multi-GPU is up to game developers, and we don't know if any of them have done so yet; still, it's just a matter of time. This will be an added build to our guide.

You can check out our ground rules by following those individual links above. One change from last time: We are allowing the inclusion of NewEgg to source parts for these new builds. (Yes, we listen.)

On April 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 the following week, and the top builds in each thread will go on to become our Best PC Builds feature shortly after that.

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