As many of you have noted, our Best PC Builds were dated shortly after we published them, a seemingly constant struggle we’ll face given the current pace of change our industry is enjoying, especially with a resurgent AMD. Even as we push the “publish” button on this article, signs point to a new CPU from Intel (Coffee Lake) some time this fall.
Indeed, 2017 will be remembered as a landmark year for computer hardware. The spring debut of AMD’s Ryzen caused a seismic shift in the industry, heralding the return of competition to a formerly stagnant CPU market. Enthusiasts of all types, from the most ardent of Intel fanboys to the lifetime Team Red fanatics, should cheer AMD’s revival. The Zen CPU architecture—powering not only Ryzen, but also AMD’s EPYC server processors and the high-end Threadripper CPUs—ushered in a consumer CPU revolution. Thanks to Ryzen, dual-core CPUs are rapidly approaching extinction, and Intel is suddenly on the defensive. The $999 10-core/20-thread Intel i9-7900X released in June, a farfetched fantasy in 2016 at that price, is now a necessary response.
Although it is undeniably a banner year for consumer CPUs, the GPU market has seen its own fair share of changes, not just with the newly-minted AMD Vega GPUs to counter Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070, but a general shortage (and volatile prices) thanks to cryptocoin mining, which is booming once again. Building a PC has hardly ever been fraught with so many fabulous (and difficult) choices.
All of this is to say that we’re long overdue for a Best PC Builds update. Both the Community and Editorial teams are interested to see how our members will overcome the turbulence and obstacles in the marketplace. We’re looking for the high performance, feature-rich builds that offer great value. The most successful builds will balance savings on the CPU with the increased cost of a GPU, while not skimping on power and storage.
Have what it takes to for a winning submission? You’ll have until Thursday, September 14 to submit your best builds in each of the eight budget categories. Having the best build isn’t just for bragging rights anymore. We’re raising the stakes this time and will present the winner of each category a Newegg gift card worth $100.
The Tom’s Hardware Best PC Builds Q3 2017 Update will run until Thursday, September 14. Make sure to carefully read the rules for each category! Submissions with formatting errors or out of budget will be disqualified. Here are links to all seven build categories:
Good luck and may the best build win!