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jpishgar

Splendid
Overlord Emeritus
It's that time again! Time to update the BestConfigs! Once again, we are opening the field to user recommendations to get the best consensus for the absolute best of the best in each category. This time, we're going to limit builds to price points, rather than function, as most rigs are geared towards gaming. We're also going to drop the term "BestConfigs" and simply go with "Best PC Builds", since that's way easier to understand.

Your challenge is to create builds in any of the following eight brackets:


  1. 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
With these 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 & symbols.
    Provide linksto 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.
Once all of the builds have enough submissions, 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. PSU won’t fit together with graphics card in 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!

Please be sure to format your list of components as follows:

Build Name
Good luck, and may the best builds win!
 
"Alrighty then"


All from Amazon with verified links and prices as of this updated post.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked ACX 2.0+ Video Card ($649.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Other: Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I76700K ($369.99)
Other: Noctua NH-D15 6 heatpipe with Dual NF-A15 140mm fans ($99.99)
Other: Seasonic SS-1050XM2 ATX 1050 Power Supply ($125.00)
Other: WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD2003FZEX ($107.20)
Other: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz (PC4-19200) C14 Memory Kit - Black (CMK16GX4M2A2400C14) ($85.00)
Other: Samsung SM951 256GB AHCI MZHPV256HDGL-00000 M.2 80mm PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD - OEM ($179.00)
Other: LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner Rewriter WH14NS40 - Bulk Drive - Black ($43.50)
Other: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 7 LGA 1150 Z97 Gaming Audio Networking ATX Motherboard ($165.32)
Total: $1934.98
 

profoundnoah

Admirable
May 12, 2015
2,247
0
6,960
403
Profoundnoah's Desk Dweller
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($360.00)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z170-A ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($154.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($103.43 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($105.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($71.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked Video Card ($659.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Noctis 450 ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA GS 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.24 @ Amazon)
Total: $1770.60
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-28 18:20 EDT-0400
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Furious 4K CrossFire Freak

Based around a pair of Fury X cards, this dips slightly into munchkin territory as we sacrifice a little CPU power for ultimate graphics performance and 4K gaming.

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($182.01 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($131.47 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 Evo 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($79.84 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.50@ Amazon)
Video Card: SapphireRadeon R9 Fury X 4GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) ($650.49 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) ($650.49 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Core 2300 ATX Mid Tower Case ($72.57 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G1 80+ GOLD, 1000W Fully Modular PSU ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1998.71
 

turkey3_scratch

Polypheme
Ambassador
turkey3_scratch's Frozen Volcano

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor ($408.99 Link to Product)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus X99-A ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($239.99 Link to Product)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($299.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($174.18 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($116.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 390X 8GB Video Card ($429.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H440 (Black/Red) ATX Mid Tower Case ($126.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1997.10
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-28 20:08 EDT-0400
All parts of the above are the prices at the time I created the build. The processor, I7-5820K, is actually available for $366 new by some sellers, but I listed it at $408.99 because at the time that was the main price shown on the product page. The motherboard price has actually gone up $10 since when I designed the build, but then again I am overestimating the CPU price by a ton.

Two of the items are available on Amazon, but pcpartpicker wants to put up a fight and not list Amazon as a seller. These items are the CPU and the motherboard. The motherboard ships and is sold by Amazon themselves. The CPU can be found for that price by many sellers. What makes this build special is that it offers top-of-the-line performance in both gaming and workstation-oriented tasks. You'll find that the color scheme is red with some white in the middle, which is why I named it "Frozen Volcano". The PSU is one of the highest quality and is ready to handle the power draw of the 390X, which is a top-notch performer at 1440p and superior to the 980.

I avoided a 980Ti for risk of losing workstation-oriented capabilities. Notice it has 32GB 2666Mhz CAS15 DDR4 memory, running in full quad channel and expandable up to 64GB. The CPU can be overclocked on the Zalman cooler, which has not only an attractive design but fantastic cooling capabilities. It is a very underrated cooler and is overlooked by the 212 EVO and watercooling often. Storage is plentiful and fast, case is attractive.

@g-unit: no, I did not copy your storage. I just happened to look and you picked the exact same hard drive and SSD as me.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


That doesn't bother me, having only Amazon means the part selection is a lot more limited than normal. So I'm sure we'll see lots of repeats by the time this is over.
 


If you have to override the sellers / pricing or add a custom part, doesn't that defeat the purpose of restricting this to Amazon in the first place? There is a reason why they aren't listed as "available" from Amazon on PCPartPicker...
 

RedJaron

Splendid

Not if the pricing comes directly from Amazon. The "reason" they're not listed available on PCPP is because Amazon seems to have problems with their webservice that lets sites like PCPP get up to date inventory and pricing. Quite a few of these parts are listed on Amazon, and available, but an incorrect price is shown on PCPP.
 


If the listing includes the price, then by all means use it. Adding a custom part, or overriding the price for what ever reason should not be done.
 

RedJaron

Splendid

Why not? If someone is going to build a computer, they're not going to skip a good deal just because Amazon can't be bothered to get their webservices working correctly. If you can find a product on Amazon in stock and at a different price than what is listed on PCPP, why should it not be an option for someone making a build list to correct it?
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
"Glorious Golden Boy" Build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant


CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz LGA 2011-v3 140W Desktop Processor ($371.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock X99 OC Formula EATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($351.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($96.29 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB AMP! Extreme Video Card ($669.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe ATX Full Tower Case ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2 80+ GOLD, 750W ECO Mode Fully Modular ($108.99 @ Amazon )
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1988.21
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-29 15:34 EDT-0400

Since phone manufacturers are making their ultra high end phones gold, why not bring that concept to PCs? I wanted to use a MSI Lightning because the black and gold color scheme of that card is what brings this color scheme all home, but the Zotac Amp! Extreme is the next best thing. The Asrock X99 OC Formula and the color changing LED abilities of the Enthoo Luxe really bring the color scheme alive.
 


Because the spirit of the "Best PC Builds" is to use a single source. If you want to allow customized or overridden items to keep pricing competitive, then open the approved vendors up to Newegg, B&H, NCIX, etc (reputable vendors). This is what we would do in the real world to use current pricing and availability to make our build decisions. Doing otherwise in these threads is just causing contention.
 

RedJaron

Splendid

I'm well aware of the rules, but you seem to be completely missing the point. I'll try again.

  • ■ I want a particular part in my build list.
    ■ According to PCPP, Amazon doesn't carry that part, it's out of stock, or the price listed on PCPP is wrong.
    ■ I sidle over to Amazon and find the part is indeed carried there and find the price it's actually sold at.
    ■ I add the part to my PCPP list and manually correct the price to reflect what's actually available at Amazon.
This is what I mean. I'm not talking about using prices from other sources or vendors. Perhaps you've misunderstood me. But if you don't understand the points above, I cannot explain it any simpler.
 

turkey3_scratch

Polypheme
Ambassador
I did the same thing. Pcpartpicker says the 5820K is not available on Amazon. So I headed over to Amazon and it indeed is available. So I set the manual price.

RedJaron, can we have some clear rules on this stuff?
 

RedJaron

Splendid
If you look above, you may notice the original rules have been updated a bit. We're now being asked to provide links to the Amazon product page for the part you are using. My guess is this was added since Amazon doesn't seem to play nicely with PCPP. Remember, PCPP is only an aggregator and is only as good as its data feeds. However, it is quite handy in making and formatting parts lists to post here. I know it will be a bit of a pain to go through your builds and re-edit them for Amazon URLs, but know a lot of Mods ( including me ) have posted builds and we have to go through it with you too.

So yes, officially, you can override any price listed in PCPP, provided the part is actually available at Amazon and it's not used or refurb. If you override a price, it's your responsibility to make sure you show the correct price. Any price list that is found referencing incorrect prices will be disqualified. Also note, shipping costs are no longer being included in the system cost, so that should give you a little extra leeway. Finally, when we say under $XXXX, we mean under $XXXX. I know it sucks cutting back on a part because you're 50 cents over ( and that's likely not how someone would buy parts in the real world ). But this is a competition, meaning we must have concrete rules so everyone knows their exact restrictions. We can't have an arbitrary fudge factor where each judge might have a different value of how much over budget is still acceptable.

If/when I or another Mod hears different from the Establishment, we'll let you know.
 

Moneyd623

Reputable
Oct 30, 2015
12
0
4,510
0
Bloody Albino

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor ($415.48)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.20 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X99M Killer Micro ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($296.29 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($139.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($308.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($308.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($174.11 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair Air 240 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair 760W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($149.98 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1994.88
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-30 12:41 EDT-0400

Been on a micro/mini PC kick lately to double as an HTPC.
 

Math Geek

Polypheme
Ambassador


these are the same rules for the SBM. now all the users who love to come in and rip apart the SBM builds can see the frustrations they face being stuck with the hard budget cap, single part source and not being able to use discounts and such in the total costs. hopefully may will come away with a better respect for what the SBM builders have to contend with, especially at the lower budgets. $2000 is easy but $750.... not so much...
 

RedJaron

Splendid

Thank you. That's what I found a few months ago when doing the SBM. It's a lot harder than you originally think it's going to be.
 

naturesninja

Distinguished
Dec 15, 2013
1,153
0
19,660
178
Fantasma Del Diablo:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($331.49 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: LEPA AquaChanger 240 103.6 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VII GENE Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($212.73 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile Red 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($135.16 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($174.11 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($116.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card ($659.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom 530 (Red) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX XTR 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($51.66 @ Amazon)
Total: $1992.10
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-30 14:40 EDT-0400

CPU-http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BX80646I74790K-i7-4790K-Processor-Cache/dp/B00KPRWAX8/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1446230572&sr=1-1&keywords=4790k
Motherboard-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K2R6C2G/?tag=pcpapi-20
Memory-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FGNY9RG/?tag=pcpapi-20
Storage-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OBRE5UE/?tag=pcpapi-20
Storage-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FJRS628/?tag=pcpapi-20
Video Card-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013XFK0SK/?tag=pcpapi-20
Case-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F0EAZEM/?tag=pcpapi-20
Power Supply-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I5HF0KU/?tag=pcpapi-20
Optical Drive-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007YWMCA8/?tag=pcpapi-20
CPU Cooler-http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RDLKYIC/?tag=pcpapi-20

Edit: naming
 

peanut_316

Distinguished
Sep 26, 2011
36
0
18,530
0
White Dragon Battlebox:


Processor: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (199.99@ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z170 Krait Gaming ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (159.99@Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory(103.35@Amazon)
Graphics: MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Armor 2X Video Card (2-Way SLI)(519.99@Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (49.50@Amazon)
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive(96.50@Amazon)
Case: NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case(69.99@Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply(81.99@Amazon)
Cooling: Corsair H55 57.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler(59.99@Amazon)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan x2 for the front of case.....(20.99ea@Amazon)

Total: $1899.54

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H55 57.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z170 Krait Gaming ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($166.48 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($103.35 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($96.29 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Armor 2X Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($519.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Armor 2X Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($519.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($81.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan ($20.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan ($20.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1909.54
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-30 15:12 EDT-0400
 
Big Red DirectX 12 Fury

NOTE: This build is designed for multiple GPU DirectX 12 configuration. The second video card is dedicated to NVIDIA GameWorks in supported games using older DirectX versions. Windows 10 is required for DirectX 12. Base cost is $1993.74 before shipping.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($254.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG H7 49.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($41.90 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VIII HERO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($228.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($119.28 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($96.29 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($116.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card ($659.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom 530 (Red) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($121.46 @ Amazon)
Other: ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX 2 GB Video Card ($231.26)
Total: $2001.14
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-30 15:58 EDT-0400
 

Vortel

Reputable
Oct 31, 2015
8
0
4,510
0
Sub $2000 System Name: Grim Reaper

Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($369.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z170 Krait Gaming ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($166.48 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB Superclocked Video Card ($1029.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($50.00 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($122.12 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.99 @ Amazon)
(Optional) Optical Drive: LG WH16NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($52.99 @ Amazon)
Tota With Optical Drivel: $1995.54 PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Total Without Optical Drive $1942.55

Thoughts on build: A white case was chosen to suit the (Polish Style) Grim Reaper theme where it wears a white rather than black robe. Though the storage may appear low, it's very easy to add external HDD/SSD via USB (this allowed this build to focus on speed with the other components).

With an unlimited budget, my personal preferred build would be to add a second Graphics Card and Bump up the SSD Size, bump up RAM Speed and Size (and MB if necessary to accomodate increased RAM Speed) and perhaps switch to a high-end black case. This preferred premium build would probably bring it in under $4K.

Fantastic competition, hope to see some of the other builds!
 
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