During the most recent episode of Low Volume, the crew and I kicked off a brand new segment of the show that will perhaps be the first series of content to be spread out across our podcast, SFF Network, and SFF Forum alike: The SFF Build Challenge!
This segment is meant to take place on the last episode of Low Volume for every month, and, best of all, everything from the choice of build to the winner of each segment is determined wholly by the community! Here's how it works:
- Starting two weeks before the last Low Volume episode of the month, the community picks a "build" that James, Jay, John and I will each individually create. For our premiere build challenge, we went with the difficult-but-interesting task of assembling a SFF gaming rig - including the OS - for just $450 or less. But for subsequent challenges it will be up to the community to decide what we'll have to come up with. Indeed, future builds could be as mundane as a $500-or-less all-purpose computer, or a $1200 ultra-silent configuration, or a VR-ready monster under 10L. The confines and priorities of the build are entirely driven by our readers!
- Between the build selection day and the air date of Low Volume, the crew and I will have two weeks to price out components for the build that we think best executes on the theme assigned by the community. In general, we have to stick to Amazon and Newegg US, include an OS, not include peripherals, and not include tax or shipping, just to keep things simple. But these rules can change depending on the build, and all contests will stipulate what the exact rules are for that particular challenge.
- On the date of the podcast, we'll share our builds with each other for the first time. Each of us individually gets a turn to explain our build and our rationale behind our part selection... and then we get one more turn to tear each other's builds apart, with the hopes of convincing listeners that our build is the best of all of them, and that everyone else has no idea what the heck they're doing.
- Finally, when the podcast goes live, we'll post a news article (such as this one) on SFF Network, and a forum thread on SFF Forum, that has all of the details on our builds, as well as quick write-ups from each of us to accompany those. The community will get two weeks to deliberate in the SFF Forum thread on our choices (as well as ask questions), and a poll will determine which host is crowned the winner!
- The winner of the contest will be awarded the coveted emoji trophy (), and will be considered by all in the land of SFF to be the unquestionable, benevolent and fearless leader of the Democratic Republic of the People's SFF Master Race. (Until next month, at least.)
Why hello, my fearless readers! My fighters of freedom from bloated builds! And welcome to this month's challenge!
As this is our first build challenge, we have elected to select the build for this month of April, and indeed, the four J's have had to create a gaming rig for the bargain-basement price of $450 or less! With the OS included, of course!
The rules for this challenge were simple enough: As usual, the four J's could shop at Newegg or Amazon US, and had to prove they could hit below a total price of $450 at or before the air date of the podcast. Peripherals, taxes and shipping were not to be included, just the desktop and OS. And, as always, the builds assembled by our players must be functional, and must be at or below the 19L mark. (What do you think we are, mere bulky-PC plebeians?)
Finally, each contender will get one paragraph to explain their choices, and one to eviscerate those of their opponents! Oh, what bloodsport! What excitement! I cannot wait...
But enough of the rules! Let us see the glorious contenders we have this month! We shall start, as always, in alphabetical order, and begin with James's build to start us off.