What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?

Updated May 2nd, 2018:

Yes folks, it has been a long hiatus but it is finally time to update the Hardware Leaderboard again.  The price of GPUs is starting to trend towards rationality again, Intel and AMD have both launched products which offer a reason to upgrade, with AMD once again ruling the roost, and the SSD market has continued to change just a wee tad as well.  The PCPer Hardware Leaderboard forum has been active the whole time, with a wide variety of suggestions, so make sure to visit if you are looking for daily updates.

Threadripper remains the best consumer processor for the serious gamer or designer, with 64 lanes of PCIe 3.0 allowing you multiple GPUs, SSDs and other components with room to spare.  The GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7 gives you a wide variety of upgrade choices as well as offering a vast array of features and support for high frequency RAM.  To power your graphics, MSI's overclocked GTX 1080 Ti will serve you well, with multiple profiles to allow it quiet operation when you are not using its full power.  For storage, Wester Digital offered up a great surprise with there second genration of Black NVMe SSDs, giving even Optane a challenge in speed.  32GB of DDR-3200 will satisfy even the most memory hungry applications, you can probably even leave a second tab open in Chrome for a while!

Ryzen 2 has arrived and while more of an interative leap in performance than a huge increase it is enough to challenge Intel's processors on performance and beat them on price.  The Force is still with MSI's 370X SLI Plus for the moment, the X470 will see much more availablity in a few days so expect to see an update sooner rather than later.  Ryzen likes high frequency RAM, so Corsair's Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200MHz kit is appropriate fo this build, along with a decently priced GTX 1070 which we hope will soon evolve into a proper GTX 1080. Western Digital's new 500GB PCIe NVME Black SSD is too good to pass up, the ASUS Xonar DSX 7.1 could be if the motherboards' Realtek ALC892 Codec does not meet your needs.

AMD's new chips show up in the Mid-Range as well, the Ryzen 5 2600 is an impressive beast as is the overclocked PNY GTX 1060 6GB XLR8.  The ASUS Prime B350M-E is not the most feature filled AM4 board on the market, however that low price allows this build to enjoy the speed of an NVMe SSD and remain under $1000.  Corsair's Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-320 kit offers you enough RAM for most applications as well as operating at a high frequency.

The Budget Build will be used for more than just light gaming and that makes the four core Ryzen 3 2200G a wise choice for money conscious buyers as you can depend on the eight Vega CU's on the chip and skip the GPU entirely.  If you need a discrete GPU immediately,theMSI RX 560 AERO ITX 4G OC pairs nicely with this APU.  The same motherboard as the Mid build holds your components and offers some room for improvement, as well as allowing you to build in a small enclosure.  This build can't quite sustain an NVMe SSD yet and remain under $500, unless you decided to choose that over a GPU, or drop the GPU altogether and get a solid workhorse for under $400!

Once you have all your components you can always reference Ryan's videos covering the installation of the parts into the case as well as installing your OS and Steam so you can get right to gaming and surfing.  For those of you looking at a Vive or Oculus, the systems mostly match those covered in Ryan's VR builds; check out your expected experience in his three guides.