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Graphics Cards And Hard Drive

System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $650 Gaming PC

Graphics Cards: 2 x Sapphire 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

These Sapphire boards were the least expensive Radeon HD 4850s available, and the pair was $5 cheaper than any single Radeon HD 4890. Together, they offer an amazing amount of graphics power for under $200.

Read Customer Reviews of Sapphire's Radeon HD 4850 512MB

At first glance, these may appear to be the same Sapphire 100245L used in past SBMs, but closer inspection reveals these have one DVI, one D-sub, and one HDMI output, as well as a welcome variable speed four-wire fan.   

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Caviar Blue 500GB

While we keep hoping to fit a 640GB Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive into one of our budget gaming machines, at purchase time, the extra $18 was too much to squeeze into this build while still retaining all other desired components. The $57 Caviar Blue 500GB spins at 7,200 RPM, has a 16MB cache, and is backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

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