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Motherboard And Memory

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP

Based on Intel's H77 Express chipset, ASRock's H77 Pro4/MVP is designed to support third-gen Core processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture. It features official DDR3-1600 memory and PCI Express 3.0 support.

Some of the features more relevant to our configuration include all-solid capacitors, four DIMM slots, native SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 ports, a handful of USB 2.0 ports, and legacy PCI expansion slots. The board also supports Intel's Smart Connect and Rapid Start features, along with Lucidlogix's Virtu Universal MVP technology. Even AMD's CrossFire is supported, though you'd need to accept a less-than-optimal x16/x4 arrangement.

ASRock's Combo Cooler Option gives you the flexibility to mount LGA 775-, 1155-, and 1156-based coolers, too.

Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's H77 Pro4/MVP

Memory: 8 GB G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT DDR3-1333  Memory Kit

The Pentium G850's dual-channel memory controller limits us to 1333 MT/s data rates yet again. This time, however, we have the money left over to splurge on an 8 GB kit from G.Skill's Value Series.

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT 8 GB Memory Kit

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