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Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE
Based on the AMD 770/SB710 chipset, this inexpensive board has already demonstrated to us stability, overclocking potential, and the ability to unlock dormant processing cores. Factor in CrossFireX (limited to x16/x4) and Phenom II X6 support, plus a pair of powered eSATAII/USB connectors, and its $60 price tag looks even sweeter.
ASRock’s use of solid capacitors in key areas of the voltage regulator circuit improves lifespan and reliability, while reducing cost versus the use of solid components throughout its design.
Memory: 4GB G.Skill Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS
Faced with a tight budget, we were excited to find 4 GB of DDR3 for $40. This basic dual-channel kit of G.Skill PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333) lacks heat spreaders, and is rated at CL9 and 1.5 V.