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Graphics Card And Hard Drive

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $650 Gaming PC

Graphics Card: PowerColor PCS+ AX7870 Myst Edition 2GBD5-2DHPPV3E

By now, you're probably pretty familiar with PowerColor’s AX7870 Myst Edition. Last quarter, three-quarters of our builds relied on this Tahiti LE-based board. Our bonus configuration sported two of them in CrossFire, in fact. Humorously, the biggest criticism my $600 setup endured came from gamers who thought this very card should have swept all of our budgets, no matter what it took to cram it in.

As the only Radeon HD 7870 with a Tahiti GPU at our disposal, PowerColor's board gives us the most performance available for $250, sporting a 925 MHz base and 975 MHz boost frequency, 1536 shaders, and 2 GB of 1500 MHz GDDR5 memory.

Read Customer Reviews of PowerColor's PCS+ AX7870 Myst Edition

Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKX 500 GB

Western Digital’s Blue-series WD5000AAKX gives us a balance between capacity, performance, and cost. The 500 GB SATA 6Gb/s-capable drive comes with 16 MB of cache, a 7200 RPM spindle, and a limited two-year warranty.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's WD50000AAKX 500 GB

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