Page 1:Taking The SBM Down A Different Road
Page 2:CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
Page 3:Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
Page 4:Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Storage
Page 5:System Assembly And Overclocking
Page 6:Test System And Benchmarks
Page 7:Results: Synthetics
Page 8:Results: Media Transcoding
Page 9:Results: Rendering And Productivity
Page 10:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 11:Results: Compression Tools
Page 12:Results: Battlefield 4 And Arma 3
Page 13:Results: Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
Page 14:Power And Temperature
Page 15:A Core i7 And Flagship GPU Impress, Naturally
Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Storage
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3-1866 Memory Kit 8 GB (2 x 4 GB)
This dual-channel kit boasts an XMP memory profile with 9-10-9-27 timings at 1866 MT/s, while sipping power at a mere 1.5 V. Selling for $103 on Newegg at the time of writing, it's priced as expected for high-performance memory in this RAM-hungry market.
System Drive: Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD
Currently selling for $90, Samsung's 840 EVO 120 GB SSD offers respectable value for a system drive. Our own Christopher Ryan is particularly smitten with this repository, praising its performance and value-added features that keep data safe, despite triple-level-cell flash memory.
Hard Drive: Western Digital Black 500 GB
When it comes to choosing the right hard drive given limited funds, you need to balance capacity and performance. This quarter, I chose to favor speed.
Assuming 500 GB is enough storage space for music, movies, and pictures, $71 gets you Western Digital's high-performance Black with an impressive five-year warranty. Of course, if you need to house terabytes of data, you'll want a larger drive. That might necessitate stepping back to a slower-spinning disk instead.
Optical Drive: LG Black OEM Blu-ray Burner
A standard DVD burner sells for around $20. But if you fancy using your PC as a media center, a Blu-ray writer gives you a little more flexibility. LG's WH14NS40 is going for $54 on Newegg after a temporary promotion, and I consider that to be a reasonable expense, given the options it opens up to enthusiasts.
- Taking The SBM Down A Different Road
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Storage
- System Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Transcoding
- Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Compression Tools
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Arma 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
- Power And Temperature
- A Core i7 And Flagship GPU Impress, Naturally