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Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Storage

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: Our New Enthusiast PC

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.

Read Customer Reviews of Corsair's Vengeance LP 8 GB Memory Kit

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. 

Read Customer Reviews of Samsung's 840 EVO 128 GB SSD

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.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Black 500 GB Hard Drive

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.

Read Customer Reviews of LG's WH14NS40 Blu-ray Burner

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