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Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $1300 Enthusiast PC

Memory: G.Skill RipjawsX Series 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1866 Memory Kit

Although we're limited in some ways, our larger budget does create room for high-speed, low-latency RAM. G.Skill's RipjawsX kit gives us 8 GB of DDR3 (spread across two channels) and operating at 1866 MT/s with 8-9-9-24 timings. Priced at $78 on Newegg, this isn't the most affordable kit around. But it receives great feedback, so we're excited to give it a shot.

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill RipjawsX Series 8 GB Kit

System Drive: Adata XPG SX900 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD

Our $1300 budget also creates some room for an SSD. Although 64 GB isn't enough to install every application you own on, it's enough for Windows and some of your most performance-sensitive software, at least. Priced at $80 on Newegg, it's easily assimilated into our budget, too.

Read Customer Reviews of Adata's XPG SX900 64 GB SSD

Hard Drive: Western Digital Black 1 TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive

Western Digital's Black drives have an excellent reputation for high performance. It's a shame that we couldn't get a larger SSD into this system. But we're at least happy that this disk drive gives our mini-ITX build a solid compromise between capacity and speed for just under $100.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Black 1 TB Hard Drive

Optical Drive: Lite-on iHAS124-04 DVD Burner

With our budget already pushing the $1300 limit, I picked the lowest-priced DVD burner I could find when it came time to place my order. We've used Lite-on's iHAS124 drive before and it's a reliable choice. There's not much for us to complain about given an $18 price tag.

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-on's iHAS124-04

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