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Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive

System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Memory: AMD Performance Edition 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600

We've heard concerns that 4 GB isn’t enough for a performance-oriented desktop build, particularly when 8 GB kits are so cheap. Our budget is a limiting factor here, though, and as such we don't have a problem stepping down to 4 GB.

Read Customer Reviews of AMD's Performance Edition 4 GB DDR3-1600 Kit

I have yet to see compelling benchmark evidence that 8 GB offers a practical advantage for most desktop users. And at $33.99, this dual-channel kit delivers 1600 MT/s DDR3 with 8-9-8-24-1T timings.

As for the AMD badge, these modules are simply re-branded Patriot memory at a good price.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750 GB

Read Customer Reviews of Seagate's Barracuda 750 GB

With very little money left over after buying our other components, we have to make some tough decisions. That means a high-performance SSD is out of the question.

With hard drive prices slowly on their way back down, we're going for Seagate’s Barracuda 750 GB model, which is a good all-around performer for $80.

Optical Drive: LG GH22NS90B OEM

Read Customer Reviews of LG's GH22NS90B

LG’s GH22NS90B is priced attractively, and it even includes the M-disk feature if you're interested in burning discs intended to last for at least 1000 years. Of course, you have to buy expensive media to take advantage of that feature. For the rest of us, this drive is a good budget workhorse for $18.

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