Page 1:Finally, A Forward-Looking Build
Page 2:Motherboard And CPU
Page 3:Graphics And RAM
Page 4:Cooling And Case
Page 5:Hard Drives And Accessories
Page 6:Optical Drive And Power Supply
Page 7:Hardware Installation
Page 9:Test Settings
Page 10:Benchmark Results: CoD:MW2 And Crysis
Page 11:Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And Call Of Pripyat
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 13:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 14:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 15:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Hard Drives And Accessories
System Drives: Two Crucial CT64M225 Solid-State Disks
With its faster program launch times and quicker response in certain games, we really wanted an SSD in this month’s system, despite the negative effect on our later performance-to-price assessment. A 128GB unit would be large enough for all our programs, but two 64GB units in a RAID controller’s Level 0 mode should provide even better transfer rates for around the same price. Our previous M225 review showed that Crucial’s performance ratings are realistic, so it took only a small leap of faith to purchase the yet-untested 64GB versions.
Cooler Master’s Cosmos S doesn’t have the two 2.5” drive bays needed to hold our pair of SSD drives, but that doesn’t bother us, since SNT’s sleek 2.5” hot-swappable backplane cost only $22.
Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
Most high-end users need far more than 128GB of storage, but the stuff that typically fills a drive doesn’t require super-fast access. An additional 1TB of space can usually accommodate dozens of movies, hundreds of songs, and thousands of photos simultaneously.
Western Digital’s Caviar Black was chosen primarily for its good performance, though we could have just as easily selected its more energy-efficient Green series counterpart and saved money at the same time.
We normally recommend at least two drives and RAID 1 for continuous backup of long-term storage, but feedback-based disagreement between our audience led us to leave that option up to individual owners. One thing that can be said for RAID 1 on Intel controllers is that, in the event of system failure, any surviving drive can be migrated to “single” mode on most other Intel-based motherboards through its Matrix Storage Manager software.
- Finally, A Forward-Looking Build
- Motherboard And CPU
- Graphics And RAM
- Cooling And Case
- Hard Drives And Accessories
- Optical Drive And Power Supply
- Hardware Installation
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: CoD:MW2 And Crysis
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And Call Of Pripyat
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency