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An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: The $2400 People’s Choice PC
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Readers recommended a change in CPU and graphics, so I tried to keep the other performance-oriented aspects of this build as close to the previous effort as possible. Since system drive performance is among our measurements, the previous machine’s SSD remains.

System Drive: SanDisk Ultra Plus SDSSDHP-256G-G25

It’s no longer mentioned in our Best SSDs For The Money column, but that’s probably because a competing model dropped to $200.

Read Customer Reviews of SanDisk's Ultra Plus 256 GB SSD


The SanDisk Ultra Plus is still an attractive deal at $170 though, placed between Tiers 1 and 3 in both performance and price. No Tier 2 products made the recommended list, though the guide’s editor seemed to have other priorities.

Storage Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB

SSD-equipped systems usually run out of capacity long before you start piling on your collection of movies, music, and pictures. A hard drive assumes the role of mass storage for stuff that doesn’t get used as often and isn't performance-sensitive.

Read Customer Reviews of Seagate's Barracuda 2 TB


Even though it sports a 7200 RPM spindle speed and 64 MB of cache, we’re not expecting any speed records from the ST2000DM001. But it does give us a lot of storage space for $90. Better still (for me), this optional component isn’t tested by our benchmark suite.

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124

I’ve always believed that a high-end build should have the flexibility to support multiple media formats, which is why I usually equip these machines with a Blu-ray writer. Unfortunately, the original order price of our other components didn’t leave room in the budget for that this time.

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On's iHAS124


Able to burn DVD media at 24x and read my driver discs before I could get online to look for update, Lite-On’s iHAS124 is a low-cost solution to a problem that some of our readers don't have. Still, I consider the $20 spend to be worthwhile.

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