Motherboard And Memory
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX
Normally, when we say we went with the least-expensive option, you assume we sacrificed something. But at $90, this B75 Express-based platform is far from cheap, especially compared to larger micro-ATX options.
We can live without built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and we knew we wouldn't be overclocking. Rather, what mattered most was the 7-series chipset's features on a stable platform. The B75M-ITX packs support for the Ivy Bridge architecture right out of the box, a 16-lane PCI Express 3.0 slot, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, and eSATA.
Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's B75M-ITX (opens in new tab)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR3-1600 4 GB Kit
Funding limitations meant we'd have to choose from among the most affordable 4GB kits of DDR3 for this build, and we were thrilled to see Crucial’s Ballistix Tactical Tracer down among them. With DDR3-1600 frequencies, CAS 8 latencies, all at 1.5V, the choice over equally-priced basic CAS 9 DDR3-1333 was a no brainer.