Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Graphics Card: MSI Radeon R9 270X Gaming 2G
Favorable pricing trends meant this quarter I could outfit Radeon R9 270X for less money then last quarter’s R9 270. However, this speed bump in default GPU clocks comes with the need for an additional 6-pin power lead, which may or may not increase power supply costs.
Read Customer Reviews of MSI's Radeon R9 270X Gaming 2G Graphics Card (opens in new tab)
MSI outfits this card with their Twin Frozr IV cooler, consisting of an aluminum heatsink and heatpipes which are topped by a pair of large 100mm fans tucked into plastic shroud. It’s an effective and quiet solution, solidifying the value of the purchase.
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB
Western Digital’s Blue-series 1TB hard drive hits the sweet spot in gigabyte per dollar value, giving us ample storage capacity and performance at a price we can usually squeeze into our budget.
Read Customer Reviews of Western Digitals WD Blue 1TB Hard Drive (opens in new tab)
This SATA 6.0Gb/s mechanical drive has 64MB cache, 7200RPM spindle rotation, and comes with a limited two-year warranty.
Preferably one with Inverter technology, which will decrease the temperature delta (it doesn't start-stop once it reaches a given temperature threshold).
Since the purpose of these SBM machines is (imho) to learn things, I would have liked to have seen a different mobo used, for comparison.
I appreciate the thoughtful approach to overclocking that was used here.
The only niggle I can't resist is the $18 for the optical drive. For months, I've been seeing one or another of them for around $13-$14. That seems a small thing, but that $4-$5 plus the leftover may have bought either a better cooler or a faster HDD.
same with the game of the year, Dragon Age Inquisition.
I suspect it's time to drop dual cores as a build suggestion.