Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 Memory Kit
Mushkin's Enhanced Redline dual-channel kit boasts 7-8-7-24 1T timings at a 1600 MT/s data rate, and it’s an excellent value at the $40 price point. This product was recently deactivated from Newegg, but you can get the Mushkin Blackline kit 996782 with the same specifications and price.
SSD: OCZ Vertex Plus OCZSSD2-1VTXPL60G 2.5" 60 GB
Flash-based storage weren't affected by the same flooding catastrophe in Thailand that is impacting conventional hard drives, and OCZ’s Vertex Plus 60 GB SSD is an affordable product (even if its user reviews scare us a little) with enough space to serve as a boot drive.
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB
At $180, the price of this hard disk has tripled since we last used it in our System Builder Marathon, and this component is solely responsible for the cost overage on our $1200 budget. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best-performing hard drives available, so we're sticking with it.
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner
For $22, Lite-On’s iHAS124-04 has a 2 MB buffer and a 24x DVD write speed. You might not get any frills with this OEM product, but you aren't asked to pay for any, either.