Motherboard And Memory
Motherboard: ASRock M3A770D
We needed an inexpensive motherboard with some degree of overclocking potential. Of course, it couldn't sacrifice stability or the potential of unlocking our Athlon II chip. ASRock's M3A770DE, based on the AMD 770/SB710 chipset, was just the ticket. With CrossFire (limited to x16/x4) and Phenom II X6 support, plus a pair of powered eSATA/USB connectors, the $60 price tag looks even sweeter.
Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's M3A770D
Notice that ASRock uses solid capacitors in key areas of the voltage regulator circuit to improve lifespan and reliability, but not throughout the board, as we have come to appreciate on more expensive models from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI.
Memory: Crucial CTKIT12864BA1339
Read Customer Reviews of Crucial's CTKIT12864BA1339 DDR3-1333 Kit
Two gigabytes system memory seems like an obvious choice for our $400 build, so we opted for the same affordable dual-channel Crucial kit we've used in the past.
Although it lacks heat spreaders, and is rated at CL9 and 1.5 V, Crucial DDR3-1333 modules with D9KPT ICs has demonstrated impressive overclocking capabilities in past memory roundups.
+1 for making this statement, glad someone considered it at least. All in all decent build for the money.
Even this $400 build packs a punch, you can get one HELL of a rig for the money any more. It really is insane, and that's not even considering the used or refurb market!
Awesome article, probably one of my favorite SBM, atleast the best I've seen in a long time.
150$ buys you a lot better gaming capabilities, and nothing else.
I doubt someone spending $400 can't afford to add an extra dollar. although i realize that the point in these articles is to stay under the budget, it would have been interesting to see the price/perforamce difference.
I'd bet if you could pull ~200 mhz more out of it, it would begin to match up with the missing core, and maybe start to pull away around 400mhz.
You'll have to spend a little bit more there. Rosewill has a 430W (RG430 S12) unit or the Antec Neo 400W is almost the same price as the CM after a discount and rebate.