Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
Memory: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3-10600) Dual-Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Crucial's dual-channel memory kit contains the same highly overclockable budget RAM that impresses us time and time again. At $112, it’s exactly what our $1,000 build needs.
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB
Choosing a relatively slow 320GB hard disk is another controversial decision. But frankly, the real-world difference in application performance won't be as affected by storage performance, especially when mechanical hard drives are the only products in our price range.
Primarily, our choice was affected by our budget. But unless you’re downloading a lot of media content, 320 GB should work fine as a primary drive for most folks. Of course, anyone putting a system together could certainly throw a bit more money at something larger to suit their needs.
Optical Drive: OEM Lite-On iHAS124 CD/DVD Burner SATA
The Lite-On iHAS124 delivers faster-than-average 24x DVD+R write speeds and a 2MB cache, all for a mere $23 price tag. That's enough reason for us to try it out in this month's $1,000 machine.