System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $1,000 Enthusiast PC

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.

Read Customer Reviews of Crucial's DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Kit

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's 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

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On's iHAS124 DVD Burner

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.

  • alikum
    When you say SBM: Enthusiast System, I am expecting this to be more than just another gaming rig. You may have your own reason for sticking to a Phenom II x3 720 and HD5830 crossfire but I believe a Phenom II x4 955 and HD5770 crossfire would make more sense or more well-balanced (instead of trying your luck by unlocking cores). In fact, we could also grab a HD5870 and downgrade our mobo a little and that would make a truly well balanced enthusiast system.
  • scrumworks
    Nice CPU choice you morons. My grandma could build a more balanced system.
  • manitoublack
    I'm with one-shot, 6core AMD for $200 can't be beat.
  • one-shot
    It would have been nice to see the PII X6 1055T with a moderate downgrade in GPUs to afford the higher cost of CPU and motherboard. The i7 embarrasses the PII X3.
  • adbat
    I find it surprising that you are always successful in unlocking the 4th core
  • IzzyCraft
    not a fan of the 5830's or the 720 cpu choice is all.

    Would have rather seen a dual 5770's or a 5870 with a i5-750 or a 955

    games more and more are using cpu for doing things. I also tend to use a comp for other things more then games.
  • Tamz_msc
    Bad choice of components especially CPU and GPU
  • Tamz_msc
    A phenom II 955 BE:160$+2 Xfx hd 5770sfor320$+GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H for 140$=620$ would certainly have been a better choice than your 670$ for CPU+GPU+mobo.
  • Tamz_msc
    Tamz_mscA phenom II 955 BE:160$+2 Xfx hd 5770s for 320$+GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H for 140$=620$ would certainly have been a better choice than your 670$ for CPU+GPU+mobo.
  • The Lady Slayer
    A Thermaltake V3 instead of the Antec 300 would have saved you $15