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System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive

Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit

This dual-channel kit boasts 7-8-7-24 1T timings at a 1600 MT/s data rate. And, priced at $50 bucks, it also looks like a really solid value. This quarter we're giving Mushkin’s Redline series a try.

Read Customer Reviews of Mushkin's Enhanced Redline 4 GB DDR3-1600 Kit

Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 30 GB SSD

As mentioned in this story's intro, we’re looking to breathe life into the $1000 enthusiast system with a solid-state drive.

Bearing a $65 price tag, OCZ’s 30 GB Vertex series doesn’t have enough capacity to hold all of this system's applications and benchmarks. But it's big enough to host the operating system and some critical programs. We chose this model based on the recommendations in our Best SSDs For the Money column. 

Read Customer Reviews of OCZ's Vertex Series 30 GB SSD

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 32 MB cache

Backed by a new SSD in our system, we’ll stick with the same trusty $59 Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB drive for our mass storage needs.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Caviar Black 750 GB

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc SATA CD/DVD Burner Model AD-7260S-0B

As usual, we aren't putting a lot of money behind our $1000 PC’s optical drive. This time, we’re choosing Sony’s drive for no reason other than its low $19 price tag.

Read Customer Reviews of Sony's AD-7260S-0B Burner