Motherboard And Memory
Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE
This time around, we looked into alternative motherboards priced up to about $75. Once again, though, we chose ASRock’s M3A770DE.
Based on the AMD 770/SB710 chipset, this affordable board has repeatedly demonstrated its stability, overclocking potential, and proclivity for unlocking artificially disabled processing cores. Factor in CrossFireX (limited to x16/x4) and Phenom II X6 support, plus a pair of powered eSATAII/USB connectors, and its low $60 price tag is an easy sell.
Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's M3A770DE Motherboard
ASRock’s use of solid capacitors in key areas of the voltage regulator circuit improves lifespan and reliability, while reducing cost compared to solid components throughout the design.
Memory: 4 GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1333 BL2KIT25664BA1339
Read Customer Reviews of Crucial's BL2KIT25664BA1339 4 GB DDR-1333 Kit
This 4 GB dual-channel kit of DDR3-1333 memory employs a single-sided design and is rated for CL9 timings at 1.5 V.
We can’t see the RAM ICs themselves, but it appears that Crucial took the last kit we used, slapped some aluminum heat spreaders over top, and replaced the first digit of the model number with “B” rather than “C.”
We're fine with this move, considering that, at a mere $25, the Ballistix Sport comes in less expensive than the spreader-less version.
While there are many unthinkable things in this build, the low price of $500 is also unthinkable. That's less than an ipad....
The last $500 build just was crap generally (micro-ATX and not many options on the mobo, IMHO).
This budget gaming rig is really close to what I'd build for a friend/family member that wanted to have a gaming rig. I'd change a few things, of coarse, but the overall direction (and selection of parts) is SPOT ON, IMHO!! Good job guys at TH!!!