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System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Graphics Card And Hard Drive

Graphics Card: Sapphire 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1 GB

It only took an extra $10 to step up from a Radeon HD 6850 to the HD 6870, providing more ALUs and texture units, as well as higher core and memory clocks. This card features reference-class clock rates and and output connectivity.

Read Customer Reviews of Sapphire's Radeon HD 6870 1 GB

Sapphire’s bundle includes a DVI-to-VGA adapter, two PCIe Molex power adapters (one of which we need to use in this build), and a DiRT 3 game coupon. Unfortunately, no Crossfire bridge connector is included; hopefully you get that in your motherboard kit.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500 GB

Read Customer Reviews of Seagate's Barracuda ST500DM002 500 GB Hard Drive

Although our selected motherboard is limited to SATA 3Gb/s connectivity, the Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 gives us 500 GB of storage capacity, a 7200 RPM spindle speed, and 16 MB of cache at the low $40 starting point for internal storage drives.