Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Graphics Card: MSI Radeon R7 265 2GD5 OC 2 GB
Priced $20 less than any other Radeon R7 265 and $40 below the Radeon R9 270, selecting MSI's Radeon R7 265 2 GB was probably the easiest decision I made. Singularly, this card represented the highest level of graphics I could fit into my budget. Potentially just as important, it was receiving favorable feedback on Newegg for the quietness and effectiveness of its cooling solution.
This model earns the OC component of its name because Power Tune with Boost accelerates the Pitcairn GPU up to 955 MHz, which is 30 MHz higher than a reference Radeon R7 265. Its memory, however, remains at 1400 MHz (4800 MT/s).
We bought our parts in May. Between then and now, there has been some downward pressure on pricing from competing cards. Anyone interested in buying today enjoys additional options as a result.
Hard Drive: WD Blue WD10EZEX 1 TB
Priced competitively quarter after quarter, Western Digital’s Blue-series 1 TB hard drive gives us ample capacity and performance at a price we can usually squeeze into our budget.
First, I looked at the 500 GB version. But doubling storage space for just $5 seemed like a no-brainer in terms of gigabyte per dollar, especially considering the growing size of many modern games, downloadable add-ons, and user-created mods.
This SATA 6Gb/s-capable mechanical drive has 64 MB cache, a 7200 RPM spindle, and it comes with a limited two-year warranty.