Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 Memory Kit
A lot of what we experiment with comes from your feedback, and comments in the forums suggest that the Tom's Hardware audience considers 8 GB of memory the minimum for a $1,000 build. You ask, we deliver.
For a scant $50, Mushkin's 8 GB DDR3-1600 memory kit gives us the capacity you want, the data rate our processor can use, and low-enough timings to make us happy. Once again, this is the same RAM we used in last quarter's SBM, so we should be able to draw a fair comparison with it.
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT-25SAT3-60G 60 GB
Same story here. We chose OCZ's Agility 3 last time, so we're using it again this quarter.
This small boot drive is fast enough to accelerate the responsiveness of Windows and a couple of applications. We turn around and install games and benchmarks on a larger mechanical hard disk. At $65, it's a pretty cheap add-on, even though we're really starting to eye those 128 GB SSDs in the $100 range for the future.
Hard Drive: Hitachi GST Deskstar 7K1000.C 1 TB
Hitachi's Deskstar offers 1 TB of storage, a 7200 RPM rotational speed, and 32 MB of data cache for $90. Although it only employs a 3 Gb/s SATA interface, you'll never see anything even close to a bottleneck from that specification. So, we're plenty satisfied with this drive as secondary storage for user data.
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD-ROM
Optical drive prices seem to fluctuate frequently on Newegg. While LG's GH24NS90 was the cheapest model when we placed our order, the price is now at $19. Still, that's not bad, and our choice should serve as a solid solution for disc-based storage.