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System Builder Marathon Q3 2014: Mainstream Enthusiast PC

Memory, Hard Drives And Optical Storage

Memory: G.Skill Trident DDR3-2400 8 GB Memory Kit

It doesn't make much sense to chase after the highest overclock on an unlocked processor with cheap RAM. So, I splurged on G.Skill's Trident 8 GB DDR3-2400 kit. At $87, the two 4 GB modules aren't exactly extravagant, though they cost considerably more than the DDR3-1600 kit I bought last time. Sporting 10-12-12-31 timings at 1.65 V, this little upgrade should help me get the most out of my Core i5-4690K overclock.

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's Trident DDR3-2400 8 GB Kit

System Drive: Adata Premier Pro SP920 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD

I'm running short on cash, but you made it clear last quarter that you consider solid-state storage a necessity. Therefore, I picked Adata's SP920 for its relatively low $75 price tag combined with a respectable 128 GB of space. It serves this system well and provides quick boot-up and application launching.

Read Customer Reviews of Adata's Premier Pro SP920 128 GB SSD

Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue 1 TB Hard Drive

Armed with a small boot SSD, I needed to add capacity elsewhere for user information. Western Digital's Blue 1 TB drive is the answer when all you need is affordable space. One terabyte should be ample for movies, music, documents, and pictures once you get everything else onto the 120 GB solid-state repository. You can't beat that $60 price tag either, particularly from a 7200 RPM disk.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Blue 1 TB Hard Drive

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST DVD-Burner

As usual, I went with the cheapest DVD burner option on Newegg. This quarter's lucky winner is Asus' DRW-24B1ST, an OEM model with a 24x write speed and a miserly $20 price tag.

Read Customer Reviews of Asus' DRW-24B1ST DVD Burner