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System Builder Marathon Q4 2014: Mainstream Enthusiast PC

Memory, Hard Drives And Optical Storage

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X series DDR3-2133 8 GB Memory Kit

We've learned that highly-clocked low-latency RAM makes a difference, and with dropping prices it's a no-brainer. We selected G.Skill's Ripjaws X 8 GB DDR3-2133 kit for $80. With 9-11-10-28 timings at 1.65 V, this product features excellent specifications for the price.

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's Ripjaws X DDR3-2133 8 GB Kit

System Drive: Kingston V300 120GB

Kingston's V300 might not be the fastest budget SSD available, but it's still many times faster than a mechanical hard disk. And with a $60 asking price for the 120 GB model, it barely makes a dent in our budget. For a low-cost PC, it's nice to be able to add a high-performance boot drive for very little cash.

Read Customer Reviews of Kingston's V300 Series 120 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 53 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-24F1ST DVD-Burner

As usual, I went with the cheapest DVD burner option on Newegg. This quarter's lucky winner is Asus' DRW-24F1ST, an OEM model with a 24x write speed and a miserly $20 price tag.

Read Customer Reviews of Asus' DRW-24F1ST DVD Burner

  • envy14tpe
    You got the wrong GPU listed in the build. It is a 970 not 770. I'm referring to the Q4 build parts list. It should be the Zotac 970 4GB.

    Other than that. Build looks decent.

    : Thanks for the heads up, fixed! :)
    Reply
  • rush21hit
    It's just perfect for 1k budget build. If I have such budget, I would gone to different casing though. Did you know Lian Li had just released their new casing that look sick awesome? They make it wall mountable too. I would go with that.
    Reply
  • rayden54
    Does anyone ever recommend a Zotac GPU?
    Reply
  • SessouXFX
    It's rare for reviewers to recommend a Zotac, At least from what I've seen, it's because just as things start to look good, Zotac make some questionable decisions with their cards. otherwise, they're quite affordable and are usually better than reference.
    Reply
  • BoredSysAdmin
    "In this last system builder marathon of 2015"
    Did I just lost a whole year?

    Derp, fixed! :P
    Reply
  • VaporX
    Okay so I looked over this build and honestly I was a bit disappointed because for the price you could have done better. Going to Newegg I got the following.

    i5 4690K with Gigabyte Z97MX Gaming, same ID cooler listed above, 8 Gig Crucial (1660) RAM, 240 Gig Crucial MX100, Thermaltake Core V21 Case, Thermaltake Smart 550 watt PSU, Sapphire Tri-X 290 and Windows 8.1 all for $1056.

    So I lost the optical drive, no real lose there, some HD space (learn not to hoard) gained better onbaord sound, a large GPU performance bump and the speed advanateg of a pure SSD set.

    IMO a much nicer gamer rig.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    14906749 said:
    Okay so I looked over this build and honestly I was a bit disappointed because for the price you could have done better. Going to Newegg I got the following.

    i5 4690K with Gigabyte Z97MX Gaming, same ID cooler listed above, 8 Gig Crucial (1660) RAM, 240 Gig Crucial MX100, Thermaltake Core V21 Case, Thermaltake Smart 550 watt PSU, Sapphire Tri-X 290 and Windows 8.1 all for $1056.

    So I lost the optical drive, no real lose there, some HD space (learn not to hoard) gained better onbaord sound, a large GPU performance bump and the speed advanateg of a pure SSD set.

    IMO a much nicer gamer rig.

    They built this probably 3 weeks ago...so prices change.
    Reply
  • Scorpionking20
    I got 2 of those exact gpus...sent them back due to hardware crashes and coil whine. Replaced them with 2 evga 970's and I couldn't be happier. Never again Zotac!
    Reply
  • Onus
    I think the build is good. I'm going to guess that the budget cooler isn't going to support a high overclock, but that wouldn't matter to me, since I don't use +voltage to OC.
    I'm not going to quibble over the choice of Zotac. I've read mixed reviews of them. It isn't an obvious choice to me like MSI or Gigabyte, but it isn't one to avoid either like Diamond.
    I'm disappointed that the OC numbers weren't included; maybe this build could have been presented "out of sequence" after troubleshooting?
    I'd love to win this one; it is very much like something I'd build.
    Reply
  • the1kingbob
    ID Cooling SE-213 Has three heat pipes, not four
    Reply