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.
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.
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.
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.