In keeping within the spirit of the GPU vs. CPU challenge, I focused a huge chunk of my budget on the platform's 3D potential. In fact, just over one-third of this first machine’s System Builder Marathon funding went to graphics, followed by the CPU.
After choosing the two key components for Big Build (and spending more than half of my budget), the next thing I needed to focus on was memory and storage. I wanted to keep things interesting, so I bounced around a bit to fit in at least one well-known goodie (the SSD) along with one brand I’m not too familiar with (RAM) and a couple of obvious accessories (hard drive and DVD).
For storage, I’m going with a nice tiered subsystem sensitive to my budget limitations, including an SSD for the operating system and a HDD for user files. In this case, I’m throwing in a 240GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD for the system drive, and a 1TB Seagate Barracuda for the music, movies and documents.
Once I figured out all of the big components, I needed to build out the backbone and chassis to put it all in. The motherboard was priority one in this group, followed by a power supply and a nice big case.