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Sharky Extreme : Monthly Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide July 29, 2007


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    May Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
    By Bao Ly :  May 1, 2003

    Storage

    Two Seagate 120GB SATA, 7200 RPM w/ 8MB cache

    Current Cost on Drives: $189 X 2 = $378
    Months on list: New
    Price Change: N/A

    Serial ATA hard drives have finally hit the retail channels in large enough volume for us to safely include them in the Extreme Guide. Therefore we're including a pair of Seagate 120GB SATA hard drives configured in a RAID-0 configuration for maximum hard drive performance. The drives feature the Serial ATA-150 interface, 8-MB of cache, 8.5ms access times, and of course, a 7200 RPM rotation speed.

    As these are Serial ATA drives, be sure to nab a couple of SATA power adapters, as the new drives do not support standard PSU power cords. These are simple and inexpensive devices, but are required to get those SATA drives up and running.

    CD/DVD-ROM: Sony 16X DVD-ROM

    Cost: $40
    Months on list: New
    Price Change: N/A

    Sony has been a market leader for optical drives for many years, and with 16X DVD-ROM drives becoming more standard in many home computers, there's not much of an advantage between the different name brands. Sony is a familiar name offering a good product at a more than fair price.

    This drive is tray-loading model, which is much more compatible with the smaller sized discs (200MB mini CD's, and 20MB business card type CD's) than their slot loading competition. The drive is fairly standard, reading DVD media at up to 16X, and CD media at up to 40X.

    CDRW: ASUS CRW-5224A

    Current Cost: $48
    Months on list: 3
    Price Change: -$22

    The Asus CRW-5224A is once again our Extreme Guide optical recorder of choice. We might have worked in a DVD-R into the Extreme Guide, but it would have been a tight squeeze, and only on the AMD side. Maybe the next generation of DVD-R/RW drives will finally enable them to replace CD-R/RW's in the Extreme Guide, but in the meantime we're quite happy and comfortable with the Asus CRW-5224A. This is a super CDR/RW drive with a lot of nice freebies that sweeten the deal even further.

    The ASUS CRW-5224A boasts 52X CD write speeds, 24X CD re-write speeds, 52X CD reading speeds, and a blazing 52X Digital Audio Extraction speeds. This drive is extremely fast and stable, and includes a 2-MB data buffer, and support for buffer under-run protection and optimal writing speed technology. The retail software and hardware bundle is one of the best we've seen, and ASUS not only includes Nero 5, but stuffs a 10-pack of 52X-compatible CDRs and two 24X CDRW disks in as well. The ASUS CRW-5224A isn't one of those drives you can only read the specs on (and wait for available media) but can be used at its top-end performance range right out of the box. The 24X CDRW disks come in mighty handy, especially since high-end CDRW media can be tough to find.

    Floppy Disk Drive: Name Brand 1.44 Floppy Disk Drive

    Cost: $8

    The venerable 1.44 floppy disk drive is getting a bit old hat, and its use is quite limited, but they're still needed for some PC tasks and in limited situations where inexpensive, portable storage is still needed.


    Page 1 Introduction and Case
    Page 2 Processors and Cooling
    Page 3 Motherboards and Memory
  • Page 4 Hard Drives and CD/DVD-ROM
    Page 5 Video Card, Monitor and Sound
    Page 6 Mouse, Keyboard & Controller
    Page 7 Communications, Operating System, etc.
    Page 8 Price Roundup and Conclusion

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