System Recommendation Guide - January
Storage, Sound Card, DVD
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.Hard Drive – IBM Deskstar 75GXP 45GB - $145
Storage systems have never been my forte, and that's why I have DieU around to cover my ass! :) This is the best IDE hard drive, in my opinion, and the prices just keep going down. Now at under $150, these hard drives have a fast 7200 RPM speed and are very reliable. It amazes me that some of the other hard drive manufacturers can sell their slower, and smaller drives for much more and get away with it. These hard drives used to be hard to find, at least during our last system guide, as many readers wrote in saying every place was out of stock. I check with a couple of the vendors that are listed in the search results up top, and they reported that they were well stocked and ready to take your orders.
Sound Card – Sound Blaster Live! - $40
The sound card seems to be a part of PC that has been getting left behind for the last several months. Unless I am mistaken (and let’s hope I’m not), there haven’t been any real advancements in the audio card technology since the Sound Blaster Live! EAX v. the Aureal debate.
Whether you choose the Value version of this card or the Gamer version of this sound card, please keep in mind that they are all the same card with the same components, but only come with varying extras and peripherals. The choice is up to you when you begin to get that specific. And for a lower price than last month, I don't see how they could get any cheaper. These cards used to retail $150 when they were first released! :)
CD/DVD-ROM – Acer 1640A 16x DVD-ROM - $100
This bdrive is ultra quiet! Having had one too many of the jet-engine sounding CD-ROMs, I was very impressed at the level of sound that was emitted even during installations, etc.
If you are like me, you use your main CD device for installing games, burning CDs to blanks, ripping audio, etc. This DVD-ROM does all this extraordinarily! With a 16x DVD read speed, this reads data off disks at a steady 40x and also importantly (at least for me) is the steady 15x audio rip. This makes creating MP3 albums much easier and faster.
A CD-R drive is also strongly recommended now that they are very cheap and common to find in all the retail stores. It was left out of our system guide simply because it is not a necessary part of a new PC system.