Review Index:

System Recommendation Guide - December

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: CoolerMaster

Storage, Sound Card

This content was originally featured on and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Hard Drive – IBM Deskstar 75GXP 45GB - $180

After reading DieU’s recent Atto SCSI RAID Controller review, I had some second thoughts when it came to the data storage for the recommended system. Would a SCSI system be an appropriate choice? How about SCSI RAID?

Well, for a few reasons, I decided to stick with IDE. First, with advent of the Abit KT7-RAID as our motherboard, it would seem silly to buy another RAID device for a different platform. Also, while SCSI costs have been getting lower and lower, hard drives are still vastly more expensive in SCSI form than in IDE form. If you are running a server or something of that nature, SCSI seems like a necessary choice, but for home users and games, ATA100 7200 RPM IDE should be nice, comfortable fit.

More specific, I chose the IBM Deskstar line out of personal preference. Though we haven’t done any reviews of the hard drive series here at, various websites have shown them to be the fastest and most reliable IDE hard drives available in the 7200 RPM ATA100 category. Since our motherboard has ATA100 support, why not use it? Besides, who can pass up 45GB worth of storage for a mere $175???

Sound Card – Sound Blaster Live! - $50

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.

CD/DVD-ROM – Acer 1640A 16x DVD-ROM - $125

My most recent upgrade to my personal system was to add this very DVD-ROM drive to my machine, and I have to tell you I was very impressed. If I weren’t, would I be putting it in this recommendation guide? :) This baby 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.

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