The PC Gamer Rig: A hard drive bargain driven?

Adam Oxford

the rig mk 4

Thinking of building yourself a new PC or upgrading an old one? Then you've come to the right post for component advice. The PC Gamer Rig is our (almost) weekly update about the state of kit costs and best value performance for your PC.

This week that has seen the launch of AMD's new mid-range HD7800 series graphics, so it's a bit depressing to report that there's no major changes to the make-up of the Rig. While the new Radeon cards are impressive, they're not quite convincing enough to unseat the Intel/NVIDIA axis around which this PC has been structured for many months now.

Although if you don't mind spending a bit more, there's a lot of reasons you might consider an AMD HD7870. Apart from the fact it barely sips power from the great electronic electricity fountain at your mains plug, when overclocked it's capable of hitting benchmarks that are within site of NVIDIA's GTX 580.

The real find, however, arrived in my inbox this morning from Scan . A 1TB hard drive from Toshiba for less than £70. While hard drive prices are still high (following last year's Thai floods ), that's almost half the cost gig-for-gig of other drives. Annoyingly, the price had already risen by the time this was posted, so clearly there's a lot of demand.

Even better is the fact that very respectable SSDs are now less than £1 a gigabyte, and the top of the line Corsair Force GT with synchonrous MLC NAND is only a bit more expensive.

Which makes it almost worth thinking about investing in storage again.

What's in the Rig?

CPU

Intel Core i5 2500K

£152.97 / $224.99

The amount you save buying a 'non-K' version isn't worth it.

Motherboard

ASUS P8Z68-V LX/Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3

£74.98 / $99.99

Good value Z68 boards both.

RAM

Crucial Ballistix Sport

£37.99 / $55.99

With the news that Japan's Elpida has gone bust, RAM prices are creeping up. So buy now while you can.

3D Card

GeForce GTX 560Ti

£166.97 / $229.99

Still the best value graphics board there is. The Radeon HD7850 is in hot pursuit though.

Hard drive

1TB Hitachi 7K1000

£76.92 / $154.00

Up £7 since the email arrived this morning. That's dynamic pricing systems for you.

DVD drive

Samsung SH-222AB

£10.15 / $17.50

Remember optical drives? This is what they looked like.

Case

Bitfenix Outlaw

£36.98 / $48.95

Silly good bargain for a lovely case.

Power supply

OCZ ZS Series 650W

£64.99 / $79.99

Plenty of power for what you'll need.

Mouse

Logitech G400

£24.66 / $36.97

Classic Logitech design with a modern 3600dpi sensor.

Keyboard

Steelseries 6G|V2

£60.52 / $77.99

Looks like it's sold out across the UK, but due in again next week.

Sound card

ASUS Xonar DG

£19.75 / $28.93

Not essential, but a great extra for £20.

Monitor

AOC i2353Ph

£140.32 / $179.99

Not a great stand, but astonishing picture quality for the price. As good as any other eIPS screen.

Headset

Creative SoundBlaster Tactic 3D Alpha

£35.76 / $39.99

I'm not the biggest fan of Creative headsets, but to get better you'll need to spend a lot more.

Total: £902.96/$1275.27

That's £37.76/$107.19 more than last time (but with a bigger drive)

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