Storage, Sound Card, DVD/CD-RW
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.Storage – IBM Deskstar 60GXP 40 GB 7200 RPM HDD – $110
This is just a slight upgrade from our previous suggestion. Going from the 75GXP to the 60GXP model offers you a slightly faster seek time and a quieter spin up and noise level. I was surprised that IBM could improve on their 75GXP line of IDE drives as much and as quickly as they did. From results I have seen and what forum members have reported to me, nothing else can even really come close to the speed and reliability of the IBM 60GXP hard drives.
Sound Card – Turtle Beach Santa Cruz – $70
Old faithful is what many people call the Live! series of sound cards from Creative. Up until now, this is the single piece of hardware in my system that has lasted 4 upgrades! Now, however, they may be a replacement in the works. If you are tired of dealing with Creative/VIA problems, then the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz may be the direction you want to head. With the ability to better handle overclocking on the PCI bus, tweakers should consider this option as well.
You may want to look into getting a Guillemot Game Theater XP sound card. But those are in the $125 range, however. On-board audio may also be an option if you don’t require very high quality sound.
DVD/CD-R – Pioneer DVD-116 DVD-ROM & Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40 CD-RW- $59 & $170
Instead of just suggesting a DVD-ROM, I went ahead and included the CD-Recorder as well. Both of these drives offer outstanding performance and reliability at great prices. 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. The Acer drive is also very quiet for as fast as it is.
The Plextor CD-Rs have always been know for their quality. Whether you choose to go with an IDE or SCSI solution (the price goes up for SCSI, however) you will enjoy the speed at which the drives write and read. Their is an incredibly few ‘coaster CDs’ be caused by the drive itself, even coupled with the sometime buggy Roxio EZ CD Creator 5.