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Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS4G3D1609DS1S00
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Good price, decent quality, nice spreader?

Cons: Not as cheap as it was a few years ago

Other Thoughts: I hated paying so much for 4GB when I remember when 8GB sticks were running in around in the $40 range a couple years ago. But such is the ride of memory - I watched this same thing with DDR2 years ago. Guess I'll have to wait for the DDR4 boat to come around to buy large amounts of RAM again.

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Intel Pentium G3220 Haswell Dual-Core 3.0GHz LGA 1150 54W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646G3220
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Fast! Very Fast! It's frustratingly fast. At a bit over $60 this thing flies past most AMD in single threaded performance. IMHO it can't be beat in it's price range (except maybe by it's celeron brethren - but I haven't seen extensive benchmarks from them).

Cons: No overclocking, no turbo boost, no vt-d, no DDR3-1600. There are drawbacks here, but nothing to pay another $70 for. I probably wouldn't consider an i3 at it's current price point.

Other Thoughts: I'm running mame, and other emulators and this guy does the deed. Pretty much all the games I care about work, and seem to have plenty of headroom. This was a great budget way of building a cabinet. Just enough CPU :)

I'm a long time AMD builder coming from my first build with an Athlon XP1800+, then a XP2500, Opteron 165, X3 720, X6 1055t, and FX-6300. None of those CPUs are slouches for their day, but all of them cost much more than this CPU does. Realistically this CPU tears through most tasks quickly and efficiently and doesn't break the bank.

Obviously this cpu is no fun for enthusiasts. I loved overclocking, but in the modern age of enthusiast targeted overclocking cpus, overclocking has lost it's magic and appeal. Part of the challenge of overclocking was getting a much better CPU for less money. Now you have to buy pretty much the highest sku if you want to overclock. Modern overclocking is just too sterile of an environment to be fun anymore.

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ASRock H81M-DGS R2.0 LGA 1150 Intel H81 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: A decent little board. Physically small, with a decent profile, you can mount this in pretty tight spaces. I'm using this for an arcade cabinet I'm building and the size is awesome. Great number of USB ports, and even has a combo PS2 port if you want to use an NKRO keyboard with it. If your building a budget gamer machine this is a pretty good ticket.

Cons: First boot it didn't work. Not sure what I did wrong. I cleared CMOS, tried again, nothing on screen. Then I plugged in a GPU instead of the onboard - booted right up. Took the GPU out, then onboard video worked... Odd, but no problems since!

Other Thoughts: This is my first intel build ever and it was pretty painless. Coupled with a Pentium G3220 you get a lot of performance for about $150-200 (including ram and some storage). I'm loading up mame and other emulators and haven't seen a single frame skip even on the late 90's 3d games and such. I could imagine this machine with a decent SSD and 750ti as an epic budget gamer for around $400. AMD has unfortunately lost my love for budget builds.

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Aaron R.'s Profile

Display Name: Aaron R.

Date Joined: 01/06/03

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 03/30/09
  • Last Review: 05/09/14
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