By Jason Cross  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Build It: Last year's $800 gaming PC was a bargain, but had significant compromises. This year's model is an $800 hot-rod gaming rig that offers impressive performance. What a difference a year makes!


More storage space is always a good thing, especially with the rising drive footprint of modern PC games. But we're on a budget here, so 80GB will have to do. Still, we wanted a high-performance drive, because nothing is worse than the hitching and stuttering that comes from extended hard drive access in the middle of your game sessions.

Hitachi's 7K80 is a great little SATA-II drive. That's right; it's SATA-II, with support for Native Command Queuing and 300mbit transfer rate. Our motherboard, being standard nForce 4 and not nForce 4 Ultra, only has SATA-I ports, but the speed is impressive nonetheless.

Product:Hitachi Deskstar 7K80


Price:$58 ( check prices)

Pros:SATA-II interface including Native Command Queuing.

Cons:Only 80GB capacity.

Summary:Storage is like money: More is always better. You’ll probably grow beyond 80GB before long. For now, the performance and price are great.


Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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