Hot Hardware Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006
Overclocker's System Continued
Overclocker's Dream System Continued...
Hard Drive - 2 x Western Digital 150GB Raptor
Building on top of an already legendary drive, Western Digital has refreshed the ever-popular 10,000rpm Raptor hard drives with a large 16MB cache and raised capacities from 74GB up to a much more useful 150GB. Creating a RAID array with these two drives will offer some of the fastest drive performance money can buy. By significantly lowering read and write times, the use of such a potent array of drives will dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes for games and applications to load. In short, you'll be able to spend less time looking at a boring load screen and more time racking up headshots in your favorite first-person shooter.
Sound Card - Creative Labs X-Fi XtremeMusic
The X-Fi XtremeMusic has captured a significant amount of attention since its release for offering the vast majority of the performance and functionality of the X-Fi family of sound cards while retaining a reasonable price point. Offering support for Creative's 24-bit Crystalizer, CMSS-3D surround, and 3DMIDI technology the XtremeMusic offers everything all other models provide (with the exception of the X-Fi Elite Pro's custom DAC,X-Ram, and breakout box). Given the lack of industry support for X-Ram and the excellent audio performance the chipset still provides, the XtremeMusic is an excellent choice for a sound card for the system.
Power Supply - Thermaltake ToughPower 850W
Although it lacks the 1kW rating of the PC Power & Cooling unit, the Thermaltake ToughPower 850W is available for nearly half the cost and is anything but a slouch in its own right. Rather, this SLI-ready power supply comes with its own modular cable system and boasts an impressive combined output of 62A on the four 12V rails. In addition, the unit has four 6-pin PCI-E connectors which allows us to easily power the dual GeForce 8800GTS GPUs.