Artic Silver 5 12g Thermal Compound ($16): This is a must have for any system builder. Most of the time, the thermal paste that comes with your CPU cooler (especially if stock) is not of the best quality, resulting in CPU temps that are a little higher than they should be. Never underestimate the power of good thermal paste and proper application -- keeping thermals under control ultimately prolongs the life and stability of semiconductors.Arctic 5 is generally considered the best thermal interface available in terms of cost-to-performance ratio, given its relatively high thermal conductivity. This offer mostly stands out because of the tube size: at 12g, this should basically last forever for most builders; we go through about a tube a month at GN, but that's with somewhere around 10 complete builds per month. At $16, it's a decent deal for a tube of what is effectively "fancy glue."
Toshiba 1TB 7200RPM HDD ($60): At one time this would not be considered as good of a deal as it is now. After the devastating flooding damage to major HDD factories last year, the prices of HDDs went up as the factories were going down. Now we see the prices slowly going back to an affordable rate. This HDD is a good option for almost any average build, 1TB of storage at our recommended 7200 RPM speeds means it'll do its job for most gaming or archival tasks; this Toshiba 1TB drive is available at $60 after a $10 MIR.
Samsung 840 120GB SSD ($100): The very same flooding that raised the prices of HDDs saw to it that SSDs almost immediately became more affordable. We have come to the point where you can get a good solid state drive for less than $1-per-GB, and they offer significantly faster read/write times over a traditional hard drive (which must physically seek files, rather than moving electrons). Raw file IO tends to see a speed increase of about 10x, and the loading times of transaction-intensive games (often found in exclusive or non-ported PC titles) will be dramatically decreased. Once you get your first solid state drive, you'll wonder how you ever lived without one. At $100 for Samsung's 840 120GB TLC drive (read more here), it's a pretty reasonable deal!
Rosewill 45 piece Computer tool kit ($20): This is another must-have item for enthusiastic system builders. This kit includes just about everything you need to build and maintain your PC (except for the whole 'patience' bit; remember, don't force tools if it doesn't fit). You get a reversible ratchet driver, 21 piece bit and socket set, screwdriver, needle nose pliers, ESD wrist strap (which we highly encourage to reduce risk of electrostatic discharge) and more. For $20, you get the tools to be able to build and repair a PC, potentially saving some headaches when issues are encountered. It'll also help keep those screws in top-shape; you really don't want to strip a motherboard standoff or mounting screw.
Corsair Enthusiast Series 650W PSU ($50): This is my first pick of the week, and for good reason! The Corsair Enthusiast Series power supply is 80 Plus Bronze certified, so it'll have at least reasonable power efficiency, and it also has over-voltage and over-current protection (to withstand some surges). Topping that, Corsair uses high-grade capacitors in their PSUs, hopefully resulting in slower capacitor aging and overall extended lifespan. This PSU is SLI/CrossfireX ready and offers all the connections you should need. The only down side to it is that it is not a modular PSU, but for $50 after rebate and promo code (EMCXWVL24) at checkout, it honestly is a great deal. If 650W is overkill for your system, the Corsair 430W PSU is only $19.99 after rebate and using promo code EMCXVXW57 at checkout.
I hope you enjoyed the picks I found for this week! If you find any other good deals out there, please post a reply below for the others to take advantage of. If you have any questions or concerns please visit our hardware forums.
Thoughts on this series?
- Michael "Mikagmann2" Mann