Our main Couch Potato Mk. 2 configuration is fairly complete, but we have a few alternative recommendations for users who may have slightly different desires.
|Graphics||Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic||$179.99|
||Western Digital Caviar GP 750GB||$129.99|
|Western Digital Caviar GP 750GB||$129.99|
|Sound||Asus Xonar D2||$169.99|
The 780G's integrated Radeon HD 3200 is good enough for light gaming and high-definition video decoding. However, if you intend to do more serious gaming on this PC, Palit's GeForce 9600 GT Sonic will serve you better. This card is admittedly quite expensive as far as GeForce 9600 GTs go, but it has a quiet dual-slot cooler, an HDMI port, and an external optical S/PDIF input for digital audio pass-through. Palit has "factory overclocked" this particular model quite extensively, so it should perform better than a regular 9600 GT.
Like with the Sweet Spot alternatives, we're recommending two hard drives instead of one here. Digital video content takes up a lot of space, but the 1.5TB of storage capacity provided by a pair of 750GB Western Digital Caviar GPs should help ensure you don't run out.
The Asus Xonar D2 makes a comeback in our alternatives list here, mainly because we don't have enough spare PCI Express slots for the less expensive DX model. Our recommended motherboard's integrated audio should be adequate if you're hooking into a receiver over a digital S/PDIF connection, but if you're running analog, the Xonar will deliver much better sound quality than the motherboard.
|AMD reveals suitably massive Ryzen Threadripper packaging||62|
|Asus Lyra forms a small constellation for better Wi-Fi||1|
|GeForce 384.94 drivers are ready to break the law||0|
|Rumor: Specs of six-core Coffee Lake CPUs leak||26|
|Alphacool Eisblock HDX-2 and HDX-3 help M.2 SSDs beat the heat||12|
|Corsair Lighting Pro Expansion Kit lets builders turn up the lights||11|
|Gigabyte SA-SBCAP3350 puts formidable power on a single board||14|
|Adata D16750 power bank is tougher than the average juice pack||16|
|Deals of the week: fast memory, an AM4 motherboard, and more||18|
|It even uses Intel's favorite font, Clear Sans. The CSI-level analysis of these leaks is most impressive.||+11|