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Dorm PC 2.0 alternatives
We have a few ideas for how to augment the Dorm PC.

Component Item Price
Storage OCZ Agility 3 120GB $94.99
Samsung SN-208BB DVD burner $23.99
Networking TP-Link TL-WN722N USB Wi-Fi dongle $27.99

A solid-state storage recommendation might seem over-indulgent for this build, even in the alternatives. Still, throwing your Windows installation and frequently used programs and data on an SSD like OCZ's Agility 3 120GB is an excellent way to boost system responsiveness. It's worth considering, at least.

Our Silverstone case only takes slim-line optical drives, which limits our options somewhat. Samsung's SN-208BB looks like the best bet if you want to equip the Dorm PC with DVD playback and burning capabilities. It's cheap, has good user reviews, and can burn DVD+R, DVD+RW, and DVD+R DL media at a speed of 8X.

The ASRock motherboard we recommended lacks built-in Wi-Fi. We don't consider that to be a serious handicap, since most dorms are likely to have Ethernet connectivity. Still, if you need wireless, then you can attach a USB Wi-Fi dongle like TP-Link's TL-WN722N. This particular model seems to have the most encouraging user reviews on Newegg, and it's very affordable. The dongle supports 802.11n networks and has its own antenna. PCI Express Wi-Fi adapters are out of the question, unfortunately, since our motherboard's lone PCIe slot is already occupied by a graphics card.