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Mainstream GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
While buying the most powerful graphics card gives you bragging rights -- for a while -- you can get excellent performance from a more mainstream cards, and at a more mainstream price.
The AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB gives you a powerful card that can handle modern games without breaking a sweat at a price that's far easier to swallow than going for an extreme card.
Make sure that you pick a Radeon HD 7850 that has 2GB RAM, and not the models with only 1GB. The extra video memory will allow you to crank the texture quality up higher, and help keep the in-game framerate more stable.
Price: From $185.
Image source: Gigabyte.
Budget GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6670 DDR3
A budget price gets you previous-generation technology, but the AMD Radeon HD 6670 is a very capable card which has the power to handle any modern game you throw at it -- just keep your expectations realistic and don't plan on cranking the settings all to max.
Remember to look for the DDR3 models of these cards, as you'll end up paying the extra for the faster GDDR5 RAM.
Price: From $59.
Image source: SapphireTech.
Extreme HDD: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB
Built around a 10,000-RPM spin speed platters, these SATA 6 Gb/s drives include a 64 MB cache, the Western Digital VelociRaptor drives are the best that money can buy.
While the performance doesn't come close to that of a solid state drive, the VelociRaptor is a blazing fast hard drive, and is packed with features such as pre-emptive wear leveling and no-touch ramp load head technology that help deliver the highest possible reliability rating of any SATA drive.
Image source: Western Digital.