Case: NZXT Tempest 210 CA-TP210-01 ATX Mid-Tower
We try to dedicate most of our budget to improving the performance of our enthusiast-oriented PCs, so supporting components often take a hit. For this overclocked FX-6300-based build, I insisted on a roomy case. And whether I added them myself or not, I wanted at least two cooling fans, too. Peppered with eight fan mounts and outfitted with full-frontal mesh, the $40 NZXT Tempest 210 has huge airflow potential, satisfying my needs perfectly.
Two exhaust fans are provided by NZXT, including one 140 mm cooler up top and a 120 mm blower in the rear. A bottom power supply mount helps lower the center of gravity, while allowing the unit to pull in fresh air through venting underneath the enclosure. NZXT completes the package by including two front USB ports, one which is 3.0-capable.
Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 W
I don’t like to over-buy power supply output, but even worse is under-buying quality and rail stability. While I prefer to avoid PCI Express auxiliary adapters (since they often result in cable clutter), Antec's VP-450 was a unit I knew I could rely on. It's simply the most attractive power supply within the budget I had left. The combined 30 A rating on its 12 V rails gives me reserve for tweaking, too.
Optical Drive: Samsung 24x DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224DB/RSBS
There were few people who complained when I left the optical drive off of last quarter's $650 mini-ITX gaming box, making software installation a little bit more involved. But shedding the premiums associated with a small form factor configuration, I opted to add a DVD burner once again.
This retail 24x Samsung DVD burner was a rare find at $16, bundled with Nero Express 12 and a SATA cable.
- A Lofty Goal: Achieving Perfect SBM Balance
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Gaming Performance Summary
- Bring On The Competition! Is This The Ultimate SBM Gaming PC?