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Power And Optical Drive

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC

Non-modular power supplies often offer a great amount of power for the money, yet many readers complain when we use these. That’s probably because most builders like the finished product to look clean and well-organized, especially when the other parts are expensive.

Power: SilverStone Strider Plus 850 W

We’re fussy about power supply quality, yet really wanted an inexpensive unit that could output at least 850W to support our hardware. Efficiency credentials from 80-Plus also weighed heavily on our minds, and SilveStone’s ST85F-P wasthe only modular unit we could find to meet all of our quality, capacity, and efficiency criteria.

Read Customer Reviews of SilverStone's ST85F-P 850 W

This is a fully-modular unit, which means that even the main ATX power cable can be unhooked. While that feature eases power supply installation, it’s never needed in a finished system. That’s because all PCs need a power connector.

This is one of the few places we could have saved money without sacrificing quality by giving up features. Seasonic’s non-modular 850 W, 80 PLUS Silver power supply sells for $30 less, allowing us to put an exact price on SilverStone’s removable cables.

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHBS112 Blu-ray Burner

With $150 spent on the user-friendly features of a high-end case and modular power supply, we completed our build by adding high-end media capability. Blu-ray burners are now cheap at $100, and for $120 we even got one with 12x burn rate and software.

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On's iHBS112

The iHBS112 also reads Blu-ray Disk format at 8x, reads and writes DVDs at up to 16x, and even rewrites BD-RE media at 2x.

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