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Hard Drive And Case

System Builder Marathon: $1,250 Mid-Range PC

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB 32 MB Cache

With hard drive prices dropping as always, we were considering going with a 750 GB drive this time around, but our forum members let us know that they prefer speed over capacity. With this in mind, we're choosing Western Digital's Caviar Black once again.

Western Digital's Black-series hard drives have made a name for themselves as sporting great performance, so we happily bow to the wisdom of our readers in this case.

Chassis: Rosewill Wind Ryder RZLS142A-P

As we were so very close to exceeding our $1,250 budget limitation, we needed to save every penny we could on the case, as it is the one component that doesn't really affect raw performance. Of course, cooling has an indirect impact on performance so we had to be careful.

After scouring Newegg for an acceptable compromise, we found one in Rosewill's RZLS142A. For $30, this case sports a workable size and two 120 mm fans, one for intake and one for exhaust.

Surprisingly, our experience with the Wind Ryder was a lot more positive than we'd anticipated for such a low-cost case. Its fit and finish are really very good, the case is surprisingly sturdy, and both of the 120 mm fans are whisper quiet. In addition, we didn't have any problems squeezing the Radeon HD 4870 X2 into the case, either.

Sometimes you stumble across a pleasant surprise like the Rosewill Wind Ryder, and we're glad we did. It's no Cosmos S, but for $30 it's a very good deal.

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