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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

Once again, to save cash we’ll spring for a single drive instead of a RAID setup. And as last month’s SBM showed, there is little performance to be gained by a RAID array for the typical user. Of course, data redundancy is a great feature, so you folks at home are welcome to add another drive if you find it a must-have.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's 640 GB Black Edition 32MB

We went with the same Western Digital 640 GB drive with 32 MB of cache that we selected last month. For $85, it offers a lot of space and good transfer speeds for a single drive. Its large cache is a bonus, even if it doesn't make a substantial performance difference.

PC Case: Cooler Master Centurion

Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's Centurion

For this month’s build, we were looking for a case with a fan on its side to blow air on our graphics card, since the Radeon HD 4850 X2 doesn’t blow heated air directly out of the case like its more-powerful 4870 X2 sibling does. This put Antec’s Three Hundred case out of the running.

Not to worry though, since for just under $50 we were able to find Cooler Master’s tried-and-true Centurion 534. This case sports not only a 120 mm side fan, but also includes a side air tunnel to help keep the CPU cool. Simple, attractive, and affordable, the Cooler Master Centurion is a great case for this month’s enthusiast PC.

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