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Hard Drive And Case

System Builder Marathon, May '09: $1,300 Enthusiast PC

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

A single drive is more cost-effective than a RAID setup, and a striped RAID array won’t offer a perceptible performance increase for the typical user. Of course, a redundant array is appealing for data protection, but it wouldn’t easily fit within our $1,300 price ceiling.

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's 640 GB Caviar Black

We opted for the Western Digital 640 GB with 32 MB of cache. Now at $75, this drive is a good choice with decent speed and a good amount of space, allowing us to stay within budget.

Case: SilverStone TJ08-B Micro-ATX Mid Tower Case

Read Customer Reviews of SilverStone's TJ08-B

At first, we had chosen the Antec Mini P180 as our case of choice, as it was on sale for under $100. Admittedly, it would have been cheating a little compared to the other Micro-ATX systems in the marathon because it’s quite large for a Micro-ATX enclosure, approaching the size of Antec’s Three-Hundred full-sized case.

Instead, we ended up going with SilverStone’s TJ08, which is an excellent (and small) Micro-ATX chassis that should still offer enough room for our $1,300 high-performance SLI system, while keeping it portable. SilverStone has a great reputation for building high-quality cases, and the included 120 mm intake and exhaust fans will be appreciated when the small case is tasked with dissipating the heat that the high-performance components create.

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