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Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

System Builder Marathon, June 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Case: Xigmatek Asgard II B/S CPC-T45UE-U01

The Asgard II features steel construction with an aluminum front bezel and the black coated interior that many builders prefer.

A single 120 mm PWM exhaust fan comes installed, with room to add up to three additional coolers. Xigmatek addresses varying personal tastes by providing a choice of black, orange, or silver bezel highlights. Unfortunately, the clean all-black version was priced 33% higher at our time of purchase.

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Asgard II Chassis

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA-380D Green

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's EarthWatts EA-380D Green PSU

Quiet and efficient, the trusty 380 W EarthWatts 380D Green offers the kind of value and reliability we seek from a PSU. A maximum combined +12 V rating of 28 A is more than sufficient for this system’s needs, while the single six-pin PCIe power connector feeds our Radeon HD 6850 graphics card without the use of a four-pin Molex adapter.

Optical Drive: Asus 24X DVD Burner Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS

Read Customer Reviews of Asus' DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD Burner

At this budget, we look to spend as little as possible on a reliable SATA-based DVD burner. This time around we chose Asus' highly-regarded 24x DVD burner to satisfy the system’s optical storage needs.

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