Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion
We wanted a case with at least one 180 mm or two 120 mm intake fans to support good airflow to our externally-vented graphics cards and CPU cooler, yet our budget initial allowed only $130 for this component. Lian-Li’s PC-8FIB was, unfortunately, out of stock, and few others could meet our minimum requirements for quality, ventilation, and aesthetic simplicity. Antec’s Three Hundred Illusion came closest, while saving us $60-$70.
The Three Hundred Illusion is impossible to beat at its price and even tough to match at twice that price. Thick steel panels are superbly fitted and given a high-quality finish, putting to shame the toy army tank-designs typically marketed to gamers. Both intake fans and the top exhaust fan feature soft blue LED lighting, and Antec also includes the requisite rear-panel fan behind the CPU cooler.
Power: Seasonic SS-850HT
Our system wouldn’t require 850 W, yet that rating is hard to pass up when a top manufacturer offers it at a moderate price. Seasonic is still one of the most respected names in the power supply business, and this 80 PLUS Silver-rated model sells for only $130. Two 40 A, 12 V rails provide up to 840 W combined power for high-demand devices such as the overclocked CPU and graphics cards.
Of course, you’re going to have to “give something up” to get those quality internal components at a low price, and the SS-850HT lacks fancy paint and modular cables. We’ll use most of its cables in our build and hide the rest behind the case’s lower drive cage.
- Two Steps Forward
- CPU And CPU Cooler
- Motherboard And Graphics
- System Storage And Memory
- Secondary And Optical Storage
- Case And Power
- Assembly And GPU Overclocking
- CPU Overclocking
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Benchmark Results: Sandra 2011
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And F1 2010
- Benchmark Results: Just Cause 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency