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Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: The $400 Spirit Of Mini-ITX

Case: Antec ISK300-150 Mini-ITX Desktop Chassis

Compact dimensions and good ventilation both major factors, we could say our selection of Antec's ISK300-150 dictated the remainder of this build. Measuring 12.9” x 8.7” x 3.8”, including a 150 W power supply, it's limited to a slim 5.25” bay, a pair of 2.5” internal bays, and a single low-profile expansion slot.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's ISK300-150 Mini-ITX Chassis

Front ports include audio, eSATA, and a pair of either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports. The case can be positioned flat or upright on the included stand. Antec pre-populates one "TriCool“ 80 mm fan with a user-adjustable three-speed switch mounted on the rear panel, and includes room to add one more cooler.

Power Supply: Antec FP-150-8 Flex (Bundled)

Included with the case is a custom Flex-ATX 150 W power supply with a single 10 A +12 V rail and plenty of power connectors.

Optical Drive: None

As with our $650 PC, this build forgoes its optical drive in the name of budget savings. Antec's ISK-300 enclosure only supports a slim unit, and getting one of those into our budget would have required dropping to a Celeron processor or Radeon HD 6670 graphics card.

Really, only you can decide if an optical drive is important. If you have access to a portable USB drive or another system, it might not be a big deal. If spending the extra money doesn't put you out, then adding it is certainly possible with our chosen case.

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