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Power Supply, Case, And Optical Drive

Tom's Intl. $750 Cheap Computing Challenge
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Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA380

For true stability, the power supply unit would need to deliver good, clean power to our components as we pushed the least voltage possible. We didn’t want to go overkill and use a power supply that would be running a low load percentage, so we chose the Antec EarthWatts EA380 because it was one of the lowest-watt PSUs found to have an 80+ efficiency rating. 

Case: Antec Three Hundred

We chose the same Antec Three Hundred enclosure used in many of our System Builder Marathon machines. Thanks to its rear 120 mm and top-mounted 140 mm three-speed exhaust fans, it packs a huge amount of airflow into a well-built, very affordable overclocking enclosure.

Its open design and dual exhaust fans could provide more than enough airflow, should we decide to raise voltages for a high overclock and added performance. For this competition, we may have been better served had we used the NSK4480 used in our $500 Gaming PC, which includes the EA380W power supply, just a single 120 mm exhaust fan, and would have knocked $20 off our system cost.

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04

We round out our components with the LITE-ON SATA 20X DVD+RW DVD. It’s very affordable and has served our optical needs well in previous systems. 

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