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Case And CPU Cooling

System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $2,500 Performance PC

Case: NZXT Panzerbox

The NZXT Panzerbox will probably be the most controversial component in today’s build as it’s been generating both love and hate--sometimes from the same person--over the entire World Wide Web since its release. But we didn’t choose it for controversy’s sake.

Read Customer Reviews of NZXT's Panzerbox

Instead, the Panzerbox was chosen for its ability to support a dual-fan radiator, something not typically found in an upper-mainstream case, as well as its size and weight. Other alternatives included SilverStone’s $270+ TJ09 and $320+ TJ-10, and Cooler Master’s ridiculously enormous 2’ x 2’ Cosmos and Cosmos S. The only somewhat-affordable alternative, the Cosmos S also has a big weight problem at over 37 lbs.

At 17.6” x 17.4” x 9.6”, the Panzerbox’ most notorious feature is a side-mounted power supply. Though it does make card access slightly more difficult once the system is built, we had no other problems with this feature.

CPU Cooling: Swiftech H20-220

At only $140, Swiftech’s H20-220 might be the best performance-per-dollar liquid cooling solution on the market. Its 2x120mm dual-fan radiator is certainly big enough to outperform any of our air-cooling solutions.

Read Customer Reviews of Swiftech's H20-220

Swiftech includes everything needed to mount its radiator internally or externally, enough clamps and splitters to plumb in at least two additional devices, and enough concentrated coolant additive to fill some systems twice. The H20-220’s pump-integrated water block includes bases for LGA 775 and Socket AM2 processors. Though Swiftech has not yet updated the compatibility list on its box, we know the later specification means it also supports Socket AM2+ and our own Socket AM3 platform.

Two included 25” neoprene hoses can be cut to any suitable length.

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