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System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

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

The Asgard II features 0.8 mm SECC steel construction with an aluminum front bezel and the finished black interior that many builders who like showing off internal components prefer.

A single 120 mm PWM exhaust fan comes preinstalled, with room to add up to three additional fans.

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Asgard II

Xigmatek addresses varying personal tastes by providing a choice of black, orange, or silver bezel highlights. Unfortunately, black was not in stock at our time of purchase, so we went with orange.

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA-380D Green

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's EarthWatts 380 W

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

Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD Burner SATA iHAS 124-04

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On iHAS 124-04

Given our budget, we look to spend as little as possible on a reliable SATA DVD burner, and again choose this 24x OEM Lite-On drive to fill the system’s optical needs.

  • tacoslave
    i think orange looks spiffy
    Reply
  • abswindows7
    worst case in the world.
    Reply
  • LuckyDucky7
    "I’ll certainly entertain the possibility of Intel’s newly-available Core i3-2100 for the next SBM."

    Have fun overclocking that rig!

    I'd choose my O/C'd i3-530 @ 3.75 GHz (stock, air-cooled) over any of the new Sandy Bridge offerings any day.
    The 2100 just cannot compete with that- it's marginally better than a first-gen i3, and it cannot be pushed harder.

    *Hopes Bulldozer will be ready by that time*
    Reply
  • wolfram23
    Pretty darn good for $500!
    Reply
  • Judguh
    Good Build!
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    Need the optical drive?
    Reply
  • haplo602
    now finaly a low SBM build I like.

    ++ on the PSU (finaly not a 500W+ waste)
    + on the case (looks decent)
    Reply
  • lunyone
    Pretty good build for the $. I would've gone with the Athlon x4 or x3 to keep things under budget, but that is just me. There are plenty of GPU options in the ~$170 price range. I think you might've got one of "those" GPU's that you read about. This is why "expecting" OC'ing abilities with whatever part you buy, shouldn't be taken for granted. Buy what you can afford and if you get a good OC on your parts, feel blessed:)
    Reply
  • lunyone
    I would've taken the savings on the CPU and bought better RAM or maybe even a different case, but that is just nit picking a bit :)
    Reply
  • one-shot
    Would someone please explain the point of comparing the old SBM to the new one if there isn't a list of the parts from the SBM done in the past? These have always been annoying when the reader is forced to look back to December for a detailed list of parts. This has been practiced for years here. It makes no sense comparing to something the reader has no idea as to the parts being used in the past. Seriously....

    Edit: Why Did I get a Minus one the second after my post was submitted?
    Reply