Video Cards, Power Supply, And Case
Video Cards: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970
This card is the reason that we’re scaling back on everything else in today's build. If you're a gamer, though, the sacrifices are worthwhile.
PowerColor's Radeon HD 7970 is a very fast board with modest power requirements. It's well worth $550 if you're looking for playable frame rates at high resolutions. The company doesn't skimp on bundled adapters, including mini DisplayPort-to-DVI, a mini DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort, HDMI-to-DVI, and DVI-to-VGA adapters in its bundle. The card also comes with DiRT 3, which happens to be one of the games in our updated SBM benchmark suite.
Power Supply: Corsair TX650 V2
We keep waiting for something better than Corsair’s TX650 to come along, but, for less than $100, it hasn't happened yet. As such, we're happy to use this popular $90 power supply once again.
PC Case: Apevia X-Trooper Junior
Operating within a tight budget, I'll always favor go-fast hardware over a fancy chassis, and I do enjoy giving inexpensive enclosures a shot.
To that end I opted for Apevia’s X-Trooper Junior, a small mid-tower case that costs a mere $40. It is surprisingly roomy inside, with enough clearance for our beefy Radeon HD 7970. Two included 120 mm fans are particularly nice touches, particularly in this price range.