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System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC

Power And Optical Drive

Non-modular power supplies often offer a great amount of power for the money, yet many readers complain when we use these. That’s probably because most builders like the finished product to look clean and well-organized, especially when the other parts are expensive.

Power: SilverStone Strider Plus 850 W

We’re fussy about power supply quality, yet really wanted an inexpensive unit that could output at least 850W to support our hardware. Efficiency credentials from 80-Plus also weighed heavily on our minds, and SilveStone’s ST85F-P wasthe only modular unit we could find to meet all of our quality, capacity, and efficiency criteria.

Read Customer Reviews of SilverStone's ST85F-P 850 W

This is a fully-modular unit, which means that even the main ATX power cable can be unhooked. While that feature eases power supply installation, it’s never needed in a finished system. That’s because all PCs need a power connector.

This is one of the few places we could have saved money without sacrificing quality by giving up features. Seasonic’s non-modular 850 W, 80 PLUS Silver power supply sells for $30 less, allowing us to put an exact price on SilverStone’s removable cables.

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHBS112 Blu-ray Burner

With $150 spent on the user-friendly features of a high-end case and modular power supply, we completed our build by adding high-end media capability. Blu-ray burners are now cheap at $100, and for $120 we even got one with 12x burn rate and software.

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On's iHBS112

The iHBS112 also reads Blu-ray Disk format at 8x, reads and writes DVDs at up to 16x, and even rewrites BD-RE media at 2x.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • amk09
    The link to enter the giveaway doesn't work!

    I would love to be first to enter :)
    Reply
  • micr0be
    i think im gona get a revo 2 drive ssd to upgrade my current build.... all thanks to santa !!
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Its good to know that choosing the wrong memory can affect performance in such a way.
    Reply
  • fstrthnu
    I'm pretty surprised we didn't see Geforce GTX 570s in this build, I guess they got released too late to make it here.
    Reply
  • fstrthnu
    >> First time in recent memory
    "Cough Cough" Lame Pun
    Reply
  • jerreece
    Wow that Mushkin memory really jacked up this benchmark.
    Reply
  • kkiddu
    Most perfect build ever ? Just read the configs yet, and I think that's a possibility.

    Now don't skin me if the config proves to be a flop in the coming pages. Just read the first page and couldn't resist a comment.
    Reply
  • hemburger
    Why not replace the two ssd's with a single intel 120gb... same price and now on 35nm
    Reply
  • kkiddu
    I think this one can be trimmed to a very good $1500 build as well. Change the CPU to i5 760, remove one of the cards, one of the SSDs, and you'll need lower capacity PSU for that, let's slash $30-$50 there, you get a very good PC for $1500.
    Reply
  • kkiddu
    And oh, cheapen the case as well. There's no free lunch. You gotta sacrifice some silence to gains some frame rates.
    Reply