Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
Video Card: PowerColor PCS+ AX7870 Myst Edition
Don't let its name fool you; the GPU in this graphics card is actually a cut-down Tahiti (check out Tahiti LE, Tested: PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition). That's right, the same one used in AMD's Radeon HD 7900-series cards.
Previously, the Pitcairn-based Radeon HD 7870 with 1,280 shaders and 1,200 MHz memory was this segment's price/performance leader. But this card, with 1,536 shaders and 1,500 MHz memory, beats it.
At $240 on Newegg, and with stock performance closer to the 1,792-shader Radeon HD 7950, this graphics card allows our $800 enthusiast-oriented PC to remain competitive in the high-end gaming arena.
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520C 520 W
Although we've been favoring Corsair's CX600 in our mid-range builds lately, today's budget cut forces us to look elsewhere. Antec's Neo Eco 520C has an excellent reputation for a low-priced power supply, and our decision to use an Intel CPU should help keep consumption down compared to the FX-8350 we used last time. At $55, this is an exceptional component for the money.
Case: Xigmatek Asgard II
Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Asgard II (opens in new tab)
The case is another component that we saved a few dollars on in order to remain within our $800 budget. Thankfully, the Asgard II is a very spacious, elegant-looking case that we can live with. There's only a single 120 mm rear fan, the PSU is top-mounted, and the drives are aligned front-to-back. However, considering the $34 retail price, we can't really complain.