Case, Power Supply And Optical Drive
Case: Rosewill Challenger Mid-Tower
Although I'm free to pick a case without sacrificing the system's core components, I believe that most gamers building on a budget do not dedicate more than about 10% of their overall funds towards the enclosure. So I kept my sights on products priced $50 and under.
The Rosewill Challenger earned a Recommend Buy award for the value it offered to gamers building with limited funds. It provides plenty of airflow with a trio of bundled cooling fans and a generous volume of interior space for keeping our modest little Pentium cool. It also includes tool-less drive clips, a bottom mount power supply, and ample cable management considerations.
Read Customer Reviews of Rosewill's Challenger (opens in new tab)
There were two versions of the Challenger available, both priced the same. One offers USB 3.0 connectivity, though to remain compatible with our H81-based motherboard, I picked the older version with front-mounted USB 2.0 ports.
Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 W
Many builders fall to the temptation of skimping on power supply quality. But clean, reliable power is one area I just won’t compromise.
Read Customer Reviews of Antec's VP-450 (opens in new tab)
Antec’s affordable VP-450 has powered many of my previous gaming PCs. It is Haswell-ready, includes the single 6-pin power lead I'd need, and serves up to 30 A across its +12 V rails. This should give our miserly little build plenty of reserves for tweaking.
Optical Drive: LG 24x DVD Burner Model GH24NSB0B
While an optical drive may no longer be a necessity for many folks, they are so affordable, and we’re inclined to believe you’ll still want access to one occasionally. It’s a subjective call, so we changed our rules to make the inclusion of a drive exempt from our performance budget. This time, LG provided us the most affordable internal SATA-attached DVD burner.
Read Customer Reviews of LG's GH24NSB0B (opens in new tab)