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System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: $800 Gaming PC

Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

Case: Xigmatek Asgard Pro USB 3.0 CCC-AE37BS-U02

When it comes to configuring our enthusiast-oriented PCs, we dedicate most of the funding to go-fast parts, so the supporting hardware often takes a hit. To help keep our beefy Radeon R9 280X cool, and to aid Intel's boxed heat sink, I insisted on a roomy chassis with side-panel venting and at least two fans. Xigmatek's Asgard Pro USB 3.0 satisfied my requirements nicely.

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Asgard Pro USB 3.0 Case

This steel mid-tower enclosure has an aluminum mesh front bezel, two 120 mm fans that arrive already installed, and room to add five more. A bottom power supply mount helps lower the center of gravity, while allowing your PSU to pull in fresh air through venting under the case.

Connectivity up front includes three USB ports, one of which is third-gen-capable, and HD Audio I/O for plugging in a gaming headset.

Unfortunately, Newegg currently lists this model as discontinued.

Power Supply: EVGA 500 B 100-B1-0500-KR 500 W PSU

Although Gigabyte's Radeon R9 280X calls for a 600 W or higher power supply, we know that’s overkill for our specific configuration. Instead of buying based on wattage, I prefer shopping for a beefy +12 V rail and the connectivity I need for my graphics hardware. EVGA's 500 W 80 PLUS Bronze-rated solution offers a single 40 A +12 V rail and two 6+2-pin leads for add-in cards.

Read Customer Reviews of EVGA's 500 B Power Supply

Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD Burner SATA iHAS124-04

While optical drives aren't considered mandatory by many power users, they're incredibly affordable, and I still believe you want to have one, even if you use it rarely.

This 24x Lite-On drive is a popular SATA-based DVD burner we've used in a number of other builds.

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On's iHAS124-04 DVD Burner