System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

Case : Antec Three Hundred

Last month’s Antec NSK4480B served us well and is a nice case bundled with a reliable power supply. You may have noticed it has jumped up in price by $20, making it somewhat less of a bargain now. But our reasons for choosing a new case this month were not because of this price increase, but because of the desire for a bit more reserve power than what the 380 W EarthWatts provides.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec’s Three Hundred Chassis

Thanks to its rear 120 mm and top-mounted 140 mm three-speed exhaust fans, the Antec Three Hundred packs a huge amount of airflow into a well-built, very affordable overclocking enclosure. Other notable features are top-mounted I/O ports, nine drive bays, and room to add three 120 mm intake fans with a washable air filter for the front two fans. One thing the case lacks is an external 3.5” bay, so those who desire an internal floppy drive or card reader will need to purchase Antec’s adapter and use one of the three 5.25” bays.

Power Supply : Antec NeoPower 650 W

As mentioned, we intended to use the $50 EarthWatts 500 W power supply, but it was no longer in stock. For a substitute, any quality 400 W-430 W power supply with 30A or more of +12 V would have done the job for this system as built. The problem was that the models we considered, such as Antec’s EarthWatts, NeoPower, or True Power Trio 430 W, as well as the Corsair 400CX, were all $60 or higher at the time.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec’s NeoPower 650

In comparison, the Antec NeoPower 650 W power supply is a bargain for $75, never mind once we factor in the combo saving that took $30 off that price. It’s a quiet power supply with a modular design for neater cable management and it packs a whopping 624 W of +12 V, which is enough for a quad-core system with dual HD4850s or even the mighty Radeon HD 4870 X2.

Optical Drive : LITE-ON 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On’s iHAS120-04

The same LITE-ON SATA 20X DVD+RW that satisfied our needs last month fell in price by $1 and was again the perfect DVD burner to serve our optical drive needs.

  • slomo4sho
    Very nice write up. I like the new price point :)
  • slomo4sho
    I forgot to mention that I still would like to see power consumption charts and possibly a AMD based build at this price point.
  • nerrawg
    Impressive results! Who says a system price has to adhere to budget figures of 500, 1500 and 4500 dollars, you guys really showed how much added value can be had when the right OC parts are purchased and assembled into a nice package. Well done!
  • cloudbase
    Hiya. Can you guys give a bit more detail about the 'further upgrades' you were inferring in the text of this article? So: Which P45 crossfire motherboard would have been nice; which RAM was out of stock; what would have been the benefiot of the more expensive CPU?

    Im looking to spend a similar amount, but as I already have the case, PSU etc it makes sense to explore those options.

    Presumably a 4870 would be better again?
  • radguy
    Thats a pretty awesome build thanks for the article. Although I am sorry but I have to ask. Do we have our real 4ghz dual core for $84 now?
  • jaragon13
    Sorry? What's with the comment box? I can't see what I'm typing.
    Anyways,my GTX 260 suffers on Crysis,so it's nothing new.
  • Pei-chen
    Great choice, let the AMD fan boys whiny; I would have picked the same setup if I am to build a cheap gaming PC.
  • matt2k
    Nice build for the money, though i personally would have sprung for a crossfire ready motherboard, the MSI P45 Neo2-FR for example.
    The only problem i have with this though is the operating system. surely that should be quite a major factor when creating a whole new system? and it would be nice to have the different vista's compared for gamers. i.e. is ultimate worth the bump in price for the extra's or is xp professional still the best option.
    just my thoughts.
  • zodiacfml
    Nicest article, not only you did not stick to any budget but also the parts chosen could not have been any better. This is a build i'm planning except i could have chosen a less performing 9800GT since its only in Crysis where a 4850 has a usable advantage over it.
    I am an AMD user for years but this pentium dual core overclocks so far over an athlon x2.
  • wh3resmycar
    someone from the forums was asking me months back where i can find a 4ghz e5200.. i guess this is it.