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System Builder Marathon: TH's $2000 Hand-Picked Build

Case And Power

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion

Everyone loves a high-quality case, yet CPU cost put a severe bind on our budget. When faced with the choice of a low-quality chassis with price-boosting add-in features or a high-quality stripped-down model, we threw features to the wind and picked the one that offered the best ventilation and durability for the money. We're function over form guys, after all.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's Three Hundred Illusion

For $10 more than the basic Antec Three Hundred, the Illusion adds two lighted intake fans. Given the graphics cards we have here, we wish it had been three.

Power: Seasonic SS-850HT

Following up on the value home runs from Gigabyte and Antec, our choice of power supply appears to be a stunning value. Seasonic is one of the industry’s most reputable manufacturers, and we found a model from them with two giant 40 A 12 V rails for only $120. An 80 PLUS Silver rating is icing on the cake, or perhaps a silver lining.

Read Customer Reviews of Seasonic's SS-850HT

Oh, and it’s not modular. Our power supply selection followed the same concept that we used for picking the case. When faced with the choice of a high-quality unit with few added features, or a lower-quality unit with many added features, we put quality over features once again.

Cable management could be a problem for some builders, but our case has adequate room to store the unused leads. The Three Hundred similarly lacks a window, which is probably a good thing when we have so many unused cables to route.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Randomacts
    Yay more giveaways!
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    should have just gone with a i7 920 and stuck a 5970 which would have been cheaper
    Reply
  • duk3
    I agree, however, this SBM was about 6-core performance.
    With an i7-930, a better heatsink, 2 470s and maybe an extra fan or 2 for the case is in reach.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    duk3I agree, however, this SBM was about 6-core performance.With an i7-930, a better heatsink, 2 470s and maybe an extra fan or 2 for the case is in reach.yes, the i7-930 and a couple 470's would be normal in the SBM $2000 PC.
    Reply
  • cojj
    how do I enter for the giveaway?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    cojjhow do I enter for the giveaway?Click the link in the announcement?
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    I guess these were more performance driven choices. I still will miss the case, i'd gladly trade a 920/930 for the SilverStone Raven
    Reply
  • Crashman
    IzzyCraftI guess these were more performance driven choices. I still will miss the case, i'd gladly trade a 920/930 for the SilverStone RavenQuality-wise, the Three Hundred is probably the best case you can get for under $80, but there should have been one more fan in the system given the internally-vented graphics cards the system ended up with. On the other hand, a lot of builders would be more than happy to "settle for" 4GHz at 1.30V, and the CPU will certainly live longer at the lower voltage.
    Reply
  • brisingamen
    i prefer the six core gtx 480 sli rig.
    Reply
  • pinkfloydminnesota
    A 970 and a drop to 460s? Are you kidding me? How much is newegg dropping in ad revenue for you to help them dump this overpriced stock?
    Reply