System Builder Marathon: Day One

Hard Drive: 160 GB Samsung SATA 7200 RPM

160 GB Samsung SATA 7200 RPM

Too much hard drive space is never enough. Unfortunately, in this price range we have to draw a line in the sand and decide on the minimum amount of hard drive space we can live with.

160 GB of space should be a great starting point for anyone who isn't storing a lot of video footage. The Samsung SATA 7200 RPM drive is certainly priced right at $51, and it's great to see that even the budget segment isn't saddled with the old IDE standard.

Power Supply: Fortron Source AX450-PN

Fortron Source AX450-PN Power Supply

It's certainly tempting to opt for a no-name power supply in this price segment, but anyone whose ever experienced system instability should know that you never, ever skimp on the power supply.

Well, maybe you can skimp a little, because Fortron's AX450-PN is pretty reasonably priced at $56. For this budget cost you get a solid PSU by a reputable manufacturer that comes with a total 36 amps of 12 volt power split between two 12v rails rated at 18 amps each. The bottom line is that the AX450-PN should handle pretty much any single video card you throw at it.

  • I built the May 8, 2007 $500 system and was well pleased with it. I went with 2 GB ram but the rest was from the article. In 2011, the video card died from ruptured capacitors. I really miss that card as it was impressive.
    Now, I am considering going with 4 GB ram and upgrading the power supply to support a 22 amp video card. Maybe a processor upgrade also.