System Builder Marathon: Mid-Cost System

Power Supply, Optical Drive, And Video Card!

Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer S75Q

60 amps on the 12v rail certainly sounds impressive, doesn't it? The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750w Power supply has an excellent reputation for providing plentiful, stable power. It's covered with a 5 year warranty which is very good, and it comes in a unique shade of burnt orange for a little style in addition to its solid functionality, and all this at a $160 price tag. This is a good power supply for an overclocker, so we look forward to the stability it offers when we reach that portion of the marathon.

Optical Drive: Sony NEC Optiarc 7170 SATA

Two is better than one, especially when it comes to DVD-RW drives: it gives us the luxury of being able to copy directly from drive to drive without making a swap file. Sony's Optiarc drives are excellent for the price, and since we can buy two of them for a mere $28, why not splurge a little?

Video Card: EVGA Geforce 8800 GTX 768 MB

The Geforce 8800 GTX has been Nvidia's flagship for a long time. Only with the release of the brand new 9800 is the 8800 GTX GPU truly bested. Keep in mind, the 8800 Ultra is essentially an overclocked 8800 GTX.

Still, on first look the value doesn't seem to be there. Nvidia's 8800 GTS 512 MB is over $100 cheaper than the 8800 GTX, and offers near-identical performance. Why didn't we opt for one of those? More importantly, dual 8800 GT cards in SLI mode would offer sublime gaming performance for about the same price, if not a bit less.

To be perfectly frank, two 8800 GTs would have been a better fit for this system. However, we were under the gun and couldn't get a hold of two 8800 GT test samples in time, so we went with a single 8800 GTX

The 8800 GTX still shines at the highest resolutions, and we'll be pushing this rig against a superior competitor. Its great memory bandwidth can't be denied and when resolutions climb to 1920x1200, that bandwidth will really come in handy. If you can't get two 8800 GT or GTS cards, a single 8800 GTX is about as good as it gets.

  • crites
    Why wouldn't you put 1066MHz (PC2-8500) memory on this machine?
  • OS43
    I assume they are using Cas 4 memory, which you are not going to find in this price range at PC2-8500.
  • AngryClown
    This build is identical to my current rig, except I chose an 8800GT, and the Q6600 oc'd to 2.88. It plows through AVCHD editing, and Oblivion.

    I spent weeks researching the best price points. Good job guys.