Power Supply, Optical Drive, and Video Cards
Power Supply : Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W
Corsair’s CMPSU-750TX is rated at 80%+ efficiency and has the desirable Active PFC feature that makes obsolete the old 110/220V switch we’re so used to seeing on the back of our power supplies.
The CMPSU-750TX is easily able to handle the needs of our quad-core CPU and dual video card configuration. At a relatively low cost of $110, Corsair’s offering is a good choice for our mid-range System Builder Marathon PC.
Optical Drive : Lite-On 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04
For under $25, Lite-On’s iHAS120-04 drive offers “AllWrite” capability. This is a fancy marketing term for the ability to write to any disc media—such as DVD+/- R(W), DVD- RAM and Double Layer discs—a flexibility that is appreciated.
Video Cards : 2x ASUS Radeon 4850 TOP in CrossFire
The choice of graphics cards for this build was one of the easier decisions : AMD’s new Radeon 4850 cards have made a real impression on the 3D landscape. We chose two of them in a CrossFire configuration to power our mid-range System Builder Marathon PC.
For the specific brand, we chose the Asus flavor : Radeon 4850 TOP cards, with a factory GPU overclock at 680 MHz (55 MHz over the reference Radeon 4850 specification). The Asus cards sport a large heatsink and fan for the graphics processor, which we will definitely appreciate if it provides a gain in cooling efficiency paired with quieter operation.