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System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

Case: Antec Three Hundred

We spent time looking over other sub-$50 cases but didn’t find one as appealing as the Antec Three Hundred. Luckily, the $20 instant discount became available, which allowed us to snag this Antec once again for this month’s build. 

Thanks to the rear 120 mm and top-mounted 140 mm three-speed exhaust fans, it packs a huge amount of airflow into a well-built, very affordable overclocking enclosure. Again, we’ll mention that the case does lack 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. 

Read Customer Reviews of Antec’s Three Hundred Chassis

Power Supply: Antec NeoPower 430 W

Antec’s NeoPower-series power supplies are quiet, efficient, and provide modular cable management. Last month, we chose the 650 W version not because our system needed that much power, but because of pricing and availability issues at order time. The instant pricing discounts cycled through to the 550 W version and then to the 430 W version we ordered for this system. For just $40, it offered tremendous quality and value and 32A of max combined 12 V power, which was plenty for our overclocking endeavors.  

Read Customer Reviews of Antec’s NeoPower 430

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 the last two months dropped another dollar in price and was again the perfect DVD burner for this month's SBM.

  • spirto
    once again no amd setup? i thought you said you were going to give us amd users a smb
  • DFGum
    Sure they could give a 625 dollar AMD setup, but it just wouldnt be as good at this time so why bother?
    Its always about value at the price points.
  • JeanLuc
    What’s the point in an AMD setup when the Intel option gives you better value for money?
  • Claimintru
    Negative'd you Spirto for being a mindless fanboy.
  • V3NOM
    lol... my e5200 crapped out at 3.7ghz 1.4vcore... someone i know got his e7300 to 4.0ghz at some ridiculous vcore though lol... it really depends on teh chip. some get good VID's, some get bad. some overclock good, some overclock crap, its the natura of binning. naturally e8400's would be binned more than the 5 and 7 series, and the e8500/8600 would be better still.
  • when r u guys gonna write about the nvidia ion platform?!?!?!?!
  • zodiacfml
    i wouldn't risk buying an e7300 over an e5200. i have built amd systems, now i'm regretting why i didn't bought pentium dual core which are practically core2duo's with less cache.

    regarding nvidia ion, i think intel is thinking deeply of whether they allow nvidia to Atom since netbooks still sell without it.
  • Veesofnaught
    I actually just got done purchasing parts for a new pc that ended up being around that same price. This is my first time building a PC so I'm not sure if I could have done better, but I think it's worth mentioning if anyone is interested in going for a Quad Core instead of the Dual Core.

    Intel Quad Core Q6600
    Asus P5QL Pro Motherboard
    NVidia 9800 GTX
    GSkill 4 Gb Ram
    580 Watt PSU
    Rosewill Mid-Tower
    160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    SATA CD/DVD Burner
  • Master Exon
    I guess I will share my for-Christmas build with TH.

    $82 2.5GHz E5200 45nm C2D
    $0 (no CPU cooler)
    $54 ASUS P5KPL-CM
    $34 A-DATA 2x2GB (4GB) DDR2 800
    $200 GeForce 260
    $55 WD 320GB WD3200AAKS
    $0 integrated sound
    $0 integrated network
    $12 Spray painted an old beige case black.
    $67 500W SeaSonic
    $22 LG DVD burner
    $10 card reader

    $526 Total

    I don't see why they didn't shave off $40 for the cheaper CPU
  • weinheimer
    That is a nicely configured system at fair pricing