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System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $600 Gaming PC

Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive

Case: Xigmatek Asgard II B/B CPC-T45UC-U01

The Asgard II features 0.8 mm SECC steel construction with an aluminum front bezel and the black coated interior many builders prefer. A single 120 mm PWM exhaust fan is preinstalled, with room to add up to three additional fans. Xigmatek addresses varying personal tastes by providing a choice of three bezel highlight colors. We’ve already visited orange and silver; this is the first time we've been able to nab the all-black version for $30.

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Asgard II B/B CPC-T45UC-U01

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA-430D Green

We’ve often relied on Antec’s quiet and efficient EarthWatts Green units to supply power to our budget gaming system. This month we were again able to grab the 430W version for just $45. While a single six-pin PCIe power lead means we’ll need to utilize one of the graphics card’s bundled power adapters, a 32A combined +12V rating is far higher than you’ll find on most entry-level 500 Watt units.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's EarthWatts EA-430D Green

Optical Drive: Samsung 22x DVD Burner Model SH-222AB

At this budget, we look to spend as little as possible on a reliable SATA DVD burner, choosing to reuse the same well-rated 22x Samsung SH-222AB.

Read Customer Reviews of Antec's EarthWatts EA-430D Green