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The $750 Computing Challenge: Germany Versus USA

Team Germany: Case, PSU and Cooler

Case: PNL-Tech Rasurbo BC-05

This case is really a budget product that doesn’t come with the best finish, and is based on a conventional mid-tower layout. However, it’s still sufficient for hosting a standard PC, as it can be equipped with full size ATX motherboards, up to eight internal 3.5” drives, and up to four 5.25” drives. It features two front USB ports and front audio jacks for easy access. In addition, you can equip it with two rear fans, one front panel fan, and a fourth fan that you can mount on the side panel.

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Power Supply: 460 W ATX12V 2.0

This power supply came pre-installed with the PNL-Tech Resurbo case. It’s a 460 W model, which is definitely sufficient to power the German system with its Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Radeon HD 4870. However, it’s only a ATX12V 2.0 product, which means that it doesn’t have the PCI Express power connectors necessary for graphics cards. Fortunately, the vendor added a Molex to 6-pin adapter, making it possible to use this power supply without issues. The 8 A and 10 A levels on the 12 V rails really aren’t a lot, but I am more concerned with this power supply’s efficiency; we’ll see the results shortly.

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CPU Cooler: EKL Alpenföhn Groß Clockner

Germany selected an affordable CPU cooler capable of handling the Q6600’s heat even when it runs heavily overclocked. The selected product is an EKL Alpenföhn Groß Clockner, which isn’t available in North America (EKL is a German cooling company). The product name is really tough even for Germans, as it is a combination of a weather phenomenon called foehn paired with an allusion to high clock speeds, by twisting the name of the Austrian mountain Großglockner. Alpenföhn is an air current moving from the Alps to the plain lands north of the mountains. Groß Clockner means something like “high clock speeds”, but it’s not even a real Anglicism; it’s just playing with words.

All of that aside, the cooler utilizes four copper heat pipe to conduct heat to a massive aluminum heat sink. It is available in Germany for less than $40, making it a good deal.