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System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $2,500 Performance PC

Case And CPU Cooling

Case: NZXT Panzerbox

The NZXT Panzerbox will probably be the most controversial component in today’s build as it’s been generating both love and hate--sometimes from the same person--over the entire World Wide Web since its release. But we didn’t choose it for controversy’s sake.

Read Customer Reviews of NZXT's Panzerbox

Instead, the Panzerbox was chosen for its ability to support a dual-fan radiator, something not typically found in an upper-mainstream case, as well as its size and weight. Other alternatives included SilverStone’s $270+ TJ09 and $320+ TJ-10, and Cooler Master’s ridiculously enormous 2’ x 2’ Cosmos and Cosmos S. The only somewhat-affordable alternative, the Cosmos S also has a big weight problem at over 37 lbs.

At 17.6” x 17.4” x 9.6”, the Panzerbox’ most notorious feature is a side-mounted power supply. Though it does make card access slightly more difficult once the system is built, we had no other problems with this feature.

CPU Cooling: Swiftech H20-220

At only $140, Swiftech’s H20-220 might be the best performance-per-dollar liquid cooling solution on the market. Its 2x120mm dual-fan radiator is certainly big enough to outperform any of our air-cooling solutions.

Read Customer Reviews of Swiftech's H20-220

Swiftech includes everything needed to mount its radiator internally or externally, enough clamps and splitters to plumb in at least two additional devices, and enough concentrated coolant additive to fill some systems twice. The H20-220’s pump-integrated water block includes bases for LGA 775 and Socket AM2 processors. Though Swiftech has not yet updated the compatibility list on its box, we know the later specification means it also supports Socket AM2+ and our own Socket AM3 platform.

Two included 25” neoprene hoses can be cut to any suitable length.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • burnley14
    Just thinking about winning this system in the giveaway gets me excited.
    Reply
  • jj463rd
    Me too this is an awesome build.
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... do the video compression using ATi Streem...
    Reply
  • The Quality of video on ATI streem is shit on sticks and doesn't even support high profile.

    The last build was a bit too odd for me but this one seems like a very nice chose of parts and on a larger screen set up makes a lot of sense the loss of i7 for AMD only build was a bit sad but the addition of those great SSD kind of makes up for me along with the nice chose of case and cooling. That case looks like it is very nice to work on.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    The Corsair CMPSU-850HX is rated Silver, not Gold. Nice build, good results, great work.
    Reply
  • @Dirtman

    http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_detail.aspx?id=25&type=2

    Check your sources because you have it wrong

    CMPSU-850HX ATX12V 850 90.38% Gold
    Reply
  • one-shot
    Please don't call RAID 1 a backup solution.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011

    Newegg says differently. I did check sources.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    So does Jonnyguru
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story2&reid=153
    I guess you just can't believe everything you find on a brands site.
    Reply
  • WINTERLORD
    now that is one slick gaming machine! could'nt imagine them frames rates on a big monitor. love the insides water cooling 3 radeon 4890's with room for a 4th. great pictures by the way lots of eye candy. you can tell alot of work went into tis kmonster. great article.
    Reply