Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Case: Antec Two Hundred
The Antec Three Hundred exemplifies the enclosure to gun for in an affordable overclocked gaming box, but at times has been a bit too pricey for our lowest budget system. Thankfully Antec has an answer to such a problem in the more recently-released Two Hundred.
Both cases share features such as 3 x 5.25” external bays, 7 x 3.5” internal bays, bottom power supply mounting, a mesh front panel, a top-mounted 140mm exhaust fan, a rear-mounted 120mm exhaust fan, and room to add 3 x 120mm intake fans. However, the pre-installed fans on the Two Hundred are TwoCool models with rear-mounted high/low switches instead of the low/med/high TriCool fans in the Three Hundred.
Dimensions and exterior volume are similar, but at 13.9 lbs., the Two Hundred weighs in 2 lbs. lighter. Other unique features include a 3.5” external SATA hot-swap caddy and a CPU cutout in the motherboard tray providing rear access to mounting brackets for easier cooler swapping.
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W
We again chose the affordable Antec EarthWatts EA650 power supply, which served our needs well in the September $650 PC. It has a combined maximum +12V output of 45A, an 80 PLUS efficiency rating, quiet operation, and a three-year warranty.
Having just 1 x 6-pin and 1 x 6+2-pin PCIe power cable meant we would need to rely on using two Molex power adapters for our video cards. Given the miserly consumption of our dual-core CPU, we felt the EA650 offered plenty of power for this gaming system.
Optical Drive: Samsung Black 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-S223C
The SH-S223B used last time was out of stock, so we chose this Samsung optical drive when trying to stay within our $700 design budget. While less than favorable user reviews have been posted for this drive, ours was a fairly quiet unit and posed no trouble when used to install applications and while burning at speeds above our blank DVD-R’s 16x rating.