by Shawn Oliver — Tuesday, November 24, 2009
HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2009
Big Boxes With Bows: Cases & PSUs
All this hardware needs a home, and it's on you to provide it. Scared? Don't be. Here are our favorite choices of the year for enclosures and power supplies.
Cooler Master HAF 922 - $115
This mid-tower isn't nearly as tall or daunting as the Level 10 mentioned later, but it's probably plenty for most system builders. This one supports liquid cooling systems, seven total fans, a bottom-mounted PSU and includes tool-free 5.25” and 3.5” drive bays for easy installation. Oh, and did we mention that it looks great too?
NZXT Panzerbox - $126
This is one of the sleeker mid-tower gaming boxes to ship this year, offering "best-in-class" airflow and a lightweight aluminum design. Theoretically, this box is nimble enough to be carried from one LAN party to another, and with room for 4 hard drives, 3 5.25” drive bays, and oversized heatsinks, all the tools you need are here.
Lian-Li PC-C39 - $180
This company doesn't make the cheapest cases, but they're known for quality. The PC-C39 is being included for those looking to build a slim HTPC/media PC, as this one boasts a quality, beautiful exterior that can be shown with pride beneath an HDTV. It supports micro-ATX motherboards, two 3.5" hard drives and a single 5.25" optical drive, and there's even four low-profile expansion slots for adding TV tuners and the like.
Thermaltake Level 10 - $850
It's still up for pre-order right now, but there's no buddy in the world who would balk at an IOU on this. Easily the most insane, intense chassis of 2009, this inside-out beast redefines "amazing" in the PC enclosure business. The design here enables overclockers to really crank without worrying about excess heat buildup, but it's certainly not for the faint of heart (nor those with cramped living quarters).
Corsair CMPSU-450VX - $78
If you're looking to help someone build up a rather basic system, this 450W monster should work perfectly. It's got lots of oomph for most basic, non-hardcore systems, but even a few HDDs, a GPU or two and a modern CPU shouldn't stress it out. Plus, it won't prevent you from spending all your dough on your BFF, leaving your mom with nothing on Christmas morning. Talk about a life-saver.
Corsair CMPSU-850TX - $138
850 watts of power should be plenty for most every user you know--maybe even too much, in fact--but there's no harm in preparing for future upgrades. The 5-year warranty is also comforting, and the ultra-quiet fan ensures that you won't be adding to the noise. And yeah, this one's certified with work with NVIDIA SLI configurations.
Enermax Revolution85+ - $289
The Enermax Revolution 85+ series of PSUs is about as advanced as a PSU gets. This power supply is overkill for all but the most extreme of systems--there's enough juice here for loads of GPUs, a smattering of hard drives and whatever else can fit in your wildly large enclosure. And it's highly efficient too.
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