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Fractal Design Arc Mini Black High Performance PC Computer Case w/ USB 3.0 and 3 Fractal Design Silent Fans
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Robust steel construction, handsome but subdued exterior with no silly LED light show, unusually well-made interior with no sharp edges, no-tools removable & reversible drive trays, crawlspace for routing power cables.

Cons: Included hardware lacks documentation -- all you get is some not-too-distinctive drawings on the little cardboard box the hardware comes in, and unless you're a veteran builder (turns out I'm not), you'll use the wrong screws for some things.

Other Thoughts: Got it while it was still $49.99. A steal.

I ran all the power cables through the crawlspace (or whatever the technical term is) under the motherboard mounting plane. No more rat's nest of cables hanging over the motherboard and hindering airflow.

The PSU goes in the bottom of this case. If you get a PSU with 120mm intake fan rather than 80mm exhaust fan, remember, it should be positioned to draw through the ventilation grill in the underside of the case, which means it would be a Bad Idea to leave the case on shag carpet or have any clutter under it.

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SeaSonic SS-400ET Bronze 400W ATX12V V2.2/EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Well-made, efficient, runs cool and quiet (quieter than the case fans, anyway)

Cons: Sleeveless cables, and virtually no online documentation -- minor annoyances

Other Thoughts: This is a new 80-Plus Bronze version of the SS-400ET 80-Plus (no Bronze) model from five or more years ago. Apart from the small efficiency increase, the stats are the same. Its eight cables, measured from the back of the PSU to the back of each connector, are:

ATX12V 24-pin (mobo): 22" (55.9 cm)
EPS12V 8-pin (CPU): 21.7" (55 cm)
ATX12V 4-pin (CPU): 21.7" (55 cm)
SATA power: 19" and 25" (48.2 cm and 63.4 cm)
SATA power: 19" and 25" (48.2 cm and 63.4 cm)
Molex 4-pin: 12.75", 18", and 23" (32.4 cm, 45.6 cm, and 58.4 cm)
Molex 4-pin/floppy: 19" and 24" (48.2 cm and 61 cm) -- the end one is the floppy drive connector
PCIe graphics 6-pin: 22.8" (58 cm)

I'm using it to run an ASRock Z87M PRO4 microATX motherboard, 65W Core i5 CPU, Radeon HD 7850 graphics card, 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM, 7200 rpm HDD, SSD, and CD/DVD burner, plus the case's three fans. No problems. Whatever their shortcomings in the documentation department, SeaSonic continues to make quality mid- to low-watt PSUs.

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ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Good basis for budget PC 08/27/2010

This review is from: ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Reliable board with easy setup, at a good price

Cons: Some of those flimsy metal tabs on the motherboard's IO shield block the ports. I bent them so that they fit alongside the connectors instead of covering them. It was a fiddly process that made me wonder whether there was some trick here that I wasn't seeing.

Other Thoughts: I built this system in July 2010 for a tech-know-nothing friend, total cost just under $500. It's for Web browsing/mail, office work, and the occasional movie or light gaming (LCD monitor and speakers already provided), so it didn't need a graphics card:

mobo: ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G, micro-ATX
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz dual-core, AM3 socket, 65W TDP
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 MHz (PC3 10600)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD8000AARS 800GB SATA, 5400 RPM, 64MB Cache
DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7261S-0B SATA CD/DVD burner
case: HEC 6K28BB8F micro-ATX mini-tower
PSU: SeaSonic SS300ES 80-Plus Bronze 300-watt ATX12V
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium

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Alan C.'s Profile

Display Name: Alan C.

Date Joined: 12/28/08

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 08/27/10
  • Last Review: 11/05/13
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