Making Your Case

By Jason Cross  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Build It: Last year's $800 gaming PC was a bargain, but had significant compromises. This year's model is an $800 hot-rod gaming rig that offers impressive performance. What a difference a year makes!


The 640B model is one of the newer members of the Performance TX line from Antec. It's fairly roomy inside without being overly large and has a nice big 120mm exhaust fan for quiet cooling. There's a CPU sleeve that helps funnel cool air in over the top of the CPU and an additional cutout on the side for a fan over your graphics card. Even the hard drive bay has a fan mount in front. Our particular load-out doesn't need such drastic cooling, but it's good to know it's there if we upgrade the system to hotter components in the future.

You can really skimp on a case if you want, but we like to spend a little more for something durable and forward-looking. Best of all, the Performance TX 640B comes with Antec's SmartPower 2.0 400W power supply built in. This is plenty of juice for our system and has enough headroom for more power-hungry components. It's also got the proper power connectors for modern motherboards, SATA hard drives, and the power plug for PCIe graphics cards. 

Product:Antec Performance TX 640B


Price:$95 ( check prices)

Pros:Sturdy; good internal layout; lots of fan mounts.

Cons:Not very attractive; doesn't include a lot of extra amenities.

Summary:This isn’t Antec’s most handsome case, nor its quietest, nor the most full-featured. But it’s solid, priced well, and includes a decent 400-watt power supply.



Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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