ASUS A55A-TS51 Laptop ($480): After a $20 coupon (SUL100705 at checkout), ASUS' A55A-TS51 mainstream notebook comes down to a clean $480. You won't be playing any intensive games on this, but for everyday office, browsing, and school/work use, it's more than capable of getting the job done quickly and efficiently. The notebook ships with an Ivy Bridge CPU -- an i5-3230M -- which, being "old" (an entire year), helps drive the cost down below its Haswell-equipped competition. From a specifications standpoint, no mainstream end user will really notice a speed difference. There are power saving advantages to Haswell, though those are most visible on tablets.
Corsair Carbide 400R Mid-Tower ($60): With a $10 MIR and $10 coupon (FJP99700), Corsair's Carbide 400R can be picked up well within any Cheap Bastard's budget. Anyone assembling an entry-level or mid-range system would do well to consider the 400R, which ships with ample space for a basic ATX rig and 3x120mm cooling fans.
Corsair H100i Liquid Cooler ($90): We didn't get a chance to officially test the H100i back when we benchmarked Corsair's newer, larger CLC solutions, but we've had enough hands-on to feel comfortable making this recommendation at the $90 price-point. The 'i' suffix in Corsair products indicates that the device is software-enabled, so you can configure custom fan-speed curves that are more in-tune with your noise and cooling requirements.
Cooler Master eXtreme 550W PSU ($20): Given the capital 'X' in its name, Cooler Master's xXeXtremeXx 550W PSU (OK, we embellished the name a bit) isn't exactly the best power supply you could stick in a system, but at $20, it's a damn reasonable buy for anyone building a rig in the $300-$520 price range.
Pick of the Weekend
Kingston V300 120GB SSD ($80): We turn to
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- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.