What to look for when buying a PC case / power supply?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Lee, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi all -
    as some of you may (or may not) know, i've decided to build my own pc. i've decided on my mb: Asus P4B533-E
    now i need a box to put it in. i'll probably just go to fry's or something for this.
    the only thing i'm aware of is that the case needs to fit a special rear i/o shield? from motherboards.org:
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Go with the biggest power supply you can afford. With the speed and power of todays pc's, the more resistance you have, the better.

    Bruce
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    My priorities in Cases
    Appearance: One that looks good, that'd I'd carry around to LAN parties if I needed. Aluminum is light weight and a good heatsink while steel is stronger but heavier.
    Power source: Any case that says it's for a Pentium4 should be at least 300 watts. I think 400 to 500+ would be fine. I'd go for the quietest powersource/fan possible that will get the job done, not necessarily the most powerful.
    Cooling: The more holes in the case, generally the louder it can get. Look for size of fan holes and see if it comes with fans, or will you have to buy some. I like cases with no holes other than the fan holes so I can put in some silent fans and keep things quiet. If you're an overclocker, maybe consider many large fan holes and many vents.
    Slots: Check how easy it is to add and remove PCI cards and possibly a hard drive rack. Some use clips, others use screws.
    Panels: How easy is it to remove the side panels and access the inside, Do you need a screw driver, or can you just purchase thumb screws.
    Check for mods: Is there room to cut and install larger fans or windows? Can you add sound insulation or rheostats easily? Can it be sanded and painted, and does it have feet to be more stable on the ground?
    Link to my case. I have a pretty old case that I've done a few things to for kicks. The pics needs to be updated but you get the idea.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    chris - that is a sweet case. i really like the way you loomed the wiring inside! [​IMG] was that for aesthetics or is there another/different reason you did that?
    my initial research is telling me that antec seems to be a pretty highly regarded brand.
    i don't think i'll be doing any oc'ing, but i am a little concerned about vibration/noise. i don't think i'll be modding the case either (although maybe painting it for fun) but i'll keep those points in mind.
    btw - if anyone is curious i found a pretty good article about cases on tomshardware page:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/02...521/index.html
    thanks so far...
     
  5. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Ted,

    I build a lot of computers both for myself and since I own a business that builds them and here is my criteria when choosing a case.

    (1) Functionality, in other words it meets my needs. 300w will get you by just fine but if you plan on adding more the 2 drives you may want to look at a 350w or even 400. Personally anything over 400 is overkill unless you have a raid configuration with a ton of drives 5+.

    (2) How easy is it to work with. Some cases are small and you spend more time busting your knuckles when working with them then its worth. Heck some cases you have to remove the power supply to get to the processor, memory, and cables. Look for cases that are open with an easy to use design which not only make them easy to work inside but allow better cooling.

    (3) Looks. Make sure that you get a case that has the qualities of 1 & 2 that is decent looking. You dont have to get a full ATX case to get a good power supply with plenty of room inside.

    (4) Price anything over $80 IMO is for looks only unless you need say a full ATX case or some specialty case like for a HTPC.

    About the best option that I have run into is the Enlight 7200 series cases. Since you are looking to build a new AMD system you will want to get the 7237 P4/AMD approved case which will come with a 350watt power supply.

    KyleS
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi kyle -
    thx for the info. i have two questions.
    1. you mention an AMD system - which means athlon chip correct? i thought i was building an intel-based board (845e chipset???). i may be getting my bundle from this place sorry if this is a stupid question...my first time trying to build a pc. [​IMG]
    2. i assume ATX cases are pretty much the standard now?
    thx again!
    ted
     
  7. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Real Name:
    Nick So
    These guys know their shiznit [​IMG] You should be well on your way on choosing a cool case [​IMG]
    Nice case chris! [​IMG]
    These were some quick pics of my computer i did awhile ago:
    http://www3.telus.net/sonick/fans.jpg
    (the fan at the top of the pic is just to give some circulation of the air under my Maxtor 7200rpm HD. I put it in coz i heard that faster HDs will last longer if cooled.
    http://www3.telus.net/sonick/inside.jpg
    and then my LCD window:
    http://www3.telus.net/sonick/lcd/index.html
    Its kinda messy (i didnt buy enough loom from the auto parts store, so theres still gaps and some wires un-loomed), but it increased my airflow by alot (compared to flat IDE cables) and cooled my case way down.
    Its kinda loud, but im okay with it, its not like im watching movies or anything on it.
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    nick - nice layout. that led trick is rockin! okay, all you tech-heads are startin' to get me excited. maybe i'll pick up some extra loom for kicks!

    btw - what exactly does form-factor mean? is that just another way to describe the size of the case?

    thanks again all...
     
  9. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    One other thing to keep in mind for the cooling. Fewer larger fans can move the same amount of airflow (for cooling) as more small fans, but at a lower sound volume.
    For instance, here's the Lite-On Enclosure FS-020:
    [​IMG]
    It has two intake fans and two exhaust fans (good balance of airflow in and out), all of which are 120mm, much larger than the standard 80mm.
    While a good 80mm fan like the Papst (Papst, the high end German fan company, not Pabst, the practically undrinkable beer company) 8312G Sleeve-Sintec fan moves only 31.8cfm at 36dB of noise, a 120mm Sunon KD1212PMS2-6A with a standard Sleeve bearing moves 97cfm at the same 36dB, and has a lower pitch sound (lower pitches are less annoying).
     
  10. ChrisLee

    ChrisLee Stunt Coordinator

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  11. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    whew..thanks kyle. you had a newbie worried there for a sec. [​IMG]
     

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