Need case recommendations for an office setting.

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Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:41 pm

I need some recommendations for a case to be used in an office environment. Basically that means something quiet, with no extra LEDs, and simple to assemble and work in. My office will be updating some people's machines later this year and Im trying to see if it would be possible for me to build machines more cheaply than a manufactured machine. I am the only tech person for our office of about 50 people, so I am the first stop for anything tech related.

My personal machine is in a Lian Li PC-A05, but Im leaning away from aluminum cases because while they are lighter and cooler they are not as tough. Price wise it needs to be less than $100 if it has a PSU and less than $70 if it doesn't.

Am I crazy for even thinking about building 10 or 15 machines that will be used by other, computer illiterate, people?

edit: Also, I want to stay away from doors that cover all the external drive bays. Trying to keep it simple.
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ChrisDTC
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:46 pm

I'd say if you want a professional looking case, I've been partial to the Antec 300, aside from the blowhole. Another larger option would be the Cooler Master Stacker.
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:48 pm

Have you looked at the Antec New Solution series? These are available equipped with earthwatts power supplies.
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:55 pm

Things to look for in cheap power supplies:
20+4 pin ATX12V power connector
At least 15A (180 watts) available on the +12V line
80+% efficient
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:43 pm

TheEmrys wrote:I'd say if you want a professional looking case, I've been partial to the Antec 300, aside from the blowhole. Another larger option would be the Cooler Master Stacker.

Is the 300 loud with all those fans? Do they all come with the 3 connectors so they can be controlled by the mobo or are they just on or off?
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:11 pm

Steel cases are often cheaper and quieter than aluminum cases.
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:37 pm

ChrisDTC wrote:
TheEmrys wrote:I'd say if you want a professional looking case, I've been partial to the Antec 300, aside from the blowhole. Another larger option would be the Cooler Master Stacker.
Is the 300 loud with all those fans? Do they all come with the 3 connectors so they can be controlled by the mobo or are they just on or off?
The case doesn't come with fans for all of those spots. And not all the fans even have to be hooked up. You won't be overclocking, and you may not have discrete GPUs, so you won't need crazy cooling. You might want to look at some of the other cheap, business-like CoolerMaster cases, like the various Centurion or Elite models (some of which have PSUs, some don't).

That said, when you're building low-end machines you may find you have a hard time competing with the cheap offerings from big OEMs like Dell and HP especially if you value your time (and factor in support).
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:44 pm

UberGerbil wrote:That said, when you're building low-end machines you may find you have a hard time competing with the cheap offerings from big OEMs like Dell and HP especially if you value your time (and factor in support).

I second this. OEM computers are also fairly quiet, too, especially low-end models. The biggest problem with low-end OEM machines is you often don't know what you're getting as far as motherboard, PSU, graphics brand (if it matters, say you have something that runs better under nVidia drivers) and connectivity.

I know I would hate buying, building, setting up, and configuring 15+ budget machines for an office. That would take a lot of time. You need to count how much time you spend assembling and configuring these machines into the total cost. You might be able to save on the hardware, but add an operating system and there goes your budget. Add the cost of your wage as you spend a couple days building and configuring, and you've gone and spent more company money and don't have any support other than you. It won't look good to your boss.

I know a guy who was outfitting an office with 30 or so machines. He narrowed it down quickly between two OEM machines, ordered one of each through their business line, got them, plugged them in, compared them, and ordered 30 some more of the better model. I think the "worse" model was put up for sale to employees at a discount without support.

Start at hp and dell's business line.
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:35 am

I agree with going OEM. Less headache unless your only job is to build and troubleshoot computers.

A bit off topic: what is this "AQ3" certification on those latest Antec cases?
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Re: Need case recommendations for an office setting.

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:02 am

This is what you call an office case. The Antec 300 is NOT an office case. What you do about power supplies and case fans is up to you, and nothing exotic either. Your Antec Basiq is perfect for an office setting.
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