Personal computing discussed

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Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2002 7:00 pm

Tue Mar 19, 2002 11:59 pm

ok, in the rare event you read one of my last 2 posts, you know I'm building an athlon XP computer for casual gaming. Well, I'm at the last hurdle before actually buying the stuff, but after reading some articles on power supplies and other stuff relating to the case, I'm a bit anxious about what case to select.

First off, is 300W good enough for an athlon XP (probably 1700+ if that matters)? or is like a 350W recommended? Also, I might tinker around with overclocking, would that affect it at all?

Next, how important is case ventilation in a case, beyond the PS fan, the CPU fan, and possibly the chipset(???) fan? Again, how much would overclocking (not really extreme OC'ing, mind you) affect this?

Lastly, the desk this computer is probably going on is more suited for a flat case, as opposed to a "tower" case. other than fitting differently shaped spaces, there any advantage/disadvantage to having a flat case? like might cooling be harder because there is less surface area open?

Thanks for bothering to respond to these newbie-ish questions, and any general advice/warnings about cases/power supplies would be greatly appreciated.
Gerbil Elite
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Location: Vancouver, BC

Wed Mar 20, 2002 1:31 am

1... If you want to do overclocking and/or have a lot of devices (CDR, DVD drive, multiple hard drives, etc...) you might as well go with a 350W PSU, just make sure it's a name brand one (I've had good luck with Antec myself) as opposed to something generic.

2... Case ventilation is very important if overclocking (especially during the summer, ambient room temps can really make a difference), and if you're going to be running high-performance hard drives. Given recent problems with IBM's drives, I'd say a case with fan mounts around the hard drives would certainly be a good idea, even if you only run low rpm fans so it's not too noisy.

3... I've never liked flat, desktop cases, mostly because I've never been able to easily find one that had adequate drive bays, hard drive mounts, and cooling. Then again, I've always put my tower cases on the floor under my desks, too. You might want to check out mini-towers if you're worried about things taking up too much room.
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Gerbil God
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Wed Mar 20, 2002 5:51 am

How about a "mini-tower" like the Antec SX-635 or the new Plus660? These have 3 external 5¼" bays, 2 external 3½" and 3 internal 3½" bays. The door type latch on the side is pretty handy. These cases come with one 80mm fan, and have brackets to mount two more 80mm fans for additional cooling.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JustAnEngineer on 2002-03-20 04:55 ]</font>
Gerbil First Class
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Wed Mar 20, 2002 2:00 pm

Don't skimp on the case and power supply. It's foolish to put together a nice system and then have a flaky power supply or hot case introduce instability.

When it comes to a PS, 300 watts should be sufficent for your system, but more is always better. 350 would not be overkill. Buy a good brand name unit from a company like Antec, Enermax, or Sparkle.

Cases are subjective to a certain extent, but there are some aspects we can all agree on. Make sure you get something well built and keep an eye out for sharp edges. I've lost the skin on my knuclkes to cheap cases with sharp edges!! Good ventiliation is a must. The fans on your CPU, GPU, and north bridge won't do any good if they're blowing hot air around! I usually look for at least a couple of 80 mm or larger fan mounts. The other thing to look for is a case that is easy to take apart. I HATE cases that require a screwdriver to open.

I would second the recommendation of the Antec 630 or 635. It's a very nice case/PSU combo for the price.
Tyan Tiger MP | 2 x Athlon 1.2 Ghz
512 MB Crucial Reg ECC DDR | Intel Pro 100
80 GB Seagate Baracuda ATA IV | GF4 Ti 4200
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Antec 400 watt PS
all in a Coolermaster ATC 200 running Gentoo
Gerbil First Class
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Mon Mar 25, 2002 5:29 am


If you by a new case, look for the right psu, I just tell you this because my girlfriend trusted a salesman that said to her there was a P4 ready psu in the new case she just bought this weekend. Guess what: it was a crappy 200w for athlon mobo's. In no way ready for P4. That sucked bigtime for her. Case is beautifull though.
Anyway, just use your imagination and modify anything to your liking.
Gerbil In Training
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New Case

Sat May 25, 2002 11:40 pm

I have had great luck with the Antec SX-635. Great case, high quality, exceptional PS. You can't go wrong here.
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
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Wed May 29, 2002 6:48 pm

:wink: As cRock mentioned, 300W is fine but 350-400W gives a bit more breathing space. See how much the better ones will cost. Also beware, a cheap 350W PSU (as usualy bundled with cases) may be worse than a branded 300W PSU (I've heard Enermax & Antec are great & quiet).

8) Also as cRock said, ventilation is very important as you need to get the cooler air in and the hotter air out.

:roll: Don't go for a desktop (flat) type case. They do look a little nicer but you'll almost certainly have limited upgrade potential and heat probs (and that's before you o/c).

:D Hey cRock, I was considering getting one of those Enermax 350W quiet speed control PSUs, are they worth the £60 price tag? How quiet is quiet?
I'm doing my best to catch up but life's still just too busy.

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