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Full tower cases?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by nate93, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. Compiler

    Compiler

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    When I made my response, I wasn't looking at the case you've selected (Yes, the Zalman is sexy - looks great) but at your response about "water cooled" case... as there are some on the market with the watercooling system built-in such a way that if the water-cooler dies, if there are no replacement parts for the cooler - it becomes dead weight.

    But as "cool loooking" water-cooling is, I don't see much value in such configurations other than benchmarks... like OCing a Cor2 CPU to 5Ghz with liquid nitrogen, but at least water-cooling allows thePC to be usable. :) People are hitting 4Ghz with-air cooling. But here the thing, are you building a gamer or a benchmarker - those are two different things. Why? A benchmark may give you results - giving you 120fps over 90fps... but you may spend quite a bit of time and effort getting that to work, tweaking and such. When I was younger, yeah I spent a lot of time doing tweaks, rebuilding PCs... fun stuff in its own right. But long ago I moved to having as good of a usability experince as possible. IE: Stable, Noiseless, fast, functionality... Compared to when I had 3-4 desktops in my office, which one was a huge server case (50~60 lbs by itself - it had wheels) with 8 LOUD fans. So now I prefer a high quality monitor (I can afford), least amount of noise, lower electric bills and heat. With all that, I'd still like to have an ATI 4870 card (or something like that in the near future - but not when its considered SLOW... like my once $400 ATI 9800Pro for 4 years ago *IS* considered junk by todays standards that you can buy for about $25 heheheh)

    Types of computers:
    - Basic : Office users and emailers = small HDs, limited RAM, no gaming card.
    - Server : Speedy, expensive, high quality & usually loud.
    - Home : Large HD (350+), good RAM, basic gaming card or better.
    - workstation : fast CPU, large HD (if large data files), business video card or good 3D card.
    - Gamer : Fast overall system, fast game card, med~large HD.
    - Benchmark : Fast CPU (Overclockable more important than default speed), exotic cooling, expensive board with high-end parts to handle OCing better,

    Heres some serious OC pics: http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/466-19-msi-overclocking-amsterdam.html

    The best thing about not-water cooling... no chance of a leak. Water cooling tech gets better and cheaper each year. used to cost about $1000 for a setup. Some are as low as $100 or so... good quality ones are $200~400 (may or maynot include blocks) Zalman tower is pretty good: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118015
     
  2. Gulo Luseus

    Gulo Luseus

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    In no particular order... Personally I like the thermaltake arnor case. I used the ally frame one for a long time, till I got a Cosmos 1000, both are lovely. If you get the armor with the w/c kit, the rad at the front, in the HD rack system, works beautifully, although the only prob I found was finding somewhere to put the pump!
    The Cosmos has loads of room, a wc system will fit in fairly happily.
    As for the card slots, 10 is a nice number. barring the fact the different mobos have slots in diferent places, you can also have PCI-e 1 slots, on top of which it allows for fan controllers, light controllers, and pass through ports ( such as USB extensions from back of case to front), all of which a hard core modder cant do wiithout hehe! :)
     
  3. nate93

    nate93 Thread Starter

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    thanks for all the info.. im lookin for a gaming computer, and really taking into consideration what im getting. i bought a mac b4.. big big big mistake. i actually hate it now and am waiting for a little bit more money to come in b4 i get a new computer. i need about 1500.. i'm considering just getting air now, thanks for all the help =D.. and do yuo think this would be a good build? thanks

    Nzxt Hush (A.K.A HU001) Tower
    http://www.nzxt.com/products/hush/
    or
    ThermalTake Armor VA8000BWS
    http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1277&ID=1404

    Sun Beam Tech Core Contact Cooler
    http://www.sunbeamtech.com/index-2.html

    Ati 4870HD (1gig version)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103067
    or the factory overlocked version
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103064

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

    4GB Corsair Dominator
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145179

    Asus P5K Premium
    http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=2&model=1749&l1=3&l2=11&l3=534&l4=0

    300gb raptor hard drives (2 of them)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136260

    Blue lighting

    Dvd/Cd Drives:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135151

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136147

    and I'll keep the onboard sound card

    I don't know what PSU I should get so any suggestions on that would be great!

    Thanks a ton
     
  4. Compiler

    Compiler

    Joined:
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    Neither case... Nzxt is generally low-quality cases... but they have some cool stuff. That Thermaltake, the doors on both sides means you'll be opening and closing them all the time which would drive me nuts. (I personally prefer cases without doors - thats is a preference), if you like that simular design, look at this Antec: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129043 or if you'd like a cleaner design: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129025

    BTW: Your links to sites don't always work - please use Newegg as it geneally provides better info that manufactures with more photos.

    CPU Cooler: Sunbeam isn't exactly high on the list... (AFAIK) - check out this review: http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3210&p=6 Artic Cooling is top of the list... most quiet too (next page) - its in my box. Its considered a low-cost cooler at the $30 range. -$20 are standard quality HSF (about the same as intel). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134 Currently its $37... but a week ago it was $25 (I guess that depends on their supply) - when I ordered mine they were $28... heheh.

    ATI 4870 : Get the 1GB version... you can always OC it yourself anyways.

    Q9550: You can afford, so go for it ;) My Q660 tops out at 3.2, but I prefer to keep it at 3.0 (fast enough). People have that Q9550 hitting 3.6~3.8Ghz with air-cooling, from my cooler even! (Use Artic silver for better temp). Getting Core2s to O by 600mhz is the norm... go in steps. Up a notch at a time... every few days or a week. SLB8V EO Stepping is the version to get (cross your fingers).

    ASUS P35 board: Asus isn't doing as good as they used to. I'd take the gigabyte over Asus, and I've built and sold lots of ASUS systems. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128337 This one is higher rated - and note that this is a newer revised board... the previous model had one 2 awards from newegg. BTW: While the ASUS has a cross-fire slot, the 2nd slot only goes up to 4x speed which kind of makes it useless. Also its SATA connectors are not in a great place with a big-video card installed. ASUS's heat-pipe cooling system is more show than functional. ;(

    4GB Corsair: Bad choice of memory... why pay $175 for those and severely limit your memory options? Get these for $135 and after rebate $95: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145214 - Will run cooler and more reliable too.

    VelociRaptor Drives: Can't get any faster (other than top end SSDs) - don't bother with RAID-0 on thoses, no real-world performance improvements... other than benchmarks. They are already fast.

    Go with red lighting (because I say so) ;)

    DVD buners: None of those. $20 each? And one is an PATA drive. Pioneer $30, newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129032

    PSU: $110 - 750watt Corsair... May come with a nice carry bag for it too (I dunno why - at least the 650watt model does) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006 - These PSUs are super quiet and very top end... Look great in a black case - especually an Antec 1200... ;) I wish I had one of these :(

    When on Newegg - double check on their COMBO deals, there could be a chance you have an overlap, but IF you don't choose a combo or free gift option - you won't get it. I've gotten some free MP3 players that way... or stress relief toys. Hey, if you want that 750watt PSU for almost free ($100 off) - just get the combo with the ABS case... er, thats a $600 case ;) Funny thou, if you get the 650watt PSU version, they'll knock off $20 off that gigabyte mobo I recommended.

    If you go with the Antec 1200 (high reviews) - it comes with 6 fans pre-installed and all lighter blue (Thermaltake, orange fans.. thats their thing) - all fans have speed control (nice)... if possible, check out these cases in REAL life. Any case I talk about on this site, I've used, built or played with at 3 local computer shops. Cases with huge air-flow should have filters which Antec uses on thier higher end cases. (just cleaned mine out last week).

    Enjoy....
     
  5. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Gotta totally agree with Compiler again... Though, even as you have money to spend, still the Raptors propably wouldn't proof being worth the price. And totally, DON'T go RAID with them... Just stick to two 1 TB SATA 2, 7200.11, 32 MB cache HDDs (like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152102) and put them to RAID if you want to experiment that...
    Yeah... Sorry, get the Velociraptors.. If you want to.
     
  6. Compiler

    Compiler

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    VelociRaptor are quite fast, BG-0. The older Raptor drives have been out-paced by 500+GB HDs for some time now. The new 1.5TB drive can sometimes match a VelociRaptor in transfer rate, but not in seak or handling as many files.

    I don't know how the data will be structured... I use paritions for OS/basic programs, Games and then Data(Video, audio, etc). If a single 300GB drive is to be used (Again, RAID-0 is not really needed) I'd go with a 80/220 split partition (All games in the 2nd part) - My C: Drive is 25GB, but I don't have Vista. And if a lot of videos or data files needs to be stores - throw in a 1 or 1.5TB drive in for $180~250... where a VelociRaptor abilities will be wasted.

    RAID-1, fine, okay... RAID-0 = why bother?
     
  7. nate93

    nate93 Thread Starter

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    Compiler- first off thanks for all the help, that Antec case is pretty sweet, looks pretty good from all the specs, and I'm sure it has great airflow. I'm still worried about space, but its a full tower so I think it'll be fine.

    I checked out that cooler, it seems good. I just read a review that listed the top processor cooling systems. It said that the Sunbeam heatsink/fan was pretty good, but I guess its not.

    About the graphics card, the factory OC'd one is 'unlocked' or something, so I hear its better for OCing. But the 1gb ver. of the card seems good enough, and I don't think I will need to OC it.

    About the processor, I'm just looking for a quality processor that will last me a while, but wont empty my pockets. I'm sure I can get it to 3 easy (its no jump, but I like saying mine is at 3ghz), and I would try 4 eventually...

    Motherboards... I'm looking for something with CrossFire, just in case I want an extra card. Once again like the processor, I don't want it to be outdated in like a week. Looking at their Striker, and Rampage boards, I thought they were pretty good, but I guess its only the high quality boards... Do any Gigabyte boards have Crossfire? I can't find any that say they do. I have my eye on this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128336 Whats your view?

    Whats up with the memory? Its 4gb either way, cept its 2 sticks vs 4 sticks.. wouldn't the 4 sticks run cooler? maybe I need an update..

    thanks for maybe agreeing with one thing. those drives are pretty fast, and I want speed and quality.. but SSD's aren't really cost effective for me so I'll stick with the Raptors. Also, isn't there something about changing your RAID configuration that makes it better in some way?

    I'll be honest, I just spit up something for the disk drives, not even sure about those. Same issue with the PSU.

    And I'll be sure to check out that case, I'm diggin' it. Liquid cooling I hope may be an option but I'll find out.

    BG-0, I can spend the money for Raptors, I know a guy.

    Compiler, thanks for the second little thing on the drives.
     
  8. Compiler

    Compiler

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    That Antec1200 is about the same size as that Thermaltake... its pretty large. If you want bigger - that Mozart is still one of the best cases I ever worked with. To big for me to use...

    - Check out the # of votes on that Artic cooling cooler... 2200+, positive. ;) It competes with $50~$90 coolers, its that good.

    - The 1GB card is a bit faster than the 512mb card in HIGH res & AA turned on. 1920x1200 and higher. ATI software allows you to OC Radeon cards out of the box.

    - I can get my Q2.4 to 3.0 in no sweat. I should be able to reach 3.4 if I raise the voltage and spend 1-2 hours messing with the timings. But I *DON'T* want to raise the voltage - my CPU has to last me a good long while.

    - That ASUS board ($125) wasn't a true cross-fire board, the 2nd 16x slot is more for a physics card than running crossfire. If you put in two 4870 cards in the box, you would have problems. So, the $80 board would have been better. That Gigabyte X48 board will work. But its proven that 1% of those who buy CF/SLi boards to "upgrade in the future", ever actually bother to do so.

    - RAM: Besides spending an extra $75 on memory, you kill your upgradability to 8GB... And yes, its better to run with 2 sticks, rather than 4 when possible. There is air space with 2 sticks than 4... Can't get better memory than that.

    - RAID-0 was useful about 10 years ago when HD output was about 20MB Per Sec (mbps) - 1.5TB drives and 300Gb Raptors are well over 100mbps. If your loading a game, what may take 20seconds with a single raptor, may take 18~20secs with RAID-0 in REAL LIFE... not benchmarks. Its better to have a VelociRaptor for vista and your programs... a TB drive for your data. If you have your digital photo collection sitting on the HD... well, it really don't take much effort to load a 1000mb photo, eh? Or videos.

    Spit up? I've installed 6 Corsair PSUs... they fairly low-cost for high end, and are great.
     
  9. nate93

    nate93 Thread Starter

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    Yeah, the Mozart is quite outrageous to me. lol, its too big, and straight up ugly. Do you know if the drives sit behind that mesh on the case, or if it just replaces it?

    Ill look at that cooler, you speak quite highly of it, it seems pretty awesome lol

    Thanks for the recommendations... about the graphics card, what exactly is AA? its Anti-Aliasing right? what is it?

    Do you know any good web sites that explain how to overclock? I may need a hand.

    And about the board, I most likely will, I would get the 4870X2 (R700), cept money is an issue, also if I don't, I might invest in a TvTuner or something.

    I have no interest in getting 8gb of ram, I'm an XP man, I can't switch

    Ill take your suggestion on the HDD, I like that idea...

    And about the 'spit up' thing, I really don't know what to look for in optical drives, besides fast drives, and what they actually do

    thanks again =D
     
  10. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Even though if you don't need 8 GB, don't spend more money for worse option.
    Reason 1: in the far future, when you decide to sell this rig, the buyer most propably would fancy a possibility to upgrade the RAM to 8 GB.
    Reason 2: It's honestly better to have 2 sticks than 4 sticks.

    AA is anti-aliasing, it makes rough edges smoother. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-aliasing This doesn't actually make true honor to AA, as it shows how bad AA can be at low settings (just blurred edges)...

    So... What was your choice on the motherboard? If you still have chosen one? And graphics card?
     
  11. nate93

    nate93 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the definition.. and I wasn't so sure about the ram, I thought it could go either way, but i guess not. The motherboard.. I really don't know. I'm looking into a crossfire board... I really just want suggestions from you guys, that would be a big help if you don't mind. And I was always sure I was going to get a Ati 4870, But I wasn't sure which one I would get. It was between the Diamond 4870, 4870x2, 4870 (1gb edition), or FOC/Unlocked 4870... But I've decided on the 4870 w/ 1gb. What are your system specs? Got any more suggestions for me?

    Thanks a ton
     
  12. BG-0

    BG-0

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    If you want to go a little cheaper than the x48 board you linked (it's very good, but pricey) check this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128351
    It doesn't come with full speed CF, but still, 16x and 8x could just do the job, if you even ever go for CF.

    Anyways, go for the 1 GB version, cuz you got money, otherwise I would recommend getting the cheapest 4870 512 MB version, or maybe 4850 crossfire... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102770 2 of these isn't much. And they perform better than the 4870, at least 512 MB version... Didn't find many test results on the subject...
     
  13. nate93

    nate93 Thread Starter

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    yeah, now im looking into mobo's alot since i need to choose a new one. and i would rather just get a 4870, it's prob more stable anyway, and less power usage
     
  14. nate93

    nate93 Thread Starter

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    what would you guys say is the best motherboard for ati cards (money isn't an issue)?
     
  15. BG-0

    BG-0

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