ATX Case + PSU advice

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shleepy
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ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by shleepy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:07 pm

I have a new build coming soon, and I want to order a case and PSU ASAP.

Other parts (already ordered or have):
  • i7-2600K - will be overclocked fairly high, until I run into too much heat for comfort
  • Gigabyte ATX mobo - based on Tomshardware testing, they seem to have good power consumption while OC'ed (and also when not) and can OC fairly well
  • Prolimatech Megahalems heatsink
  • A couple SSD's (no HDD's)
  • 5.25" bay adapter for slim optical drive + the two SSD's
  • HD 5870 video card for now, but will upgrade to something more powerful later this year / early next year (when new generation of cards comes out)... May get something as powerful/hot as a GTX 580 and strap on an aftermarket heatsink. No plans for SLI/Crossfire
  • (Already have a bunch of vinyl and melamine, if needed for internal damping)
EDIT: Ordered LZP-750 for the PSU.

For cases, my top choices are currently the Solo II and Fractal Define R3. Other than low noise, my highest priority is probably good airflow in the CPU area (what with overclocking). The Solo's design is probably best suited for that, with a clear airflow path between the front fan and the CPU heatsink. However, I prefer the R3's aesthetic design, and I do like the extra fan options (top for CPU, bottom for GPU), if I decide that I can live with an extra decibel of noise or two for better cooling performance. Are there any other candidates I should consider in the ATX mid-tower category - something not too big and ideally with a front fan lined up nicely with the CPU area? I'd love to have USB 3.0 and eSATA, but I guess those aren't completely necessary (and neither of the top 2 choices have eSATA), especially if I can put in a 3.5" or 5.25" bay device with those ports.

Thanks for your recommendations!
Last edited by shleepy on Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kuzzia
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by kuzzia » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:33 pm

PSU:
An obvious alternative: Kingwin Stryker 500 (completely passive) or Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W. Both Editor's choice at SPCR. There's also the Nexus NX-5000 if that one is available where you live. It's not modular but VERY quiet (and received Editor's choice too.)

Case:
Antec P280 which has received a modern facelift such as more place behind mobo-tray for cable routing, front USB ports almost at the top of the case, USB 3.0, new fan etc.

Between the R3 and the SOLO II, I'd choose the R3. It actually has room behind the mo-bo tray, the front USB ports lie lower than the regular position on top and PSU cables dingle from up top (unless modular). One of the selling points of the Solo II is the option to suspend hard drives, but since you only use SSD's that selling point is irrelevant. Be aware the maximum length for video cards in the R3.

quest_for_silence
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:33 pm

The Solo II isn't well suited for something like a GTX580.

If I were you I would go maybe for a classical Antec P183 V3 + CP850: boring but effective and silent, for any single GPU setup.
Regards,
Luca

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shleepy
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by shleepy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:55 pm

To clarify, I'd PROBABLY get something like AMD's follow-up to HD 6970 or Nvidia's follow-up to GTX 570, but it will all depend on the benchmarks (so I'd like to leave some leeway). I wish I didn't "need" anything so powerful, but BF3 @ 2560x1600 requires some gfx muscle, apparently. :) Currently, it doesn't seem to make sense to upgrade to something faster than an HD 5870 while sticking with single-GPU, since the performance differences at 2560x1600 in BF3 are relatively minor between the 5870 and GTX 580.

I don't like the looks of the P280, to be honest. Only three 5.25" bays means that I can't fit an optical drive + a Scythe Kama Bay (for increased airflow). I'd also like to avoid using a top fan, if I can help it, for dust reasons. That said, maybe I should stick with a P182, which I already have, and put in a 3.5" bay USB3/eSATA device...

By the way, the Kingwin Stryker seems like a promising choice (though I should then probably avoid something QUITE as power hungry as GTX 580, which is fine). If I want to put it in a case with a bottom-mounted PSU, should I just make sure that it has a fan blowing in its general direction?

quest_for_silence
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:10 pm

shleepy wrote:If I want to put it in a case with a bottom-mounted PSU, should I just make sure that it has a fan blowing in its general direction?
There's no compelling need up to a 5870-class GPU: it's an enough cool PSU.
For hotter cards, the hybrid LZP-550 would be better suited (38°C at 500W).

Other viable options might be the Modu87+ by Enermax and the AX series from Corsair.
Regards,
Luca

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shleepy
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by shleepy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:36 pm

I'd almost definitely go for something at least a little higher-end than 5870 (at least one "class" above). Would upgrading to the LZP-750 make sense, by the way? I see it on sale for $190 now, which isn't much more than the 550W model.

quest_for_silence
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:52 pm

shleepy wrote:Would upgrading to the LZP-750 make sense, by the way?

Probably it would make sense (thinking to a 250W card and an oc'ed CPU). IMHO, of course.

P.S.: I just saw on Google Products that a P183 V3 + CP-850 combo would start at around 215 USD (ProVantage, for example), so would it really worth a 80+ Platinum PSU for 190 USD?
Regards,
Luca

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shleepy
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by shleepy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:09 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:
shleepy wrote:Would upgrading to the LZP-750 make sense, by the way?

Probably it would make sense (thinking to a 250W card and an oc'ed CPU). IMHO, of course.

P.S.: I just saw on Google Products that a P183 V3 + CP-850 combo would start at around 215 USD (ProVantage, for example), so would it really worth a 80+ Platinum PSU for 190 USD?
Ordered LZP-750.
I wouldn't particularly want a P183... If going that route, I can just use the P182 that I already have (and it's so much less fugly).

kuzzia
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by kuzzia » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:32 am

What's wrong with the P182 that you already have?

shleepy
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by shleepy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:47 pm

kuzzia wrote:What's wrong with the P182 that you already have?
I'll probably just stick with it for now, but the issues I have with it are:
Mediocre intake airflow, due to lack of fan for "CPU area" and excessive plastic in the front (can be fixed by modding and not a problem in P183, but I would rather avoid using my dremel).
Fan hole on top, although probably good for CPU cooling, adds a place for noise to "escape" and dust to enter.
No USB 3.0 or eSATA front ports (can live with this by "upgrading" the USB hub on my desk, instead).

What about the Fractal Define XL as a close alternative to Antec P183/182? It's certainly similar, but I like the placement of the intake fan slots, the fact that the rear fan is 140mm, and the big fan on top that doesn't actually allow dust to directly fall into the case... Practical performance is another question, though... (Note that the questionably-placed HDD slots don't bother me, since I won't be using any of them).

Side-question: Why aren't handles more popular? ;) I truly hate dragging cases out of the corner next to my desk. Modding is an option, but I wonder if standard handles would be able to safely hold a heavy case, like the P182 or Define XL.

Worker control
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by Worker control » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:17 pm

shleepy wrote:
kuzzia wrote:What's wrong with the P182 that you already have?
Mediocre intake airflow, due to lack of fan for "CPU area" and excessive plastic in the front (can be fixed by modding and not a problem in P183, but I would rather avoid using my dremel).
I assume that you have removed the plastic slats panels in front of the intake fans?

kuzzia
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Re: ATX Case + PSU advice

Post by kuzzia » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:56 pm

A mod, that I believe will benefit almost any case is cutting out the honeycomb at the rear fan. I have not done it yet, but many other at SPCR can probably recommend that particular mod. Perhaps that will help airflow around the CPU area.
Don't know why handles aren't that popular. perhaps because that would require a very strong construction and that it would mess with the rectangular shape.

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