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A New Case! Opinions Appreciated

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August 4, 2005 3:53:44 PM

Having almost always bought fairly cheap cases, I've decided it would be nice to have a decent one at home for once.

What I want:
Space for lots of 3.5" drives (not because I want lots, but more because I want space between them for heat/airflow concerns), with a front air intake fan blowing air over the drives;
HUGE fan mounts (I want it fairly quiet);
Generally good build quality.
Lots of space (I hate cramped cases);

I already have a 430W Enermax PSU which I'll probably use, but I might replace it anyway (I think one of the fans is starting to make annoying noises...) with a nice Fortron with a 120mm fan so it's quiet, so I don't need a PSU (for the moment).

Based on this, I was looking at getting an Antec P160 - It looks like a nice case, and I can pick one up for £69 w/ no PSU, which seems a fairly decent price for a well-regarded case IMO.

My Rig at present:
2x80Gb SATA HDDs (on separate card; problems mean I might ditch one of them too)
1x250Gb SATA HDD
DVDRW
CDRW
Epox 9NDA3J ATX motherboard
Asus 6800GT
SB Audigy
A64 3200+ @2.5Ghz w/ TT XP-120
1Gb Crucial Ballistix @ 250Mhz
..
So not too much stuff to cram in, but Airflow is a concern as you can see, with all this overclocked stuff spewing heat out everywhere....

My present case is IIRC a Chieftec something or other. It's utterly unremarkable (has 4 5.25" bays, and a removable Drive cage with room for 3 3.5" drives, one of which could be a floppy) I dislike it's limited cooling options (only space for 1 80mm intake and 1 80mm exhaust, although I've bodged another 80mm intake for blowing air over the HDDs in the cage)

Any thoughts on either the Antec, or any other alternatives?


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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 4, 2005 3:57:48 PM

<A HREF="http://www.directron.com/201tblk.html" target="_new"> SuperFlower 201 </A>

Features: Aluminum structure with acrylic front panel; The entire case was made with a special elaborate polishing process. More drive bays than other PC cases in the market, 4 x 5.25" + 3 x 3.5" opening bays and 5 x 3.5" hidden bays for HDD. Can work as a light-duty server chassis with total 12 drive bays. Slide-in removable motherboard cage fits ATX, Pentium 4 M/B for best application. Thumb screws used for easy removal of side panels and add-on cards. Airflow holes around the entire case for the best heat dissipation. Plastic covers on edges to protect your fingers. Come with 1 x left transparent side cover, 1 x right transparent side cover and 1 x top transparent side cover.

Specifications: Type: Model No. SF-201T-B (Black) Aluminum Case with Acrylic Panel. Mainboard: ATX ; Pentium 4 M/B. 5.25" Drive Bays: 4. 3.5" Drive Bays: 3. 3.5" Hidden: 5. The hard drive tray is placed right behind the front case fans for maximum cooling. Cooling Fan: Standard: 2 x 8cm (at front) + 2 x 8cm (rear fan) + 1 x 8cm (top fan). Four fans have golden fan grills that look great with the black surrounding. I/O Interface at front side: 4 USB, Audio ports. Dimensions (WxHxL): 8.25" x 18" x 19.75"/ 210 x 457 x 502 mm.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
August 4, 2005 4:03:24 PM

The P160 look really nice! good reviews too! I personally love antec, my 1st case was antec and its still in good shape(6 years of abuse later).

Around the same line the Lian Li PC-60 looks really nice too, suppose to be quiet. 4 5.25", 6 3.5"...

The case richpls showed looks rather nice too!

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
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August 4, 2005 4:04:42 PM

Ah, Just a FYI, I will probably go watercooling in a few months. I've been intending to do so for ages, but other stuff always gets in the way, so it's put off for a while, but if I'm spending lots of wedge on a nice case, I want to be able to add stuff for water later (I don't mind drilling holes in stuff, but I don't want any inherent design features getting in the way) I'd also like to have the radiator <i>inside</i> the case, if I can. (maybe separate off a couple of 5.25" bays with their own independent airflow system or something)

But that's all for the future.

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 4, 2005 4:11:59 PM

I wasn't expecting 2 replies that quickly... :eek: 

Rich:
Doesn't look too bad, but I'd rather 2x 120mm fans than 4x80mm ones... I'm trying to build as quiet as possible here.

Plus I don't know about availability here in the UK.

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 4, 2005 4:16:16 PM

Now <i>that's</i> got some room! lol.

Oh, I forgot one final requirement... It can't be much taller than your average midi-tower, because I need to be able to put my feet on it under my desk :lol:  . I'm just too used to doing that now....

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 4, 2005 5:45:23 PM

Damn, that's a long case. I'd be worries about all my cables being able to reach though.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
August 4, 2005 6:00:35 PM

I did built a computer in this case. It was with a Pentium 4 630 or somethign like that on a asus P5(dwhskldkflnae2) :wink:
No problem for cable, the case is not much taller than midi-tower, 17.6", thats .4" more than Antec's min-tower that is rather small...The case is just loooong and freaking heavy!

Final words about cabling, the ide connector where near the top of the mobo so the cable where logn enough to reach the upper 5.25 bay. SATA cable can be really long...

Nice to work with all that room thought!And layout is excellent(I like Antec in general...)

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
August 5, 2005 10:55:16 AM

Weight doesn't bother me at all. Apart from moving house, and pulling it out from under the desk to install/remove/tweak/melt/etc parts, I never move the thing, so as heavy as you like.. Although if I need to buy a forklift to move it I might have to re-think that one...

How tall is it? I need to have a good 10" of airspace between the top of the case, and the desk, otherwise it'll not fit the 'footrest' requirement...

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 5, 2005 11:14:55 AM

you could always make your own. Some material of your choice a good metel drill bit a saw and plan and the project is ready to start. I use the parts in the old case to use as a tinplate for cutouts and use the parts in the old case for the install of componts.
You will need the metel drill bit to drill out the rivits on the old case once that is all done its simple from there. good luck dude.

when the team loses blame it on the noob's I was shot for a plane now my goal it to hunt them down
August 5, 2005 11:37:40 AM

Well, looked around a bit more, read a couple more reviews and Just ordered the Antec.

Be nice to not have to bodge stuff and drill holes to get things the way I want them :smile: .

Thanks for the input guys!

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 6, 2005 6:00:59 AM

the thermochill radiator?

<font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
August 8, 2005 8:46:36 AM

Yeah. I was having problems finding anything wrong with it, so I thought I'd go ahead and buy it.

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 8, 2005 9:39:26 AM

Consider the Chenbro X-Spider.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
August 9, 2005 12:14:22 PM

Just received it, and it seems reasonable enough, but I haven't started putting anything into it yet of course.

The one feature I <i>really</i> like is the HDD mountings being 90 degrees from the norm. Should make the case much nicer inside (current one leaves very little room between HDDs and Gfx card, so manuevering the HDDs around is a PITA.

The one thing I <i>dislike</i> about the case is the 3.5" bay cover with the hole/button for a floppy. I don't particularly need or want a floppy drive, so I'd generally just omit it from the case. Would've been nice for them to include another plastic insert if you don't have/want a floppy, and don't need the hole.

Obviously once I've tried actually moving my hardware over I'll find more nice or horrid features, but that's not until I get home now...

And Wusy, feel free to say whatever you like, even though I have already bought it, I can always e-bay it and get something else. don't worry about causing offence, that's next-to impossible to do with me. :lol: 

Will keep ya posted.

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 9, 2005 11:33:40 PM

It looks ok to me :wink:

One good thing is it comes with 2 temp sensors. I think one on the HDD and another on the gfx card. No sure of the best way to attach them though. Tape? :lol: 

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
August 10, 2005 12:04:20 AM

long thin flat things. At the moment they're both tucked up in the top of the case with all the excess wiring. Oddly enough, one's reading 3C higher than the other... :eek:  . Makes you wonder how accurate they are.

Still, MBM5 seems to think my temps are 33/38C full load, which is a bit better than the old case, that's for sure.

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<font color=red>"Life is <i>not</i> like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapeńos - what you do today might burn your a<b></b>ss tommorrow."
!