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Last response: in Components
October 24, 2005 8:37:52 PM

I am basically a noob just for reference first off. The first computer I built about 3 years ago I picked up I believe it is a Maxtop case off ebay. It came with 2x 90mm top and side and 3x 80mm (1 front 2 back) fans. Which was probably over kill at the time for cooling for an AMD Athlon XP2100 system.

I am building a new system with an AMD Athlon 64 3500, GeForce 6800GT, DFI nF4 Ultra-Infinity and am looking for a case. I will not be looking at over clocking atm, but I will be using the retail heat sink and fan that come with the processor so extra cooling may be required I don?ft know.

Due to spending so much on parts I am going to have to get one of the cheapest cases out there. I really don?ft care about looks I just need a case that will get the job done and can provide enough airflow to keep things cool period. I am going to pick up everything from just to keep it simple.

Now to start off I have a few questions.

Is there any advantage to side and top fans in a case? Will it make much difference if there is only one or the other so far as airflow is concerned?

Does more fans equal a cooler system basically?

If the case has ventilated sides does that affect the air flow going from front to back and overall?

These are just a few questions to get started. Any suggestions and replies are welcomed thanks in advance.

More about : case questions

October 25, 2005 2:21:07 AM

Regardless of price or other quality factors, the biggest thing that hurts airflow is poor design for the built-in fan grille. The more open the grille is, the more air flows through. And the farther it sits from the fan, the less noise it makes.

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October 26, 2005 11:02:33 PM

Well once it is put together it will be sitting on my desk without moving other then cleaning probably for the computers life span. As long as it can handle a book being laid on top of it without falling apart it will probably work for me.

So far as design goes I don?ft need the flashy see through panels and neon fans. I don?ft really care about looks, but functionality is important. Will the design be effective to provide the airflow I need to keep my system cool enough to run for weeks at a time if needed non stop. Will it provide enough airflow to keep my system from getting too hot if I play around with over clocking in the future, while still keeping within my budget?

I was thinking of going with an ATX Mid tower type case. Is there major reasons for going with a Full tower over a Mid tower?

I don?ft think I need the extra space of a Full tower, but for cooling purposes I can see how maybe a Full might help but to be honest I really don?ft know.

To be honest I was hoping to spend no more then about $50 to $60 max, (shipping and handling excluded). If I could spend less for a case it would be great but I need something that is going to work period. Well any suggestions from what is available at would be great if possible.

Just think that you are building a system for a parent or your child. Looks don?ft matter but the price does, at the same time you want to make sure it is going to get the job done.
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October 27, 2005 9:50:01 PM

Thanks for the heads up wusy about aluminum cases.

One case has caught my eye at newegg, but it has no side air duct and I was wondering about that.

What are the pros for a side air duct?

Is the case that caught my eye have a decent design for air flow?
October 27, 2005 11:58:04 PM

Are you talking about the ones on the side and top or the back end?

If it is not a matter of looks but the grills on the top and side will affect airflow I always can cut them out and put a regular grill over the holes.
October 28, 2005 2:06:12 AM

Well how about this case, it is a bit flashy for my taste, but comes with a power supply.

I am not so sure about the power supply though and buying a case just to toss the power supply for another one you buy is kind of hard to do when you have to make every penny to count.
a c 159 ) Power supply
October 28, 2005 3:25:14 AM

I'm sold on that case now - will be using it for my next buil, too.

*Steam rising*
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a c 159 ) Power supply
October 28, 2005 3:26:58 AM

That's a weak 12V rail - 13A!!

*Steam rising*
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October 29, 2005 7:34:50 AM

Well the problem with the Super Flower case is that it is sold out and no ETA for more on that site.

I took a look at the Raidmax case a little more in detail from what I could tell it looks like it has 2x 80mm back, 1x 80mm side, and might have 1x 80mm top. It would seem so far as airflow is concerned it is limited. I checked the reviews for it and they were all for the Raidmax 668 but they are not the one in the pictures provided by newegg.

The one at newegg seemed to have got rid of the 2x 80mm fans in front. Also it shows and lists front audio ports and all the reviews from websites complained about the lack of them. So I have to assume something is messed up.

I took another look at the EnerMax case I first posted about and it has room for 2x 80mm rear, 1x 80mm side, 1x 80mm top, and 1x 80, 90, or 120mm fan in front. The biggest problem that seems to be with this one is the size though.

If I can find that Super Flower case somewhere I might just get it. Otherwise I am trying to find a case on and it is turning into a bear. I have to spend less then $145 no matter what for a case and power supply. Most of the cases I find have very few fans options so limited airflow, and cases with a power supply the power supply does not seem up to par, then the size keep playing a factor.

If I go with a case without a power supply I have to spend only $80 on it to afford the power supply I would like to pick up. Man working with a very tight budget sucks big time.
October 29, 2005 11:42:21 PM

Well I looked around some more and it seems that the Super Flower SF-201T is discontinued. The manufactures website does not list it any more and the only ones close to the one listed by Rugger was missing the top 80mm fan so you only have 2x 80mm front and 2x 80mm rear. If it can still be considered a good case without that top fan I can at least pick one up if I want.

Looked into the Xclio full tower you mentioned and it looked good from what I could find. but cant really finds them anywhere, at least not in the USA. Probably just too brain dead and not looking in the right place who knows.

The AeroCool SPIRAL GALAXIES you mentioned is looking more and more like about the only option I have for something that can manage to get close to my budget, (if the Super Flower without a top fan is not going to work).

The problem will be hoping the Enermax power supply that I would like to pick up will work considering the case set up of the Galaxies. I cant afford to be shipping things back and forth trying to find a power supply that will have long enough power cables to reach things.
a c 159 ) Power supply
October 30, 2005 1:13:21 AM

Enermax is good with lentgh of poser cables. I wouldn't think you'd have any issues with that EG565P and the Galaxy case Wusy mentioned, but I think the SF201T without the top fan should still have more than enough cooling for your rig - especially if you're not OCing.

*Steam rising*
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October 30, 2005 7:06:01 PM

Well it seems and I am going pick up an AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego instead of the 3500+. While the 3700 is close to a 4000 and I have no clue atm if it would be worth over clocking it to there. I know I am going to just put together the CPU with way it comes right out of the retail box to keep things simple.

If I ever do play around with over clocking 6 months or a year down the road it would be just to bump it up to a 4000 is all. I am not going to push it hard using an out of the box set up on my CPU.

Probably I will not even do that considering I am so far behind the times now my new system will seem like it is screaming. I don?ft have anyone I can compare systems with so really I will probably be more then happy with the way things go right out of the box.

However with that in mind would the SF201T still work for me or should I be on the safe side and go with the Galaxy?
October 30, 2005 7:52:01 PM

Well I can order either one today if I want to. I don?ft know how long UPS Residential service takes compared with Fedx 3 day service, but I would suppose within a week I could have either case if I wanted to.

I guess this is really one of those things where I was sure I would not find myself in at the beginning. While the Galaxy would have the best performance for cooling, the SF201T?fs looks have got me hooked too. I can?ft believe I am now hung up on looks or performance. I guess there is a kid in everyone sometimes.
a c 159 ) Power supply
October 30, 2005 9:01:15 PM

That SF201t has great performance too - don't let the good looks fool you! :wink:

*Steam rising*
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October 31, 2005 10:54:10 PM

Well I placed my order for the Blue/Silver Directron 201T All-Aluminum Computer Mid-tower Case w/ 2 Blue Side, Top Windows & Top LED Fan today.

It is flashier then what I have used in the past so I will have to hope it still can do the job I need it to do. I do hope the fans that come with the case are half way decent. I guess I am just going to have to cross my fingers from here on out and hope for the best.

Thanks for all of the help guys I really appreciated all of the input I got.
a c 159 ) Power supply
October 31, 2005 11:40:08 PM

It was a pleasure to help! Have to agree with Wusy's comment, too. Let us know when you get the parts and how the build goes for you.

*Steam rising*
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a c 159 ) Power supply
November 1, 2005 1:24:45 AM

Smart man - Rich would be proud!

*Steam rising*
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November 8, 2005 10:43:15 PM

Well I got my case today finally. UPS ground residential took 7 days from the day that they shipped for me to get it. :( 

I was very happy to find that it did have the top 80mm Blue LED fan after all. The case has 5x 80mm fans, 2x Front, 2x Rear, and 1x Top. I have yet to be able to find info on the fans that came with the case, (they are made by Superflower) so I have no clue how good they are though…

So far as the filter goes I am not sure how to describe it. I have seen that type of material as a filter on a window air conditioner before. It is black and you can see through it easy, kind of like pot and pan scrubber used for washing dishes, but less coarse. I did not see any grill between the fan and the filter; rather the fans keep the filter in place, (I have yet to take the fans on the front off to take a good look at it though).

It is feels extremely light but this is the first Aluminum case I have handled too.

It is a beautiful case I have to say and I know when everything is put together the blue LED top fan is going to make the case look sweet with the lights off.

Now I just have to confirm what brand of memory to go with for my DFI board, what size of hard drive I should get, and a few questions about rounded IDE cables. Even about weather I should reuse my old sound card or not. So I will make thread in the right part of the forums for those though.

Well when I built my first computer about 3 years ago the people on these boards helped me big time. I found the same thing this time around as well. Hell I know I don’t know everything and don’t have an over inflated ego so I can ask for help. You guys are the greatest for all the help you have given me, thanks again. :D 
November 8, 2005 11:42:12 PM

Heck might as well ask it in this thread I guess now I think about it.

I know rounded IDE cables help a little bit with airflow. Rounded cables were just coming out back when I built my first system and I didn’t go with them for it.

I want to try using them this time around and was wondering what brand is recommended? I don’t think a brand would make much of a difference but perhaps a certain brand out there is more reliable then others.

Does brand really matter when it comes to rounded IDE cables?

Is there any recommendation from the selection at

Thanks for any replies guys. :D 
November 10, 2005 12:18:46 AM

Well I just placed my order for all of the parts for my new system today. :D 

I picked up the Thermaltake Blue 24" IDE(ATA66/100/133) Round cable and 18” floppy drive cable. I had no clue how long they should have been so I went with the longer ones just to be safe.

So when I finally get everything together I will have the following system.

AMD Athlon 64 3700 San Diego
DFI NF4 Ultra-Infinity
MSI Geforce 6800GT
OCZ 2GB (2x 1GB) DDR 400 PC3200
Enermax 420W ATX12V
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 80GB
LITE-ON DVD burner
NEC floppy drive (free with burner)
Super Flower SF201T3 case
Thermaltake rounded cables
XP Pro
New keyboard and mouse

I am going to reuse my SB Audigy 2 ZS and D-Link nic card from my old system then give it to my wife :lol:  and her older system goes to my kids.

The total price with shipping just under $1,300 which was pushing my budget to the limit big time :(  but will hopefully be ok for a couple of years. :D 

I want to thank everyone who has helped me out with replies to the various threads I made. You guys really helped save my butt and pointed me in the right direction. :D 

Now I just have to wait for all the parts to come in and cross my fingers that I can put my new system together right. :lol: 
November 10, 2005 1:04:36 AM

More fans usually means better cooling, but two 120mm fans should be enough for any system. Side fans often aim at the video card and help cool it, but cheap cases often put the side fan in the middle just because it looks nice there.

Fan grille (the one built into the case) design is VERY important, you want a lot of open area to reduce resistance. Offset is also very important, the distance betweent the fan blades and grille reduces noise and increases flow.