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Case, HDD and CPU cooler advice PLEASE

Last response: in Components
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November 3, 2009 8:18:11 PM

Hey guys! i really need your advice on some things as im relatively new to compiter building. But first, my spec:
Phenom II x4 965 @ 3.4ghz
Asus 4870 1gb
WD Caviar black 500gb
OCZ Blade 4gb (2x2gb) 1150mhz @ 1100mhz (proc underclock)
ASUS M4A78 Pro Motherboard
Antec Earthwatts 650w psu
Lite on DVD R/W 24x


Ok firstly, storage query. I have currently one 500gb caviar black but am interested in another as to boost my computer performance. 3 options (as far as im awaee): Raid 0 with two caviar blacks 500gb, buy another 500gb caviar black and have one for OS and programs and the other solely for media, thus creating less clutter+improving performance, or buy a small SSD for OS and programs (obviously expensive) and leave my current hdd for media. Advice please mate


Next, and probably moreover; the case.
I recently bought a NZXT HU001. I was told it had adequate cooling but the fact is its rubbish. My phenom 965 runs as 43 idle. Ridiculous. Anyway, im looking into getting a case with good cooling, but thereagain i dont want to have to upgrade and spend out even more money, for ages so i need something which will last me and can cope with whatever upgrades i might throw at it. I have been looking at the HAF 932 and 922, and the Antec 902 and 1200. The only issues with the HAF 932 is that ive heard it doesnt have dust filters and moreover it doesnt look very nice? Also i am able to get the antec 902 around £30 GBP cheaper than the HAF 932 currently, what would you recommend and are there any cases i should look at instead?

Lastly, a CPU cooler. now i am sort of influenced to buy one just because i have owned the HU001 case and i fear of my components getting that hot ever again, even though temps will probably be dramatically reduced in a case such as the HAF 932, but it would still probably be a good idea to get a cooler as im sure you'll agree. I have been considering the CM V8 however i have heard the Titan Fenrir is actually better than this, especially considering its around £15 cheaper. Also i have been considering one of the zalman cnps series. Advice please :) 

To me your knowledge and experience is priceless as i am still new to computers and i dont want to get something which isnt compatible, isnt right etc etc. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

Thanks again and any other recommendations to improve my pc would be so helpful.
Regards,
Jamie.
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2009 9:02:01 PM

j4mi3 said:

Ok firstly, storage query. I have currently one 500gb caviar black but am interested in another as to boost my computer performance. 3 options (as far as im awaee): Raid 0 with two caviar blacks 500gb, buy another 500gb caviar black and have one for OS and programs and the other solely for media, thus creating less clutter+improving performance, or buy a small SSD for OS and programs (obviously expensive) and leave my current hdd for media. Advice please mate


If you just built this, you may want to give it some time. Vista and Win 7 will spend some time indexing the drive at first, which slows performance until it's done.

You can get some performance gain from going RAID 0, but you need to understand that it also doubles the possibility of a failure. If one drive fails you loose the data on both drives. This may be an acceptable risk to you, but you need to know up front.

Even an inexpensive SSD will be faster than a RAID 0, at least in sequential reads such as OS loading and game loading times. I would not use less than 120GB though.

I would say wait a few months for SSD prices to come down more and then buy.


Quote:
I recently bought a NZXT HU001. I was told it had adequate cooling but the fact is its rubbish. My phenom 965 runs as 43 idle. Ridiculous. Anyway, im looking into getting a case with good cooling, but thereagain i dont want to have to upgrade and spend out even more money, for ages so i need something which will last me and can cope with whatever upgrades i might throw at it.


Are both fans spinning and are they unobstructed? It really should be adequate air flow. I do see your point though about CPU idle temp. How is this being read? HWMonitor would be a good choice:
http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

As far as a cooler case, the CM 690 is affordable, big, and fairly quiet:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Much easier on the eyes than the HAF

Or, if you want to spend a bit more, consider the Storm Sniper:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Don't let the pic fool you, it's huge.


On the cooler, This Sunbeam will fit well and ships with paste:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It competes with more serious coolers but costs less.
November 4, 2009 1:12:53 PM

Case:

I recommend the Cooler Master ATCS 840...Yes, it's expensive (and BIG), but it might be the last case you ever have to buy. The case has 6 - 5 1/4 drive bays, 1 floppy drive bay and 6 3.5 drive bays; 4 fans, 1 120mm in rear, 1 230mm in front and 2 230mm on top, a slide out MOBO tray and bottom mount PSU. You can see it here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


HSF:

Check out either the Prolimatech Megahalem or the Thermalright Ultra 120, both are highly rated.

HDD's:

Is your WD 500 a Raid Edition drive? Problems can occur when you use a non-raid certified drive in a raid array. It concerns the way drive errors are handled. In a raid array, the raid software handles error correction duties, on a desktop drive, error correction is handled by the drive software. Both have a built-in timeout factor, but the desktop timeout factor is longer than the raid time-out. If the raid timeout factor is exceeded it can cause the raid array to drop the drive out of the array.

Here are some links you should study before you proceed:

http://products.wdc.com/library/specsheet/eng/2879-7011...

http://www.wdc.com/en/library/sata/2579-001098.pdf

http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/s...

Hope this helps.



Related resources
a b ) Power supply
November 4, 2009 7:08:55 PM

Quote:
If the raid timeout factor is exceeded it can cause the raid array to drop the drive out of the array.


This only applies to actual redundant arrays :)  In RAID 0 there is no "drop out" time because you cannot drop a drive out of RAID 0. If we were talking about RAID 1, 5, or 10 then that would certainly be true.
a c 144 ) Power supply
November 5, 2009 6:59:18 AM

Two popular coolers:
Sunbeam
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Xigmatec Dark Knight
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The HDT style coolers require a different approach to applying thermal compound.
Suggestions for applying thermal compound:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

The Antec 902 does not come with a case speaker. I know, I know, trivial unless something goes wrong.
November 5, 2009 10:16:33 AM

if you're talking about going raid 0 or having two hdds, one system one storage, the second option is definitely the way I'd go. Infact the way I have both my machines! As others mention RAID 0 doubles the risk of failure, and I don't think you'd see much performance boost from going RAID unless you are doing huge amounts of HDD intensive work. For average use setup 2 is better. Keep all your important docs/files etc on the second drive, so if C: goes down then you still have all your stuff safe. But also, if you are multi-tasking using your quad, say you want to download and play or encode and play, then you can do the other work form the second HDD and use your programs off the first, eliminating the lag you would have if you were trying to do it all off one 'drive'.
!