Best chassis for an overclocked core I7 workstation

Hi all,

I need your help with finding a good case for my planned homebuild. I am building a 3D rendering workstation and the spec is as follows:

ASUS KT6D Deluxe
Intel Core I7 920 - possible overclock attempt to push it to 3.8 even 4.0 ghz
Matched 12 Gb of DDR3 memory (probably corsair)
Nvidia Quadro FX 580 graphics card
A few HDDS (i have some old ones and I'll get a new 500 gb or if I have the cache a smaller faster 10000 rpm and a big slow one i don't know yet). I think I will have up to 4 drives.
Some sort of optical Buray/DVD combo
A good high performance 850 W PSU (probably corsair)
I will cool either with a good high performance air cooler or , I am very tempted to get the new corsair h50 liquid solution.
I will be putting a corsair memory cooler on the RAM as well.


I will be posting again to another thread with the full spec for second opinions. At the moment I am very stuck with the case choice. I don't even know how to narrow it down so that I can at least start somewhere.

The machine will be used on full load for hours on end, rendering 3D images at night maxing out the CPU. As such it needs good and reliable cooling with control and feedback. So cooling performance is paramount.

I don't think GPU cooling will be an issue as the workloads for CAD and 3D modelling aren't as high as in gaming.

I need it to be 'cable tidy' and practical for installation.

I would like it not to sound like a plane taking off, but I can live with moderate noise. I know that I can't avoid some noise. Just not 'henry the hoover' kind of noise.

I don't particularly want it to look like a UFO. The subtler the better. All that LED business is a bit much for me. I'm old fashioned. But in the end the looks don't bother me that much.

Finally I would ideally like to stay within the £100 budget, but I would stretch to £150.

Basically I want to have the cake and to eat it.

Your advice and help would be invaluable. Please forgive the untidy spec above. I hope it makes sense.

Thanks
8 answers Last reply
More about best chassis overclocked core workstation
  1. You mentioned a budget for a pc case that appears to be in pounds rather than US dollars. Could you please provide a few links to online vendors that you would use to make the purchase? That way we could have a look to see what cases are available. It is not unusual for international visitors to have a limited selection of choices.

    Off hand I would recommend either Lian Li or Silverstone. Both companies are famous for their aluminum cases and innovative features. Unfortunately they command premium prices.

    You could easily push the Intel Core i7 to 4.0 ghz. The sweet spot for very stable operation is 3.6 ghz.

    I checked several references. The Quadro FX 580 is not a power hungry video card. The maximum power consumption is only 40 watts. Therefore, an 850 watt power supply is total overkill, even for 24/7 operation at load.

    The general rule of thumb is a high quality 500 to 550 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the +12 volt rail(s) can easily power an overclocked Intel Core i7 920 system with any single video card made. That includes any high end, power hungry, game card.

    A high quality 500 to 550 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 40 amps. That is more than enough to deliver power to the cpu and gpu.

    In addition the power supply should be at least 80+ Bronze certified for energy efficiency. There are some models available which have achieved 80+ Silver and 80+ Gold Certifications.

    Corsair and Seasonic are two of the brands that have a reputation for high quality power supplies that consistently earn high marks in technical reviews. They are reliable, stable, and come with a 5 year warranty. Some of the newer models come with a 7 year warranty. Lately we've been seeing a few other brands offering some high quality units.

    BTW - Asus does not have a KT6D Deluxe motherboard. Did you mean MSI?
  2. Thanks Johnny,

    I assumed that since I am logging on to tomshardware.co.uk it is a UK thing. Lets ignore my budget for now. I think in dollars that would be between $200 and $260. As for the power supply, I appreciate your comment and will probably go for a corsair 650w instead. That should give me enough upgrade headroom I guess.

    The motherboard I am referring to is the asus p6tD deluxe it was just me being completely untidy in my forum posting skills.

    Here's the spec but properly formatted:

    Core components

    CPU - Intel Core I7 920 Socket 1366 2.66 GHz
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel-i7-920-D0-(SLBEJ)-Socket-1366-(B)-Nehalem-266GHz-QPI-48GT-s-Cache-8MB-130W-Retail

    With some form of overclock. Between 3.6 ghz and 4.0 ghz.

    Mobo - Asus P6TD Deluxe Intel X58 Socket 1366
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-P6TD-Deluxe-Intel-X58-Sok-1366-PCI-E-20(x16)-DDR3-2000-1800-1666-SATA-3Gb-s-RAID-ATX
    Memory - Corsair XMS3 Matched 12GB DDR3 Memory
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/12GB-(6x2GB)-Corsair-Matched-XMS3-DDR3-PC3-10666-(1333)-240-Pin-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-9-9-9-24
    GPU - PNY Nvidia Quadro FX580 512 MB GDDR3 Memory
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB-PNY-Quadro-FX580-PCI-E-20-(x16)-128Bit-GDDR3-2x-Display-Port-Dual-Link-DVI-Retail


    Cooling

    Water Cooler - Corsair H50 Hydro Series CPU Watercooler
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Corsair-H50-1-Hydro-Series-High-performance-CPU-Watercooler-LGA775-1156-1366-AM2-2plus-AM3-NEW-V2

    or

    Air - Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme with 120mm 1600 RPM Fan
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Thermalright-Ultra-120-eXtreme-1366RT-120mm-heat-sink-for-Intel1366-CPU-inc-1600RPM-fan

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Corsair-CMXAF2-Airflow-Fan-for-up-to-6-x-module-cooling-DDR1-2-3 (might be overkill)

    Storage

    1 or 2 500 gb HDDs.
    Some optical drive


    PSU

    650W Corsair Professional Modular PSU.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/650W-Corsair-Professional-CMPSU-650HXUK-Modular-PSU-with-80PLUS-Bronze-Certification


    Hope that's better.

    Your input would be appreciated folks.
  3. HAF932 is the only full tower i see which is good and close to your budget! It maybe something around 105GBP.
    Another one is Antec 902. But i don't know if its good or not, so will reserve my comments for that.
  4. $200.00 to $260.00 is a generous amount for a pc case. In that price range I would recommend the Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P50:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/LianLi-PC-P50B-Armoursuit-Black-Aluminum-Mid-Tower-Gaming-Case-W-O-PSU

    Here are a few links to technical reviews:

    http://www.pureoverclock.com/article857.html

    http://www.overclockersonline.net/?page=articles&num=2981&pnum=0
  5. I just realised my new pc case meets all of your requirements.

    Lancool is a subsidiary of Lian Li. Lancool manufacturers less expensive steel pc cases that include many of the innovative Lian Li features. Last Fall Lancool introduced the new Dragon Lord series. The cases come in half a dozen variations. There is one particular model that meets all of your requirements. It is the Dragon Lord PC-K60:

    http://www.lancoolpc.com/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=13&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62

    Here is a link to a video review made by MonsterMawd, one of our veteran posters:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2MdUGxWEcU

    Here are a few links to technical reviews:

    http://www.casemodblog.com/?p=1103

    http://www.*****/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/22076-lancool-dragonlord-pc-k62-case-review.html

    http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/2935/lancool_dragon_lord_pc_k62_advanced_mid_tower_case/index.html
  6. Thanks JohnnyLucky, Hell_Storm2004, Really appreciate your responses. I'll have a look at those now. I'll let you know how it goes.
  7. Any comments on the Cooler Master Cosmos Pure or the Antec 193/183?
  8. I would personally go for the Antec 183 from the two. But I am now looking at a very interesting alternative which compares to these two very well - the Fractal Designs F2 case. You might need to upgrade the stock cooling on that though if you are going to overclock.
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