First off, hello everyone, I am new to these parts (but have been using the website for a little while). I have been in a process of building my mid-grade gaming PC. What I have so far in the system is
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 965 (w/ stock heatsink/fan)
RAM - G. SKILL RIPSAW Series 4Gb
MoBo - MSI NF750-G55
GPU - x2 GeoForce 9800 GTX+
PSU - Corsair CMPSU - 750TX
My question is, I am wanting to get a new case because I am currently using my old one from another build. The case I am looking at is a XION Predator AXP970. I have heard good things about the case and it has what I want for the price. I am also needing a new heatsink and fan. I have been looking at a XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 to replace my stock ones. I was just thinking, does anyone know if the heatsink would fit into the xion case, or is there something I could look at to help determine this before I purchase the equipment.
Most websites like Newegg or the manufacturer page will give you the dimensions of the case and the cooler.
Another good pair of cases to look at would be the Antec 300 and the Cooler Master 912.
I used to have the 300, and it was a great, sleek case. If you threw in some more fans, the cooling was actually very good, even with dual GPUs.
The 912 is one that I continually hear about, since it provides a lot of features from Cooler Master's full towers, and is also very big, though it is a mid-tower.
Another great cooler is the Cooler Master Hyper 212+, which is a few bucks less than the Xigmatek you listed. The 212+ outperforms a lot of coolers that cost $50-80, and I've heard plenty of stories of easily OCing to 4GHz and beyond.
I have the dimisions of the case and the heatsink/fan. The case width is about 8" while the Xigfmatek heatsink is around 6.2" but I am trying to take in consideration the motherboard and the placement of where the heatsink will sit.
Also, I have looked at the Antec 300 and for some reason I am just partial to the XION. I have an older XION case and it has been a good case for me through 2-3 builds, and I am a sucker for having the windows on the side.
Let me ask you another question then. I know a water cooling system is a better cooling system, should I just look at a good water cooling system and just cough up the extra money? I just don't know much about water cooling systems because I generally do not overclock my processors. Have the old school air cooled systems starting to catch up to the water coolers? Just not wanting to make a bad purchase if I can avoid it.
For modest overclocks, air cooling is the way to go. Take a look at Frostytech's top "5" heatsinks for some ideas. A good watercooling setup runs at least a couple hundred dollars, and isn't worth the hassle if you're not going for extreme overclocks.
Yeah, don't go WC. I haven't it done it mainly due to money, because it doesn't really make sense just to WC the CPU; I'd want to do GPUs, RAM, etc. That means for me, I'd need to be willing to drop 600-1000 on a good set up.