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First new PC in years, how does my build look?

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August 29, 2011 12:00:50 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Going to probably start buying the first parts in the next two weeks if I want to take advantage of current MicroCenter deals, but other than that this build can take up to a month easy.

Budget Range: $1200-$1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching videos, web surfing. This PC is literally dying and Battlefield 3 is coming out, so it's time for a new gaming rig. Ideally I'd like to do a little FRAPSing of my gaming sessions and do a little editing if the 2500k allows me.

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Monitor, might replace my 6yr old ZBoard with a Logitec G510 or something, but it still works so that's a maybe.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Hoping to build it all out of Newegg, Fry's and Microcenter (both Fry's and MC are less than an hour away).

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, probably NVidia GPUs.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes/Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Hoping to go cool and quiet with a nice clean build inside. Just built a PC with a friend in a HAF-X and I absolutely love the case, but it's a bit pricey, so I'm looking at possible alternatives that still use large fans. 932 Adv looks nice, but I'm not sure about just having a huge grate around that side fan.

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So, here's what I've got selected:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 1155 ATX (MicroCenter bundle w/CPU) Bundle Price: $280

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k (Microcenter bundle w/Mobo) Bundle Price: $280
The i7 2600k is really tempting, as I've been told Win 7 is a lot better about using the HT, and I'm pretty used to having multiple programs running when I play MMOs, but the price of the i5, especially with this bundle, seems too good to pass up.

GPU: X2 EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD: $290 ea after rebate, $580 total cost.

RAM: 8gb (2x4gb) paired DDR3 1600mhz, lower voltage the better, haven't got a brand picked out since it largely depends on price at time of purchase, but it should be about $55-$60.

HD: WD Caviar Black 1tb SATA6: $80. Part of my reasoning is I already have one of these drives in my old PC that I plan on swapping over, so I'd like them to both have similar transfer rates.

Optical: Some $20 DVD-RW from LiteOn or something, whatever is a decent price when I need it.

PSU: Antec HGC-750: $60 after mfr rebate.
Alternatively I may go for something like the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular ATX Power Supply, also $60 after rebate, if I don't get the HAF-X (which has the convenient cover for all those extra cables on the PSU). Modular or not largely depends on case choice, since it seems like I can get a modular PSU that will work for about the same price.

Case: HAF-X: $180 after mfr rebate. (The 932 Advanced is almost as nice, but the lack of any filtering bugs me). I've got hands-on experience with building in the HAF-X and I know I have very few complaints with it aside from price. I'm leaning towards gutting it up and getting the HAF-X, since I plan on using this case for a long time (my current case is about 10yrs old). I also definitely want to take advantage of internal USB3.0 connections, rather than have a wire sticking out the back and using one of the rear USB3 slots.

--------------

So, how am I looking? Again, the only real time pressure here is that the prices I have from Microcenter on those bundles are only good through the 4th, I believe. I'm likely going to go ahead and grab my Mobo/PSU while I know I can get a good price, and pick up the rest of the parts as I am able. I've decided against going SSD for the time being due to cost, but I hope to add one in the next few months.

More about : years build

August 29, 2011 12:10:53 AM

I think you are on the right track

It sounds like you intend to take the hdd from the old pc and try and run the new computer with it?
That almost certainly wont work without a format and instal of windows so Im not sure what the advantage would be
You will probably need a new copy of windows too .....depending
August 29, 2011 12:14:42 AM

No, I plan on using the old HDD as my storage/game drive probably, since it's already got a little use on it. I will be reformatting it just to start clean, but not until I get my music and videos off of it.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that I will be getting Win 7 Pro 64. Right now it's not really on my radar since I'm waiting to hear if I can get it at a discount by having my younger sister, still a college student, buy it for me.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, one thing I'm pretty un-sure on is if a 700/750w PSU is going to be enough to push two 570s and an i5 2500k if I plan on overclocking. I love the price of the PSUs I've found, but I don't want to get less than I need and it sounds like I'm getting close with just my components and fans, never mind trying to power USB devices (though of course I do have a powered hub).
Related resources
August 29, 2011 12:31:08 AM

If its in the budget consider an SSD as a boot drive

These are hard drives made of flash memory , similar to a USB stick . Even the slowest are many times faster than a mechanical hard drive .
There is an article on the toms homepage
August 29, 2011 12:36:12 AM

As I said, right now I think I'm going to try to save the money and wait to get an SSD in a few months. It wont help me actually run games really, so I can wait a little bit for instant boots and load times.
August 29, 2011 2:59:37 AM

Sorry, I'm a bit out of my league when it comes to PSUs. Like I said, I'm worried that 750w may be a bit weak, and was thinking alternatively of going for something like the Antec HCG-900 or Corsair GS-800.

One thing I don't quite understand is the 12v amperage ratings. Reading a thread for a similar build I saw it recommended to get a PSU with a 12v rail rated at over 50 amps for dual SLI 570s, but the Antec PSUs are all rated at 40amps, split between 4 rails it appears? Does this mean even the Antec 900w PSU would be sub-par for this build compared to the Corsair GS-800, or is even the Antec 750w enough with 4 12v rails rated at 40amps, I think?

Both the Corsair GS-800 and Antec HCG-900 are about $120, which is already doubling the price of the PSU for what seems a relatively small gain (unless it's necessary). Again, the HAF-X makes a modular PSU a waste of money.

Thanks for helping me out, pretty clueless in this area.
August 29, 2011 3:19:28 AM

instead of going for a higher rated wattage PSU, just get a better one. The Corsair TX series are better than the GS series, and the Antec Trupower New are one of the best around, without spending rediculous amounts. A good 750w will do the trick.
August 29, 2011 3:44:22 AM

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...

They measure 578 watts with a processor that uses more power than the sandy bridge .
Assume about 550 watts .

So theoretically it could run on a 550 watt psu if it had the right out put and a strong 12 volt rail , but that would be a bit like driving your car at full throttle all the time . Its hard work
So its best to keep the maximum load around 50 -60% or so of the rated output of the PSU

850 watts makes sense for a 2 x gtx 570 rig

August 29, 2011 4:21:43 AM

A friend I was just talking to pointed out PC Power & Cooling power supplies, which sound like great quality for the price. It also looks like I can get the below for $90 after rebates at MicroCenter.

Looking like the only things I probably can't get at Microcenter are the RAM and Win7.
They even appear to have an ADATA X25-M 80gb Intel SSD for only $100, which is pretty tempting, even if it's not the fastest out there (if they still have any in stock).


----Refreshed Build----
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 1155 ATX (MicroCenter bundle w/CPU) Bundle Price: $280

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k (Microcenter bundle w/Mobo) Bundle Price: $280

GPU: X2 EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD: $290 ea after rebate, $580 total cost.

RAM: 8gb (2x4gb) paired DDR3 1600mhz, lower voltage the better. Still haven't selected a brand or anything for this. MicroCenter doesn't seem to have anything below 1.65v on sale right now.

HD: WD Caviar Black 1tb SATA6: $80. (Looking at that Adata SSD on clearance, would appreciate feedback on that, though it may be out of stock when I go to buy).

Optical: Some $20 DVD-RW from LiteOn or something, whatever is a decent price when I need it.

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer 760W High Performance 80PLUS Silver: $90

Case: HAF-X: $180 after mfr rebate.

----

If any one has any particular 2x4gb DDR3 1600 RAM they like at a good price right now or any CPU cooler they are particularly fond of I'd love to hear it. I think that's pretty much all that's left for me now.
(Sorry, was posting this before mj, I'll look at that RAM when I get home in a bit. I can't remember what all exactly but I have heard some things that turned me off of the Raven, even RV03, which is supposed to be better. I think it's the HDD position, or maybe it was just too cramped.)
(Edit 2: Came home and saw I wrote process instead of power supply for some reason. Fixed.)
August 29, 2011 10:28:52 PM

I think I'm going to try to pull the trigger on the first round of parts at MicroCenter tomorrow. Knowing my luck they will have some great Labor Day deals, but the CPU/mobo bundle just sounds too nice to pass up.

Does anyone have any final advice?
Is there any reason I shouldn't go ahead and upgrade my primary drive to an SSD and step down to a cheaper magnetic drive if MicroCenter still has any of the ADATA X25-M 80gb SATA II drives for the $100 clearance price? The drive is older but doesn't sound like a bad drive, especially for the price. (Looks like it's just a rebranded X25-M G2.) If I can't get it now that isn't a deal breaker, as I'll just go back to my plan of waiting until I can get a good deal on a 60gb+ later.

That article was great, but it still left me wondering if even my nicer 760w PSU will be enough, since it recommended that for a minimum and 800+ for over-clocking, which I do plan on (that's why I want an i5 and lots of fans). Will that be fine with the more power-efficient SandyBridge i5?

I'll probably be back here asking for advice on my RAM before I make that purchase, since MicroCenter doesn't seem to have any I want, but I think I've got everything else pretty much selected unless I've missed something.
(That does look like a great price for the Corsair Vengance 8gb set. I'll likely end up ordering that.)
August 29, 2011 10:40:13 PM

again the samsung spinpoint f3 1tb is faster and cheaper than the WD 1tb hdd you posted. you can always add a 120gb ssd later when you have the money. make sure you get an 850w psu so you can actually run 2 570's. here is a cheaper 850w psu- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it only has a 1 yr. warranty that throws a lot of customers off. there is always quality xfx's though- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....
the rv02 is a great case and it is definitely big enough.
August 29, 2011 10:43:51 PM

Sorry, can someone try to clarify on the PSU a bit? I've been told anything from a 750 on up, but I also read what was posted previously about SLI 570s needing a 12v rail rated at over 50amps, and that that was more important than raw wattage?

Sounds straight-forward enough, until I go to actually look at them and it seems that most of the cheaper PSUs have multiple 12v rails, none rated over 40amps. I have no idea what that means compared to a single 12v rail rated at over 60amps. I don't know, this may be a stupid question.
August 29, 2011 11:05:17 PM

if a PSU has multiple 12v rails thats fine so long as combined they can put out X amount total. For example in the case of the Antec Trupower, each pcie connector which goes to the GPU runs off its own 12v rail
August 29, 2011 11:19:54 PM

Awesome, that's what I figured it meant due to the ratings I was seeing, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks, crowe!
August 29, 2011 11:32:01 PM

I think I'm probably going to stick with the HAF series for a case, since I plan on keeping this case for quite a while. As I said my old case is 10 years old almost, so I don't mind spending a bit more if it's worth it. The RV02's cooling sounds nice, but there's no USB3.0 and it has such a small HDD rack. Ideally this build would fill the RV02's HDD rack brand new, never mind trying to expand the storage. A friend is really trying to push me towards Lian Li, and he may have good reason, but I can't find any Lian Li cases that can match the cooling and features for the price.

EDIT: Anyone happen to know the type of fans used in the HAF-X blue or Raven RV02B-EW? I just read that for some reason Cooler Master used a sleeved fan for the top on the red case, and those aren't supposed to be good for horizontal use. I'm wondering if the Blue LED fans in the blue edition have the same issue. The RV02B-EW I believe has more HDD bays than the metal one, so that may solve my main problem with that case. Still no USB3.0 up front, but if I just leave the top off the case that doesn't seem like it would be a big drawback.

Also, just stumbled across the DF-85. Looks like a decent case, but who in their right mind designed that with out an opening for the bottom-mounted PSU?!
August 30, 2011 12:42:43 AM

Never mind, no matter what version of the RV02 I get it sounds fundamentally flawed. They use custom 180mm fans, but they're still sleeved and gravity can pull the blades beyond the cowling, causing the fans to hit the case and break. If I want to fix this I have to replace nearly every fan in the case, and the only 180mm fans available are from Silverstone. They're expensive and only the $30 one is actually worth putting in those horizontal mounts.

Not only am I skipping the Raven, I'd suggest you look in to it a bit before giving it a recommendation. Poor cable management, only one version comes with a reasonable number of HDD bays, no USB3.0 and the fans on the bottom often require washers as spacers to keep them from breaking on the case if you don't replace them with a ball bearing fan. That's just far too many cons for me to consider the case. The cooling is definitely nice, but the more I dig the more problems I'm finding. Seems like maybe not the highest quality. That's a big con considering you can only buy replacement fans from Silverstone. Even with spacers those fans won't last long since they're sleeved. At least the HAF-X only has the one sleeved top fan that would need to be replaced down the line.

Bit of a shame. My old case is Silverstone and it's nearly 10 years old. I just had to replace all the fans a few months ago, but other than that I've really liked the case. At the time it was one of the best around.
August 30, 2011 2:07:46 AM

FuseAQM said:
Never mind, no matter what version of the RV02 I get it sounds fundamentally flawed. They use custom 180mm fans, but they're still sleeved and gravity can pull the blades beyond the cowling, causing the fans to hit the case and break. If I want to fix this I have to replace nearly every fan in the case, and the only 180mm fans available are from Silverstone. They're expensive and only the $30 one is actually worth putting in those horizontal mounts.

Not only am I skipping the Raven, I'd suggest you look in to it a bit before giving it a recommendation. Poor cable management, only one version comes with a reasonable number of HDD bays, no USB3.0 and the fans on the bottom often require washers as spacers to keep them from breaking on the case if you don't replace them with a ball bearing fan. That's just far too many cons for me to consider the case. The cooling is definitely nice, but the more I dig the more problems I'm finding. Seems like maybe not the highest quality. That's a big con considering you can only buy replacement fans from Silverstone. Even with spacers those fans won't last long since they're sleeved. At least the HAF-X only has the one sleeved top fan that would need to be replaced down the line.

Bit of a shame. My old case is Silverstone and it's nearly 10 years old. I just had to replace all the fans a few months ago, but other than that I've really liked the case. At the time it was one of the best around.

most people only have 1 hdd and 1 ssd. it has very good cable management http://www.techspot.com/review/351-silverstone-rv02e/pa... "The non-removable motherboard tray features excellent cable management with three large openings to route wires." i thought i suggested the RV03 which has usb 3.0 but its cooling is not quite as good as the RV02 and its looks are not the best either. The new RV02-E cases have fixed most of the problems like the one with the fans you mentioned.
August 30, 2011 2:37:07 AM

Ah, very good to know. Raven may be back on the table, then.

As I said earlier I'll have at LEAST two magnetic drives in this, plus an SSD hopefully, almost immediately. That wouldn't leave me any room to expand in the RV02 so it's got to be the RV02B-E or RV03.

As for the cable management, I know it's got the holes but it doesn't seem to have a lot of space behind the tray for braided wires, which is kind of weak. In the HAF-X literally every cable was easily fit behind the motherboard, even the hefty 24-pin. This may be something I'll have to wait until I go to MicroCenter and Fry's to take another look at the cases in person. Maybe some users are just bad at routing cables.

I also still worry about the life-span of the fans. I just don't get why they would custom make fans for this application but make them with a sub-par bearing system. It just seems like a really crummy way to cut corners since you can't order better fans from any one else and they still charge a pretty good price for their 180mm fans.
August 30, 2011 3:15:23 AM

Heh, if I go for the RV-03 I don't think the looks are /too/ bad, just have to paint those weird champagne stripes a different color. Hate the PSU placement, but none of the Ravens are ideal there.

That's a great pic on the Amazon customer images. Thanks for the link. I can only get so much from customer reviews, since I'm pretty sure most people should not be allowed near a PC. I will definitely be putting these back on the table, since I do love the rotated motherboard.
August 30, 2011 3:17:39 AM

Fry's is probably selling that so cheap because Corsair still can't get the SandForce controller to stop causing serious BSOD issues, even after doing their big recall and coming out with the new revision.

I'll never touch their SSDs. I have the misfortune of knowing someone with one and we tried to use it in a build. :pfff: 
August 30, 2011 3:30:45 AM

FuseAQM said:
Fry's is probably selling that so cheap because Corsair still can't get the SandForce controller to stop causing serious BSOD issues, even after doing their big recall and coming out with the new revision.

I'll never touch their SSDs. I have the misfortune of knowing someone with one and we tried to use it in a build. :pfff: 

get a crucial m4 128gb, corsair performance 3 128gb, Plextor PX-M2 128gb, or the intel 510 120gb ssd's if you want to stay away from sandforce ssd's which is a smart choice. the corsair force gt is doing much better than the force 3.

ya i agree you do need to paint the stripes on the RV03 to black.

i dont get why people hate the positioning of the psu in the RV03. it is functional and you dont have to look at a big block in plain sight.
August 30, 2011 4:12:55 AM

The PSU is just a gripe, I don't like how it vents out the side... Either it's going to be facing me, making the sound that much more noticeable, or relatively close to a wall where some of that hot air might get recirculated in to the system. I could see it working ok as long as your arrangement allows you to point that side away from you and it's not going to be too close to a wall or anything.
Then again, I guess I could use it as a hand dryer or something.

The main thing that bugs me about the RV03 is that they give you two "front" USB3.0 plugs, which are really on top, which is what all the plugs on that case are. Then, rather than putting an internal header on them you have to plug them in to your motherboard's rear (top now) USB3.0... So all you are doing is plugging two extension cords in to get the plugs out from under the top cover, which doesn't serve any real purpose to begin with.... So I could just take the top off an RV02 and it would be almost the exact same, just minus two cables? That's a mean joke, just leave the front ports off all together in that scenario. I'm digging through video reviews to try to find out if I could stick my own USB 3.0 internal header in it and plug them in to that behind the mobo. Looks like I may be able to just run them in through the liquid cooling grommets, but it's silly to have to do this.

That and the rear HDD mounts seem like they were stuck there because they didn't have any better ideas for solving my previous complaint. Seems like they could have just gone to 200mm fans rather than bumping one back, and I still worry a little about the heat from mechanical drives mounted behind the motherboard.
August 30, 2011 2:37:04 PM

FuseAQM said:
The PSU is just a gripe, I don't like how it vents out the side... Either it's going to be facing me, making the sound that much more noticeable, or relatively close to a wall where some of that hot air might get recirculated in to the system. I could see it working ok as long as your arrangement allows you to point that side away from you and it's not going to be too close to a wall or anything.
Then again, I guess I could use it as a hand dryer or something.

The main thing that bugs me about the RV03 is that they give you two "front" USB3.0 plugs, which are really on top, which is what all the plugs on that case are. Then, rather than putting an internal header on them you have to plug them in to your motherboard's rear (top now) USB3.0... So all you are doing is plugging two extension cords in to get the plugs out from under the top cover, which doesn't serve any real purpose to begin with.... So I could just take the top off an RV02 and it would be almost the exact same, just minus two cables? That's a mean joke, just leave the front ports off all together in that scenario. I'm digging through video reviews to try to find out if I could stick my own USB 3.0 internal header in it and plug them in to that behind the mobo. Looks like I may be able to just run them in through the liquid cooling grommets, but it's silly to have to do this.

That and the rear HDD mounts seem like they were stuck there because they didn't have any better ideas for solving my previous complaint. Seems like they could have just gone to 200mm fans rather than bumping one back, and I still worry a little about the heat from mechanical drives mounted behind the motherboard.

most cases are like that with the usb 3.0.

and you dont mount the mechanical drives behind the motherboard that is only a 2.5" mount for 1 ssd. the hdd's go on the motherboard side.
August 31, 2011 2:37:13 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
most cases are like that with the usb 3.0.

and you dont mount the mechanical drives behind the motherboard that is only a 2.5" mount for 1 ssd. the hdd's go on the motherboard side.


Yeah, but most cases the USB 3.0 isn't already on the top, lol.

And, no, you're thinking of the RV02. RV03 HDD mounts are behind the motherboard tray and one of the bottom fans is shifted back to sort of blow back there, but it looks really jankedy and inefficient (like I said, they should have just stuck two 200mm in there or something, especially since the cases looked so good inside before). The RV02-E or FT02 sound like the way to go, neither of which is saving me any money over the HAF-X...

I really love the FT02, but gosh it's expensive! Not sure if I can bring my self to spend that much on the case.

Of course, I don't know if that 02s are really that much better at cooling than a HAF-X, which doesn't give the air any time to get warm really. The fans are louder, though the enclosed case (and insulation in the FT02) would help with that. It looks like it may be impractical to adopt the rotated motherboard still. Silverstone is doing decent, but they definitely need some competition in this form factor. My experience with their fans, for example, has been solid but I don't like not having any alternative. And the cases are pretty pricey considering you sacrifice a good number of features to get the new form.

Just as an example, the HAF-X is the same price as the RV02B-EW, but comes with tool-less drive bays, much better front I/O, two hot-swappable bays you can actually reach, HDD rack has enough space between drives to actually allow air through, rubber grommets around the cable cut-outs... There are probably some more benefits, but a lot of them are situational (like the fan shrouds). The only negatives I can think of are the flimsy tool-less mounts for the HDDs, the fact that anyone buying the case will want that one more 200mm up top probably and that adding that fan keeps the case from maintaining any positive pressure. Other, cheaper cases like the Lian Li Lancool PC-K63 seem to at least match the features of a Raven or Fortress 02.
August 31, 2011 2:55:35 AM

FuseAQM said:
Yeah, but most cases the USB 3.0 isn't already on the top, lol.

And, no, you're thinking of the RV02. RV03 HDD mounts are behind the motherboard tray and one of the bottom fans is shifted back to sort of blow back there, but it looks really jankedy and inefficient (like I said, they should have just stuck two 200mm in there or something, especially since the cases looked so good inside before). The RV02-E or FT02 sound like the way to go, neither of which is saving me any money over the HAF-X...

I really love the FT02, but gosh it's expensive! Not sure if I can bring my self to spend that much on the case.

Of course, I don't know if that 02s are really that much better at cooling than a HAF-X, which doesn't give the air any time to get warm really. The fans are louder, though the enclosed case (and insulation in the FT02) would help with that. It looks like it may be impractical to adopt the rotated motherboard still. Silverstone is doing decent, but they definitely need some competition in this form factor. My experience with their fans, for example, has been solid but I don't like not having any alternative. And the cases are pretty pricey considering you sacrifice a good number of features to get the new form.

Just as an example, the HAF-X is the same price as the RV02B-EW, but comes with tool-less drive bays, much better front I/O, two hot-swappable bays you can actually reach, HDD rack has enough space between drives to actually allow air through, rubber grommets around the cable cut-outs... There are probably some more benefits, but a lot of them are situational (like the fan shrouds). The only negatives I can think of are the flimsy tool-less mounts for the HDDs, the fact that anyone buying the case will want that one more 200mm up top probably and that adding that fan keeps the case from maintaining any positive pressure. Other, cheaper cases like the Lian Li Lancool PC-K63 seem to at least match the features of a Raven or Fortress 02.

you can mount the hdd's in the unused 5.25" bays. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dragon-rider-chaser... and if the rv02 cools better than the rv03 it looks like it does have better cooling and is quieter. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dragon-rider-chaser... "We had to remove more than two dozen screws to get to the point where we could show the 5.25” external to 3.5” internal adapter trays. Fortunately, most installations don’t require that much effort." and the RV02 & RV03 i think were made to be under you that's why the usb 3.0's are on the top.
August 31, 2011 4:19:25 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
you can mount the hdd's in the unused 5.25" bays. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dragon-rider-chaser... and if the rv02 cools better than the rv03 it looks like it does have better cooling and is quieter. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dragon-rider-chaser... "We had to remove more than two dozen screws to get to the point where we could show the 5.25” external to 3.5” internal adapter trays. Fortunately, most installations don’t require that much effort." and the RV02 & RV03 i think were made to be under you that's why the usb 3.0's are on the top.


Very interesting. Digging a bit more on Tom'sHardware it appears that the RV03 actually has better cooling, some how, than the RV02 with the fans on high while some how being slightly louder, I guess due to the openings for the PSU... That's really perplexing. The RV02-E still looks like the winner at load temps on low fan speeds, which is what most of us would probably be looking at, but those results are pretty interesting.


Also peculiar; Tom's seems to show things pretty differently from Bit-Tech, which seems to point towards the HAF-X as the better GPU cooler by a decent margin whereas Tom's gives the Raven a slight advantage... Not sure what to make of that...

The FT02 does seem to match the HAF-X's cooling there, but the RV02 does not. I have to wonder if maybe at lower temps the vertical alignment of the GPUs isn't benefiting the Ravens as much as the direct airflow from the HAF-X.

Seems like a really hard call between the RV02-E and the HAF-X. If I could just throw down the money for the FT02 it would be a no brainer. That case is sexy, cool and quiet.
August 31, 2011 5:03:12 AM

it really is. i made the mistake to get a cheap case (antec 300 illusion) and i am paying for it. it is loud and has terrible cable management and is quite ugly. there is always going to be new things coming out (faster usb's) so i think that you have to find the median between prices because do you really want to use the same case for years because you set yourself back so much $ promising yourself that you will use the case for a long time when there are cases with newer more attractive features out on the market? i think it should come down to the HAF-X (personally i think it is hideous) and the RV03 (since it has usb 3.0 and more than sufficient cooling). remember the hdd's can be put in the front with the motherboard with the RV03.
August 31, 2011 7:37:13 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
it really is. i made the mistake to get a cheap case (antec 300 illusion) and i am paying for it. it is loud and has terrible cable management and is quite ugly. there is always going to be new things coming out (faster usb's) so i think that you have to find the median between prices because do you really want to use the same case for years because you set yourself back so much $ promising yourself that you will use the case for a long time when there are cases with newer more attractive features out on the market? i think it should come down to the HAF-X (personally i think it is hideous) and the RV03 (since it has usb 3.0 and more than sufficient cooling). remember the hdd's can be put in the front with the motherboard with the RV03.


RV02W-EW would look so nice with a decent rattle-coat dark red on the inside and a couple red lights, wish it was still for sale.

Though I'm not sure either RV02 or FT02 would be ideal anymore. Don't know why it never occurred to me sooner; I'm going to be running SLI, and that puts my bottom card awful close to the back of my DVD drive, then I was hoping to add BluRay later if I ever need it which could be an even bigger problem.... Looks like it's manageable, but far from ideal. Another point towards the RV03, I suppose.

However, I just found a great article explaining why some times the Raven and Fortress series perform poorly... Also something that I really should have realized sooner, but it's also something that should really be advertised with the case since even Silverstone tells you this...

(Note that the RV02 oriented "Normal" means the GPU is in sitting vertical.)

Looks like I may have to go for the HAF-X... Even though I do like the look of the Raven better. That severely limits my GPU choices. The HAF-X's only problem is needing to add 1 and replace the other top fan to get the sleeved bearing fan off horizontal. The Ravens you can't even fix that if you want to.

Even if I don't take your case advice in the end, I really appreciate letting me bounce ideas back and forth.
September 3, 2011 3:20:39 PM

those fans probably were not getting enough air to them. i wouldnt be surprised if they had it on a rug without anything raising it up so the fans could actually get air. tomshardware does everything right with their testing and record everything. can i see the whole review that you got that from.
September 5, 2011 6:26:02 PM

Yeah, images are links.
http://en.expreview.com/2010/11/15/90%C2%B0-rotationhow...

Not sure how relevant it is right now. Got yet another unexpected bill pushing back my build. If I get lucky maybe the Carbide 500R will be available by the time I can actually start building... Though there are some tempting Labor Day sales.
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