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Case recommendation

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October 5, 2011 2:31:38 AM

You can critique anything in this post, so I'll give the details, but the main question I have is about choosing a case.

This is a 2500k Z68 build for photo editing and basic office tasks. I probably will try out the iGPU because the photographers on photo.net tell me it will be fine. I've got a big modular PSU and can reserve the possibility of adding a discrete card, which I don't think I'll need for my applications, something midrange like a GTX560 just in case the overall display quality needs help. I'm thinking of an Asrock Extreme3 or comparable level board that will probably not have a USB 3.0 connector on the board but will have a rear port. I'm open to a different board that will work well with a recent model case. Because of a number of current projects on old software, I will continue to run XP for a while. I believe I can OC in BIOS is I need to, and I don't think I'll need ACHI. I still have some stuff to do with Firewire, but I can add a PCI or PCIe card if there is no 1394 capability on the board. I've got an old high-end VGA monitor that I don't need to replace, so I need the VGA port on the board if I continue using the iGPU.

Unless I'm completely off-base, the advice I need is for a case that has a flat top for my 35mm film scanner (5" wide 11" deep). I suppose if the top vent were way in the back, I could manage, but I like to put papers and stuff on my case, sometimes, too, and I'd worry about spills.

My range is $50 to $120 but of course, I would prefer something under $100.

I don't need windows or lights. I prefer front panel access instead of doors but that's secondary to the top panel.

On cases like the Cooler Master HAF series and some of the Crucial cases, the tops looks precarious, and most other cases have fan outlets. I would also like to use the Asrock's case fan connectors (1 4-pin, 2 3-pin) and reports said the Antec 300 doesn't connect to the motherboard. Some consumers said the CM212+ wouldn't fit in their cases. I looked at Lian-Li cases but wonder if they have enough air flow. I looked at zillions of cases and got confused.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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October 5, 2011 4:31:01 AM


A gaming case is not a natural fit for a computer used for productivity apps .

A quiet case like the Antec Sonata , Antec p183 , Coolermaster Silencio are probably better choices . They dont have the high air flow of a gaming case but without the heat from huge graphics cards they dont need it either . And they are QUIET

If you must use the antec 300 then you may not need case fans at all . I have seen a few set up that way just using convection to remove hot air . Nothing is a quiet as NO FAN .

All Z68 motherboards perform similarly . The chip set controls that and not the makers marketing department . Dont pay for features you dont need

You also do NOT need a GTX 560 . The onboard will do fine , or fit a GT 220 or similar
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October 5, 2011 5:22:02 AM

Well, I've been using an old IBM xSeries eServer as my workstation, so just about anything will seem really quiet to me!

But you right to stress quiet operation. Your recommendations all look very nice, too.

Basically, for my purposes, you're saying that any of them will be cool enough to run a 2500k that I might modestly overclock. If I get a discrete card, it will probably be in the 100-200 range, which still will add some heat. So I want to be prepared.

The Silencio has a price of about 100-110 but is not easily available, I see. Places that list it have no stock.

The Antex 183 is about 130.

Which Sonata are you recommending? There are a lot of models with quite a range of prices.

Have you seen the Lancool PC-K9? It's 110.

All things considered, it looks as if I'll be at the high end of my range.

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October 5, 2011 5:29:55 AM

CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

I was going to get this since it has many features, but then my budget went up. This case has front USB 3.0, removable HDD cage, led case fan, cheap, trusted brand, decent size and a door to hide your 5.25" bays.

Good luck!
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Best solution

October 5, 2011 7:18:40 AM

lunzhegu said:
Well, I've been using an old IBM xSeries eServer as my workstation, so just about anything will seem really quiet to me!

But you right to stress quiet operation. Your recommendations all look very nice, too.

Basically, for my purposes, you're saying that any of them will be cool enough to run a 2500k that I might modestly overclock. If I get a discrete card, it will probably be in the 100-200 range, which still will add some heat. So I want to be prepared.

The Silencio has a price of about 100-110 but is not easily available, I see. Places that list it have no stock.

The Antex 183 is about 130.

Which Sonata are you recommending? There are a lot of models with quite a range of prices.

Have you seen the Lancool PC-K9? It's 110.

All things considered, it looks as if I'll be at the high end of my range.



The Antec P183 is probably the best silent case available . The cooling is good enough even for a high end gamer

The sonata IV is a step down , but includes a very good quality power supply so that may save you money
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The lancool is a nice clean looking case . I had to search for it online . I think it is new??

Without a graphics card a stock clocked 2600K system will only pull about 130 watts so cooling isnt that much of a problem . With a card in the range you are thinking of you are still going to be under 300 watt.
Cooling is much less of a challenge than some of the hardcore gamer rigs that double or treble that heat out put
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October 6, 2011 1:10:30 AM

Thanks for the answers. Shaq, I like that case but I'm going to stick with a covered top panel. Since the Silencio is nowhere to be found, and I have a PSU, I will either go with the Antec 183 or the Lancool K9. Probably the Lancool, which does indeed look nice and is less expensive, and although reports say it's thin, reports also say it's quiet.

Outlander, then, I infer you would say that I don't need a board like the Asrock Extreme3Gen3, which is a PCI3 board, right? So I should go back a generation on the board to an earlier Z68? Any further ideas on the board?

To refresh my mind: 1) If I don't need a powerful graphics card, I probably don't need a second video slot for Crossfire capability. 2) I need a D-sub port. 3) I'd like a 1394 port, or else I can calculate a $20 cost bump for a card. 4) An onboard USB 3.0 connector would be a totally lucky find on a sub $150 board, but is there even one out there.
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October 13, 2011 2:05:54 AM

Best answer selected by lunzhegu.
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