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Fractal R3 vs Corsair 550D vs Antec P280

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April 5, 2012 2:53:19 PM

Hello,

So I'm looking for a relatively high-performance but quiet case. Both Fractal and Corsair are nice cases (and Antec), so I'm having trouble choosing. I am looking for a budget case, so if you have any other suggestions, keep that in mind. The NZXT H2 is a terrible case, by the way... :non: 

I'm also going to be overclocking. I have an Extreme3 Gen3 and a hyper 212, as well as either a GTX 560 Ti or a 7850.

So what do you guys think?
April 5, 2012 3:08:22 PM

Hold on... or the Antec P280??? Now THAT looks good!
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 5, 2012 3:30:17 PM

I have an Antec P183 and love it. I think you would be happy with any of the cases you listed from a noise perspective...as long as you are using quiet parts on the inside. Noise isolation only goes so far in preventing the escape of noise from loud parts. This will come down to personal preference on appearance and price.
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April 5, 2012 3:50:05 PM

Hmm... any recommendations on a quieter PSU, then? I'm probably going to use an MSI Twin Frozr II OC GPU, which run fairly quietly and coolly. But the PSU I have picked out is:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, do you think it'll cover an OCed IB processor (the i5-2500k version... i5-3750k or something), an OCed GPU (MSI Twin Frozr II OC 7850), an SSD, 2x4 gigs of 1.5volt RAM, a Hyper 212, with everything on an Extreme3 Gen3 mobo?
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 5, 2012 4:05:19 PM

ddan49 said:
Hmm... any recommendations on a quieter PSU, then? I'm probably going to use an MSI Twin Frozr II OC GPU, which run fairly quietly and coolly. But the PSU I have picked out is:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, do you think it'll cover an OCed IB processor (the i5-2500k version... i5-3750k or something), an OCed GPU (MSI Twin Frozr II OC 7850), an SSD, 2x4 gigs of 1.5volt RAM, a Hyper 212, with everything on an Extreme3 Gen3 mobo?

I'd go for the Seasonic S12II-520 over that Antec: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Less expensive after shipping, 5yr warranty vs 3 yr for Antec. I have the modular version of that PSU and it runs silent at load. I'm running an i3 2120, SSD, HDD, ODD, 4 fans, Corsair H80 CPU cooler, HD6950, and a couple of USB devices - no OC, but I'll still pull as much power as you after you OC.
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April 5, 2012 4:15:17 PM

er... does 520W cover it? I was told 550W was risky
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 5, 2012 4:29:06 PM

Absolutely: http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-radeon-hd-7850-and-78...
Most people grossly overestimate the power consumption of modern PCs. At full load, using a highly overclocked CPU that is a power hound compared to your 2500K, the total system power usage was.....wait for it.....256W. Your GPU will likely draw a bit more power when OCd, but not THAT much.
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 5, 2012 4:32:48 PM

If you want some buffer room, then I would go for the Antec Earthwatts EA-650 before the BP550. Less expensive, shorter warranty (Seasonic has 5 yr and the Antecs have 3yr) $50 after MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But you seriously don't need it.
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April 5, 2012 4:32:53 PM

Yeah... I've seen that a lot.

Then, out of personal interest, why does everything recommend higher wattage? I mean, I get that as it gets older the wattage will be lower, but that's much higher. What is the point of like 1000W PSUs, then?

Also, lastly (and I know this is off-topic), how would I know that I am not getting enough power? It seems like the only tip-off would be when everything suddenly crashes.

I'm still taking opinions on the cases, as well. I'm really leaning towards the Antec, but the R3 seems to have better sound-proofing.
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 5, 2012 4:47:17 PM

There are a couple of reasons in my opinion:
1. It's somewhat of swag...the GPU mfr doesn't know what the rest of your system components are, what temps are in your PC, or whether or not you're OCing. They build some cushion into their recommendations.
2. Modern PSUs are typically most efficient between 40-70% of maximum rating. it appears that mfr recommendations for PSUs will typically put their recommended PSUs close to the sweet spot for efficiency when the system is at full load.

Why 1000w PSUs? Systems with 4 GPUs and overclocking.

Indications of an underpowered PSU:
bad 3D performance
crashing games
spontaneous reset or imminent shutdown of the PC
freezing during gameplay
PSU overload can cause it to break down

R3 vs P280 sound proofing: I simply don't know. It could be better, but the difference it makes will be minimal. There are bigger gains to be had from using a fan controller and slowing down all the fans...or adding sound deadening material to unused fan mounts.
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April 5, 2012 4:56:33 PM

Speaking of which, do you know if the P280 has foam on the unused mounts? I couldn't see it anywhere.

Also, the indicators were at the bottom, weren't they... thanks for pointing those out :) 

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April 5, 2012 4:59:57 PM

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/02/16/antec-p280-...
Says the R3 is better overall. I'm really, really leaning towards the R3 again. It was my first choice, and after watching a few video reviews of it (have you seen the Fractal R3?? That thing is bee-you-tea-full), started really liking it. Aesthetics mean NOTHING to me, but the Fractal combines silence, performance, and aesthetics very well.

P280 apparently has cooling problems. But it's larger.

YARGH! Why can't they just combine their cases with the Corsair!!
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April 5, 2012 5:06:47 PM

Sorry, last thing. In their review of the R3, they say that it's important to have a rear-facing graphics card that exhausts not into the case, but out the back. What does that mean? I thought the GPU was right in the middle of everything.
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April 5, 2012 5:23:33 PM

I can't comment on the build quality of the R3, although that'll be the case I buy when I build my new rig (Unless they release an R4 before I do). I have built a rig in the Corsair Carbide 400R and can say that it is a very nice case.

As for your last question, they're talking about the GPU having a blower style fan http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... so it exhausts all the hot air out the back of your case. A lot of them have gone to single/multiple fans http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that are placed in the middle and exhaust heat both inside and out the back of your case. If you throw a second intake fan in the front of the R3 I really don't think you'll have any issues though.
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Best solution

a c 158 ) Power supply
April 5, 2012 5:53:24 PM

ddan49 said:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/02/16/antec-p280-...
Says the R3 is better overall. I'm really, really leaning towards the R3 again. It was my first choice, and after watching a few video reviews of it (have you seen the Fractal R3?? That thing is bee-you-tea-full), started really liking it. Aesthetics mean NOTHING to me, but the Fractal combines silence, performance, and aesthetics very well.

P280 apparently has cooling problems. But it's larger.

YARGH! Why can't they just combine their cases with the Corsair!!

;)  Thought you might see that when I listed them for you.

The 280 doesn't have covers/insulation for unused fan mounts. The only case that I know of that does that is the 550D.

The R3 is a great case at a great price and has a side fan mount that the 280 lacks. If you're going for quiet, then minimizing case fans is important. A case with only 3 fans provides the most effective cooling when the fans are mounted rear, top, and side. Article to support: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/02/10/the-big-coo...
Aesthetics are personal. I personally think the R3 and the 280 are very similar from an aesthetics perspective. Bottom line on the R3 for you:
1. It's at least as effective at cooling and less expensive than the 280
2. Significantly less expensive than the 550D
3. You really like the aesthetics
4. It sounds like you've made your decision already.... :D 

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April 5, 2012 10:12:05 PM

Hmm.. haha you do have a point XD

So right now, I've completely scrapped the Antec, and will probably get the R3. The things is that the 550D is really new, and there aren't many reviews out about it. There is a huge (and I mean HUGE) thread of people at [H]ard|forum that basically follows their journey of waiting for pre-order to getting cases, to RMAs, and etc. It's here:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?s=ff5ab21c7a417117d...

Actually pretty entertaining. The rep over there (Redbeard) seems so helpful that I think any problems would be solved by him pretty quickly. It seems there was a side panel problem... don't know if that got fixed. It seems easier to build in, yet it has a few problems. One person said that the foam didn't stop as much sound.

I think I'll be going with the R3 unless the 550D drops in price before May 3 (special occasion for me ;)  ). Thanks for the PSU advice, as well!

Any more input is still welcome! Although if you say the word "coolermaster", I will hack into tomshardware, get admin privileges, and ban you. Forever. Using your IP address.
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 6, 2012 12:34:40 AM

Not a fan with their nasty little policy of rebadging PSUs and misleading PSU labeling. The only thing that I might buy from them is the Hyper 212 EVO...great cost to performance.

Edit: The 550D might drop in price some, but I don't see it dropping to where the R3 is at right now. Corsair makes some great products, but nobody is perfect. Bring out a new case design and the weak points will be found. I think they will fix any major errors - great company - but I don't want to do beta testing with a case purchase...
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April 6, 2012 2:38:25 PM

I think I'll just take the pain of messy cable jobs and go for the better case--the R3
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April 6, 2012 2:38:50 PM

Best answer selected by ddan49.
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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 6, 2012 2:51:43 PM

It won't be that bad running those cables...just a little attention to detail. Enjoy!
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