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Opinion on components I bought and suggestion for case

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March 12, 2012 5:27:14 AM

Need a PC to house about 4 hard drives and encode/serve media.
At times this machine will also be used for development work including running virtual machines , running application servers , database servers etc.

For $340 I've managed to get the following new - I can return any if it doesn't make sense.Also I won't be using any Video card for the time being. Sticking to z68 board for resell-ability and the odd scenario that I may want to add a card later. Also price I got it was good.

Intel Core i5 2500k
GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3(R2.0) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Motherboard
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 X 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333 Memory
Antec BP550 Plus 550 Watt 80+ Modular PSU


I will not be doing any gaming or over clocking. Do I even need a after market heatsink? If I get a Cooler Master Hyper , will it make more sound than the stock heatsink and be a pain to install?
Also what is a good mid tower case to go with this? I sold my former system which was an Antec 900 with a non modular PSU. I hated ever opening that case due to the mess PSU cables made. So in my new case what I am looking at are in order of priority

1) Not too expensive. Prefer to stay around $70 and worst case under $90. Can wait for a sale if there is one that regularly goes on sale

2) Not too small so as to make it difficult to mount the motherboard with fat fingers or swap in/out hard disks etc.

3) Toolless HDD bays. If not toolless, atleast should be easy to fasten HDDs.
4) Case Fans of Antec 900 did not come with 3 pin that let me plug into mobo. I want new case to have fans that are pluggable to motherboard so that I can control them via software. Also case shd come with enough case fans. I don't want to add any new case fans.

5) Not too loud. Not that I'm looking for pin drop silence or anything, but doesn't want something that sounds like a wind turbine either. Also less rattling

6) Doesn't collect too much dust. Even if it collects, it shd be easy to do periodic cleaning without having to unscrew a thousand screws
7) Cable management (PSU is modular so this is not a big deal I suppose), front eSata etc are good to have

Does anyone have suggestions? I read many forum posts and I think people like Cooler Master 690 ii advanced and can be had for around $75 when on sale. But many reviews analyze it from a gaming persepctive and being able to add additional fans etc. which is not what I am looking for. Isn't there a cheaper case that is as big and has toolless design and doesn't make a lot of sound?

thanks
March 12, 2012 8:13:21 AM

CM HAF 912, 922 ; antec 300,
These are good cabinets under that price range
And cm 690 would have done fine too even if it is for gaming, it wil keep your pc cool.
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March 12, 2012 8:35:17 AM

That is all "gaming" means when referring to a case - good airflow which yields good cooling.
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March 12, 2012 1:51:49 PM

jsc said:
That is all "gaming" means when referring to a case - good airflow which yields good cooling.


True but most reviews from that angle gives importance to factors like being able to fit in two video cards or a large video card and ability to add tons of Fans etc or the amount of air the current fans move etc. One of the main objective becomes how cool it keeps their overclocked rig.

I need a compromise between airflow and loudness and that is where I am having difficulty. Also I don't want to buy extra fans and add them
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March 12, 2012 2:05:15 PM

Hiranmoy said:
CM HAF 912, 922 ; antec 300,
These are good cabinets under that price range
And cm 690 would have done fine too even if it is for gaming, it wil keep your pc cool.


Though I hated my Antec 900 for cable management with non modular PSU, it came with one 200mm fan on top and three 120mm fans. When I look at these cases,

Antec 300 - comes with just two fans
CM 690 II - comes with three fans
HAF 912 - comes with just two fans

I really don't want to add fans. So will I be needed to do that if I get something like Antec 300? Also if I am not adding fans, then the two side wents will collect lot of dust (Antec 300 Two has two) right?

I'd rather something like Antec 900 in that it doesn't collect so much dust and doesn't require me to install any new fans. But unlike Antec 900, it has a better HDD mounting mechanism and toolless and cable organization.

Right now I must say though that I am leaning towards CM 690 II Advanced.
Antec 300 Two is also not bad except that case is small(I know I don't have even a graphics card, but I like slightly bigger cases for ease of working) and I am not sure if I need to add additional fans than the one it comes with

On a different note - I do have three Antec 120mm tri cool fans lying around (Antec shipped me when I bought my 900 in 2008). But I think those can't be controlled via the motherboard since the power is 4 pin
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March 12, 2012 2:23:01 PM

I'd suggest the following case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1: $69.99, so dead on your budget.
2: Regular sized mid-tower, fits an ATX and easy to swap drive bays (unless if you have really fat fingers ;) ).
3: Six easy to swap bays included. One set of 3 can be removed to enhance airflow if desired (or throw in some lengthy card).
4: Comes with a hardware fancontroller, but if I aint mistaken you can just plug the Fractal Design fans straight into your board.
5: The sound produced by the fans is pretty average, definitely not a wind turbine. And normally speaking, fans don't rattle unless they're broken or have wiring poking into them :p .
6: Removable dust filter below the PSU covering that part. The rest is similar as any random mid-tower case.
7: Cable management is limited to the bare minimum. No eSata on the front panel, just USB.

The latest big plus for me on a case like this is that it's not just affordable, but it also doesn't try to stick out too much in terms of design. Instead it offers a rather neutral form which can fit well into a personal office or living room.
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March 12, 2012 2:23:19 PM

Cm 690 is a good cabinet its very spacious and hdd mounting is much better than many cabinets of same price.
It also has capability to fit a fan at the hdd mounting zone so ur hdd will be much more cooler with the 120mm in front and 120mm at the mounting zone. Which is good for getting the best performance out of your hdd s
At the end it ur choice :-)
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