Well, I am kind of new to building computers and have some questions. I just purchased a MSI KT3 Ultra motherboard and now am looking for a case. I plain on putting in a AMD Athlon XP1900 1.6 GHz probably due to a tight budget. I know I will want at least a 400 Watt power supply for it, but
1. Besides price what is the real difference between a Mid-Tower and a Full Tower case?
2. Is cooling maybe an issue to consider between the two?
3. If I want a front USB port do I have to buy one with one built in or is it possible and easy to put one in yourself?
4. With a limited budget is it better to buy one bare and then add in the power supply and fans, and USB (If possible)?
I might end up with more questions later, but this is all I can think of at the moment. Thanks for any responses
1. A Full tower is higher, has more drive bays of both kinds usually, and can accomodate more case fans. Makes for a roomier setup, which is cooler.
Remember...the positioning of the PSU in a full tomwer case means that the power cables for the drives & mobo need to be a little longer than standard.
2. Yup, see above.
3. Dunno. Never tried.
4. Cases must come with a PSU (in Britain at least) by law. I bought a case and a PSU, and it means I have a backup PSU for emergencies. I also blocked up the case fan openings and made some of my own.
It's all up to you, but I'd work out what you want to do with case cutting etc before you shop around. Rather than getting a screaming fast (and loud) HSF, you can set up a few case fans running low wattage, which will provide a constant airflow for the same effect, but without the noise.
you can buy usb and firewire ports that can be plugged into one of your cd drive bays. thats always an alternative if your case doesn't have one and you need to have the front ones. i happen to have the game theatre XP sound card which has a break out box that will supply with more connections up front where you like to have em.
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Ok I knew I would have more questions later and now here is some more.
1. When looking at cases I keep running across cases that say “Server Chasis” What does this mean? Is this case designed for if you were building a server or just a style?
2. How hard is it to switch out power supplies if say I buy one with only like 300 W just for the case itself and buy my own 400W power supply to put in it?
3. I want to buy my own power supply any recommendations on brands to look for and watch out for.
I know some things will make more since once I have my motherboard and can look at the specifications it needs for a case. I will not even ask about fans yet until I know what my Motherboard (MSI KT3 Ultra) will need. However, I do have one question, fans hook up directly up to the motherboard, right? Anyways, thank for any responses.
Yes server cases are for servers but you can use them if you want.
Power suplies these days are easy to access and remove. 4-screws & unplug a few cables and there you are. Some cases allow you to install a power supply through the back panel instead of from sliding it inside which can be handy.
Enermax make excellent PSU's and can be bought just about anywhere, I would suggest you get the 431Watt unit, if you are looking for serious power the 550Watt version.
Fans to the M/B just be careful what you attach, if the fan power rating is too high like some heat sink FANS are you could burn the motherboard fan header.
Best to run all fans from the four pin molex plugs coming from the power supply until you are certain.
Look at cases with slide out motherboard trays, lower hard drive cages with 1-2 front filtered fans blowing through it, and at least 1 fan mounted in the rear but better two for extraction. Case designs and opinions on this topic is varied, best you read some reviews and remember if you buy the right case now you will have it for a long time through many upgrades and it will also protect the hardware inside it.
I guess I should mention I live in the USA, and this will directly affect the power supply I will be using. Sorry I forgot to mention this earlier I my post.
In addition, if I am running fans using a splitter from my power supply how much of a power supply should I be looking at to be on the safe side? I was looking at a 400W power supply. I am also looking at getting that new Radion 9700 video card. Will this draw a lot of power and start starving my motherboard or processor with the addition of fans all running on a 400W power supply?
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by MMMT on 08/01/02 05:42 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
Power supplies especially the better ones have a switch to change from 110v to 220 or 230v so it does not matter.
Yes, the more hardware such as video cards, fans, memory, hard drives, optical drives etc, do require more power so if you intend adding more in the future and want to overclock you will definately need more, try and work out what you are likely to add. Then you can work it out from there.
All of its fans have been designed to have tolerable noise and good airflow, and the front two fans have a switch to control fan speed in case you can't stand the noise. It is made of hard anodized aluminum and uses more welding, compared to cheap aluminum cases that use riveting.
It has a slide out motherboard tray. It uses thumbscrews only so you can unscrew many things with your hands. If you have a hard drive that gets hot very quickly you can put it in the very bottom rack and it will be cooled by your front intake fans.
It also comes with 4 fans. One is a blowhole at the top to blow hot air out the top of your case. Another is an exhaust to blow hot air away from your processor. And the final two are in the front to bring in fresh air.
It does not come with a PSU and this is good because most vendors ship cheap PSU's with their cases (except Antec). The area reserved for the PSU in this case does not block the bottom or sides of the PSU, in case you want to buy a 2 fan PSU with a bottom intake fan.
There is sufficient ventillation for the PCI cards provided by tiny holes in the back of the case. This does not adversely affect the intake and exhaust fans, but complements it.
Finally it is very cheap and affordable based on its features. There is only one case I would recommend over this and that is the Kingwin KT436. But this case comes at $180 for the cheapest model and more if you get the models that have case windows.
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