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Dual PSU's?

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March 20, 2003 10:19:48 PM

Hello folks.

Do people ever use two PSU's (at the same time) in their home PC systems?

Here's what I am thinking about...

I like the idea of a very quiet PSU, and I'm considering using the Nexus NX-3000 (300W) PSU. (As far as I can tell from what I've read at silentpcreview.com, this PSU is evidently more quiet, and perhaps much more quiet, than the the Enermax whisper PSU's).

Now, I am concerned that if I choose to one day make my home computer more "wattage intensive", (by introducing into it all sorts of perhaps demanding digital video editing components), that 300W will not be enough to support optimum stability and performance, (and might not even be simply enough wattage, period).

I'm not so sure that I, personally, would feel comfortable with getting a PSU with a higher wattage and replacing its fans with more quiet ones.

So, what I'm wondering is... Would it be possible, easy, safe, and would it work well to have two PSU's, (specifically two of the 300W Nexus PSU's mentioned above), functioning at the same time in a single home PC system?

Any guidance is greatly appreciated!

Thanks much!
DuckTape

More about : dual psu

March 20, 2003 11:28:11 PM

Here's a decibel level guide:

<A HREF="http://www.lhh.org/noise/decibel.htm" target="_new">Noise Center Of The League</A>

There's a reason that this PSU is quiet ... it only has one fan, while the Enermax Whisper Series has two (with one positioned directly over the processor), which greatly adds to the cooling of the system, which is more important than the decibel level of the fan noise coming out of the computer, IMHO.

I've never heard of a Nexus PSU, although there are many, many brands on the market. But if it was me, I wouldn't skimp ... I'd get something that is well-known (for product support) and well-built ... for safety, and added confidence in the product performance.

Take a look at this review of a <A HREF="http://www.exhardware.com/print.php?Id=57&Page=1" target="_new">Enermax Whisper EG465P-VE (FC) 431W</A> by comparison.

Quote:
Do people ever use two PSU's (at the same time) in their home PC systems?

Well, of course, they <i>can</i>, but it doesn't happen very often with a desktop air-cooled system ... dual-power supplies are usually found in servers for load-balancing and redundancy.

Personally, I think a PSU of this size and quality would be all you would ever need, since many systems run just fine with 300-350W PSU's ... if they are not cheap, generic devices with tin heatsinks. 431W will take you a long way.

I highly recommend that you stick with brand names like Enermax, Antec True Power, PC Power & Cooling, Leadman, Vantec, Enlight, ThermalTake, etc ... instead of trying to put together two power supplies (and modding a case or buying a server case to hold them both). Just get one good one, and instead, give some serious thought to investing in a decent UPS, like something from <A HREF="http://www.apc.com/index.cfm" target="_new">APC</A>. A good UPS can save your bacon, and many offer line conditioning in case of brown-outs and surges, which can keep your PSU <i>and</i> the rest of your expensive components from getting damaged.

I would also advise you to stay out of the PSU except for minor cleaning and stick with the fans included unless you have some sort of familiarity with these components and are good with a soldering iron. You could get badly hurt.

You may find these two links useful:

<A HREF="http://www.computerhope.com/help/ps.htm" target="_new">Information about Computer Power Supplies</A>

<A HREF="http://www.burningissues.net/how_to/power/psu.htm" target="_new">Power Crazy - Connecting 2 ATX PSU's together</A>

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 21, 2003 6:17:44 AM

hmmmm, well duck, i gotta agree, an enermax whisper is a better choice than any single fan PSU... buuuuutttt (there's always a but) you can mod two PSUs to use only 2 fans if you really wanted to... I've been actually thinking about this for a lil while, and I think when I get the second PSU in my system for a pelletier/TEC element I might just go ahead and do this... Basically, you take your two PSUs and make sure they mount flush one on top of the other in the case. Next, remove the fan (or two) from each PSU, and cut a 120mm hole in the bottom (well, the part facing the bottom aka the CPU socket) and put a 120mm low speed (you can even have it run off of 5V power... a nice Panaflo will be nice and silent) and then drill another 120mm hole in the top of that PSU... Next you grab your second PSU, drill another 120mm hole in that one, aligned to the first PSU's top hole... now, you've guess it, another 120mm hole in the top of the 2nd PSU, where you're gonna mount another 120mm fan. Thinkin "what about the negative/positive pressure"? well, thats what those side slits/vents are for. Now if you've got two PSUs stacked, you've got a full tower case. Even with a full tower, that second PSU is pretty damned close to the top, so to exhaust alllllll that heat, you slice a 5th and last 120mm vent in the top of the case, put a fan-duct and voila !

<b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail, or like george bush's public address(es)</b>
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March 21, 2003 12:40:20 PM

I have 2 350W PSUs running because one 350W just isn't enough for my crazy rig.
It is easy to do... if you accept the fact that you will need to mod the PSU to work in dual setup (thus breaking warrenty) and that you will need to mod your case too as there are (as far as I know) no dual PSU cases.

But you CAN'T make 2 PSUs both power your motherboard. However it is possible that ones PSU powers your motherboard and the other your drives.

My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek: 
March 21, 2003 1:58:54 PM

Here's my favorite server <A HREF="http://tinyurl.com/25rt" target="_new">case</A> that can hold two power supplies; the Codegen S101. It runs about $115 over at <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=&submit=..." target="_new">Newegg</A>. It's really nice, and there's definitely room for expansion!

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 21, 2003 8:20:53 PM

Hello folks.

Thank you very much for your informative replies.

Toey, you know, the Enermax 431W Whisper PSU was actually my first choice for quite a while until I read some things that people were writing and posting (at silentpcreview.com) about it that led me to feel that maybe it is not as quiet as I would want it to be.

Hmm... Maybe the Antec TrueControl 550 with fan controller (or one of the PSU's in the Antec TruePower series - 330, 380, 430, 480, and 550 Watts) would be the best compromise for my situation.

The Antec TrueControl 550 and the Antec TruePower 380 are on a recommended list of quiet PSU's at silentpcreview.com, along with a note that "All TruePower models should exhibit the same noise level".

And I feel like I often read good things about Antec PSU's (as well as about their cases, incidentally).

Toey wrote:

<< Here's my favorite server case that can hold two power supplies; the Codegen S101. It runs about $115 over at Newegg. It's really nice, and there's definitely room for expansion! >>

Toey -

Hmm... In general, if you put enough various drives to fill a mid-tower case in a full tower case or even in a server case, would this kind of extra room and space have great "cool-friendly" benefits?

Would there generally be lower requirements for case fan cooling (not including heatsink fan and PSU fan, but maybe also including harddrive and video card fans) if this were to be done?

Toey, if you would be so kind, I would be very interested in also knowing your favorite "cool friendly" (and thus perhaps more "quiet friendly) mid-tower cases and full tower cases, as well as server cases with "support" for only one PSU.

Thanks much!
DuckTape
March 21, 2003 10:42:08 PM

In my opinion, the best PSU's on the market are from (in order) PC & Power & Cooling, Enermax, and Antec.

I wouldn't have said that about Antec in the past, not until the True Power Series was released, because of inconsistent quality levels. For instance, I had far better results with the older 300W Antec PSU's (which you nearly couldn't kill) than the newer 400W "P4 ready" units. I can remember hooking up a brand-new 400W model to a rig with two Cheetah 10,000RPM SCSI drives, and I couldn't even get the drives to spin up. And not surprisingly, I ended up having to RMA quite a few of these units. Not all my customers listen to me; some have minds of their own. :wink:

But I've been willing to give the newer True Power devices a try, and I've been happy with the end results, especially now that the PSU's have dedicated output circuits for each line. This means that all the power that can be drawn from the PSU via each line combined, which enhances stability (unless you load the whole PSU above its rated wattage.) Um, don't do that.)

However, in comparison to Enermax, I do not believe that their system of dual-thermally controlled fans is any better than what Enermax has already been offering for several years. What's the sincerest form of flattery?

My take on a review I saw of an Enermax EG-365P-VE at <A HREF="http://www.silentpcreview.com/modules.php?op=modload&na..." target="_new">SilentPCReview</A>: Be advised of this. There are testing conditions performed by a single individual, and there are real world conditions that are encountered by people who work in the field on a regular basis. As a result, I can say this:

3000RPM for a fan is NOT exceptionally loud. Consider it a moderate level. 7200RPM, on the other hand, can really get on your last nerve. I should know; I'm sitting here next to a system with a Delta on my processor heatsink, and people are always sneaking up on me because I can't hear them.

32 decibels is not that loud, either, and the great majority of people who have a fan in a PSU that runs at this noise level never pay any attention to it once the computer is running ... nor do they hear it when listening to music or playing a DVD. They only notice it if it stops.

However, there are some extra options if you can hear in frequencies that only affect canines, such as someone grinding their teeth across a crowded room.

<A HREF="http://www.dynamat.com/" target="_new">Dynamat - the premium engineered sound control material</A>

<A HREF="http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,506,00.asp" target="_new">Silencing Your PC</A>

Enermax makes a series of PSU with a pot on the back to control the 80mm fan in the rear, such as the EG365P-VE FMA, the <A HREF="http://www.enermax.com.tw/eg651p-ve-fma.htm" target="_new">EG465P-VE FMA</A> and the <A HREF="http://www.enermax.com.tw/eg651p-ve-fma.htm" target="_new">EG651P-VE FMA</A>. I am particularly fond of this series, both in terms of performance, and because the air flow can be adjusted manually. With a good internal cooling system to keep the thermally-controlled internal 92mm fan running at a low level, these PSU's can be adjusted to be nearly inaudible.

I am also a big fan of the Enermax manually adjustable fans, which can be spun down from 3000 to 1000RPM's (+/-10% adjustable). Position them correctly in a desktop case, and combined with the Enermax FMA PSU, you can adjust the system noise to a very low level, and balance the airflow moving through the case. All cases have "hot spots", and being able to decide which fan has the higher RPM can make a big difference.

My main Intel rig, which has <i>five</i> of these fans (not counting the two 60's in the rear) plus the 550W PSU can barely be heard when switched on. The Maxtor hard drives and the optical drives when spinning up are louder than all the fans combined. That's an actual, real world condition. Truth.

There are other options for excellent fans, too ... ThermalTake, Vantec, Pabst, and Panaflo being the best high performance "silent" fans that come to mind.

It's the case fans that usually cause more noise than any other, with fluid and sleeveless fans being the quietest, and ball-bearing fans making the most racket. Be aware, though, that ball-bearing fans usually last the longest before needing a replacement.

Cases: If you like Antec cases ... go check out <A HREF="http://www.chieftec.com/products/products.htm" target="_new">Chieftec</A>. For the most part, many of their cases are identical to similar offerings from Antec, and the prices are usually better. The Dragon series is a popular choice, with my only complaint about these cases being how close the drive bays are to the mainboard ... I prefer long cases to those that are tall and slim. I dislike removing the hard drives just to get at the video card, but for some people, that's just not an issue.

Quote:
Hmm... In general, if you put enough various drives to fill a mid-tower case in a full tower case or even in a server case, would this kind of extra room and space have great "cool-friendly" benefits?

Yes, to a certain degree. Having extra space between components is a good way to help them get rid of the heat radiating from the devices. However, that does little good if the cooling solution is shoddy. It may take longer to heat up the ambient air in the case if it is larger, but you still have to find a way to get cool air in, and the hot air out, or you'll just end up with a big, hot, stagnant case.

Quote:
Would there generally be lower requirements for case fan cooling (not including heatsink fan and PSU fan, but maybe also including harddrive and video card fans) if this were to be done?

Not in my opinion. There's a lot more air in a big case that must be moved, which means you need more fans to get the air out, instead of letting it heat up and hang around the devices and the mainboard.

Of course, getting something really small and packing it with components is not a good idea either, as cases like this have little room to allow sufficient air flow, and the components are usually too close to together for any efficient cooling to take place.

I prefer to create a small amount of negative air flow in a case, which means it will be drawn in through the front and exited expeditiously out the back. The problem is that this kind of vacuum also causes air to be sucked into the cabinet from every opening, floppy drive's, CD-ROM's, modem phone jacks, etc. This is why I normally tape all opening shut on the inside of the case, always use aluminum filters to keep the fans and the interior as clean as possible, and clean the entire case once a month. Heat and dirt kill computers.

So what's the best route for a desktop system?

How about a well-made mid-tower, with a good cooling system. Nothing that's going to create a wind-tunnel in the case laden with dust and cat hair, but not something that just sits there and allows your components to fry in their own juices.

My favorite mid-tower cases:

Chieftec
Antec
Codegen
Enlight
Enermax
AOpen
Thermaltake
Inwin
Leadman
Skyhawk

Aluminum:

Cooler Master
Lian-Li
Enermax

All in all, I probably end up using more Enermax, Chieftec, Enlight, and AOpen cases than all the rest combined. I do love aluminum cases (despite the price), because they are consistently well-made, light in weight, and have good internal layouts (plus, they look great) ... but as for cooling, they really don't make much difference. You can cool a well-built steel case just as well as one that is aluminum, IMHO.

I'll include server cases later, if you wish, after reading this post.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 22, 2003 3:22:43 AM

Toey,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience.

Have you actually found the Enermax Whisper PSU's (specifically the 431W one) to be just as quiet as the Antec TruePower/TrueControl PSU's?

Below are three cases that I've been looking at. I read about them at silentpcreview.com.

Do you have any experiences with any of them that you would like to share?

Evercase ECE4252 (Screwless Mid Tower):
http://www.evercase.com/Products/e4252.htm

D8000 (Modified -- Compucase LX-6A19):
http://www.coolcases.com/cases/D8000_s-m_p2.html

The Compucase LX-6A19 is evidently a "clone" of the Antec SLK3700AMB:
http://www.antec-inc.com/pro_details_enclosure.php?Prod...

<< I'll include server cases later, if you wish, after reading this post. >>

I would be very interested in knowing what server cases you have found to work well, if you would be so kind.

Many thanks!
DuckTape
March 22, 2003 5:41:14 PM

Quote:
Have you actually found the Enermax Whisper PSU's (specifically the 431W one) to be just as quiet as the Antec TruePower/TrueControl PSU's?

I think if you would place both power supplies side-by-side (both with dual thermally-controlled fans) and ran them, the Enermax would be just slightly louder than the Antec ... but we are talking <i>very</i> marginal differences in the noise level. And you must remember that in a case that tends to run hot, due to the components, either PSU will increase the speed of the fans to compensate, which will make everything louder.

What is more of a concern is that many reviews show the Antec PSU's may not hold the voltages quite as tight on the rails as the Enermax, despite having the dedicated output circuitry. And the combined wattage peak load is not as high as on the Enermax (with both PSU's compared being the same overall wattage.)

The lower price of the Antec may justify it's purchase, since Enermax PSU's tend to be pricey ... but IMHO, I'd rather stick with the PSU that has a well-earned reputation of delivering ample power to the rails, as low power delivery to the +3.3v and +5v rails can adversely affect the stabilty of the system. This means, if I was going to overclock a system, I'd be using the Enermax.

I don't like that Antec advises against connecting more than 3 external fans to the Fan Only connectors, and that only thermally-controlled fans should be attached to the standard 4-pin connectors. I don't like the idea having to work around the PSU's connector requirements when I'm wiring a system if someone wants a half-dozen fans and a couple of cathode tubes. But that may not be a problem for some people.

However again, in comparison with the Enermax PSU's with the manually controlled 80mm fan in the rear, the Enermax would be the quieter PSU, simply because only the 92mm fan is thermally-controlled, and you have user control over the speed of the 80mm.

For comparison's sake (although it has nothing to do with the above), with my systems, it's interesting to note that the older-style 300W Antec (not True Power) I have in my backup system (with one thermally-controlled fan) is louder than the 550W Enermax in my Intel rig. Being able to control the speed of that 80mm fan makes a difference.

Additional recommended server case manufacturer's, with one PSU bay (other than Codegen, which is my personal favorite ... and skipping aluminum cases, due to the price):

SuperMicro (my second choice)
Inwin
Enermax
Chieftec

I didn't include model numbers, because the case I'd end up using would be subject to the components that would be installed ... not to mention input from the customer buying the equipment. Sticking with these brands, though, would help sort through the generic clutter.

I've never used any of the cases that you mentioned, (although I've glanced at an Evercase once or twice out of curiosity) but out of the three I'd be more likely to use the Compucase LX-6A1, even though, as you mentioned, it's basically just an Antec clone. The others look too small to me, as I prefer as least six 5.25 bays in a server tower if possible ... and maybe more, depending on how many drives are going to be installed. A server is definitely not just a souped-up desktop, and I like a case that allows quick hot-swapping of the hard drives if one goes down in the SCSI array. Being able to lock the case is also a plus, and which case I choose has much to do with how the cooling system can be arranged, whether the mainboard tray is removable, the kind of drive rails, etc. And if you are looking for a quiet system, the majority of the time, 120mm fans are not the answer.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 22, 2003 11:32:41 PM

toejam since you seem to know alot about cases and power supplies, are the psu's that come in enermax cases just as good as the psu's that come individually (from enermax). I am only asking this because i'm puzzled why enermax cases that come with psu's are about $75 and their psu's alone are also around the same price. Also what psu would i need for this setup
Asus a7n8x deluxe
AMD athlon 2500 (bartron)
onboard sound
radeon 9700 pro
2x sticks of samsung 512mb ddr 400 ram
1 floppy
1 52x24x48 tdk cdrw drive
1 toshiba 16x dvd rom drive
seagate baracuda V sata hard drive 7200rpm 80gb
and 4-5 case fans
I do also plan to so some mild overclocking (if that changes much)
Thanx in advance
March 23, 2003 1:03:26 AM

I recently noticed that many Enermax cases are coming pre-installed with a relatively cheap OEM power supply called Powerup, which only costs about $25 even when bought retail. The manufacturer, Power-Up Technologies, is also the manufacturer of TrippLite UPS's ... and I have never been overwhelmed by the performance with these products.

Why are the cases coming with these PSU's? Your guess is good as mine. Cost perhaps, or a need to find a way to compete with the more well-known case manufacturer's and suppliers.

According to my calculations, if you have listed all the devices you intend to install in the new system, you'll need a PSU that is about 375W minimum to run everything at a 70-72% efficiency level, without taking into account any possible overclocking, which means you should probably be looking at a PSU in the 400W range. For the best results, if it was me, I'd be taking a look at the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 425ATX (one of the best I've ever used, with extremely tight tolerances!), the Enermax EG465AX-VE(W) FMA , or the Antec True Power 430W ... with these listed in my order of preference.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 23, 2003 3:00:04 AM

thanx alot toejam, that turbo-cool psu looks to be very good quality and like you said the specs are the beast i have seen (along with the warantee of 3-5 years). I will definatly cough up the extra $$ to get this. It should also have good results overclocking because of its stable voltages. I do still have a question, does this powersupply have a smart fan or an adjustible pot to vary blade rpm. Again thank you very much for your responses.
March 23, 2003 11:38:43 AM

Smart fan and an external adjustable pot? No.

Be aware that this power supply is louder than the other two (around 42db), and has a single ball-bearing fan, so the operation is not going to be completely silent. It does have internal adjustable pots if there is a variance in the voltages, such as might occur due to an unusually heavy power demand on a single rail. But that's not exactly user-friendly, and best done by someone with experience in this area, IMHO.

It is the best of the bunch, though, especially when overclocking, and the warranty and technical support are superior.

Take note that if you are using a SATA drive, you'll need a Molex 12V to SATA power converter cable. Most power supplies do not yet come with this type of connector by default.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 23, 2003 2:44:29 PM

Thanx for the reply and the heads up about the molex --> sata converter. I won't mind 42db, i'm not a quiet freek, also it's probably not gonna be the noisiest thing in my case (after all those fans). BTW what fans in your opinion have the best cfm to noise ratio (80mm fans).
March 23, 2003 3:06:02 PM

Panasonic Panaflo fans are generally known for being the best in this area. But here's a graph to help you decide:

<A HREF="http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/tecar.html" target="_new">The Listening Room</A>

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 23, 2003 7:24:43 PM

looks like now i have my psu and fans picked out what do you think of the air flow/general quality of the enermax cs-3171L (i dunno if you have any experiance with it).
March 23, 2003 8:46:25 PM

I've got a Duron system I love in an Enermax case right now; not quite as fancy as this, although they are very similar in the internal layout. My only gripe is that there is no removable motherboard tray, but for the price, you can't expect everything. That can make getting the mainboard external port connectors into the I/O backplate a little difficult, but don't sweat it. It'll fit. Just don't crack the board in the process.

All in all, I think you will be very pleased by the case, especially if you have gotten some quiet case fans.

Some pluses: These cases don't tend to pick up dust and dirt like some others that I've used. There's plenty of room to work inside, although this is not a "big" mid-tower. I didn't have any problems with cleaning up and hiding the wiring. And the drive rails are nice ... no problems installing devices.

I think it's an excellent choice. And it looks pretty darned cool, too. Trade ya?

No, I didn't think so. :smile:

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
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<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 23, 2003 9:56:34 PM

Yes you are right the removable motherboard tray would be a nice feature, however I have made do without it on my current ststem (pIII, as my name implies), although i do have some slight worries about matching device (floppy, dvd and cdrw) colors with the front of the case. In all of the pictures that i have seen the front of the case seems a bit silver, do creame colored devices match the case, or will I have to buy new faceplates for my devices. I am assuming that your case has the same silverish front pannel as the case i am looking to get, if not then just disregard the question. Thanx for your answers.
March 23, 2003 9:59:05 PM

BTW which case did you get?
March 23, 2003 11:55:50 PM

I think your optical devices will look really good in that case, but that might not be esthetically pleasing to you, so you might want to paint them, just for yourself.

Whether you can buy matching faceplates ... I don't know; I guess you'll have to look around and see what's out there.

I have a much cheaper <A HREF="http://www.phamcomputer.com/enermax/a1qx06/a1qx06-01.ht..." target="_new">case</A> than yours (about $25!), without the extra drive bays and front panel ports ... plus mine is steel, not aluminum. I had to do some modding and add a couple of blowholes/fans/grills to get a little extra cooling. But that's all I wanted in a system meant primarily for backing up data and playing a few games. The fancier, nicer case you are ordering didn't even exist when I built my Duron system.

My other case is a <A HREF="http://jazz.zoovy.com/product/EN5190AL051" target="_new">monster</A> (one of my British friends -- Camie -- said it looks like some kind of Dalek robot from an episode of Dr. Who.!) I don't give a darn ... it's the kind of thing you either really love or you just can't stand it. There were lots of reasons I got it, such as the overall height, the front panel ports, the amount of separation between the drive bays and the mainboard tray, the angled, drive bays (no rails required), and the built-in cooling solution with the Enermax adjustable fans. Believe it or not, even with all seven of the fans loaded and running, it's incredibly quiet. I can barely hear them unless I put my ear right up to the case. And cool ... man, once I got the air pressure balanced, I was looking at system and processor temps that were absolutely great. Cleaning it is a real pain, because the wiring is complex as hell with all the fans, adjustable fan cables, the PSU connectors ... but I grabbed some 1 inch luminescent yellow split loom to get everything tucked away and hidden, and the combination looks rockin' with the green sound-activated neon tube. Pretty wickedly weird, huh? :wink: Well, it works for me, anyway!

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 24, 2003 12:48:41 AM

I use a big ass Enermax 550W psu. easily able to handle anything i throw at it, now or in the future.

And becauze its so powerful it doesnt run at all loaded, and it runs damn near silent, easily drowned out by 7200rpm hard drives.
A far easier solution IMHO.

<b>Damn War! I'm too young to watch other people die!</b>
<A HREF="http://members.iinet.net.au/~lhgpoobaa/images" target="_new">My Images!</A>
March 24, 2003 1:22:02 AM

Enermax does make good PSU's (from what i have heard from multiple sources) however I have read many great reviews about the pc power and cooling psu (since it was brought to my attention by toejam)many of them claiming it to be the best, and since i'm not too tight on cash ($1500 budget) i think i'll go with the psu stated above. Also one must remember that no matter how powerful a psu is if it doesn't put out rock solid voltages it could cause a processor, memory or GPU that is overclocked to the edge to miss a beat and cause instability.
Toejam, that case does amazingly resemble a robot, especially in the picture at the jazz website, where all of the cables in the rear are sticking out. I am not a big fan of the looks of either of those cases, however they are functional and thats what really matters. What would the ideal paint be for the drive faceplates? I have some automotive touchup paint that is silver in color (seems to match the case well) actually if i get the colors sorted out the case will end up looking pretty cool, because i have a tdk cdrw drive which is cream in color but the cd tray is a transulcent blue which will match the case lighting well (i know looks don't really matter that much but if i can easily improve them its's worth the time).
Thanx for spreading the knowledge toejame
and
Thanx for the opinion PooBaa
March 24, 2003 2:05:23 PM

IMHO, a little light sanding with wet/dry 800 to 1000 grit paper, a couple of good base coats, a few coats of the colored paint, and then a couple of layers of clear coat (with more sanding between the coats) ... whatever color you choose. Automotive paint is the right choice, I think, and you should paint them just as if you are repairing a Bondo'ed panel on a vehicle. Clear coat automotive paint is what was used on my big Enermax case, and I wax it just like my car, with Turtle Wax. Gotta keep the Dalek shiny.

Be sure to take the face plates off the optical drives first! Lasers don't like paint. :smile:

If you are feeling artistic, maybe you'd like to take a look at this <A HREF="http://www.casewraps.com/" target="_new">site</A>. Case Wraps are the new big fad, and a custom design can be pretty cool, without having to pay the big bucks for airbrushing. Maybe you could even create a design where the wrap could be carefully cut with a razor knife, and individual pieces fitted to the face plates. That could look wicked, especially if the side panel without the window matched or complimented the face plates.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 24, 2003 6:19:30 PM

Well looks like i don't need to get much, I've got an airbrush, clearcoat, silver (acura of america) paint also primer (is that what you mean by a base coat?). I just might need to check my sand paper invintory I don't know if i have anything quite that fine. How would I remove the dvd tray in my dvd drive, i have never disassembled a dvd/cd drive so i don't know. Any other tips to removing the faceplates and the dvd tray would be appreaciated.
About the case wraps, they are a cool idea but in my opinion nothing beats a nicley assembled (all the wires nicley tucked away/bundled, matching drive colors...) simple case (relitivly).
Thanx for your opinions/ideas
March 25, 2003 9:53:48 AM

<A HREF="http://www.broadbandreports.com/faq/2414" target="_new">How to paint your drive face-plates</A>

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 28, 2003 8:24:08 PM

thanx for the help
!