Building a PC-please review my plans..............

I am building my own PC (with your help!), and working on step 1, Case/Fan Selection:

Please read my tentative specs. and take a stab at my questions?

First step is to select the case, I have tentatively decided on this case:
Antec PLUS660AMG, mid tower case

I selected the case for a couple reasons. Good reviews, name brand, affordable, quiet (?) power supply, USB/firewire in front, 2 (?) fans supplied, and dust guard in front. Only drawback I can see is that it is a heavy case, but once I get it in place, it wont be moving anyways, so that is not really an issue.

My tentative components to be installed are:

1) Motherboard---(Asus, or other brand with new Canterwood chipset)-due out April sometime??

2) Processor---Intel 2.4 or 2.5 P4 (not high end, but fast enough, may upgrade to hyperthread later). Are there any major differences between 2.4 and 2.5? I can maybe get the 2.4 for $40 cheaper ($159). Both are 533mhz. Is it best to buy retail version, cause it comes with fan and heat sink?

3) Fans----I can’t tell for sure if the case comes with 1 or 2 fans. The manual says “The case comes preinstalled with one 80mm cooling fan in the rear and one 80mm cooling fan on the side panel, or one 80mm cooling fan in the rear.” Say what? I will ask the dealer how many, my guess is it comes with 2, rear and side.

If it comes with 2 fans, I was thinking I would buy 2 more that would go in the front. Manual says that 2 can be installed in front, one inside the 3.5” drive cage. I was thinking about getting the Antec smart fans, ANTEC 80mm SMARTFAN
”Up to 80% quieter Thermally controlled 80mm case fan. - Built-in temperature sensor - Variable speed: RPM increases as the temperature rises - Double ball bearing design for extended life - Comes with a 4-pin power connector and a separate signal connector to motherboard”

The manual for the case says the power supply will allow up to 3 fans to be connected and it will regulate the fans based on heat. Would I then connect the 4th to the motherboard for regulating speed of fan? I don’t know how this works. I WOULD LIKE THE CASE TO BE AS QUIET AS POSSIBLE.

Other components-----------
PC2700 DDR Ram memory (any brand better, Crucial ok? Seen 512megs for $69)
Video card, probably ATI 9600 Radeon
3 Hard Drives (already own)
1 CD-ROM burner drives (already own)
1 Floppy drive (already own)

Will an Antec 330Watt power supply be adequate for my hardware?

Anyone see any problems here with my plans? Still planning, so subject to change. I hope to be done by end of April. Just waiting on new motherboards (I want to be able to upgrade chip, memory later if I want).

7 answers Last reply
More about building please review plans
  1. Firstly I would go for the 2.4GHz because as the CPU price goes up the performance increase gets less and less - this is the famous price / performance ratio that Tom always talks about. Obviously if you have infinite cash then go for the best every time but otherwise the mid-range CPU always offer the best value such as the AMD 2200+.

    For a quiet case experience definitely do not install any more fans than you already get with the case. And I would steer clear of heat regulated fans because you cannot set the temp. level so they might be on full rpm all the time. I would suggest low noise fans such as the Evercool ones or even a low noise 120mm for the same airflow. Basically with P4s, they run so cool with their 80mm fan and have excellent throttle cycling (see Toms video) that it will never overheat and certainly would not be as bothered by the case temp as an AMD chip would be.

    You will definitely need 350w or more in your power supply based on your many drives and graphics card. I would strongly recommend the Enermax variety with the fan regulator on the back which can be turned right down to noisless operation if so desired.

    If you get a noiseless power supply and low noise case fans, you will probably find that your graphics card is the loudest thing in your case so I would read up on a few reviews first to see if any of the companies produce a model with a particularly quiet fan.

    I would definitely say that apart from the motherboard, the case and power supply are the most important things - get good quality ones and they will last you for many upgrades. If you really want your case / PSU combo to last, I would recommend 450w Enermax PSU and a decent Aluminium case (not stupidly expensive but around $100). Because the Alu cases conduct heat better, you need less fans anyway and to be honest a lot of people have far too many fans in their cases anyway. I build PCs for many people and I never install more than 1 case fan, 1 CPU fan & the fans in the PSU. This is fine for normal PC use - only overclocking and extreme environmental conditions require more fans. Besides you can always start off with a couple and buy more later if you really think that you need them.

    Hope this helps.

    4.77MHz to 4.0GHz in 10 years. Imagine the space year 2020 :)
  2. I bought a 2.4 a few weeks ago together with an asus P4PE
    difference between 2.4 and 2.53 does not justify the higher price. stock heatsink is good, i can overclock to 2.7ghz without any problem whatsoever (do check if the CPU is recent, i mean look at the date it was made mine is from early 2003 and when you use WCPUID you'll see why this will be better tahn an older one, these are just scaled back 3.06 CPU's the program states max speed 3.2ghz and Hypertreading enabled so there you have it (some people even managed to unlock the hypertreading))

    as for ram why not ddr400 when you're considering the canterwood (the best in few months) then i would go for the best ram, i've got ddr400 from corsair, simply switching between cas 2-3-3-8t and 2-2-2-6T gave me a mem score of 6500 vs 5800 in pcmark2002

  3. about the aluminum cases they don't really amount to much of a cooling diffrence. You should also not be relying on your case to help cool your system. About quiet fans i would say panasonic panaflows are the best.
  4. Quote:

    It's a good case, but if you're looking for a case to be 'as quiet as possible' then why not go with something like the Antec Sonata case? It comes with an special version of the Antec 380W Truepower power supply that's meant to be pretty quiet. Also, it has two 120mm fan slots instead of a collection of 80mm fans, so you can get a great (and quiet) airflow just using low-RPM 120mm fans. The case even comes with one pretty quiet low-RPM 120mm fan. Plus the hard drive bay on that thing is supposed to be really sweet to work on. (And gives the hard drives more than enough breathing room.) Just a thought if you want peace and quiet from your PC...

    As for the processor, 2.4GHz, 2.53GHz, whatever. I'd just go with whatever you can afford at the time. Maybe by then prices will have dropped even a bit more. With an Intel chip though I'd definately get the retail CPU since the heat sink that comes with it will be plenty good.

    As for the RAM, I'd say if you're going for Canterwood, you might as well just go with DDR400. That way if you upgrade the processor to an 800MHz FSB job later, you don't have to buy all new RAM just to run it at full efficiency.

    And as for the rest (graphics card, etc.) just go with what you can afford. What you've written down looks plenty good.

    <font color=blue><pre>If you don't give me accurate and complete system specs
    then I can't give you an accurate and complete answer.</pre><p></font color=blue>
  5. Quote:
    About quiet fans i would say panasonic panaflows are the best.

    If you can find them, Titan makes even quieter fans. And if you're going for absolute golden silence, the Enermax 120mm speed-adjustable fans are supposed to be great. (As in 22db @ 1500RPM for 67CFM.) But yeah, the Panaflow L1s are nice and quiet. :)

    <font color=blue><pre>If you don't give me accurate and complete system specs
    then I can't give you an accurate and complete answer.</pre><p></font color=blue>
  6. good find! I missed that!
    I am checking it out, looks cool.
  7. Going with Antec case check out Performance Plus 1080AMG. Comes with 430 TruePower PSU plus 3, 80mm Fans + two optional. When I bought my 1080 AMG at New Egg it was $128 I'm looking at Canterwood my self. Waiting till May before I buy.
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