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Old 08-16-2005, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The case for cooling!

I've been looking over a lot of cases recently to try and pick a home for my new build, but I can't settle on one. I've managed to narrow down the manufacturer down to Antec, a company whose reliability is more or less a given, but I can't decide which of their cases to go with.

I'm looking for a case with some very good air cooling (no watercooling for me, too expensive and complicated) that I can take with me to the occasional LAN party. Weight honestly isn't an issue for me since I work out quite frequently, and I might even go so far as to say that I prefer steel since aluminum cases tend to be a little flimsy.

This Plusview II case caught my eye, but I can't seem to find any reviews on it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129164

It's got locks on the front and the side, a nice window on the side, and you can mount two additional 80mm fans in the front and one on the side. One 120mm fan and three 80mm fans total is pretty good in my book. It looks conservative but cool, and that's the kind of appearance I like.

But then there's the Super LANBOY, which I've heard people drooling about constantly. It's got two 120mm fans, one in the front and one in the back, and it's so light I could carry it with one hand easily. It's got a window on the side too and it does look awfully nice with the light-up fan and all. What I don't like is the fact that the fans are lower-speed (I don't mind noise) and there's not one on the side or the top. Adding a third fan would have been nice, I guess. I don't know how to mod cases, although I'll probably end up learning how when I get around to it.

And lastly, there's the Sonata II. The piano-black finish is something I've heard a lot about, and it looks nice except for those ports in the front that look strangely out of place to me. It comes with one 120mm fan, and you can even put an additional one in the front, a 92mm fan in the air duct, and an 80mm fan for graphics cards. It looks to be pretty good for cooling. The only thing I don't like is that it doesn't have a side window (and again, I don't know how to mod).

Which case would you recommend?
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Antec PERFORMANCE TX TX1050B Black Steel Server Computer Case 500W ATX12V v2.0 Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129158

$135.00+$15.99 FedEx Saver Shipping
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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An updated version of that first case I mentioned? With more fan space? AND a 500 watt, ATX 2.0 Antec power supply? For $135? (Edit: Hey, it's only $120 on zipzoomfly!)

Side windows are over-rated.

You, sir, obviously know your Antecs better than I do.
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Old 08-17-2005, 06:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
(Edit: Hey, it's only $120 on zipzoomfly!)
Check the wattage on the PSU on the case from ZZF. They one they were carrying was the older version with a lower watt PSU.
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Old 08-17-2005, 07:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as I can tell, it's the same thing. It says that it's the SmartPower 2.0, 500W PS which is the same as the one offered at Newegg. And oddly enough, Newegg just sold out of the big lug. I guess it's more popular than I thought.

I'm in no hurry to buy it right now, though. The sleek, uncomplicated stylings of the P180 have caught my eye and I'm looking over a bunch of forum threads and reviews to see what others think of it. I can wait!

...yeah, I'm really not known for my ability to make snap decisions.
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
...yeah, I'm really not known for my ability to make snap decisions.
Ya think?
Any Antec is a good choice. Don't sweat it.

I plan on going with the above case myself. I like the look, I like the room, I like the PSU, and I especially like the fans and places for fans.
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Old 08-18-2005, 12:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah the p180 got a great review here:

http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews/...view/index.htm


and you can get the all black as well, this will be my next case, i think the silver black looks aewsome:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129154

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Old 08-18-2005, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I looked over the extensive reviewing of the P180 at Silent PC Review and the results, to me, aren't very encouraging.

They did thermal comparisons between the big P180 and the much less expensive (read: $42 on one particular site) Antec SLK3000b and found that the temperatures for the most part were within a few degrees of each other. They also said that the lower 120mm fan was better off removed and that plugging up the top 120mm fan actually helped to improve the cooling. Seems to me that the design isn't all it's cracked up to be.

It was also recommended to remove the VGA air duct. So if you take out the bottom fan, plug up the top fan, and remove the air duct then you're left with some extra ventilation, the front 120mm fan and the rear one - and there are lots of other cases that come with two 120mm fans as well as good ventilation that cost a lot less. So, to me, the case isn't worth it.

I finally decided on a case to buy, though. Well, I may not be buyign it right away because apparently no stores stock it just yet but I do intend on getting it. Gigabyte's 3d Aurora case...

http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=810

It's got three 120mm LED fans. Quiet ones. It's tool-less. It's made of aluminum and is very light. It has a number of ventilation holes on both sides of the case, providing good airflow while giving somewhat of a windowed look so you can see the lights inside. It has locks on the front and side with keys that are different from the ones commonly used in cases. It's also easily coupled with Gigabyte's watercooling kit (~$100-150), which seems to be a great entry-level solution for people like me who are looking for an easy way to watercool a system.

It's even got an LED projector on the bottom that projects a small image onto the ground an inch or so from the bottom of the case!

On TweakTown, they say that the case will be just over $100 when it finally comes out. For all that stuff that you get, I'd say it's well worth it.
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice job researching! Let me know when you get that case.
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