Re: Trivial question on purchasing a computer case

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by V W Wall, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. V W Wall

    V W Wall Guest

    Larry Smith wrote:
    >
    > Don't know if this is the right NG but if there's a better one please let me
    > know. I'm assembling my own PC for home use (Intel P4) and have purchased
    > all the parts except the case which I'm having trouble picking out. Can
    > someone please set me straight:
    >
    > 1) Will a 300 watt power supply realistically suffice. Besides the basics
    > (single hard drive only, CD, video card, network card, etc.), the only
    > "luxuries" I'm adding is a sound card (hardly a luxury these days) and a
    > separate TV adapter (separate from the video card that is). I know 300 watts
    > will work fine but is it really worth the money to upgrade to 350 or more to
    > reduce the strain. Or can I expect 300 will probably last for years in this
    > environment. It's very unlikely I will ever tax the system with much more
    > than what I've described.


    I agree with what DeMoN says about most power supplies that come with
    inexpensive cases, although I've been running for years on a supposed
    300 W supply that came with a good case for ~50$. It's only running
    at <100W, so is probably OK for now.
    >
    > 2) Does the case really matter (notwithstanding its looks). For those
    > shipped with a power supply included, they generally range in price from
    > about $50 to hundreds of dollars. I've read all sorts of reviews about case
    > materials (aluminum vs steel for instance), cooling abilities, room for
    > additional fans, etc. In the end though am I really going to see a
    > substantial difference between a cheap steel case for, say, $80, vs some
    > space age looking contraption made out of exotic composites from NASA? In
    > particular, how negatively does the cheap case really impact on heat
    > dissipation for instance (in a real-world environment). Will it
    > realistically wear my components out before their time compared to a more
    > expensive case?


    The only influence a case has on component life, if any, is the temperature
    to which the components in it are subjected. Most temperature control comes
    from heatsink/fans, case and HD fans, and can be tailored for most any case,
    though proper fan openings in the case are essential.

    If you can get your hands, (literaly), on a case, it's easy to check for good
    manufacturing practices. Look for heavy enough construction with no sharp
    edges.
    Check for good fit of the front bezel to the case, and for proper RFI "springs"
    around the removable panels. The number of internal and external drive bays are
    an obvious thing to check. I use two 3 1/2" drives, so need a case with two
    external ones. With things like card readers, fan controls, etc., taking up
    external drive bay panels, you may need more than you think.

    External USB and even audio jacks are available and are handy to have.

    If ordering on the net, you can't check all of these things, and cases made
    under the same name, and at different prices can be of quite different quality,
    with the higher priced ones not always the "best".

    I've been pleasently surprised at the occasional low price case that has all
    of the features I need, and is of good quality. I'll let everyone know when
    the PS blows up! ;-(

    Virg Wall
    --

    It is vain to do with more
    what can be done with fewer.
    William of Occam.
     
    V W Wall, Oct 14, 2003
    #1
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  2. V W Wall

    Larry Smith Guest

    > I agree with what DeMoN says about most power supplies that come with
    > inexpensive cases, although I've been running for years on a supposed
    > 300 W supply that came with a good case for ~50$. It's only running
    > at <100W, so is probably OK for now.


    Well, the thing is that I've been through four new computers in the past
    five years or so and have had problems with each of them after only 12-18
    months. This is why I decided to build it myself this time (with quality
    parts).

    > The only influence a case has on component life, if any, is the

    temperature
    > to which the components in it are subjected. Most temperature control

    comes
    > from heatsink/fans, case and HD fans, and can be tailored for most any

    case,
    > though proper fan openings in the case are essential.
    >
    > If you can get your hands, (literaly), on a case, it's easy to check for

    good
    > manufacturing practices. Look for heavy enough construction with no sharp
    > edges.
    > Check for good fit of the front bezel to the case, and for proper RFI

    "springs"
    > around the removable panels. The number of internal and external drive

    bays are
    > an obvious thing to check. I use two 3 1/2" drives, so need a case with

    two
    > external ones. With things like card readers, fan controls, etc., taking

    up
    > external drive bay panels, you may need more than you think.
    >
    > External USB and even audio jacks are available and are handy to have.
    >
    > If ordering on the net, you can't check all of these things, and cases

    made
    > under the same name, and at different prices can be of quite different

    quality,
    > with the higher priced ones not always the "best".


    Thanks for the info!
     
    Larry Smith, Oct 15, 2003
    #2
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