I'm currently spec'ing out a new Core 2 Duo system and am having lots of difficulty in determining what new case to buy. Some I can probably see locally (Antec), but others I would probably have to buy on faith (Lian Li). I've read through all of SPCR over the last few weeks and browsed through the last 6 months of posts in the Cases forum and still have many questions. I'm not looking for a completely silent PC, but definitely want something quieter than I have. Sorry this is a bit of a long first post but thanks for reading and for any guidance you can provide.
Current System (key components only):
- Thermaltake Xaser III case - purchased years ago when I knew nothing about the differences in cases. It's not a bad case (has 7 80mm fans) but I know I can do better (meaning quieter), plus it's HUGE
- P4 3.4E (Prescott, socket 478) with standard Intel sink/fan
- Abit IC-7 MB
- 2 GB OCZ PC-3200 DDR 400 (2-3-2-6 timing)
- Leaadtek 6800GT w/stock cooler/fan
- 13GB HD out of an old Compaq (not sure of brand but it's noisy) + 30GB Maxtor + 250 GB Samsung SATA II (just bought for Vista BETA)
- Rosewill 450w PS - my weakest point currently and the source of much of my extra noise
- X-Fi Fatality - bought recently at ZipZoom because of $80 rebate, replaced an Audigy 2
Anyway, here is what I'm looking at for the new system:
- Core 2 Duo E6700 - I know the extreme is a little faster, but I'm not into overclocking and all the benchmarks I've seen put the 6700 in a virtaul dead-heat with the X6800.
- 2 GB Corsair 6400C4PRO DDR2-800
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer + my new Samsung 250GB SATA II
- Seasonic S12 600W
- X-Fi Fatality
- MB - no idea yet since so few are available. I'm thinking probably an nForce 590 based board that will allow SLI, though I don't know that I will do SLI initially
- Video Card - no idea yet since DX10 cards are not out. I'm hoping there will be a DX10 equivalent to the 7950GX2
- Antec P180: saw at MicroCenter and truthfully thought it was pretty flimsy. Everything I've read says it's quiet, but not necessarily thermally efficient without modding, plus the non-inverted MB means long cable runs which can be problematic.
- Lian Li PC-101: the high quality of Lian Li appeals to me and it seems to have most of what I might want feature wise, but I'm still concerned about the thermal efficiency. The front fan does not seem to have access to much air. Does the inverted MB in combination with the PS at the bottom mean cable runs are the same as in a "standard" ATX case?
- Antec P150: it seems well regarded, especially here at SPCR. I've not done a lot of research on this one yet.
- Lian Li V1000 series: I've seen several people say how good it is in the forum, and I like the styling, but I'm still concerned about the thermal efficiency and how quiet it is. I would put quiet 120mm fans in (maybe Nexus)...would that help?
- Enermax Chakra: great price and the large and supposedly quiet 250mm fan is very interesting. Adding quiet 120mm fans front and rear seems to make this a very viable option for both sound and thermal efficiency. Has anyone had experience with this case yet? The one post I saw indicated no one had but maye since the thread started?? Here's the same link in the original thread to an online review: http://www.bigbruin.com/2006/chakra_1
- I've also considered Silverstone and some other brands but have not seen much readily available that appealed to me based on price(under $250), features, and styling, but I'm open to suggestion.
I guess that's it. Thanks again for any words of wisdom.