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Thread: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

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    Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Hi guys, I'm getting baffled by PSUs and cases for a new PC I want to build, so would be grateful for advice from somebody who's more familiar with them than I am.

    First, I'm a beginner at building - did one before, 4 years ago, with a bit of online help, but that's it.
    Second, all I'm going to do with the PC is Excel, Word, Photoshop, browsing, watching vids and that sort of thing. No gaming at all. But I want something well overpowered - a Ferrari to go to the shops in, if you like.
    Third, my current rig is NOISY so I want something quiet, with as few fans as possible.

    Basic content I've more or less decided on is:
    Intel Core i5 750
    Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro rev 2 CPU cooler
    Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 Mobo (fanless)
    4 Gig Crucial RAM DDR3 1333MHz
    2-off Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB SATAII drives
    ASUS HD4350 Graphics card
    Samsung SH-S223 DVD drive

    Already got Win 7 Pro to put on.

    Now I had decided on a Coolermaster Sileo 500 case and an OCZ 500W ModXstream Pro PSU but a helpful acquaintance pointed out that all the blank slots on the front would look bad and I'd have lots of power lines hanging about to clutter up the case, so I needed a smaller case and PSU.

    I thought if I got a modular PSU, I'd have less wires, since all I want to power is the CPU and Mobo, plus 3 x SATA devices. Not interested in upgrade capacity. Or should I just get a smaller PSU with fixed wires?

    And I've looked at smaller cases, but not sure whether they'd be harder to build in with clumsy fingers. And some of them seem to need case mods to make things fit.
    So I've got totally baffled about what to do next. My current case has a nice door on the front to cover the blank plates up. I've checked out all the ones on ebuyer and just got more confused.

    Had a Hiper PSU that failed on me, so want a better make.

    Could somebody who understands these things pse suggest a case/PSU that would be quiet, easy to put together, not need extension cables to reach the Mobo, and not burn out my Mobo/CPU if the PSU failed?

    Not too fussy about cost - but assumed £50 to £60 topside for the case and same for the PSU, less if possible.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Nerval; 28-04-2010 at 03:42 PM. Reason: corrections to text

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    A modular PSU will be good, go for a case with a front door if you're bothered with blank plates. Most decent cases nowadays have holes cut in for cable management.

    As a case will be something you won't upgrade much I reckon you should spend a little more on a case for something like a Fractal Define R2 from Ebuyer or Scan for £79.99.

    I've seen very good reviews on this case and it has cable management holes as well as a hinged front door and pre installed sound absorbing material.

    I'd advise you to get a 120mm tower cooler though as 120mm fans are a lot quieter than 92mm fans, especially at load.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Your OCZ ModXStream is modular, and is as good a choice as any for that build. You won't pull anywhere near 500W with that build, but tbh you can't get many modular PSUs with lower power ratings.

    Since you've gone for an mATX board, the world is pretty much your oyster as far as cases go. Your only real limiting factor is going to be enough height to fit the Freezer in, which means no low profile cases, but you should be OK with pretty much anything else. What about this mATX InWin?

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    For a start that build is way overkill for office tasks, you could spend far less for a less powerful system and still have it overkill. It's your choice obviously but you couls save a fair bit by dropping the spec a bit. About the PSU for low power builds I generally recommend the Corsair CX-400 which retails for about £40 and it's great value at that price IMO. Very cheap cases tend to be very flimsy, don't isolate component noise well and slice your hands to bits so it's generally worth spending a little more but your budget should be plenty. Something like this would be good for what you want to do with it:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-A...che-65W-Retail
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...-RAID-MATX-VGA
    Mobo has integrated GPU so no need for discrete graphics card.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/400W-...-year-warranty
    Not really sure what case to recommend but here's two to consider:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coole...X-Case-w-o-PSU
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec...0mm-fan-no-PSU
    Memory and HDDs you spec'd.

    Edit: Aww beaten to posting again
    That case Ulti posted looks interesting, been considering getting a quieter case for my gaming system...

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Although Nerval did say he wanted an overkill system I'd like to agree with watercooled, especially as saving money there and having lower heat output components would mean you need less fans which means less noise.

    I'd say stick with the modular PSU though as it's roughly £50 the last time I checked which is already quite cheap.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    If you want overkill *and* quiet you could always build an AMD machine around a Phenom II X4 900e or similar. That'd be cheaper, cooler and have a lower power draw whilst still giving you the e-peen boosting quad core...

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    On the case front, I'd definitely look at the antec P180 mini:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec...plus120mm-fans

    It's reasonably priced (only slightly above your suggested budget), compact, has a door for covering up unused bays at the front and has double-layered panels for sound dampening. Plus it looks good
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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Yeah I was going to suggest the P180 myself but thought it was a little expensive, it is a great case from what I know though.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Thanks guys, yr advice is much appreciated. Amazed at how many there are here to help

    Thanks to those trying to save me money, and I know any old £150 box from Netto will do the job I want - but I suppose it's the same reason I don't drive a beat up old Fiat 500.
    I've set my heart on an i5 750, daft though it is. And at least my Photoshop will be very quick for editing :-)


    I love the P180 box, so provided my mobo and stuff and a good psu will all fit in, then that will do me fine. I'll just check out a few reviews, but it's love at first sight I think.

    Somebody told me my OCZ modular psu is not a good make, though the reviews don't agree, but it is quiet and cheap for a modular. I assume it wont fry my mobo and cpu when it blows either, so I'm tempted by that still rather than a non modular one with cables hanging about.
    Think I'll dither a bit more about the PSU anyway.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    About PSU reviews - most are crap, they don't review them properly/they say plugging it into a PC and switching it on is a review, which is isn't. There aren't many proper reviewers out there but two good websites are http://www.jonnyguru.com/index.php and http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power there's a few more listed on this page: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/522/7 and they recently published this article warning people about bad reviewers: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/410

    Edit: Here's a review of the PSU you listed: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/973 nowhere near as cheap as it is in the US though!
    Last edited by watercooled; 28-04-2010 at 06:52 PM.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Wow, good value for $40!

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    I would look at adding an SSD TBH as you will notice this more than having a powerful CPU for everyday usage. In many cases the hard disc is the limiting factor anyway.

    You can get one of the 40GB Intel SSDs for under £90.

    If you want a quiet PSU one of the Nexus modular ones would be a good choice:

    http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/pro...600/nx-5000-r3

    Here is a review of the PSU:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1012-page1.html


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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Hi cat-the-fifth, thanks for that.

    I think it's 12 months too early for me to try a SSD - the price per GB is a bit too high and I suspect they've a way to go in stability terms (though Computer Shopper - or might have been PC Pro - says they're now developed enough to consider). I'll certainly keep an eye on them and once you can get half a TB for £100, I'll add one on as the C drive.

    My current thinking is to go with the Antec P180 mini case as it's supposed to be quiet and has a nice smooth look with a door on the front.
    Not too keen on the PSU being down the bottom though, so will have to find one I don't have to mount upside down.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Most of the Antec cases have the PSU at the bottom, a good PSU tends to be very heavy and I do think it makes the machine a little more stable to put that weight down low. It also puts the CPU quite near the top where they can put a vertical vent fan.

    From looking at the pictures it looks like that case has an internal plate to keep the air feeding the PSU away from the motherboard cooling, which I believe is a trick from Silent PC Review to keep noise down. The idea is that different parts of a PC have different cooling needs and temperature tolerance, so dividing the box into thermal zones and managing the airflow better makes sense and allows fans to do a better and so quieter job.

    The Antec Fusion I have for my media PC has a similar layout, that case was supposedly developed with the help of SPCR.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would look at adding an SSD TBH as you will notice this more than having a powerful CPU for everyday usage. In many cases the hard disc is the limiting factor anyway.

    You can get one of the 40GB Intel SSDs for under £90.

    If you want a quiet PSU one of the Nexus modular ones would be a good choice:

    http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/pro...600/nx-5000-r3

    Here is a review of the PSU:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1012-page1.html
    Thats not a modular one you have linked to but yes, the Nexus ones are supposed to be very quiet.

    I wouldn't bother with SSD myself, an F3 Samsung would be a good alternative as they are both fast and quiet.
    Last edited by lazer; 30-04-2010 at 09:39 PM.

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    Re: Advice on psu/case for new build pse

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerval View Post
    Not too keen on the PSU being down the bottom though, so will have to find one I don't have to mount upside down.
    Not too sure what you mean by that but in cases with the PSU at the bottom you install them with the fan facing upwards usually or in some with a vent in the bottom you install them fan down. It's nothing to worry about though it won't perform any different. It's a good thing generally for the reasons DanceswithUnix mentioned but also you dont risk dropping a heavy PSU onto your components when installing it and it's not sucking anywhere near as much hot air through itself out of the case so it should last longer too.

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