Building a new pc for my girlfriend.  Recommendations?

By iluvnug ยท 17 replies
Dec 19, 2005
  1. I am currently putting together a new pc for girlfriend. She is a part time gamer like myself. I have already purchased the folowing items: Abit KN8 Ultra mobo, Athlon X2 3800+, 1gb OCZ EL Dual Channel Kit, NEC DVD burner, Evga 6600gt, Seagate 120gb HD. I am currently looking for ideas on cases and power supplies. I am thinking long term durability and reliability. I'd like to keep it relatively cool and quiet. Keep in mind I am a student so I am on a budget. I need the best bang for my buck. Any thoughts?

    ps. So far I am looking at an Antec Solution series case.
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

  3. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    That's funny you showed me this case. She really likes the same case but in pink.! But really I didn't like the ventilation in this case. And was kind of unsure about the power supply since its a raid max which may mean generic esq. Do you think that it has enough ventilation to keep the system in good condition for years to come? I appreciate the help.
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

  5. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I really like the design of this case. It's sleek and sophisticated design pushes it right to the top of my list. The ventilation looks good. The only thing is the 350 watt PSU. I saw the model without the PSU in it and it looks good too. Now I am wondering what power supply I should get for it? price range is somewhere between 40 to 80 dollars.
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    If I can just pipe in on PSUs a bit. Good idea on going for the case that does not include the PSU in it. Mose PSUs in cases are extremely low quality, and raidmax is no exception.

    Before you pick your PSU, have a read through this thread here:

    By the way, Antec is one of the rare exceptions to the PSU case combos. They make excellent PSUs. If you like the ones Rage_3K_Moiz is linking you to above, you should also take a look at this one:

    It comes with a 450w PSU, and the case is GOURGEOUS!! The pictures do not do it justice. It has an extremely glossy black finish. That plus it is only $100 for the case and a high quality 450w psu.

    Good luck!
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    Regarding the Raidmax case, I bought a similar case (Raidmax Elite) for someone else recently. I can't say for certain if it is the same, but the Elite steel was on the thin side. However, after assembly it seemed sturdy enough. I had no problem with cooling but I used an Athlon 64 3200+ Venice. Still, it was fairly well designed and components fit into the case fine.

    I wouldn't worry about what power supply a case comes with unless it is from a know good manufacturer. Get the case you want and just replace the generic type or low wattage power supply it comes with. While you might get lucky and the power supply could be ok, you are better off not taking a chance. Keep it for an emergency backup. As it happened, the Raidmax case I mentioned above came with no power supply (no money wasted).
  8. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    The Sonata case does look very nice. I was wondering about the airduct system? How does it work?
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    It is a tube that sucks in air from the lower backside of the case, and blows it directly onto the CPU (and/or graphics card).

    This way your CPU is getting cool air from outside (directly) instead of using the air inside the case to cool itself.

    Note that the fans for the cooling duct are option. In otherwords, not included with the case (but they are cheap to pick up).

    If you have any intentions on adding 3rd party cooling solutions to your CPU and/or graphics card, there may not be enough room with the cooling duct installed, but it is easily removed if you don't like/want it there.

    This is also a VERY quiet case. But as always, it is only as quiet as the parts you put in it. If you stick a noisy fan in there (on your CPU for example), then it will not be a quiet system (obviously...).
  10. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    The Sonata's air duct system sounds like a great design. Questions: Does the 120mm fan on the back act as an intake or an exhaust? Also is there a fan that cools the harddrives? What fans would you recommend to add to this case for a more quiet approach?
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    The 120mm on the back is blowing air out, and it comes with a switch to allow you to select the fan speed. In the summer I crank it up to half speed to keep things cool, and in winter I put it on silent mode. Either way it is VERY quiet. The power supply also blows air out and is designed for silence.

    I have added a 9mm fan to to air duct to keep my CPU temps down. Not really needed, but it just felt like a good idea. I have NO fan on the front of the case, although it does have brackets for another 120mm fan if you want (to be used to suck air INTO the case from the front.

    Without it I am currently at:

    CPU - 25c
    Chipset - 33c
    Graphics card - 39c
    HDD - 31c

    All IDLE temps.
  12. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Don, what are your system spec's, if you don't mind me asking? As far as mobo/cpu/video card/etc
  13. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Just so you know, many people have their specs in their profile. You can see it by clicking on their user id.

    My system is:

    Asus A8N-SLI deluxe
    Athlon64 3700+ San Diego
    Asus EN6800GT 256Mb graphics
    1Gb ram (2x512mb PC3200 generic samsung)
    250 Maxtor HDD 16mb cache
  14. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Thanks for the info and all the help. Now I just have to see if my girlfriend likes the look of the Sonata. She already liked the look of the Solution series and the Sonata looks even better imo.
  15. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Like I said above, the pics don't really do it justice.

    It is.... elegant. Of course cases are a very personal thing though.

    It is like a grand piano sitting on my desk here. The high gloss black finish is really classy, and I have a nice big 19" black flatscreen beside it. Both have blue LED lights for the power on indicator and it just looks so damn fine! lol.
  16. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I just googled for some more pics and these do it a little more justice:


  17. iluvnug

    iluvnug TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    All I have to say is WOAH! I can see my reflection in it! Thanks a bunch, Don!
  18. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 343   +13

    Antec Sonata Airduct info-

    the airduct is a great feature- it is a squarish air duct that fastens to an opening on the lower back of the unit. Runs from back to right-turn up toward top of case, and makes right-angle turn toward cpu site on atx mb. Has an adjustable duct at end at cpu location so you can adjust how closely the air duct hovers over cpu. Good for getting close no matter how high/low your heat dissipator is on your cpu.

    On the vertical run, there is an additional opening (with a cover on it that you take off if you want to install an additional fan) for a 120mm fan to cool the video card (or dual vid cards if you have dual card pci-express).

    This air duct thus really cools cpu and vid card(s). But, it is in the way anytime you want to do just about anything inside your Antec case.

    I got my Antec Sonata from Amazon: the day I ordered, they happened to have the lowest price, when the free shipping offer was factored into the total. This was cool - usually Amazon does not have the best price on comp stuff. So double-check amazon on this if you go for this case.
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