Looking to build a PC

By msdstc ยท 91 replies
Jan 2, 2011
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  1. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,011   +2,536

    I didn't find reference to the CM in this thread. That doesn't mean it isn't there. Please point me at the post number where the link is present, and I'll have a look at it.
  2. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,011   +2,536

    OK, well as I stated earlier, I retired my Elite 335, after a couple of months of use, in favor of the CM Storm "Scout".

    The Elite 335 is a decent, serviceable case, with understated good looks. This case is the best looking of CM's mostly plastic low end offerings.

    With that said, it's also tinny. The Antec 300 is much better made than this case.

    Also, I carted mine out of Microcenter for 35 bucks. So, it really isn't a value @ the 50 dollar mark, and certainly not without free shipping.

    There is a certain psychological component to the choice of a case. Obviously, taste differs from person to person. But, with that said, an individual looking to build his own machine, shouldn't perceive a case a "a box to put the stuff in", but rather as a design object that states pride in achievement, in having constructed the machine in the first place.

    Personally, I enjoy the clear side panels and lit fans of an "enthusiast" case offering. (And I'm an old fart, if you're wondering).

    I normally shy away from raising the budget on a build, or advocating a great deal of overspending, but treating yourself to a step up case, (IMO), would add to the enjoyment of your project.

    The additional cooling available is a gaming type case may not be necessary for your usage profile, but cooler the better is the best approach. Cases such as the Antec 900 turn already cool running machines, into cold ones.
  4. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    hmmm, well the thing is I would take pride in it, but to be honest, both of them are pretty bland looking ayway. I save 20 dollars versus getting the bigger one, but it sound like you don't think I should do this? I'm really not sure, I'm inches away from pulling the trigger on this purpose, seriously at this point, it's between these 2 cases right now, the 300 or the CM. Will the cooling make a difference in the computer?
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    A little, will you ever notice? Not until you pull out the thermometer. Or bring it up on your screen that is.
    There are many cases on newegg, you can choose whatever really, it's not crucial. I'd value looks over performance for your build. You can always google for reviews too.
  6. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Alright sounds like I'm going with the cheaper one then. Are the temperatures still going to be safe even in the cheaper case? Also with this specific build, can I keep this thing running throughout the day?
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Absolutely, you have nothing to worry about with temps, even at 100% load you can run at 100% duty cycle.
    These cases are far superior to anything manufacturers (dell, hp, emachine, acer...ect) offer, even though your hardware is a little hotter, your cooling will be a lot better too. You probably wouldn't worry about running on of they're computers on all day, the same applies to this self built one.
  8. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Sounds amazing :). Thanks so much for all the help!
  9. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Went a little extra and got the Illusion since I felt it was worth it! Can't wait! :)
  10. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    gl with your new build hope it all works great :)
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,011   +2,536

    Congratulations! I think that's a great choice.

    The top fan adds a great deal of hot air removal capability, and the dual front fans, allow for effective cooling of multiple hard drives. (You would mount in every other HDD slot), which allows for air flow between them. Modern high capacity drives have multiple platters, and tend to run hotter than 1 or 2 platter drives.

    I also appreciate the bottom mounted PSU of the Antec case. This might just be pertinent to me, since I do move desktops around quite a bit, but mounting the PSU on the bottom, improves the balance of the unit substantially!

    I noticed than anti-static precautions have been touched upon. In this weather, static is particularly prevalent. One idea to consider, is to get a big old cardboard box, flatten it out, and stand on it while you're building. The take that nasty old nylon static generating carpet out of the equation. By all means, do follow all other precautions as well, but this adds another level of safety to the process.

    Good luck with your project, and do keep us apprised as to how it's progressing!
  12. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate the help a ton. I'm a noob once again, so I'll probably bump this to ask a few questions!
  13. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Alright sorry to bump this and double post here, but I should be recieving my parts tomorrow :). I want to get this up and running quickly, but a few questions. How should I go about grounding myself? And how much of a risk do I really run by not wearing one of the anti static wrist strap? Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated :).
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    The risk percentage (IMO) is pretty low actually, near zero if you're careful, but you risk a costly bit of hardware...
  15. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    I understand. I'm going to do it away from carpet and on a counter somewhere, I just want to know if there's anything I can do to know for sure I'm all set. I touch the metal case first right? Or do I hold it in whenever I'm working with different parts?
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    It should come in a anti-static bag, IMO leave it in there or place it on top of the bag.
    Also, make sure you add in standoffs in between the motherboard and the case.
  17. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Are those crucial? Where would I find those?

    edit- sorry about that noob question, the case had a small package in there with a ton of these and also extra screws and whatnot. How convenient :).
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Standoffs? Absolutely, and yes there should be plenty.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,011   +2,536

    In the parts bag that came with the case.
    The people and this site will tell you that I have a short fuse with noobs.

    That's quite true, and I'll tell you why. With 3 posts in rapid succession. You've admitted you, "don't even know what a case stand-off is". And then, started a negotiation about what you'd like to not bother with during the building process. "Do I really need the anti-static wrist strap". This is the worst time of the year for static. The pet cat can generate enough charge to fry every transistor junction in the whole machine.

    I've built several computers. Do I need an anti-static strap? Probably not, I just use it anyway, put cardboard of the floor, and ground the case, touching the ground before I go inside. You of course, can do as you like. But remember this, all my machines were built without help from Techspot. They are all working just fine, thank you very much.

    Again, you can do as you like. But like HK, I suggest leaving your stuff in the bag, until you've read one or more of the many fine online guides available for BYOC. You'll be glad you did.

    We're here to clarify any uncertainty for you, we're not here to reinvent the wheel.

    Was that too blunt? Oh crap, I guess it's back to sensitivity training again.
  20. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Alright so I took all the precautions and got myself a wrist strap. Stood on some cardboard and went to down. Looks like everything is setup without a hiccup so far! Just need to install the OS. The one thing I was unsure about so I left unplugged for now, are the power LEDs and the AC '97 which I'm assuming is the optional audio in the front. I wanted to come in here to know for sure exactly where to plug this. I figure these are for the most part unnecessary so why risk it? So anybody want to shed some light?
  21. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Power LEDs (+ and -) are for the power light when the computer is on. HDD LEDs (+ and -) are to show the hard disk activity light on the case when running). AC'97 connects to the Audio header on your motherboard, and as you said, supplies audio to the case connectors.

    Your motherboards user manual will detail exactly how to connect the headers for the case connections and LEDs. Coloured is +, and black/white is usually negative, but if it doesn't work just switch them around.

    The AC'97 connector will only fit on the audio header one way. If you look at the connector it will have a blank across one of the pins, and this matches the missing pin on the audio header. You physically cannot connect it unless its the right way around.
  22. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    The thing is there are two pieces that attach in like that, but only one prong that fits it. These are bonus connectors that came with the case, so is it possible that it's just not compatible?
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,011   +2,536

    There are 2 different audio connectors on the front audio header, because there are 2 different types of audio, AC 97, and Intel "Azalia" high definition audio. This is an AMD build, so I'm thinking AC 97, but better check the spec listing on your board, at the manufacturer's site, just to be sure.

    I'm an Intel builder, and never use AC-97, You results of course, may vary.

    As to the rest of the little do-dad connectors, as Leeky has said, the white wires are usually grounds, (else why would there be so many). So get out your magnifying glass if you must, since it's a much better job with all the front stuff hooked up. Plus, you'll need the speaker, to diagnose any possible problem. Well that, plus if the build's done right, it's reassuring to hear that single beep, when the machine POSTs successfully!

    I'm a little up in the air as to exactly what stuff you bought. Was it the system that HK suggested? Because that board does have high definition audio, and may require the azalia connector. I don't think AC 97 supports 8 channel sound, but any second opinion is welcome.
  24. msdstc

    msdstc TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Hmmm, see I can see the text on the board itself, but it doesn't say anything about the connectors that belong in there. Bad news? There is a red light on the motherboard that is turning on :(.

    edit- I am however able to get into the bios successfully. This is a good sign. Once again still just waiting to finsih everything 100% to install the OS.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,011   +2,536

    Well no, it wouldn't. You have to get the wire color codes from the case instructions, then the "plug me here" locations from the motherboard.

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